With the plants out of the way, there are other key elements that make a yard beautiful and functional. Details like pathways and landscape lighting can emphasize your favorite parts of your yard to even further personalize it and make it your own.
The first question you should ask is “what do I want from this space?” Whether it be a place for parties, sitting space, a garden, or a place for kids and pets to play, each goal needs a different kind of environment. Pick your most important goals and prioritize them when designing your yard. If you want a place to party or sit, a pergola or covered area with outdoor furniture and a fire pit can be a great asset. And gardens don’t have to be square boxes of dirt for planting--you can use them in a design, perhaps using something like rosemary as a decorative plant, but with a purpose.
If you want privacy, choose a fence that doesn’t have a lot of open space between posts. Additionally, trees planted close together can help you out. Placing areas where you gather and spend the most time away from the fenceline and neighbor’s yards can also do the same if you don’t want every single moment of your time outdoors to be documented by prying eyes.
Pathways can be a key element of your yard. These lines give great direction to the most used areas of the yard and can bring together each part of the design. There are lots of different paths to choose from like cobblestone, gravel, concrete, or even outdoor tiles to help you match the style of the house and the rest of the yard.
Landscape lighting, while sometimes overlooked, can really take your outdoor space to the next level after dark. Place lights so your favorite plants are visible and highlight a variety of plants. If the outdoor lights on your home are sparse, Place lights in order to help you or any guests see where they’re going and to fill in the spaces the house lights might miss.
Have fun with your design and get creative! Don’t be afraid to try something different, and keep your homeowner’s association guidelines in full view (if you must). With some work, you can make your yard space one of your favorite places and even increase the value of your home.