During the summer, we as Californians love taking advantage of our outdoor spaces. However, by spending more time in these spaces that we have forgotten most of the year, we tend to notice the imperfections we ignored all winter. That brown lawn or dead planter box does not have to be a sore spot anymore! With a few easy, low-maintenance suggestions, you can help restore your landscaping to an object of pride and enjoyment.
Get rid of dead grass!
With the water restrictions in place in most counties, it is hard to maintain your once-lush grass. For those who love the look of green grass, there are alternative, native grasses that can offer the same look and yet require half the maintenance and little to no water. To get the same green look without using a thirsty turf, try using Carex pansa (dune sedge) or Festuca rubra (red fescue). Both of these grasses can be mowed like regular lawns and will still give you green landscaping even in the driest climates.
Another alternative is synthetic grass. However, the initial installation cost for a synthetic lawn is often twice the cost of a regular lawn or garden. Since synthetic lawn is made from rubber or recycled products, it does not add any cooling benefits that grass or plants would. There have even been reports of people receiving burns from certain brands of these artificial turfs. Also, once removed, these turfs are not recyclable and instead get thrown into a landfill. For more environment-friendly options, there are plenty of plant and landscaping design alternatives you can use to fill that space.
Don’t be afraid to add some color!
There are a variety of native California shrubs and flowers that will help add color to your yard while also cutting down on your watering. Once established, native plants not only are low-maintenance and drought-tolerant, but they also will attract native wildlife, such as hummingbirds, butterflies, and exuberant homebuyers.
There are also several sun-loving and shade-friendly plant options you can turn to. A few colorful plant options are lavender, salvia, and even succulents, which provide a variety of options with unique colors and shapes to fit into any garden. Another benefit of using native plants is that they do not require fertilizers or special dirt. In addition, many of them are self-sufficient, which means no pesky pruning and trimming each year.
Add some new paths!
Even if you don’t own a spacious, park-like yard, adding winding paths and varying materials can help add visual interest that lets the eye wander, giving the illusion that your area is bigger than it is. There are a variety of materials out there you can make paths with, like rocks, sand, pavers, wood chips, and even recycled items, like glass bottles or maybe some old tiles from your bathroom remodel.
Embrace your quirky side!
Don’t be afraid to play with unusual colors and items in your yard. Unique items can create intriguing, eye-catching appeal that will give your garden a more personal charm. Garage sales or antique stores can be great places to find unique “lawn art” or unusual planters. Using varying colors and contrasts, whether in the colors of pots or plants, can help create depth and offer new life to your old garden.
As you can see, when it comes to reshaping your landscaping, there really is no end to the possibilities! By choosing one or more of these options, you can easily have fresh, beautiful outdoor areas for you, your family, and your friends to enjoy.