Making a Landscape Design Plan

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Developing a landscape design plan can make your landscaping more efficient with regard to effort, time, and cost.

Start by asking yourself a few simple questions:

  • Can you afford to make all of your planned improvements at once? Or do you need to plan phases for reaching your goals one at a time? Know how much money you can spend on each phase of your landscape design plan.
  • How will you use the space? Think about what activities will take place. Figure out how you and your family move through the landscape, so that you know where you walk most often and adapt your plan accordingly. You do not want to create a design that makes it more difficult to get to the mailbox or to get groceries from the car. Consider where you want children to play, and think about how you will incorporate trees, fences, flower beds, and other elements into the space without compromising its utility.
  • How much sunlight does your property receive? This important question helps determine where to plant. You need to know whether sites receive full light (at least six hours a day of sunlight), partial shade (four to six hours) or full shade (less than four hours). Plan which plants will go where according tohow much light they need.
  • What kinds of plants are native to and/or grow well in your area? You might really like succulents, but if you live in a wet area, they might drown in all the extra water. Also, find out the composition of your soil, so that you know which plants will survive in the soil as is or whether you need to improve your soil to support the plants you want.
  • What do you think would be attractive? Take a picture of your yard and then mentally add plants. You can also sketch out a landscape design plan you think would work well, and decide whether it really does give you the look that you want. You might find landscape design plan software useful.

Remember, good planning helps you know that your new landscape design is convenient and doable, so you avoid unpleasant surprises in the middle of your project.

Updated: January 18, 2014 — 10:48 am

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