The do's and don'ts: the garden edition

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Having a garden is a very relaxing way to enjoy the outdoors by yourself or with friends and family. But it rarely comes at a cheap cost because there are so many parts to maintain and keep looking beautiful. Whether you choose to have a deck, a patio, a backyard with a pool, or simply a very lush garden, there are many parts that need to be maintained and manicured to keep this outdoor space look fresh and inviting for everyone.

Below are a few garden ideas on what is worth investing and what should just be forgotten about. From expensive and hard to maintain plants to an easy to maintain patio, there are solutions for any of the ideas that you are thinking about for your backyard area.

DO invest in a deck or terrace.

One of the most common ways of creating a beautiful backyard is by building a deck, patio, or terrace. This can be done with a myriad of materials such as wood, concrete, stone tiles, and more. This will make the garden feel more put together rather than just throwing a table and chairs on the grass. The costs can range from low budget to extravagant, depending on your style and the materials used but it is very worth the money. Keeping these structures maintained is quite easy if you follow some tips from the professionals and you will be able to enjoy your backyard all year around. 

DON'T spend money on exotic plants.

As much as the idea sounds amazing, having expensive and exotic plants in your backyard is not worth the money. Depending on the type of plant and where you live, they can be very difficult to maintain and run up quite a big bill on your maintenance costs. Exotic plants require a lot of time, effort, and special fertilizers to keep them looking lush and beautiful, this also means a lot of money. If you are not the type who loves to spend a lot of time gardening and looking after specific plants, then this is definitely not the type of investment you want to make!

DO make a fence for your yard.

Having a division between you and your neighbors is good for privacy but also gives your backyard clear guidelines. Fences can be traditional made up of wood, a row of bushes or trees, or even a stone wall, if you want something more luxurious. Fences are perfect for giving you the privacy that you want when you're out relaxing in the sun or enjoying a good book. If you have a live fence, with trees or shrubs, you will have to think about how much privacy they will give you when the winter months come around, or you could opt for conifers or pine trees so they stay full all year.

DON'T skimp on lighting.

Many people tend to neglect the lighting situation when it comes to their outdoor areas. It is very important to light up this space for when you use it at night, which may be more often than you think. Whether it's in the form of solar lighting, which is great for the environment, or traditional artificial lighting, you will be happy that you chose to create a space that glows with warmth when you are having an outdoor dinner, chat, or party and can see everything going on. 

DO buy nourishing plants for the garden.

The main element of your garden are the plants and there are thousands to choose from, so how do you do it? If you don't already have some in mind, the best plants you can get for your backyard are ones that will continuously provide nourishment soil. This will depend on where you are located and what type of soil, weather, and rain you get so that you can choose the right plants to keep your garden looking lush and healthy all the time. You can also think about building a small herb or vegetable garden that will provide nutrients for your garden as well as for you and your family!

DON'T invest in expensive water features.

Water features, such as fountains, ponds, and waterfalls are not only incredibly expensive but also difficult to maintain. They require good filtration systems, especially if there are fish involved, in order to keep the water looking fresh and clean. Any water features that need to be built into the ground, such as a man made pond or waterfall, also need to be structurally sound so that no water leaks through into the soil and can create a sinkhole, just as you would do for a pool. These features look incredible but can come at high costs.

DO buy easy to maintain plants.

This is especially true if you aren't a person who loves to garden or tends to forget to water the plants. Investing in plants that are evergreen and don't require much water is a great way to have a lush, green garden without all the hassle of remembering to water and fertilize. This doesn't mean you never have to do those things, but for the most part the weather will be able to maintain these plants for most of the year with little to no effort and only a sprinkle of fertilizer every now and then.

DON'T use artificial pesticides.

Pests and unwanted visitors can be very frustrating, especially if you're someone who takes great pride in their garden, but using artificial pesticides are dangerous to the environment and possibly you. This is especially true if you have an herb or vegetable garden that you regularly eat from. Rather than artificial, try organic pesticides or even go so far as making your own from household ingredients that pose no harm to your or your family. You can also buy certain plants that ward off specific bugs and pests from your garden, just ask a landscape professional to find the best fit for you.

DO invest in an outdoor grill.

Grilling your food does wonders for you health, since you don't need any oil or fat to give the food flavor. Grills are also a mainstay for a majority of backyards, especially for when the warmer months come around. A good grill doesn't have to come at a high price tag, either, just look for something that will fit your needs and necessities. For those who love to grill all summer long, get a grill with all the bells and whistles that will give you the flavor you want. If you are more of a novice or just want something to get you through a few hamburgers and hot dogs, a simpler grill will do the trick.

DON'T buy expensive decor for your backyard.

Even though your backyard is your personal outdoor oasis, it's not always the safest place to display valuable items. One reason is that it is easily accessible to others for the taking, which would be devastating. Another is because the weather can do a lot of damage to pieces that aren't meant for the outdoors, therefore destroying your investment. Rather, put your money in items that are meant to be outdoors such as stepping stones, big planters filled with plants, and some outdoor furniture, your money will go a lot farther.

DO buy weatherproof furniture.

Just as you need to buy special items for your outdoor deck or terrace, the same goes for buying special furniture. You wouldn't put a regular dining table and chairs outside because of the many different types of weather that can occur and ultimately destroy the paint, stain, or any other design. Investing in good weatherproof furniture is essential for being able to enjoy your backyard area to the fullest and with no worries. There are an endless amount of styles, designs, and fabrics that will fit your garden theme and keep the entire area looking beautiful. 

Thinking about doing your backyard? Here's a list of do's and don'ts to help you!

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