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The summer is here and those of us with a backyard or garden naturally want to spend more time outdoors. To enhance that experience it’s great to collect plants, pots, sundials, benches, and other backyard décor and spread them throughout the yard.

But when have you gone too far?

When it comes to backyards and gardens there are those who overindulge their love of stuff (read hoard). And there’s also weird fascination with the other extreme: minimalist lifestyles where people cast off almost everything they own and live in houses that lack all but the very basics in home furnishings and decor and have a bare backyard to match.

So where is the happy medium in your backyard?

It depends on your garden style. Do you like romantic country style gardens or buttoned up formal ones? Is your aesthetic more simple and Zen? Your style interests today will determine the amount of plants in your outdoor space and their placement as well as your outdoor furniture and accessories. But if you think you may have too much going on in your garden, here are some ways to declutter and create a space you’ll love spending your summers in.

Use a Single Focal Point

For centuries landscapers have employed a focal point, such as a pedestal in the center of a garden, as a way to draw the eye into the garden. Focal point: it’s a singular noun. Note: There are never 10 pedestals in the center of the garden. There’s just one. If you have a wild rangy garden, adding a single colorful planter or piece of sculpture to bring it into focus as an area is an easy way to add visual interest and structure without adding clutter.

Group Things Together

Sometimes a focal point can be a group of things, such as a vignette of items. If you have a collection, group them together in the backyard. For example, are you a gnome collector? Do you love Asian style? Use a small area in your yard to pay homage to your collection. Like a shrine. Designate a bed, border, or side yard and fill it up. Then admire away.

Give Your Plants Some Room

Often when people first start gardening, they jam small plants together, so the garden looked full when it was done. But in a year or two, those perennials get bigger and some take over and cover up those that weren’t as assertive.

If you space your plants farther apart, you can mulch in between, and allow some of your plantings some breathing room. If later you decide it looks too sparse or your plants haven’t spread out the way you thought they would, you can always add more plants. You can also use in ground planter boxes to keep your plants well spaced and looking neat.

Edit Your Landscape

In home décor magazines, they suggest you remove all the things from a room and start bringing things in one by one. While you can’t exactly do the same thing in a garden (well, you could, but it would be painful, long work), you can give good hard looks to the plants you have and determine what should stay.

Some plants overgrow their spaces. For example, you can bring overgrown shrubs back in line with some careful pruning. Roses and vines can also be cut back to size. Pruning keeps plants from overgrowing their spaces and from looking unkempt. And you can always nip and tuck a landscape by removing dead branches from trees and shrubs and deadheading spent flower blooms.

Tidy Up and Declutter

If you have a big yard, invest in (or borrow) some essential lawn equipment beyond a mower. Use a blower to remove grass clippings, leaves, and other green debris off your driveway, patio and porch.

If mildew grows on sidewalks, walkways, or porch or pergola pillars, use a power washer to remove it. And take a hard look at your walkway edges. Ragged edges look messy and disorganized. Clean edges look orderly and uncluttered. An edger gives you straight lines and crisp edges around walkways and patios, giving the illusion that your yard is neat, trim, and bigger.

Then there’s your outdoor furniture. Yes, you, and guests, need places to sit in the backyard, but do you need four old plastic chairs and a folding chair AND a lounger that does not match any of the other clutter? The answer is no. This stuff is just clutter and, if you are honest with yourself, the mess spoils your enjoyment of your outdoor space. Invest in a matching garden set – a simple bistro set in a small space, a swinging bench in a larger one perhaps – and get rid of the rest.

Need help with any kind of home organization project? We can help. Contact us to schedule a Zoom call to discuss your needs. Or get a head start on home organization by booking an appointment right away here.

Just Organized By Taya
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