Aside from the fact that it will save you money, it is my personal opinion that not landscaping your backyard makes total sense.
When Josh and I first moved into our house six years ago (whaaaa!?) we decided to redo the backyard. We had a new sprinkler system put in, had a few raised beds built, and new sod laid down. I was pretty proud of that backyard. One of the raised beds was waist-height, perfect for a vegetable garden. Josh mowed the grass weekly and we spent weekends pruning, pulling weeds, and laying down mulch. It turns out it was a waste of time, money, and energy. We really should have just left it in the state we found it (which really wasn’t that bad). The grass is now patchy and best, and the raised beds are more weeds than anything else. Kids have happily consumed our time and resources.
Now, if gardening is your “thing”, and you have the time/money to do it, go for it! If you have small children (or are considering having kids in the near future), don’t bother. I know that sounds negative and defeatist, but hear me out.
Here are three reasons to not landscape:
1. Kids love dirt! Nay, they need dirt!
Especially little boys. I am learning this more and more every day. Not only is it actually healthy (read this), it’s just plain good for the soul. Watch a kids face the next time they stick their chubby little hands into a pile of dirt. Pure amazement and joy. Piles of dirt, dirt from under the flower beds, wet dirt around the sprinkler heads. It’s all fair game. Kids will dig it up.
|Dirty hands, dirty knees, dirty bum. Dirt, dirt, dirt.|
2. They will destroy it anyway.
Not in a malicious way. Not in a “Hey, something pretty! Let me step on it!” way. Just in a kids-being-kids way. Squeaks LOVES to pick every flower in the yard the second it blooms and bring me beautiful bouquets. How could I stop her!? And Little Dude gets the biggest thrill out of dumping buckets of rock from our planter beds onto the patio floor. No way I’d kill that joy for him!
|A freshly picked bouquet and a patio full of rocks, these are signs of happy kids.|
3. It will give you extra time and less stress.
Squeaks loves to blow wishes (dandelions). I almost hope they grow in our yard. She is so cute taking deep breaths and blowing as hard as she can. No pulling weeds! Digging is a favorite past time too. Anywhere the dirt is exposed between the patches of grass (thanks gophers) is fair game. If we had a perfectly manicured lawn and pruned planter beds, it would drive me crazy to see my kids take their shovels and “search for treasure”.
Do yourself a favor. Save your money and go sit in the dirt with your kids. It’s so fun!