August 30, 2016

The Essential Steps to Your Landscape Design

When it comes to your outdoor landscape design, the best route for your design process is to take it one step at a time.

front yard

Start with your Front Yard
Your front yard is the perfect place to begin your landscape transformation. It’s the first thing that you see driving up to your house, and you can wow guests before they even enter your home. And although curb appeal is important and no matter how pretty your landscape is, it needs to be functional.
Hardscape First
Before you set out any plants, do all of your hardscaping first. A porch, sidewalk, driveway, parking areas, decks, fencing, patios and arbor are all different types of hardscaping you can consider for your design. Since these projects typically involve construction, it’s important to complete any heavy work before plantings begin since it can affect your soil or damage turf and plantings.

gardeningEnhance Your Soil
When you are ready to garden, enhance your soil by adding organic matter such as finely shredded shredded pine bark, peat moss, mushroom compost or leaf mold before setting out plants. The loose, fertile soil will strengthen root growth on the new plantings. Also, make sure to clearly define your turf and bed lines.
Plant Next to Your House
Your foundation planting should embrace your house and not cover it. In front of low windows and porches, you should plant low-growing shrubs and plants. For the corners of your home, it is best to plant larger shrubs or even small trees. The larger plants will help soften the box-like structure and frame up your house . For your front yard, create a small bed of flowers that will add charm to your house.

Move to the Backyard
The perfect outdoor area for you to enjoy should be your backyard. Patios and decks make great sitting or dining areas when the weather’s appropriate and they create a nice overflow for guests during parties.If you need privacy, install wooden fencing or large shrubs around the perimeter to create walls or consider outdoor shades along your patio cover.

Plant Shapes and Textures
Playing off the shape and texture of plants will add some design elements to your landscape. Mix up your plants by placing fine textured plants that have small leaves or needles next to bold-textured plants that have large leaves. Taller, more linear growing plants can be positioned next to round or low-growing plants to create interest.

Gather Around the Fire
A great addition to your backyard are outdoor kitchens and grilling stations so you don’t heat up the kitchen and can throw more backyard parties for your friends and family to enjoy. Another great option is to build outdoor fire pits or fireplaces that would allow you to enjoy your yard even when the weather gets chilly. Both of these options make for easy entertaining or a fun family activity.

Incorporating Your Personality
Since every home and every backyard is different from one another, adding your personal touches to your garden and outdoor spaces will showcase your individual style. You can do this with garden art, statues, water features, a birdhouse or architectural fragments. Use low-voltage night lighting to highlight these items, but also position lights along walkways to make maneuvering after dark easy and safe.

plantsSelecting the Right Plants
Study your landscape before planting anything. It is important to know where the sun rises and sets. Some plants love the morning sun but will not tolerate western sun. When you are ready to buy the plants, consult with a local garden center about the plants that you want to use and know their needs. Make sure to design your areas appropriately since plants that need full sun such as herbs, vegetables, roses and many bedding plants require five or more hours of sunlight.

Wants and Needs
Consider your options and the space you will need. Do you need a children’s play area? If so, position it where you can see it from your deck or patio to keep a watchful eye on the young ones. If you have a sunny backyard you might consider putting in a kitchen garden where you can grow a few herbs or vegetables. Just be sure the area you choose receives several hours of sun.
vase design

Finishing Touches
A great way to incorporate a little more color into a landscape adding containers, hanging baskets and window boxes. To create an inviting entrance, place a large planter or grouping of containers by your front door. If you have several planters use a common plant or color in each of them for repetition and continuity.

The key to a beautiful landscape it to keep it maintained. Keep new plantings watered and mulched. Work on your landscape but also enjoy it. Your outdoor areas should be an extension of your home. Mulch makes a landscape look finished but it also helps soil retain moisture and keeps weeds in check. A landscape that is beautiful and functional will increase your home’s value and make make your house more appealing.

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