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Project Spotlight: Get the most out of your yard’s space

One of the biggest challenges for homeowners can be figuring out how to get the most out of their yard to maximize its potential for fun and entertaining. They might have a dream design, but they aren’t sure how to incorporate it into their property’s exterior.

Gardens of Babylon’s sales manager and landscape designer, Eric VanGrinsven, took on a project with similar issues earlier this year. The team took a design from a landscape architect and modified it to fit the homeowners’ needs and budget to get the most out of their yard’s space.

What did the homeowners want?

“The homeowners were after a modern Sedona type feel. Lots of delicate textures and clean lines,” VanGrinsven said. “They had limited usable outdoor space and wanted to capitalize on their available space by incorporating an area for dining and a fire pit with paths connecting all areas.”

When Gardens of Babylon first started on the project, it was essentially a mud pit. The homeowners had just finished adding on a garage, so the yard was in post-construction state.

“The areas we addressed spanned several thousand square feet, with a larger proportion dedicated to planting areas and the remaining left for entertainment,” VanGrinsven said.

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What was the biggest challenge? 

“One of the biggest challenges was working through the site elevations to deliver a finished product that checked all of the boxes for the homeowner, especially keeping the budget within a feasible range,” VanGrinsven said.

While design can be a major obstacle for homeowners, figuring out and working within their budget can be the biggest challenge. Whether it’s an unexpected issue cropping up or an expensive dream landscape, be open and honest with your landscaper about your budget. If you have some wiggle room, that’s great! However, be clear about just how much wiggle room you may or may not have.

“I worked with the homeowner on site layout and material selections that would deliver the end result that we were after without compromising the overall feel of the design or project budget,” the designer said.

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What was your favorite part of the project? 

“My favorite part of the project was the mixture of plant material we had,” VanGrinsven said. 

Even with non-flowering plants, you can have a wide variety of shapes, colors and sizes. Ornamental grasses, trees and other low-maintenance plants can provide beautiful variation for your yard without breaking the bank or looking stale.

“The idea was to keep things colorful and vary texture while keeping maintenance on the lower end,” the designer said. “We used a lot of ornamental grasses which provide great structure and texture to the garden but require little in the way of upkeep.”

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What do you think is the project’s best feature?

“The fire pit area really brings it together,” VanGrinsven said. “It’s in a centralized location within the design, but the plant material surrounding the area creates the feel of an outdoor room, somewhat separating it from the surrounding areas.”

When hiring a landscape company, you might forget about the hard-scape aspect of design. Areas like these provide a place to admire and enjoy the beautiful space you’ve just created, or even one you’ve cultivated for years. Not to mention, in a mild climate like here in middle Tennessee, a fire pit or heated outdoor space can help you enjoy your outdoor spaces into the late autumn and sometimes through the winter. 

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What are easy ways someone could implement these designs in their own yard?

“Be very conscious of your abilities and only take on what you can realistically handle and what sort of timeframe you’re targeting,” VanGrinsven suggested. 

“Projects like this can take some time and thoughtful planning for the average homeowner. Use plant material that gives you a great bang for your buck like ornamental grasses and perennials. Those items can go a long way and keep your maintenance to a minimum.”

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Don’t forget about regular maintenance!  

“This project had a huge amount of planting area so we also help him to maintain the property,” the designer said. “It’s important to consider the use of a maintenance service for any landscape project but especially the larger ones. It can be easy to get overwhelmed once the project is complete so be thinking about how you intend to maintain your project in the planning stage.”

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Ready to take on your own landscaping project? Click here to book a consultation with Gardens of Babylon!

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