It is never too soon to start planning a garden landscape design project for your home to enhance your property’s beauty, provide a visual palette of textures and colors for friends and family, and to create an inviting respite for outdoor entertainment.
Make your landscaping project one that stands out and makes an impression with these five steps.
- Select areas for landscaping
- Decide if this is a strictly visual landscaping project or if it’s be part of family and social gatherings
- Creating diagrams help pull the concept together
- Developing designs help visualize your idea
- Creating a final master design puts everything in place
About the Site
First and foremost is the selection of areas for landscaping. While locations may seem ideally suited, other critical factors must be considered. These include the quality of the soil, topography, adequate drainage, any existing plants or flowers, and climate conditions including adequate sunlight, humidity level, rainfall and shade.
Whether the sites are for visual purposes only, or the areas will be part of activities, select plants that will do well in those designated areas. If vegetation is currently growing, this is a good sign, but for areas where plants look unhealthy, or aren’t maturing, these may be signs of poor soil or drainage.
For help determining the types of plants and flowers for your region, the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map provides information about specific planting zones.
Uses of the Landscaped Area
Who, what, and how landscaped areas are incorporated into everyday use is an important factor. Several questions to consider include:
- How are potential areas currently used by family, children, visitors and pets? Do children have a special play area? Does the dog have its own dog run?
- How will the entire yard area, including the newly landscaped areas, be used in the future?
- Will adjusts need to be made to accommodate the landscaping project such as moving a gazebo or barbeque grilling area?
- is there a specific theme or style you want to achieve?
- How much do you want to invest in the initial project and on-going maintenance?
Create a Form Theme
This is where your inspiration will shine through. The purpose of a form theme is to shape and organize the yard area while seamlessly blending one area into another, including landscaping. The form includes mapping out walkways, steps, gated areas and pathways.
With paper and pencil, lay out a proposed theme of where everything will fit into the landscape. Use the shape of the home or the shape of the property available from the home to the property line to lay out each area, such as the pool, patio, garden, dog run, play space, entry to yard area, as well as including the locations where plants and flowers will be planted,
Examples of landscaping themes include a natural environment presence, geometric forms such as circles and rectangles, free-flowing lines, or a combination of themes.
Once the form theme is laid out, the next stop is choosing a style. Do you prefer a formal or informal atmosphere? Traditional or contemporary? The choice is up to you,
You may choose to use formal Italian or French gardens as a guide or select the relaxing solitude an Oriental or English garden provides.
The type of plants can also be a theme from traditional rose gardens and woodland meadows to tropical selections or a pristine desert setting.
Make your selections based on the senses which includes color, texture, and fragrance, structural ability to define spaces and privacy, and the ability to affect temperature, sunlight and humidity. It is also important to consider the growth rate for each plant, size at maturity for spacing purposes, and the amount of maintenance plants will require.
While creating a visually appealing landscaped home is an investment in both money and time, the end result provides endless hours for relaxing, reflecting, and entertaining in your own personal oasis.