San Diego’s climate allows for outdoor living year-round, and a nice, peaceful garden is a great addition to your home, one that you’ll be enjoying every day. Fortunately, San Diego enjoys decently sized yards – the median lot size in the city stands at over 6,500 square feet, so most homeowners do have space for outdoor living.
From creating outdoor cooking, dining and lounging spaces to growing veggies, herbs and flowers, there’s so much you can do with your San Diego backyard! If you neglected it lately and it looks a bit messy and unkempt, here’s how to declutter it and turn it into a green, peaceful oasis:
1. Decide how you want to use and organize your space
It’s important to define how exactly you want to use your outdoor space before sprucing it up. Do you want to use it primarily as an extension of your living space? If that’s the case, you should start by getting comfy garden furniture for lounging, install an outdoor kitchen area complete with a barbecue grill, plus a table big enough to sit your entire family – and friends. Or maybe you want a green and cozy space, perfect for relaxing, meditating, or reading – then, you should focus on choosing the right types of plants for your garden, ones that will look nice year-round.
Families with children might want a safe space where the little ones can run around and play. In other words, your lifestyle and preferences must come first when deciding how to remodel your San Diego backyard. You must also be realistic – don’t get expensive plants that need a lot of care if you have little time to dedicate to gardening, or if you have pets, for example.
2. Declutter your backyard and keep only the items you’re currently using
After deciding how your backyard should look, the next step is to declutter the space and make room for your new vision. From the trampoline or other toys your kids are no longer using to too many pieces of furniture, pots, planters, sports equipment and so on, there are many things people keep in their backyards. However, all that clutter will limit the amount of space at your disposal – not to mention, it will make relaxing in the garden a lot more difficult.
The solution is to sort through everything you currently have in your backyard and keep only the stuff you are using on a daily basis. The things that you use only occasionally or the ones you are saving up for the future (toys from one child to the other, sports equipment) can be put in storage. A 10×10 self storage unit in San Diego rents for $170 per month, and you can store plenty of stuff in one, whether it’s extra things you have in your garden or in your home.
3. Focus on plants native to the San Diego area for easy maintenance
The ideal backyard consists of spaces where you can lounge, relax, entertain and cook, plus green areas. And, when it comes to the green areas in your garden, it’s a good strategy to choose plants that are native to San Diego. They will thrive without special care, will look nice regardless of season, and will save you a lot of time and effort. San Diego’s dry climate requires drought-resistant plants and, fortunately, there are plenty to choose from.
Agaves, aloe vera, and other succulents will decorate your garden beautifully. They love the sun and the heat and need very little water – in fact, you should be careful not to overwater them. They also multiply quite easily, which means you don’t have to pay a lot of money on plants – buy only a few, and you’ll be able to populate your entire garden over time. Another very decorative and fuss-free plant for San Diego gardens is the snake plant. You can also include drought-resistant grasses like Mondo grass or Feather Reed grass. Ground cover such as the Silver Carpet evergreen is always a nice addition.
If you also want some plants that flower, bougainvillea vines are a great choice, as well as jasmine. You could also get roses and lavender – they’re not native to this area, but they appreciate the sun and the heat, and don’t need a lot of water, so you’ll be able to enjoy their beauty and fragrance without a lot of work.
4. Go Zen with rock gardens
Rock gardens are becoming increasingly popular, and are starting to replace lawns, which are a lot harder to maintain in the San Diego area, especially during summers. Rock gardens are suitable for small and big backyards alike; they’re low maintenance and in perfect harmony with the local environment. You can create a unique décor in your garden, using some of the most common types of rocks in the San Diego area, such as granite, sandstone, or quartzite. Complete your rock garden with indigenous plants like those listed above – succulents look particularly gorgeous in a rock garden. Finish up the Zen atmosphere with a small fountain or a fire pit, and you’re all set – a beautiful garden where you can truly relax without having to put in a lot of work to maintain it.
5. Want some fresh veggies and herbs? Box planters can help
Maybe you also want to grow some veggies and herbs in your garden – and a great way to do that in San Diego area is by using box planters. Box planters have a lot of advantages anyway: the plants are at a comfortable height, which means you can easily care for them and are also protected from critters. Considering San Diego’s dry and hot climate, box planters are even more important, as you can obtain great results while using a lot less water for your plants. Herbs like rosemary and oregano will thrive under San Diego’s sun – however, if you want to grow greens for your salads, you should find them a shady spot.
6. Let San Diego’s amazing parks and public gardens serve you as inspiration
Still not sure how to decorate your garden? Take a tour through some of San Diego’s amazing parks and public gardens to find inspiration. From the Balboa Park and the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden to the San Diego Botanical Garden and its 37 acres of beauty, there are plenty of green spaces to visit and enjoy. And you’ll certainly pick up some ideas that you can replicate in your garden at home.