As the days get longer and sunnier, many Central Coast residents are thinking about ways they can make their outdoor living space more inviting. If you are renovating your existing landscape or building a new one, these 7 tricks will help you get the best results.
1. Choose a Theme
Have a cohesive theme throughout your landscape by using complementary plants and choosing a specific style. Plants from the same geographic region often work well together. For example, you could choose to use mostly California native plants. The style of your landscape could be anything from modern to natural, but intentionally choosing one will give you a more uniform look throughout the space. Different styles and plant selections can certainly be blended to a degree, but it’s important to define what they will be and use that as the theme throughout the landscape.
2. Borrow the View
We are lucky to have some amazing vistas on the Central Coast. Take advantage of the view from your home by using it in your landscape! To do this, take an outside view (whether it be the ocean, mountains, or even a nearby tree) and duplicate some aspect of it in your landscape, such as the color, shape, or texture. You can also use plants that appear to “point” in the direction of the borrowed scenery. This can be a great way to make a small yard appear larger than it really is, or simply a way to add some extra beauty to your outdoor space.
3. Grow Some Food
Include veggie beds and fruit trees in your landscape for your own crop of fresh produce. It doesn’t get any more locally grown than this! Not only is it greener than buying from the store, you’ll often save money too. Plus, there’s nothing better than literally enjoying the fruits of your labor.
4. Use the Rain
Make the most of the wet season by capturing excess rainwater in your landscape. One of the best ways to do this is by building a rain garden. In a rain garden, a downspout is redirected from the storm drain and into the landscape. The ground is shaped to collect rainwater as it flows from the downspout, allowing it to spread throughout the yard and absorb into the soil. This reduces irrigation needs and helps minimize stormwater pollution.
5. Take Your Cues from Nature
Take a look at nature… What plants are growing there? Where do they grow in relation to each other? What’s happening in the soil? Keep these questions in mind as you choose plants and design your landscape. Remember, no one is out at Montana De Oro watering or fertilizing the plants. They grow well there because they are adapted to our climate and living within a healthy ecosystem.
6. Have a Focal Point
Establishing a focal point in the landscape tells observers what to look at first. Without a focal point, your plants can appear to be competing for attention. This is distracting and not as pleasing to the eye. A focal point, such as a specimen tree, hardscape feature, or art piece, provides a sense of order and balance to the landscape.
7. Go Vertical
Large vertical spaces such as an exterior wall or fence can be used to your advantage. Climbing plants, vertical gardens, and espaliered trees can adorn these spaces giving the landscape more dimension and allure.