By Cynthia Bee, Conservation Garden Park
If you’ve read our weekly articles for any length of time, you’ve read about the Localscapes design method created by our team to address to the most common landscape challenges Utahns face. Localscapes classes are taught in several locations throughout Utah by experts who understand how best to apply the method in the regions they serve. But what about the do-it-yourself homeowner? Can regular homeowners apply the method and achieve good results?
To answer that concern, we checked in with some of our recent Localscapes graduates who have been hard at work implementing the Localscapes method in their own yards. Their results are pretty impressive!
This isn’t the first home the Bradys have built so they knew that this time, they were going to do the yard “right” and avoid the headaches they experienced in their previous residence. The challenge with new home construction is that there are so many projects competing for limited resources.
The Bradys decided to prioritize hardscaping, patios and retaining walls, and included the costs in their home construction budget. This is simpler and more cost-effective. They increased the patio space, added extra concrete for side yard parking, and installed a basketball half-court. They also prioritized a high-quality sprinkler system, including drip irrigation for planting beds. They’ll continue to add plants and a side yard activity zone as budget allows but they’re off to a fabulous start in their new yard.
The Chapmans attended the basic Localscapes 101 class, but it provided enough information for them to complete a total landscape makeover. They were able to reconfigure their existing yard by removing lawn and sprinklers in some areas and replacing it with gathering areas, activity zones and paths—all of which make the yard more fun and functional while decreasing the areas requiring active maintenance.
The new landscape has proven popular with neighbors, friends, and especially their young children! What was once just a sea of grass is now home to multiple outdoor entertainment areas that have allowed the Chapmans to dramatically increase the enjoyment of their yard.
As retirement was growing closer for the Hansens, they were looking for ways to reduce the work and water required by their yard. After attending classes at Conservation Garden Park, they created a front yard Localscape in 2014.
With a few growing seasons under their belt, they tell us they’re still as happy today as they were when the project was completed. Previously, it took 40 minutes every Saturday to mow and edge their front yard. Now that they have a Localscape? Seven minutes and once-per-month weeding. They’re now working on localizing their back yard as well.
The homeowners we’ve highlighted in this article have largely completed their projects but there are many more “localscapers” out there working on their landscapes one project at a time—maybe even you. To see more photos of the Localscapes shown here, including “before” photos, check out our blog at http://conservationgardenpark.org/blog.