Landscaping your home in Oklahoma City might seem like a no-brainer: slap a few cactus plants into the ground, surround them with some rocks and you’re done! However, there are many options when it comes to landscaping your property and truly making it a sanctuary. Whether you are landscaping the front of your home for curb appeal or creating a backyard oasis, landscaping can make or break your home’s overall aesthetic.

We’ve all driven by those cute little homes or beautiful mansions surrounded by dirt lots and thought, this house would be spectacular if it had the right landscaping! The area surrounding your home shouldn’t be an afterthought; it is as important as paint color or even the elevation of your home’s exterior. Creating a beautiful landscape doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does need to be well thought out and researched to achieve the proper effect. Before you begin a project, you must consider completing the work yourself or hiring a professional Ocala landscaping service. If you have experience with plants and soil and don’t mind some hard work, you might be able to save some money completing the project yourself. You must also consider the extent of the job. Digging a few holes to plant a few bushes might be relatively simple; planning and executing an irrigation system would be more challenging. If you opt to do it yourself, you can design and maintain a unique, beautiful desert landscape with some planning and manual labor, and in the end, you will have exactly what you want. You can also enlist the assistance of a professional landscaper, especially if you have a large project and you would like a truly polished appearance, it might be worth the money you invest in your home’s yard.

Regardless which option you choose, it is best to start your project on paper or with a 3D computer image of your desired result. In planning your design, you will want to keep a clear path to your home so you have sightline to the street. Remember plants grow; plants that start out small can be large when they hit maturity. While you may want to add a large variety of plants to your yard, realize that overplanting will result in plants fighting for the limited water. You will need to consider, too, the types of plants that are indigenous to the desert; those will grow best in the hot summer climate and with little rain. There are many plants that are not native to Oklahoma that grow really well; the key is to research the plant before spending the money on planting it, only to have it die. Keep in mind the amount of shade you would like and plant accordingly, but take into account the kind of tree to ensure it will flourish in the desert. For instance, a Palo Verde tree will thrive, but it will also litter your yard with small yellow flowers. The tree itself is shrubby, and the branches are thorny, so many desert dwellers opt not to add Palo Verde trees to their landscapes. However, any tree you select can help you with your heating and cooling bills, and any help you can get to reduce your cooling bills in the summer is a benefit. Plan to plant various trees to provide shade in the summer and warmth and sunlight in the wintertime by planting on the east and west sides of the home. You will also want to look for drought tolerant plants to add texture to your landscape but to reduce your water bill, a process called xeriscape, or “dry” landscape. For true desert choices, you can add succulents and cacti, both of which are water conscious selections. While rose bushes and grass are beautiful, they may not be the most water conscious choices for your landscape. If you must have grass, there are some low water options, and a popular choice nowadays is artificial turf, the greenest option of them all!

Once you have determined what you want to plant and where you want to plant it, you will want to determine the maintenance and upkeep of the yard. If you plant something that requires a lot of cultivating and you cannot devote the time to keep it healthy, it might be a waste to plant it in the first place. To properly maintain your landscape, invest in a drip system or a system that waters the base of the plant to avoid runoff. Make sure your trees are trimmed; monsoons can easily knock over trees that are top heavy, causing serious damage.

Another element to add to your yard: hardscaping. While plants, trees and bushes are considered “softscaping”, hardscaping, or the inclusion of stone walkways, fencing, or lighting options that are used to increase the curb appeal of your yard, are also a popular option. Lighting is key addition to any yard; besides adding an aesthetic element, it also provides a functional one. NBG Landscapes claim that attractive, effective lighting can also be a deterrent to burglars, while spotlighting the beauty of your yard at night. In addition to lighting, many people use hardscaping elements in their backyards, including gazebos, decks, or decorative fencing. A series of hardscaping coupled with some softscaping elements brings together an outdoor area for an appealing, enticing sanctuary! Make an outdoor area an extension of your home; situate an eating area by an outdoor kitchen, or a lounging area by a pool. The more thoughtful you are with your planning, the better the execution will be. You can also add other elements like yard art, decorative rocks and boulders, or fountains—whatever gives your yard a personal touch.

Your home is an important investment, so enhancing its beauty with an equally attractive landscape only increases its worth and avoids the need to call pest control experts multiple times a year. Plus, there is a great sense of pride in maintaining a particularly beautiful landscape. Oklahoma offers a variety of softscapes and hardscapes options to be used to create exceptional, one-of-a-kind outdoor spaces, designed to meet your needs and aesthetic choices!