Your new San Joaquin Valley home typically comes with a backyard that allows unlimited landscaping possibilities. So why do most homeowners stick with the standard grassy lawn with playground, or paved grill area as suggested by the model? The things you can do to the rear areas of your home are generally not restricted by local ordinances or neighborhood standards. Try out some of these unconventional options for adding pizzazz your backyard.
This no-water and low maintenance option fills your backyard with a stone surface that has a neutral color, such as decomposed granite or pea gravel. You can then use the surface as a platform for one or two large sculptures or several smaller ones. If your taste and toward the more modern, try abstract forms in stainless steel or colored aluminum. If you prefer something more traditional, use realistic depictions of people or animals in bronze or ceramic. Add a touch of nature by framing the display area with an edging of low-growing foliage or by displaying container plants at each corner.
Turn your backyard into an extension of the living or family room. Reflect the flooring that’s already used in your indoor spaces in your choice of yard surface. For example, if your inside floors consist of wood, add an outdoor deck with the same color tone. If you’re using tile flooring in the family room, use stone pavers with the same texture and color.
To continue the illusion of an outdoor room, decorate with pieces that you would normally associate with interior rooms. For example, you can hang an ornate mirror on one garden wall or set up a chandelier instead of an ordinary patio light. Rely on indoor/outdoor curtains to divide exterior spaces and add an outdoor rug or two to define areas.
Finally, use a weatherproofed wooden piece as an unexpected accent. An antique-style bureau with a waterproof coating can act as a serving area while a metal tea trolley can wheel snacks from the kitchen into outdoor gatherings.
The Little Farm
Welcome visitors to your home with Mother Earth’s bounty by putting an urban or vegetable garden in your backyard. To protect your crops from local pets or playful children, grow them in raised beds made out of wood or stone. Produce that you can consider includes lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, squash and kale, or herbs like oregano, rosemary, thyme, mint, sage, parsley, and dill.
Rather than installing a water-guzzling sprinkler system, you can irrigate your plants using a drip system. Come harvest time, don’t be surprised if the neighbors start buzzing about your property like expectant bees. They hope to catch some of your fresh harvest that will probably be too much for your family to consume on its own.
You may be missing the sound of songbirds in the colorful flash of butterflies in the suburban developments around your home. Invite these creatures into your property by turning your backyard into a natural haven.
•For birds, add a water feature like a birdbath for bathing and drinking, include native plants that can provide food in the form of berries and nuts, put out nesting boxes and birdhouses, and supply food in bird feeders.
•For butterflies, add nectar plants, which are typically labeled as butterfly-friendly. You’ll also need to include food plants that the butterflies can lay their eggs on to produce caterpillars. The experts at your local garden center can direct you to the right plantings.
If you need more resources for your outdoor spaces, or want to look at how some of our model properties look like in person, please contact us.