How to Reclaim Your Overgrown Backyard

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The overgrown yard. It’s a cringe-worthy scene: grass higher than your ankles and tree branches hanging from the weight of an unkempt area. Your gorgeous flowers are hidden well beneath the overgrowth of other invasive plant species, and ivy crawls up the siding of your home. Honestly, it looks like something out of a horror movie. How did you ever let it get this far? Don’t answer that. Whatever the reason, your yard is never too far gone. From trimming down branches to installing fun decor stones, we’re taking you through all the necessities of reclaiming your overgrown backyard!

Create a Plan of Action

While you might think it’s a good idea to just start whacking away at weeds or trimming branches, you may quickly find that to create more hassle than it’s worth. Instead, sit down and create a plan. Take some pictures of your yard and divide it into sections. Prioritize different sections. If you want to focus on the curb appeal of your home first, then make the front yard a priority. Within each larger zone, you should break it down even further. The ivy on the siding between the front door and the garage is going to need a different set of tools than removing the dead rose bushes. Consider the needs of each area and determine what you’re going to tackle when. This will help you stay on track, plus you will feel a small sense of accomplishment when you finish clearing out each space.

Get Your Tools

Some things will be easy, such as removing the flower bushes. Other things will be more difficult, like trimming tree branches or–whoa–removing a whole tree. It’s important to have the right tools on hand so you can get to work clearing the space efficiently and quickly. Visit your local gardening store to find everything you need. From rakes and pole stakes to gardening shears and shovels, you should go into this project with the proper tools. Don’t forget your protection, either! Stock up on hats, sunglasses, gloves and sunscreen. These will help protect you from getting sunburnt and scratched up by any overgrowth your plants have. If you’re enlisting the help of friends and family, make sure you pick up some for them, too–or remind them to bring their own.

Know When to Hire the Pros

You shouldn’t remove a whole tree on your own. And, depending on the placement of certain shrubs or plants, you will want to consult a professional. This is especially for potentially dangerous plants, such as poison ivy. While hiring someone might cost extra at the outset, in the long run it will ensure your yard is transformed safely and correctly. If you’ve evaluated the scope of the work you need to do to your yard and it overwhelms you, don’t hesitate to call in the pros to do all the work, either!

Conceptualize Your Design

Creating a backyard oasis from your overgrown greenery comes to life with a quality design. Take photos of each area after they’ve been cleared and start to envision your yard. From flowers to outdoor furniture colors to shrubberies, carefully consider what you’d like to place where. This is an important step because you don’t want to just start buying any yard items without having a plan; otherwise, you’ll end up with mismatched plants, a halfway completed outdoor walkway and more outdoor chairs than your shed can hold. Taking the time to plan out your design will ensure your outdoor space remains cohesive and retains all the curb appeal it needs!

Get to Planting!

This is one of the most fun steps in the process. After creating the design and shopping for everything you need–don’t forget a set of welcoming personalized garden flags!–you can start to plant flowers, shrubs, trees and any other greenery you picked up! Make sure you have gloves, an apron and the proper gardening tools before you get to work. Take frequent small breaks, drink lots of water and stop when you feel tired. Don’t overwork yourself! It’s better to stretch the process out a couple of days instead of exhausting yourself.

Add in the Details

After you plant all the new shrubs, greenery and flowers, now’s the time to add in the other details. This includes outdoor furniture, lighting and your outdoor kitchen appliances. Arrange your backyard into stations so you and your guests can find things easily. You can even set up permanent game areas for you, your family and any guests you have over to play games such as cornhole, volleyball or horseshoes! The details of your yard are how you can really show off the transformation of what the overgrowth used to be. From the windchimes you hang on your porch to the decorative throw pillows you place on your outdoor bench, these details are really what make the space. You’ll want to take the time in this step to really figure out what details you can add that will make the space feel lived-in and more like you!

Show Your Yard Off!

If planting the greenery is one of the most fun parts of this process, then showing your yard off has to be at the top of the list! This is the time where you can kick back, relax and enjoy all your hard work! Before inviting anyone over to see how much your yard has changed, make sure you take some time yourself to sit outside and enjoy what you’ve done. You’ve worked hard, and you’ve earned it! Enjoy the sunshine, some lemonade and listen to the birds on your newly groomed landscape.

When you’re ready, invite family and friends over to your home to see your “new” backyard! Host a backyard barbecue, play some outdoor games and even hold a bonfire. Everyone will love to see what you’ve done with your outdoor space, especially if you asked for their help with any part of it! They’ll get to talk about their experiences helping you reclaim your backyard, and you’ll finally get to use your space how it was intended.

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