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Updating Your Home’s Landscape

As trends change and your landscape becomes overgrown, older homes look outdated and out of place. Consider giving them a fresh look by sprucing things up with a landscape makeover. This will easily improve the overall appearance of your home and make your outdoor living space a more inviting place. 

Recreating your landscape may seem overwhelming, but it’s a rewarding task that will greatly impact the usability and value of your home. Start the process by deciding what look you want in your yard. If you need help visualizing, ask a professional landscape architect or designer for ideas and a landscape plan. Think ahead before starting your outdoor remodel. If you also plan to renovate the outside of your home, you should do that before you install your new yard. Make sure your projects don’t impact each other. This can cost you time and money. 

There are new things to consider with your landscape design. Fire safety is a real concern and you want to plant fire resistant plant material and mulch for the areas closest to your home. Junipers were used as foundation plants in many older homes, but they should be replaced because they are highly combustible. If your home is located in a high wildfire hazard area, be sure to visit http://www.livingwithfire.info/ to get more information on creating defensible space to protect your home from wildfire. 

It’s also important to incorporate water conserving ideas into your new yard. Consider water-wise plants that don’t require a lot of water once they are established. A well-designed, efficient irrigation system, installed by trained specialists, is a must for conserving water and maintaining healthy plants. Most of us have hectic lives, and a low maintenance landscape is a must. Use plants that are hardy for our high desert climate, slow growing and require minimal pruning. Ask an experienced plant specialist to suggest the right plants for your particular yard and tell you how to care for them before making your plant selections. Although no yard is maintenance free, good choices and planning can free up time working in our yards and reward us with time to enjoy them. 

The process of removing, replacing, and choosing new materials can be fun, though overwhelming for many. Here are a few tips to help get you started: Find a landscape architect to design the yard of your dreams. A landscape architect is a licensed professional who can help create concepts, sketches, detailed plans, and construction documents that are used for significant or complicated installation plans. The landscape architect may manage the project or you, or you can select a licensed landscape general contractor to install your project. You can also do it yourself, depending on your skills. 

Another option is to work directly with a licensed landscape contractor. Many landscape contractors utilize design professionals or their own talents to create a plan for your yard. The contractor will then use your chosen concept and install the landscape materials. A landscape contractor can not sell you a landscape plan but will work with you to create a design/build project. 

Choosing a licensed professional will provide you with a competent individual to install your landscape project. When choosing a licensed landscape contractor you should look for their Nebraska contractor’s license number on their advertisements and business cards. If in doubt, check with the Nebraska State Board of Contractors.  

Some people like the idea of designing and installing their own landscape. If you have the will, incentive and physical ability, you can definitely do it yourself. There are various landscape magazines, books and websites you can refer to for inspiration. A good place to start is the helpful Moana Nursery Plan & Plant instructions. It walks you through several simple steps to put together a complete, well thought out plan just for you. (Use this link or go to any garden center menu on the Moana Nursery website.) 

Take the time to search out knowledgeable, local professionals with experience, reliability and awareness. With good planning you will be ready to transform your old landscape into something extraordinary. 

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