Below Is Our 101 Guide To Beautifying Your Mobile Home Landscaping
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. What exactly is landscaping and how would it help my mobile home?
“The process of making a yard or other piece of land more attractive by altering the existing design, adding ornamental features, and planting trees and shrubs” – oxforddictionaries.com
That doesn’t really narrow it down, does it? Landscaping can be done in a huge variety of ways and the possibilities are endless. I expect you already had a look at some landscaping ideas and if all that choice seems daunting, don’t worry, this article’s aim is to help you through it all, step by step.
It is important to know right off the bat that in landscaping there is no “wrong way”. Just as your home is an extension of yourself, so should your yard be.
Why should I landscape in the first place?
- Make your home your own – Mobile homes are also called manufactured homes for a reason. The designs can be uniform, so use landscaping as a way to make your home unique.
- Break up the rigid structure – Mobile homes can look very ‘boxy’. Use landscaping to introduce some fluidity to your space.
- Use the opportunity to improve your home – Plant shade trees at sunny windows to cool your room or grow your own herbs and vegetables!
- Bring some privacy to your home – Add trellis’ or fences to secure the space around your yard. Shade trees or bushes can also obscure the windows.
- Improve your home’s resale value – If you add tasteful and high-quality landscaping to your home it could be a major asset. Even if it is just to catch potential buyer’s eyes! Don’t just think of it as a nice-to-have, but also as an investment into your property.
Where do I begin?
You are probably wondering that right now. The best way to get going is to look at ideas on the internet. Pinterest is a great place to look for ideas on just about anything. Check out this to get started. There are also tons of blogs by other mobile home owners bursting with ideas and advice, but we’re here to point a few out for you!
As I said mobile home landscaping is a personal process. It is about creating a space for you and your family in which you feel at home, or that represents you to your neighbors. Unfortunately, our creative juices can run out, and looking at what others have already done might pique some much-needed creativity.
Here are some other great places to look:
- My Mobile Home Makeover – Not only a good place to look for landscaping ideas, but this couple runs a very handy blog on all things mobile home.
- Mobile Home Living – This lady also writes a very insightful and thorough blog on her experiences as a mobile home owner. Check out this link for an extensive article on mobile home landscaping.
- Landscaping Network – A very helpful site with a lot of information on styles, considerations, and ideas.
Considerations before you start
Landscaping your mobile home can range anywhere from a small DIY project to a whole extensive makeover. So before you start moving mountains here are some considerations:
- Decide on your main purpose! – Do you like to host parties? Do you have kids that want to play outside? Do you have green fingers and want a beautiful garden to tend? Or, do you simply want a pleasing yard that requires minimal effort? Landscaping is not something that’s easy to undo, so make sure of this first!
- Know your environment – Be aware of the climate you live in, the amount of rainfall and which plants are native. This will not only make your life much easier, but you are doing the environment a favor too. You will also save on watering costs.
- If you stay in a mobile home park beware of regulations – Some plants with deep root systems can cause damage to water pipes. The park might also have watering restrictions or adhere to a certain aesthetic.
- Beware of possible water restrictions. If your state enforces water restrictions be sure to keep your garden’s water needs to an acceptable level or you might get fined.
- Think about the style, and try to keep to it – Look at examples online and try to choose one that matches your style as well as the other considerations above. This will help keep your project on track.
Here are some well-known styles you can research:
- Japanese: The main principles of Japanese landscaping are asymmetry, balance, enclosure, borrowed scenery and symbolism. Make use of water, rocks, plants and ornaments to achieve this. Read more here.
- Modern: This style focuses mainly on “hardscaping” which is just a term meaning structures and materials over plants. It’s known for it’s bold geometry, contrasting colors and organization. Read more here.
- Tuscan: Tuscan landscapes are made up mostly of these elements: Box hedges, herb/fruit gardens, pottery, fountains, stonework and Mediterranean plants. These landscapes encourage sustainability and the use of native plants. Read more here.
- Desert: What? Desert gardening? Believe it or not, desert landscapes can be very vibrant and full of life. To keep your garden low water but lively will take some proper planning and knowledge. Read more here.
- Country: The main focus of this landscaping style is dense plants to use structures like arbors and gazebos. This style is old school. Think wicker furniture, birdhouses and sundials. Although it is one of the more water-heavy styles, it is also pleasant and relaxing. Read more here.
For a full list of landscaping styles and their descriptions, go here. Some of these are more suited to mobile homes than others and those I have included above.
The key to keeping your mobile home landscaping project on track is to know of all the possibilities before hand. This way you won’t end up needing to rethink halfway after you found a new awesome idea.
So, what can you do? Good question! Like I said earlier the possibilities are endless, but these are some of the biggest features you might want to incorporate:
You can add some tranquility and movement to your garden with a water fountain. Not only is it impressive to guests, but what better way to relax than to the sound of flowing water? Here is a short guide on what you will need to create one of these.
Once again, planning is key! So make sure you are ready before you begin.
Make sure you:
- Stay within your region/parks regulations. The amount of water you use depends on the size of your fountain and it’s pump so keep this in mind. You might also want to make sure your mobile home park allows digging big holes in the yard.
- Plan ahead. Decide where you want the water fountain and cordon the area off during your landscaping project. Follow this guide to plan properly.
- Are not sucked dry by mosquito’s! If you live an area with a big mosquito problem make sure the water feature isn’t close to any doors/windows. Unfortunately, water features are a great breeding ground for these pests. You could also add fish to the pond (goldfish, koi, etc.), which will eat the mosquitoes.
What will you need?
Depending on what you have in mind this list might differ slightly. As a rule of thumb you will need these items for most water features:
- Pick and shovel.
- Stones of various sizes.
- Pond liner and underlayment, basically a plastic sheet of durable material.
- Fountain. This is optional, but what water feature would be 100% complete without it?.
- A water pump.
- Some water plants and fish.
How do you start?
You would be surprised how relatively simple it is to create a great looking water feature in your backyard!
- Plan your water feature by drawing it on a piece of paper.
- Measure out an area in your yard and reserve it.
- Use a shovel to make a groove in your yard in the shape of your pool.
- Using the shovel and pick dig a hole. Keep in mind if you want fish in your pond, it should be at least 2 feet deep for small fish (goldfish) and 3 feet for larger fish like koi. Also, dig a hole big enough for your pump
- Cover the hole and a thin border with sand. This is to protect the liner.
- Cover the sanded area and the hole with the pond liner. You can do a double layer if you want to be safe.
- Lay the pump and the stones inside the hole. Remember to connect the pump to a water source.
- Cover the sides of the pond and the pump with stones. If you bought a fountain arrange it with your stones and connect it to the pump.
- Fill the pond with water.
- Now you can finish decorating your pond with water plants and stones!
This might be a big, lavish garden or a lot of small beddings. Again, it all depends on what style landscaping you chose before and your personal taste. One of the things to keep in mind is that you can really use your garden to set the tone for your landscape. Plan your walkways and pavings alongside your garden to achieve the desired shape.
Here is some tips on choosing the right plants:
- The landscaping style you chose above. Do you research properly here to ensure you get exactly the style you want.
- The amount of maintenance you are willing to do. Here is a good list to get you started. Also keep the lifespan of plants in mind so you know how often to replant.
- Keep the climate you stay in mind to get the most out of your plants. Plants grow more beautiful in their natural habitat.
- Do some research on which plants, especially flowers, compliment each other to really make your gardens pop.
- You should check whether your soil’s ph, you might need to treat your soil or alter your plant choices. WikiHow has a great article on how to do this.
- Choose plants of different heights to add some extra dimensions to your landscaping project. You can also use pots for this.
- Remember that gardens aren’t just flowers and trees! Many herb species are not only useful to have around, but are visually appealing and interesting.
What will you need?
- Basic gardening equipment: Spade, garden fork, hoe, hand weeder and small buckets to move around soil.
- Consider investing in a soaking hose or sprinkler system.
- Shop around for some interesting ornaments that fit your landscaping style.
- Optionally, you can also get a short fence or some stones to line your gardens.
- Measure your yard and draw the garden designs on a piece of paper.
- Mark the garden shapes you drew using a rope, hose or by making grooves.
- Use the spade and garden fork to clear grass and weeds in the shape of your sketches. Make sure there is a trench around the edge of your garden.
- Now is a good time to fertilize the soil using compost or organic matter.
- Start placing your ornaments first. You may also want to take the time now to arrange your plants without actually planting them to get an idea of the layout
- Get planting! Create contrast using different flowers and colors. Place taller plants at the back and your most colorful and smaller species at the front.
- Spread mulch on the soil between the plants stop weeds and keep moisture in.
- Water it in! It is always a good idea to water the garden first thing to give your plants a head start.
Mobile Home Landscaping Can Create a Socializing spot:
The options here are almost just as endless. If you are someone that likes to entertain at your home you will want to put some thought into this. Don’t worry! There is no need for construction as you might think. You can create a great social area with some gravel, stone tiles and a pop-up gazebo.
Just look at these examples:
Image Source: www.awoodenhome.com
This mobile home owner is lucky enough to have a porch, but look how cleverly he landscaped around it. Not only does he now have a big entertaining area, the climbing plants work perfectly with the raised porch.
This mobile house’s porch is too small to entertain. So he just lay a pavement and placed some benches and ornaments on it. It still looks relaxing and you can easily imagine a fire pit or bbq here. This is also a nice example of a minimalist desert/xeric landscape.
Here you can see how the owner created an intimate space by “cordoning off” the social spot. Some straight growing plants make a wall, while the wooden trellis breaks up the sun on bright days. This is also a great example of how you can do landscaping with a small yard.
Let’s round it all up
I know, that was a lot to take in! Don’t be disheartened though, like I said before there is no wrong way to do landscaping. All you need is the will to see it through, some spare cash and a few days of hard work. A small price to pay to turn a mobile home into your mobile home.
To sum it all up here are the most important steps:
- Research, research, research!
- Pick a style.
- Plan, plan, plan!
- Decide which features you want in your yard.
- Choose your plants.
- Keep any park regulations or water restrictions in mind.
- Roll up your sleeves and get dirty.
- Enjoy your new space!
So what are you waiting for?