by Kimberly Blackford
Rustic country and log homes have a timeless look about them. Though your home is clearly being constructed in the present, the look is one that is quite familiar with the past. To make the most of the unique curb appeal, the landscaping needs to be just as ageless.
Rustic gardens should look as if they have been there for many years. To achieve such a look, start by sketching a model of what you hope to achieve. Begin with elements that are considered immovable. Hardscaping is incredibly difficult and expensive to alter, so take the time to place it correctly. This includes fencing, pathways, and any large structures, such as a bench, birdbath, or garden shed.
Photo Featuring Home by REAL LOG HOMES®, www.realloghomes.com, Photographer Rich Frutchey
When considering hardscaping options, turn to natural materials like limestone and brick for pathways. Concrete pavers are much more urban and can detract from the overall look. Wrought iron fences and gates provide an aged look that contrasts pleasantly with a home’s wood exterior. Benches can be comprised of stone or iron, depending on the surrounding accents. Teak and wicker furniture offer nice options as well. Once the large items are properly placed, it is time to plot the plantlife.
Photo Featuring Home by REAL LOG HOMES®, www.realloghomes.com, Photographer James Ray Spahn
Country gardens tend to look welcoming and informal as they utilize natural landscaping. Far from being wild, these cleverly planned plots make the most of native plantlife. Native plants look realistic with the architecture and surrounding landscape and require very little maintenance. In addition to native plants, perennials are perfect for these gardens. Once planted, perennials come back year after year, forming deep roots that prevent soil erosion and creating a look that is beautiful and familiar. Butterfly bushes, purple coneflowers, alyssum, and sunflowers are bright blossoms that complement one another while also attracting butterflies. Whether you choose to plant more or less flowers is up to you. Keep in mind that native grasses and hardy mosses can compliment flowers in potentially unexpected ways. Also note that native plants can attract wildlife, adding an extra appeal to the country garden.
After the plants have been chosen and plotted, it’s time for a few special touches. Trellises are great for perennial climbing vines and can make more use of vertical space. Signs and small statues may be gaudy in a formal garden, but draw smiles when placed thoughtfully throughout a country space. Antique gardening tools can be strategically placed as accents or can even be put to use. An old wheelbarrow can be a newly fashioned birdbath. Likewise, a leaky watering can is ideal for a small planter. Be creative and decorate whichever way feels right to you. Don’t forget to balance areas of shade and sun, and incorporate water elements if you can dedicate the time to caring for them.
Overall, set out to create the garden that looks most natural to you. If you do not like something, take it out and try for a new look. Keeping something undesirable is a widely common problem for most gardeners. The landscaping should grab attention, but not require much of it, all while complementing the home.
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