In today’s busy world, landscaping can often be neglected. However, having a busy schedule, doesn’t mean that your landscaping has to suffer. By creating a low maintenance landscaped backyard, you enjoy your yard without having to spend hours on upkeep.
Using hearty plants, landscape rocks and stone slabs, you can have an easy to care for garden. Using stone and masonry within your garden has a near limitless possibility of design features. You can keep it simple or add elaborate elements, such as stone benches, unique column formations or flagstone slab walkways.
Planning Your Garden
Prior to creating a new landscaped backyard, determine where you want to place everything. This is an ideal time to determine the placement of your walkway, and the extent of your walkway. Do you want a simple walking path, or would a walking path that ties into a patio area be preferred?
Once you have determined the location of your walkway and/or patio slab, you’ll ba able to determine where you will want to have your plants placed.
If you plan to add additional elements, draw their placement into your plans as well. Taking the time to draw out landscaping plans prior to doing any work, can spare you hours of frustration.
Arrange flagstone into your preferred design, using squared flagstone pieces for center placement and curved or angled pieces along the edges.
For a simple walkway, you can place them side by side or leave gaps between. However, if you want to install a patio, you’ll to need to place flagstone slabs side by side, so that they a butted up to one another.
If you already lave grass planted, you’ll need to cut the grass back so that the slab will fit into it, securely. If you are placing slabs on dirt or sand, simply level the sand and place slabs. Slabs placed directly on dirt should be surrounded by landscaping rock, for added structure and decor.
Plant Selection and Placement
When selecting plants that can thrive in a desert climate, look for hearty variety that can handle high temperatures. You also want to choose plants that doesn’t require a consistent level of wetness. Yucca plants, agave varieties and succulents, all are known to thrive with minimal care within a desert climate.
When placing plants, you’ll want to place them so that your backyard remains open. Flagstone style landscaping provides a Minimalist style. Therefore care should be taken to ensure that you don’t create a clutter look by over planting.
For the best results, plant a a single large Yucca in one corner, an Agave in another and then plant a small succulent area, to the side of the garden. Another option, is to place a few small succulent varieties in pots.
Tie Your Landscaped Backyard Together with Stone Elements
Adding stone elements to your backyard provides a variety of choices. You can create large, usable pieces or smaller features for decorative purposes. A nice natural looking formation that can easily be designed, is using 5 or so rock cylinders or columns of altering sizes. To use columns, place all five into a cluster with the taller ones towards the back and smaller ones up front.
Stone benches can also be placed in a desired backyard location. There’s primarily two styles, though each style has several variations.
You can choose between a bench made from two separate boulders that hold the ends of slab for a seat, or you might want to have a full boulder carved into a stand alone bench. The latter gives almost a bedrock look, however both version provide a natural style to any garden.
Installing Landscaping Rock as Ground Cover
When installing loose rock gravel or riverbed rock as ground cover, you’ll want a border to hold the rock in place. Using curved pavers will allow you to make an outline of the garden area that you plan on placing rock into. The advantage of curved pavers is that you’ll be able to make any shape that you want.
To get started, create your outline by placing the pavers together, Once outline is in place, begin shoveling rocks into your garden location. Following every two to three shovelfuls of rock, use the shovel to smooth out rocks.
When surrounding plants and flagstone, be sure that you don’t pile rocks above the stone, or to high up against live plants. You’ll also want to ensure that rocks are placed smoothly and evenly around any garden elements that you have added.
Caring for Yucca in a Planned Garden
The advantage of planting hearty plants, such as the Yucca, is that care requirements are minimal. They fare well under high desert temperatures and are content with minimal watering.
The variety of the Yucca will provide flowering yuccas, palm tree styles, fanned out palm styled leaves and a few with a shortened height. The shortened varieties are typically bushy, providing a unique plant.
To provide proper care, fertilize yearly and water sparingly.