Not Happy With Your Yard Design? Improve Your Plantsmanship

Woman tending a gardenWhen you look into your front yard and backyard what do you see? A beautiful, sweeping vista of plants and colors or just a big pool surrounded by plain grass?

Think about how much time and effort you spent decorating your house; turning it into a unique place that reflects your tastes and preferences. Your front and back yards deserve a similar treatment. If you’ve just got a carpet of grass with little or no landscaping, you are missing out on what could be an amazing, dramatic and relaxing extension of your home.

It’s time to get in touch with your inner plantsmanship.

What’s plantsmanship? It’s a character trait that involves the celebration of plants. A grass yard or a yard completely taken up by a pool and barbeque doesn’t present a colorful, texturized environment. Plants add these features. They also help express your unique character and bring your yard to life, literally!

Throughout my many years as a landscape designer in San Diego County, I’ve found so many ways to use different plants to design a front or backyard retreat homeowners enjoy spending time in. Trees can cast shade, succulents provide color and require little maintenance and water.  Bamboo can add dimensional texture as well as a natural privacy wall.

These are just a few examples of how plants can help homeowners design their yards with purpose. This is plantsmanship.

How do you get plantsmanship? It’s easy. Just open your eyes and start looking around you. You’ll begin to notice the plants in your neighbor’s yards and how they function in the overall design of the yard. Ask your neighbors the names of the plants you like and then do a basic Google search to learn more about what environment the plant requires, how much maintenance it needs to thrive and how it grows.

If you live in San Diego or Southern California, it’s especially important to learn about the water needs of a plant before you put it in your backyard garden. You’ll most likely want to look into drought-resistant plants, which will require less water and maintenance.

Take some time and gather information naturally. I also recommend that you visit a local botanical garden and a local nursery to get even more ideas and great information. I volunteer at the Water Conservation Garden in El Cajon and love answering questions.

Once you feel your plantsmanship growing (pun intended), it’s time to start planting. Begin with a small project, maybe just one side of the house and see how it goes. As you gain more confidence and a better understanding of how outdoor design works, you might want to take on your whole yard.

If that seems too intimidating, you can always call a landscape designer like myself to help you create something truly magical. Landscape designers are experts at helping homeowners turn a plain yard into a destination full of color and natural beauty.

Tune into your plantsmanship, and go out and make your yard beautiful!


  1. says

    It’s so nice that my post was helpful to you, so I wish you much fun and satisfaction with your own garden/landscaping.

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