Backyards can have so many various functions, designs, and setups. Pools, outdoor kitchens, gardens, swing sets, firepits and more can be found in the typical backyard. The ambience of your yard will depend on its main uses. Some enjoy being active in their backyard while others prefer a more natural setup. If you’re wanting to have a natural, native yard without overgrowth, our landscape contractors at DSLD Land Management in Birmingham, AL will gladly help design and create it for you. We get it, a manicured, emerald green grass lawn is not for everyone, so what can be done to add natural elements to your yard? We’re glad you asked.
Spending time in nature lowers stress, reduces blood pressure, and can improve mental and emotional health! That’s one of the many reasons we enjoy our job so much- we get to help others enjoy their yards and spend time outside! You can incorporate natural elements into your landscaping by using native plants, planting trees for shade, adding water features, and making pathways. Let’s explore these a little further.
Native plants are those that grow naturally in our Southern climate. Keep in mind that “common” is not synonymous with “native”, and that we have plenty of invasive species that should be avoided if possible. Here are a few reasons to go with native plants:
- Heartier- they’re already adapted to be in our climate
- Require less maintenance and upkeep
- More drought tolerant
- Attract native insects and animals- see our previous blog about how to attract butterflies and birds to your yard
Birmingham-Southern College has put together a useful list of local, native plants. Using these in your landscape design is a great way to make the most of natural elements in your backyard.
Shady areas in your backyard are perfect for kids to play in and for enjoying your time outside with less heat and sun exposure. A few well-chosen, well-placed trees are great for creating natural shade in your backyard. These trees can also become the perfect place to hang a swing for the kids to enjoy or hang a hammock for your ultimate relaxation.
It’s important to consult a landscape designer when planting trees as a part of your new design. Our DSLD team will suggest the variety and spacing of the trees and the best locations based on your needs and wants. Spacing out multiple young trees can be a challenge on your own, since they are currently much smaller than they will be in several years. We can suggest tree varieties that are lower maintenance, have a deeper root structure, and provide the best shade for your space.
Water features such as ponds, fountains, and even man-made creeks are popular choices in backyard design. We can design and build beautiful, natural stone ponds with cascading water or give your water feature a much more natural look. A natural pond is one that looks like you might stumble upon in a nearby forest.
In addition to ponds, waterfalls are a popular choice. The sound of cascading water adds to that feeling of being in an oasis. Water is such a beautiful and calming part of nature, so adding it to your natural backyard is a great choice.
Creating pathways with natural products is a great way to manage constant foot traffic while adding a beautiful feature to your backyard. There are many materials available for pathways including brick and concrete, but since we’re going for a more natural look, we’ll stick with elements that occur naturally like sandstone and limestone. We can make your space even more natural by using walkable groundcover plants. Mosses are popular for natural, and comfortable ground cover and can be excellent for use with pathways.
Planning any backyard design projects is a lot of work, but when our DSLD landscape team takes care of that plus the installation, and maintenance, you’ll have more time to enjoy your beautiful space. We would be honored to create your backyard oasis. Let’s get started- contact us today!