It is hard to come up with landscaping ideas for HOAs, especially if you're not the creative type. While most self-managed associations outsource the design to a third party, there is no harm in crafting your own plans since you know your community the best.
It is hard to come up with landscaping ideas for HOAs, especially if you’re not the creative type. While most self-managed associations outsource the design to a third party, there is no harm in crafting your own plans since you know your community the best.
Gorgeous and well-maintained landscaping is something that many HOA communities have in common. It’s also a big reason why residents choose to live in one of the 355,000 community associations in the United States. But, landscaping does not come cheap, and it certainly takes a lot of work to complete.
Whether your self-managed association is working from scratch or just wants to redo an area in your neighborhood, here are some of the best landscaping ideas for HOAs.
Flowers can turn a boring patch of grass into a beautiful landscape. Even adding just a little can make a huge difference. And, the great thing about flowers is that there are so many to choose from. You can go basic with petunias, marigolds, and begonias. Alternatively, you can jazz it up with some truly large and colorful flowers such as sunflowers, tulips, and roses.
Make sure to take your location into account. Some flowers may not grow natively in your area, while others are seasonal. Take the colder months into consideration as well. You want flowers that still hold up even during the autumn and winter seasons like pansies and violas.
Landscaping isn’t limited to the ground, too. Hanging baskets of flowers from your street lamps can really give dull roads and sidewalks a livelier feel.
Topiary is the art of sculpting trees and shrubs into ornamental shapes. It involves trimming, cutting, and even training plants to take a certain shape.
Of course, this will require some bigger shrubs and trees, as you need quite a bit of foliage to work with. But, you can also get away with shrubs that are closer to the ground but are abundant in foliage.
Your board can opt to hire someone to sculpt the shrubs and trees in your community. As an alternative, you can take a DIY approach, though don’t expect to have stellar results after your first try. Topiaries do take quite a bit of time, skill, and energy. But, it’s all worth it once you get to the final product. The only downside to this idea is that it needs a lot of upkeep to maintain the shapes.
Whether it’s a small section of grass or a large lawn, you should aim for green turf. Brown or poorly maintained turf can lower the aesthetic appeal of the entire community. The same goes for turf where small patches of grass are either missing or spoiled. In harsh weather conditions, green turf can quickly become damaged or muddy.
A thriving turf, though, will need plenty of care. You need fertilizer, proper irrigation, and weed control — things that require time and money. As another option, you can opt to replace your natural grass with synthetic turf. Artificial grass is low-maintenance and, apart from the initial cost to install them, is low-cost as well.
Tall trees are not only great for minimizing air pollution, but they also give an instant facelift to any walkway. Consider lining the streets and walkways of your common areas with trees to give them a cozier and more exclusive feel. As with any other plant, though, trees require constant care and maintenance. You will need to prune them every now and then to make sure no branches fall off and injure anyone.
At some point, all the grass and plants can look overwhelming. To cut up some of the colors, it is a good idea to use decorative materials like gravel, wood, bricks, pebbles, and pavers. You can even take it one step further by installing a fountain or hard fences. Another benefit to hardscaping is that it keeps children off of the grass and prevents pets from destroying the plants.
A good tip when it comes to hardscaping, though, is to not overcrowd the space. Adding too much can make the area feel cramped and messy. Restraint is the key to hardscaping (and landscaping in general).
Adding a sitting area is a great way to make a space feel more inviting. Nothing says “come and hang around for a while” like some benches. When deciding on the type of bench you want to install, make sure to consider the overall aesthetic of the landscaping. Then, choose a material that will work best with the design.
Lights can enhance the beauty of even the simplest landscapes. String lights work great for areas with a lot of trees, while low-level garden lamps can give a subtle illumination. You can also try changing up the lighting depending on the season. December, for instance, is the perfect time to put up some holiday lanterns. Just remember to follow your own HOA’s holiday lighting rules!
You might feel tempted to keep the turf square. But, curves add character to a lawn and make it look much sleeker. If you have to use straight lines, opt for angles instead of a purely square shape.
Symmetrical designs may have been popular in the past, but more modern looks focus on the asymmetrical. It allows you to showcase a more unique personality. Plus, symmetrical designs are nearly impossible to maintain. You have to make sure they always look symmetrical, constantly sculpting trees and cutting branches that have gone astray. Though, you will need a creative eye to craft an asymmetrical design that looks intentional.
As you can see, there are several landscaping ideas for HOAs that you can use for your self-managed community. Some of them require a lot more money and effort than others, but there is certainly something for everyone.
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