Creating Natural Areas in Your Yard

Lush lawn and brightly blooming flowers are key aspects of a great yard, but the power and effect of natural areas should not be overlooked. Natural areas can take many shapes and styles and can be created for various reasons. These spaces are usually created around trees in your yard.  Sometimes the shade created by large trees can make it difficult to grow grass directly around the tree; this is a great reason and opportunity to create a natural area.  Large shrubs, especially ones that are relatively low maintenance, like azaleas, look very nice inside a natural area.

As you begin to create your natural area, you will need to remove any weeds and grass in the space so that they don’t sprout up through your organic material.  Next, you will need to choose what type of organic material with which to cover the area. For a more manicured, groomed look, pine needles or mulch are great options.  For a more effortless-looking area, options include leaf material or compost. Regardless of what type of organic material you choose, it’s important to apply it liberally, creating a solid base.  As leaves and needles fall from existing plants and trees, it will simply add to the base you’ve established.

Another option to consider when creating your natural area is if you want to add any additional trees or shrubs.  You should decide this before you start so you can leave room for planting before you cover the area.  Some homeowners and landscapers use some sort of base layer fabric when creating natural areas. These materials can be laid before adding organic material and help to prevent weeds and lingering grass shoots from edging up through your natural area.

Natural areas in your yard greatly reduce lawn maintenance with less mowing and less watering.  However, it is important to keep the boundaries of your natural areas neat and not spilling over into the grass or vice versa, because this creates a very messy, unkempt look for your yard.