How many times during the brutal Winter of 2013-14, were you standing at the window, face pressed against the glass, watching the snow slowly pile up on your deck? Were you mumbling and muttering to yourself “I can hardly wait for Summer to arrive” … well, living here in Monmouth County, New Jersey, in that endless snowy landscape, you know you sure weren’t alone. Perhaps you surveyed the Polar Vortex damage in your front and back yards and sighed heavily – what bushes and plants survived and which ones didn’t make it? Well, the Fourth of July is here, and if those bushes are still brown and without a sign of life, get your shovel and some elbow grease and yank those ugly bushes out now!
But, here’s a concept. Before you go to the nursery and buy replacement bushes, and saddle yourself with the tedious job of replanting, why not reclaim your backyard and make it into your go-to place to relax after work, kick back on the weekend all Summer and beyond – even during those crisp Autumn temps? You could seek the advice of a landscape contractor or peruse some unique DIY projects on the internet using your current hardscape. A stunning backyard does not need to be a landscape design consisting solely of flowers, bushes and trees. Why limit your backyard to boring bushes or peaked-looking perennials and annuals which have usually lost their spunk by Labor Day? If you haven’t re-landscaped in eons, there are many exciting new ideas to enhance your outside living area. Now that you’re left with the gaping holes and bare garden beds from the bushes and plants that bit the dust, consider extending an existing patio made of plain concrete or a slab, and leap into a more rustic look with paver bricks. There are many styles, sizes and colors to choose from and they are easy to maintain … a little sand or stone dust worked into the spaces between the bricks will keep your pavers looking perfect and your new patio is ready for some dancing on a moonlit night.
What about an outside kitchen? Now that will wow the neighbors for sure and it beats being cooped up indoors, standing over a hot stove while the family languishes poolside or out on the patio. Summer is so fleeting, so why not simply bring the inside kitchen outside? Cooking is never a drag when you’re enjoying meal preparation while catching up with everyone’s day. With the table and chairs a few steps away, there is no lugging everything in and out of the house to an old, splintery picnic table outside. This enables you to eat dinner just as late as you’d like with solar light treatments designed to add a decorative and functional glow to your outdoor living space. Once you’ve got that gleaming new grill and kitchen accoutrements, you’ll need some perfect outdoor furniture with snazzy, yet ultra-comfy cushions on which to relax. If you lack space for alot of chairs, think about getting wooden benches with built-in sturdy cushions to encircle the patio. Some of these outside settees can be used for storage purposes as well. Unless the mosquitoes make you run for cover, a fire pit would be the perfect touch for those long Summer nights spent with family and friends.
Part of reclaiming your backyard is turning it into a mini-paradise or an escape of sorts. Why not make it all about you? You can turn a humdrum fountain into an illuminated waterfall, where a gentle stream of trickling water flows over rocks, and is so soothing, that it is guaranteed to take the edge off at the tail end of a long workday. An oversized hammock is a great addition to any backyard, and now you can get them large enough for the whole family to sink into. If you’re not lucky enough to have two large trees in your backyard to string up a sturdy hammock, now is the time to visit your favorite local nursery and get yourself a pair of sturdy saplings. While those trees may look spindly right now, give them a few years and you will be relaxing in a humongous hammock, slung between those trees, sipping your favorite beverage and reading a great novel.
Now that we’ve created bliss in the backyard, it is time to evaluate the front yard. If that nasty Polar Vortex left plant and bush casualties in your front yard, you know that all the TLC in the world will not bring those bushes back. Time is a precious commodity, and you don’t want to spend any more of it than necessary doing back-breaking yard work when that backyard nirvana beckons, so keep it simple. You can still have a showplace front yard, if you follow these few landscaping tips.
– Never buy bushes that grow too fast or are high maintenance because they will look gangly or unkempt no matter how diligent you are with your pruning shears.
– A few strategically placed annuals or pots with colorful flowers will complement your foliage and add some appeal to your front yard, but not keep you constantly deadheading blossoms or a slave to the sprinkler or garden hose. If you have any questions you should consult a top landscaping contractor in Monmouth County and they will help you to design the perfect landscape
You know that you dreamed of these long, hot, lazy days of Summer, so with a little planning and some edgy landscape design, your very own backyard paradise in Monmouth County, New Jersey awaits you.