Landscaping: Where to Start

A landscape is a wonderful thing, for many reasons. It beautiful, a veritable cornucopia of colors and textures with intricate flowers, bushes, trees, rocks and maybe even some unique non-organic elements that tickle your fancy. It’s dynamic, ever changing with the seasons, presenting a new face every few months. It’s functional, incorporating spaces for entertaining or playing, or even space for gardening which will (hopefully!) yield produce for consumption. It may seem like a rather simple exercise at first– I mean, trees and dirt and grass, right?– but there are many delicate factors to take into consideration that will greatly affect the design and success of your landscaping endeavors. Here are a few things to consider when beginning your landscape design that will flesh out the framework for your new beautiful, dynamic, and functional outdoor space.

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Understand your property.

The first step is assessing the land you’ll be working with. What planting zone are you in? What soil type? Does your space get mostly sun or shade? Also consider slope and possible drainage issues. Speaking from personal experience, it’s really very important to take care of any poor draining areas before you spend lots of time and money on improving your landscaping.

Consider your house.

Take a closer look at your home. Style, size, layout and indoor/outdoor relationship can all influence landscaping style and design. Home aesthethics may aid you in finding beneficial and organic outdoor living spaces and gardening areas. If you’re living in a modest-sized American colonial, chances are you’ll want to avoid a layout of oversized modern landscaping.

Think about the occupants.

What are your needs as an individual or family? Take into account your style preferences; do you prefer curved lines or straight? Would you rather have a spread-out planting design, or does a crowded, riotous flowerbed appeal to you?  Don’t forget to factor in how much time you want to spend maintaining the newly renovated landscape; if you tend to be away from your home for extended periods, you may wish to look for more hardy, low-maintenance plants.