Take it Out­side

Fo­cus­ing on no-main­te­nance land­scap­ing op­tions helps you en­joy your prop­erty more and make the most out of your log home’s curb ap­peal.

Log Home Living - - CONTENTS - El­iz­a­beth Mil­lard

Fo­cus­ing on no-main­te­nance land­scap­ing op­tions helps you en­joy your prop­erty more and make the most out of your log home’s curb ap­peal.

It’s a gor­geous sum­mer stretch — the kind where the weather is per­fect, the fam­ily is choos­ing teams for a lawn game and the days seem ideal for loung­ing and laugh­ter. Do you re­ally want to hop on that rid­ing mower or spend hours weed­ing in the midst of all the fun?

Land­scape main­te­nance is a nec­es­sary part of any log cabin up­keep, and tasks like gar­den­ing can be en­joy­able — even ther­a­peu­tic. But when tak­ing care of your yard starts to feel like a part-time (or full-time) job that re­duces your time spent en­joy­ing your home and your prop­erty, then it’s time to put some no-main­te­nance land­scap­ing tac­tics into play. Con­sider these op­tions:

Mulch, mulch and more mulch:

Land­scaped ar­eas that have flow­ers, shrubs or even ed­i­ble plants, ben­e­fit greatly from mulch, which is any sub­stance that can be

spread over the soil as a cov­er­ing. Mulch might be or­ganic (wood chips, pine straw, lawn clip­pings or shred­ded leaves), in­or­ganic (crushed lava rock or small stones) or a com­bi­na­tion of ma­te­ri­als. Not only will mulch sig­nif­i­cantly de­crease the need for weed­ing, it also al­lows the soil to re­tain mois­ture and re­main cooler on hot days, which will help plants thrive.

Plant more shrubs:

When ex­pand­ing your land­scap­ing, aim for plants that aren’t fussy when it comes to main­te­nance. For ex­am­ple, think flow­er­ing bushes in­stead of roses. Larger plants, like shrubs, can help cre­ate vis­ual in­ter­est and also pre­vent some ero­sion, es­pe­cially along hill­sides. And if you choose slow-grow­ing op­tions, like Dwarf Globe Blue Spruce or va­ri­eties of lau­rel, you won’t spend much time cut­ting them back.

Get a lit­tle wild:

Take a cue from na­ture and al­low un­tamed ar­eas, par­tic­u­larly patches filled with wildf low­ers, to f lour­ish. By plant­ing na­tive grasses and spread­ing some flower seeds, you can cre­ate a haven for pol­li­na­tors, like but­terf lies and hon­ey­bees, while en­sur­ing that you don’t have to do much to keep it look­ing great.

In­stall the right walk­ways:

Rounded rock path­ways or raised bor­ders might be pretty, but when it comes to mow­ing around them, it can feel like a chore to go back with a weed whip or an edger. Flat walk­ways — like f lag­stones or wood planks em­bed­ded at or slightly be­low lawn level — that you can mow over might not be as man­i­cured in ap­pear­ance, but they can be at­trac­tive, func­tional and eas­ier to care for.

Wa­ter wisely:

Us­ing na­tive grasses and mulch can go a long way to­ward re­duc­ing your need for wa­ter­ing, but for plants that need a hy­dra­tion boost, con­sider a sys­tem that lets you turn on an out­door faucet for an hour or two and then turn it off when the ground is sat­u­rated. This might be as sim­ple as drip tape laid out along the base of your beds. If you in­vest in an au­to­matic in-ground sprin­kler sys­tem, be sure to choose a smart one that doesn’t just op­er­ate on a timer, but can sense that the soil is moist enough, like dur­ing a rain shower. This will con­serve wa­ter and save you money.

Sim­ple, af­ford­able strate­gies that are fo­cused on mak­ing your prop­erty more self­suf­fi­cient means you’ll spend far less time tak­ing care of your log home’s land­scape, giv­ing you far more time to en­joy it.

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