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Creating a Custom Backyard Landscape Design


When building a custom home it’s important to think about all the space you have to work with, including the backyard. You want your dream home to feel complete and enjoy spending your time there, even in the outdoors. There is a plethora of ideas when it comes to designing your backyard, just look on Pinterest! Maybe you envision a fire pit, a pool, a large deck … whatever it is, you should make sure it fits your needs before dreaming too big. A few questions that you should ask yourself when looking to design your yard are: Do you need space for kids? How much grass do you need for pets? Do you want this to be a space for just you or an entertainment area? These questions will help inform you and the landscaper on what the best vision is for your yard. Speaking of a landscaper, if you’re going for a large-scale project that includes pools, elaborate fire pits and deck work then you should think about hiring a contractor. If you’re focusing on plants, walkways or paths then you can probably do the job yourself!

Here are six tips to create a better backyard for your new home:

Locate utilities before digging

Make sure you call before you dig! There is a phone number, ‘811’ dedicated to requesting the approximate location of buried utilities. The locations will be marked with paint or flags so that you don’t unintentionally dig into an underground utility line.

Choose a variety of plants – even ones that don’t bloom

To create eye movement throughout your backyard you need to choose a variety of plants. This means picking out various flowers that complement one another, nonflowering plants and trees. The combination of different diverse textures and colors of the plants you choose will keep your space looking great in every season. Also know the maintenance that each plant will need. You can choose a variety of annual and perennial plants. Annuals live for one growing season and then die, while perennials regrow every spring.

Know the mature size of a plant when you’re planting it

There is not an exact way to know for sure what the size of a specific type of plant or tree will be at maturity in a particular area, climate or environment. However, before you fall in love with a plant you should look at the neighborhoods around you and see if you can get an estimated size of older specimens growing in your area.

Create a relaxing environment

No matter your answer to the questions at the beginning of this article, I bet you want your backyard to be a source of enjoyment where you can go to unwind and relax. To top off your outdoor space you will need to think about purchasing some comfortable seating. That can be lounge chairs, couches or a hammock … really whatever fits your outdoor vision!

Add a walkway to break up the green space

Adding stone, brick, gravel or sawdust can create an enjoyable walkway through your yard that will allow you and your guests to reap the benefits of your hard work. A path makes your yard space more inviting and can define garden areas from your yard as a whole.

Consider building an arbor or a pergola

Adding a large eye-catching element to the back of your house, such as an arbor or pergola, can significantly increase the curb appeal of your home. Both options have pros and cons. If you’re looking for a less expensive and easier project then you should build an arbor. Arbors are better for smaller spaces, can add decoration to paths and can be built using a greater variety of materials. On the other hand, a pergola provides better shade for gatherings, is larger and more versatile and can support all kinds of plants. Another plus is that pergolas can support extra décor such as curtains and swings, which adds more resale value to your home.

Following these six tips could be the spark you and your new home need! Oftentimes when building in a development there are not a lot of mature trees and landscaping. If you put the time and effort into executing a few landscape projects it could change the curb appeal and look of your neighborhood significantly.

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Everyone we dealt with through the whole process was very helpful

Our experience with Kimberley was very professional and personal at the same time. Everyone we dealt with through the whole process was very helpful. Dave, our superintendent, was great at keeping us informed during construction of our home. We really appreciated everyone involved–it made the process easy!

Judy Klever | Ankeny

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