Food, House & Garden

Fixer-Uppers Need All-Round Help: Making The Garden Perfect

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We’ve all considered the potential inherent in a “fixer-upper” home from time to time. The low price may be due to the large amount of work that needs done, but where some see a headache others see a blank canvas. Your mind gets to work turning over ideas of how to make those damaged walls as good as new. Because there may not be much worth salvaging, you think about how you can use the shell to house your big ideas.

When we think of a fixer-upper, it’s safe to say most of our thoughts are concentrated on the inside. Almost all of our ideas are directed to the house itself. Sometimes, it’s only once you’re on the property and beginning work that you realise there’s an outside to focus on too. Let’s face it, if the house itself has fallen into disrepair, the garden is unlikely to be looking much better. In fact, it’s probably in worse shape than most of the rooms.

Once you’ve turned that shell into something from a fairytale, the last thing you want is for the garden to look like a nightmare. No one wants to walk into their new, state of the art kitchen and see dystopia out of the window. So when you’re planning a fixer-upper project, keep in mind that that means overhauling a garden too. ¬†It’s not going to be easy, and may not always be much fun, but it’s worth it.

First Things First: Clearing Out What’s Left Behind

The reasons a house became available for next to nothing in the first place can vary. The previous owner may have become too ill to keep things in good shape. Before people stop bothering at all, they usually start to do a more half-hearted job. So the garden may have become a repository for damaged parts and broken things. Your first task in fixing up a garden will be to clear all of the junk out. This may mean a few trips to the tip.

An absence of maintenance in the garden doesn’t mean things stop growing. You can’t fight nature, and the grass will have kept growing. As will any bushes that were planted, and the overall effect may remind you of a jungle. A rotary cutter or heavy duty mower may be needed. To be prepared for the job ahead, it’s worth checking out store.germanbliss.com/bush-hog-parts. You may have to pick up a lot of equipment to make this project work.

Next Step: Levelling The Land

Before you can set to work making a garden look like new, you’ll need to make sure the ground is ready for work. A lack of maintenance can leave you with uneven ground. Plants and bushes growing wild are liable to have an impact and with the offending parts removed, the next step is to get a level surface. Digging the soil over and cultivating it using the right tools will make it ready for the next steps.

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While you are doing this, be careful not to leave bare soil uncovered. Birds flying overhead and any wildlife that wanders through may drop seeds in the soil. Yes, bird poop can make your garden grow: http://blog.seattlepi.com/thebigblog/2013/06/27/uw-study-seeds-do-better-when-pooped-by-birds/.

This may mean that once anything is planted, it has unwelcome neighbours in the form of weeds or aggressive plants. While the process of turning over a garden may take more than one day, make sure you cover bare soil with a tarpaulin. This should prevent unwelcome planting.

After That: Make Your Garden Beautiful Again

There are as many different ways to make a garden beautiful as there are for a house. You may not see yourself as much of a gardener, and may not be keen on the idea of too much ongoing work out there. It may just be a case of laying down some turf and ensuring the garden is regularly mowed and watered. If this is your approach, it’s likely you’ll want to add some extra ornamental touches such as a gazebo. A water feature can work well too.

Alternatively you might want to go the extra mile with flower beds and hedgerows. Having put as much work into the house as you have, adding a fruit tree or two in the garden is also a wise idea. Even if you’re planning to sell the house on, signs of new life are attractive to potential buyers. If you’re planning to stay there, what better way to finish things off than planting something that will mature as the years pass?

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If you have pets, then a few touches for them can make the garden feel properly like a family home. A kennel for the dog – replete with their favourite toys – and potentially a play area for cats. Cats do love to climb, and if you’re concerned about them making their way into nearby trees, an alternative “cat tree” is a solution. Just make sure that if your pets are using the outdoors as a toilet, you clear up anything they leave behind!

Let’s Take This Outside: Creating An Outdoor Seating Area

If you’re putting a lot of time and effort into completing a garden remodel, then make sure it’s something you can enjoy. Once the work is out of the way – relatively speaking – a seated area allows you to look upon the change you’ve made. It may be a small patio or a larger pergola. You can line it with climbing plants and have a barbecue grill allowing for long evenings out there in spring and summer.

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Creating a new outdoor area – pretty much from scratch – is a hefty job for anyone. Going to this much effort, and potentially spending a lot of money for the results, you want them to be amazing. So use the best tools for the job and don’t compromise on quality anywhere.

At the same time, be aware that sometimes the best ornamentation comes from nature itself. Things that you grow for a few dollars can end up being more eye-catching than something you buy for hundreds. Whatever you do indoors, remember that your outdoor area can be seen by everyone. So in some ways, it’s more important to get this part right than any other!

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