“When we put our hands in the soil and kick up the soil microbiology, our health is improved, as is our concentration.” – Rod Olson
The number one, most important thing you can do is to understand your soil. The best way to do this is to get a soil test. Yes, this is an investment but then you can become the steward of your land. You’ll know exactly what the soil needs, in terms of nutrients and micronutrients or soil structure. This could save money in the long term as you spend money on the essential things.
The second consideration is a function. What do you want your outdoor space to be used for? Is it a quiet retreat space for you? Do you need play space for the kids? Do you want a fire pit to gather around? Do you want an extension of your own living space for eating or for sitting? Are you interested in making your yard as productive as possible in providing you with food? Each function will dictate a different plan.
The third thing to do is create a budget. Decide how much you can set aside to develop your backyard. Is this the year for a big design budget or is this the year for more subtle enhancements? Local landscaping can take as much money as you let it, to create a budget and stick to it. Hiring someone to do regular maintenance can increase your enjoyment of your yard as well.
Fourthly, commit to an organic-only approach to your backyard. Vancouver aims to be the greenest city in the world by 2020, according to Mayor Gregor Robertson. It will require each homeowner to do their small part. That also means that the availability of organic products for home and garden use should be increasing.
My final tip for spring landscaping is: have fun! When we are surrounded by things that are growing, we feel better. When we put our hands in the soil and kick up the soil microbiology, our health is improved, as is our concentration. Let the growing research around the mind/body/nature connection compel you to action. Make a plan to step outside as much as you can this season and enjoy the difference that it makes.
Video: West Vancouver Residential Home, Landscape Maintenance and Lawn Care Client of Bur-Han Garden and Lawn Care