Analyze Your Skill Set
If your thumb is more brown than green, or if you think the color wheel is a painted round thing for bicycles, it may be overly ambitious for you to jump into do-it-yourself landscaping. So do some research and start with a few good basics, as well as small containers, for an introduction on how to grow different types of plants in different situations and how to take a more measured and deliberate approach.
If you're fairly experienced with soil types and plants and have the time, then do-it-yourself landscaping may be just for you. Even so, an overall plan is a must so you can create a cohesive look to your do-it-yourself approach.
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See landscape layout tips.
Figure Out Your Style
Depending on the current condition of your yard and your desired end result, your gardening style may determine how much or how little you're able to accomplish with do-it-yourself landscaping. "A landscape is really a direct expression of a homeowner's tastes and attitudes, and it also can be a place that provides a thoughtful and deliberate spot for activities they wish to do, " says Michael Miller, president of Walden Backyards.
For example, some people may be content with small tweaks to what they already have - a few beds and borders surrounding a lawn, for example. Those simpler landscapes which focus on maximizing existing elements lend themselves easily to do-it-yourself landscaping. But more formal arrangements - lots of shrubs, complicated beds, plenty of hardscaping - may require the muscle and expertise of professionals.
Learn more about garden styles.
Clear the Clutter
It may seem insurmountable to think about do-it-yourself landscaping, but there's a trick to get your started, Miller says. "You have to look at your yard as a palette, and to do that, you have to get the biggest offenders out of the way, " he says. For example, take a few weekends to clear clutter or remove overgrown elements. "Those are great tasks to do yourself and things that most people are comfortable with, " Miller says.
Even small changes may help you step back and see your landscape with fresh eyes and help you establish a vision, which in turn helps you determine if you can take a do-it-yourself approach to landscaping.