Backyard Landscaping DIY: What You Need to Know
Have you looked out at your front door and back door and felt completely uninspired with your landscaping (or lack thereof) and completely overwhelmed in how to tackle it?
You are most certainly not alone!
This summer we embarked on a quest to landscape the outside of Andy’s home, completely DIY style! We partnered with our friends from Bloomin’ Easy and put ourselves to the test to see if we could in fact design, select, plant, and easily maintain the landscaping in a house.
Trial, error, and elbow grease, we got it done!
Of course, we learned a few things along the way that we wanted to share with you and hopefully give you some basic principles that you can use when mapping your landscaping. Here is the biggest takeaway, if we can do it, so can you.
We wanted to work with Bloomin’ Easy for a couple of reasons. Bloomin’ Easy plants originate in our area, but they also are grown all over North America, therefore we could easily recommend the exact plants we used and there is a good chance our followers can find them in many places across the US and Canada.
Bloomin’ Easy has rigorous standards when producing plant varieties- they have to be beautiful, unique, and low-maintenance. Their motto is, "Plant, Water, Relax". They also have free care reminders and how-to videos on every single variety they sell, so the guesswork on how to properly maintain your plant is completely gone.
Landscaping is an investment and you want that investment to last for years. With that in mind, we started our planning. Here at Su Casa, we love great design, we love beautiful home exteriors, and we are plant appreciators and enthusiasts. We are not landscapers. So we had to dig deep to do this. The first thing we started with was a plan.
Step 1 - MAKE A PLAN
We started with what we know and drew out what we wanted. Don’t be intimidated by this. Basic is good! See our first draft below. We went to the house at the “hottest time of day” to see where the sun hit, where there was shade, and what Andy and Jen wanted to see when they looked out of their windows. This gave us the info we needed on what plants would thrive and where.
Step 2 - SELECT YOUR PLANTS
This was the fun part! We went on the Bloomin’ Easy website and started looking through all the varieties and what they needed to thrive. Andy is really specific as to what look he wanted. “No bright pink, lots of green and white, need lots of lavender (it’s an obsession for him) and lots of Hydrangeas”. With that in mind, we began looking at all pants on the website.
Once you have your selection, you can purchase them right through their website, and have them shipped to you. Alternatively, you can check their website for places to buy them all over Canada and the US.
Purchase the plants close to the time you want to plant them. Do it now, before your enthusiasm burns out and you feel the overwhelm coming back on! One step at a time, one plant at a time.
Step 3 - PREP THE SPACE
We need to be honest, this part…was not our favorite. We had a couple of able-bodied friends, a bucket full of ice and water bottles, some new shovels and gloves, and arrived at 8:30 AM for what was called “BLOOMIN’ EASY DAY!”
The Friesen family prepped their yard quite a bit and had things ready, however, we all underestimated the work we had ahead of us. Upon arrival we needed to move an entire row of well-established laurels to bring our plan to life. We got to work and got the laurels moved from one side of the pool to the other. While some of us did that, Andy and Jen laid out the Bloomin’ Easy plants around the yard in the locations they wanted.
We learned a lot as we did this! Once we saw the plants there, some of our plans needed to be adjusted, so for your backyard, be prepared to flex your plan to get the final result you want. We laughed a lot, played music, drank some water, and enjoyed the fresh air as we did the arduous task. Just like painting a room, it’s a critical step, just not the most fun to execute.
Step 4 - DIG, SHAKE, PLANT, REPEAT
Our favorite part was getting our beautiful plants in the ground, one plant and section at a time. DIG - How big does the hole need to be? SHAKE - How do we get the plant out of the pot without damaging the roots? PLANT - Put the plant in the ground and gather the soil around it. REPEAT - On to the next one.
We appreciated all the videos on the Bloomin’ Easy website to make this process a smooth as possible.
Here are 4 lessons we learned in this step:
- Buy lots of topsoil and make sure the area you are planting in is as loose as possible. We had some areas that had been rained on and walked on for a while. Needless to say, those areas took extra determination and grit.
- Turn your plants around and make sure you put the plant into the ground with the best side to you. They grow and change, but we found that plants had a good side and a better side.
- Tickle the roots before you put the plant in the ground. If you loosen the soil at the bottom of your plant, the roots will have an easier time adjusting to a new environment.
- Water the plants once they are in the ground. We had someone on our team on water duty. It was Summer when we did this and the heat was coming fast. We made sure the plants were getting enough hydration in their new home quickly.
STEP 5 - SIGN UP FOR THE CARE REMINDERS
After a full day’s work and a gorgeous garden, we poured ourselves a large glass of icy cold lemonade and signed up for care reminder emails from the info on the back of your plant tags. The updates come right to Andy and Jen’s email when they need them.
Click HERE to see Bloomin' Easy's Digital Care Reminders
Here are the plants we used at Andy’s house:
/01: Bloomin' Easy Candelabra Hydrangea
/02: Bloomin' Easy Moonrock Hydrangea
/03: Bloomin' Easy Pearl Potion Lilac
/04: Bloomin' Easy Thunderbolt Box Honesuckle
/05: Bloomin' Easy Panther Ninebark
/06: Bloomin' Easy Cherry on Top Sorbaria
/07: Bloomin' Easy Tuxedo Weigela
/08: Bloomin' Easy Torch Hydrangea Panicle
/09: Bloomin' Easy Flare Hardy Hydrangea
/10: Hosta 'Dancing Queen'
/11: Hosta 'Blue Angel'
/12: Hosta 'August Moon'
/13: Hosta 'Rainforest Sunrise'
/14: Bloomin' Easy English Lavender
/15: Lime Sedum
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