Lawn - Garden

Landscaping: Where to Begin?

Having a well-manicured yard or garden can enhance the beauty of your home and property. Likewise, a gorgeous outdoor space offers a tranquil respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Those deciding to transform their current landscape often have trouble deciding where to begin. By taking a methodical and creative approach in planning your dream yard, you can make your landscape project less overwhelming and more enjoyable. Careful preparation can result in a beautiful setting that will benefit you and your entire family.

The first step is to examine your current yard or outdoor area. Take note of the current features, both decorative and functional. Notice existing structures such as the cistern or well, decks, sidewalks, and your current trees or shrubs. Also observe landscape details such as the land’s slope and drainage, as well as the best and worst views. For example, if an area of your yard becomes particularly soggy after a downpour, you may not want to place a table or chairs directly on the ground in that area. Also, you would not want your main outdoor entertainment area in view of a major highway or an unattractive building.

The next thing you’ll want to do is decide what you ultimately want out of your outdoor area. This requires gathering some inspiration and employing a little creative thinking. Take a stroll around your current neighborhood and ask yourself what you like about other yards and gardens. Flip through magazines or online pin boards to gather ideas about what works best for you and what you would enjoy. After collecting these concepts, focus on how they could mesh with your present space.

Also take time to think about your house and its current style. Is your home large and impressive? Is it small and reminiscent of a cottage in the woods? Is it rustic? Your landscape vision should enhance the general character of your home instead of serving as a sharp contrast. The next step is to assess your yard from every angle and from each room inside your home. Remember that during colder months, you may be spending more time indoors. Additionally, ponder how the yard looks in each season. By doing this, you can be sure to enhance the beauty of your outdoor area during every time of the year.

Take the utility of your yard into consideration as well. Do you have children who will need a play area? Will elderly tenants of the home be able to walk safely? Do you spend the most time outdoors in the mornings with a cup of coffee, or do you like to do vigorous yard work in the middle of the day? If necessary, hold a family meeting in which each member can voice his or her wishes about the project.

Once you have compiled all of the information that you need regarding the project, it is time to draw up a plan. You can either hire the help of a landscaper or a landscape architect, or you can begin the project on your own. No matter how you choose to proceed, make sure to have a realistic budget in mind. If you plan to make this a do-it-yourself project, be sure to educate yourself on the proper way to dig, plant, and build your way to a beautiful landscape you can enjoy year-round, whether or not you are outdoors or indoors.