Dream House, Dud Garden: Fixing Up Your New Yard

When you’re looking for your dream home, you sometimes have to make compromises. You need to accept that you might have to make some changes to a property to get it looking exactly as you want it. One of the compromises you might decide to make is that the building is more important than any surrounding land. If there’s an existing yard or garden, you can take the attitude that you can change it later, even if you hate it. So if you find your dream house and move in, it could mean that suddenly you have an awful garden on your hands. So what do you do about it?

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Assess What You’ve Got

Start by taking a good look at what you have to work with. How much land do you have available to use? Is there anything about the current garden that you like or anything you know you definitely don’t want in your new one? It’s also a good idea to know about the planting conditions you have. Getting the soil tested might be useful, as well as knowing a bit about the climate in your area. Consider the positioning of the land too. What are the views like? Is that hideous tree hiding an even more hideous view behind it, which you wouldn’t be able to control?

Keeping Some Existing Elements

You might not like the current setup, but it’s worth considering is there’s anything you do like. Alternatively, there could be some things you’re not that keen on, but that you’re willing to put up with to avoid the effort of getting rid of them. For example, removing a large tree could be expensive and time-consuming. Keeping it and perhaps cutting it back a little could be easier to deal with. There could be some structural or design elements you decide you like, such as a path or a deck. You can think about how you might be able to create a new design around the elements you want to keep.

What Are You Stuck with?

There are some other things that you might not have much of a choice about. They could be too expensive to remove, a given feature of the landscape, or perhaps even protected in some way. In some cases, perhaps you might need to negotiate with a neighbor to do what you want. It’s important to know which features of the land around your home you won’t be able to touch or change. Fortunately, most things can be altered in some way. You might find you have trouble with making your land bigger, smaller, or more raised or level though.

Leveling the Existing Yard

Perhaps you’ve decided you want to get rid of the entire yard. You don’t like any of it, and you want to have a plain expanse of land to work with. If you want to start from scratch, it could take a while to get you a blank canvas. Of course, this does depend on the current condition of the yard. If it has been well-kept and perhaps has a simple design, it could be easy to do what you want. But if it’s a busier garden or it has been left to overgrow, it could require a lot more work. However, if you just want to remove things instead of neatly pruning everything, you don’t have to worry about being too careful.

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Taming the Existing Yard

Maybe you’ve taken a long, hard look at what you’ve got and realized that it’s not as bad as you first thought. In fact, a lot of it could be perfectly acceptable if only you cut it back a bit. Another option is to simply tame the existing garden so that it looks more cultivated. Or perhaps it needs to be perked up a bit because it looks a bit tired. You might want to do some things like removing some overgrowth or rescuing a lawn that has overgrown or turned a dull color. There could be a deck or patio that might look good after a pressure wash and being resealed. This could be a good choice if you don’t want to go through the effort of completely ripping out and replacing everything.

Think About Your Needs

You should think about your needs when it comes to the land around your house. It’s a good idea to do this before you get rid of anything that’s currently there. Otherwise, you might level it all out only to discover that something you removed could have been ideal. Hopefully, you considered the size and the consideration of the land you have before you bought the house. Since it’s not an easy thing to change, unless you can convince a neighbor to sell up, it’s one of the important things to take into account when buying a home.

You need to consider how you intend to use your garden, whether it’s a family home or you live there on your own. Maybe you’re even planning to flip the property, and you want the yard to help increase its curb appeal. In which case, you should think about appealing to the type of people likely to be looking for a property in the neighborhood. Some things to consider for your own needs include whether you want to use your yard as a space for dining and entertainment. Perhaps you want to put in a pool, or you’ve always wanted to have a vegetable patch.

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Designing Your New Garden

When it comes to designing your new garden, you could take the reins and do it all yourself. Maybe you have plenty of gardening experience, and you’ve dabbled in landscaping before, so you feel confident that you can come up with and implement a design. However, if you’re not so sure of yourself, you might prefer to hire professional landscapers. They should have plenty of experience designing gardens, and they can help you come up with something that’s right for you. They’ll have a good idea of how to work within your budget, and they can carry out the work you need too.

Creating a Low-maintenance Yard

One of the issues you might have with the current land around your new home is that it’s too much to take care of. You didn’t want to sign on to look after a huge garden, but you love the house, so you decided to accept it. However, if you’ve decided to redo the landscaping, you can come up with a new design with low-maintenance in mind. Even if you have a lot of land, you can still make sure you don’t have to spend all year mowing, pruning, planting, or protecting your plants from the frost. If you want a low-maintenance garden, start by focusing on non-live elements, such as decking, patios, paths, and outdoor living areas. When it comes to planting, you might want to keep your lawn small or perhaps not have one at all. You can choose plants that don’t need much attention so you can mostly leave them alone.

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Increasing Property Value with the Garden

You might have chosen the property you bought partly for the land it has, even if you don’t like the current setup. The yard could offer you an opportunity to increase the value of the property, either because you want to flip it or for later when you might move home. If you want to increase the value of your property by altering the land surrounding it, you’re going to have to think in terms of what other people want and not just what you want. That means it’s best to keep back any more eccentric elements that tempt you. You want a garden that appeals to others and fits in with the neighborhood. Consider adding structural elements, such as a deck, swimming pool or outdoor cooking/living area. These can appeal to a lot of people.

Adding Your Own Character

The thing about buying a new home with a garden is that, much like the house itself, it’s the previous owner’s mark that has been left on it. But once you own the property, you have the chance to make it reflect your own personality. Whether you’re designing a space just for you or for your family, you can do what you want with it. So if you’re fun and free-spirited, you can make your yard reflect that.

Using the Land for Something Else?

You might decide you don’t want to have a yard or garden after all. If there is land around your house, there are some other things you could think about using it for. Perhaps you want to build an addition onto the side, back or even front of your home. You might have bought the property specifically because it had some extra land and you wanted to add on to the house. You could also use it to add a shed or cabin.

The garden might have been the least of your worries when you were looking for your perfect home. But now that you have it, you should make sure you enjoy the garden too.

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