Is it time to design your brand new landscape or revamp your existing one?
While designing and planning your landscape may seem like an overwhelming task at first, breaking it down into a process to follow can help make it more manageable. In this article, we’ll go over 10 steps to follow for planning your landscape to make it a beautiful outdoor space that you’ll enjoy for years to come!
1. Evaluate Your Landscape
To start, first evaluate your existing yard, patio, and gardens. Assess what plants you have, such as trees, shrubs, and plants. Also, check the condition of your soil and discuss with a landscaping company with extensive landscaping services about what kind of soil amendments may be needed.
During this step, also take into consideration the amount of sun and shade your yard receives. Specifically, you should know what areas of your yard receive:
- Full sun
- Partial shade
- Deep shade
Always take note of your landscape’s microclimate when choosing plants. You should also consider topography and which areas may have drainage issues. This will help you understand how water drains in your landscape and possibly which areas may require special attention.
2. Choose a Theme for Your Yard
Once you have evaluated your existing yard, you’re ready to choose a theme for your yard.
Your yard could be a minimalist garden, a waterfall oasis, a focus on a large pond in your backyard, or even a beautiful brick or stone patio to enjoy parties with friends.
Deciding on a theme right away will help you choose which plants you want to plant as well as hardscape and outdoor decor.
Also, when choosing a theme for your yard, you should also consider the style and architecture of your home.
3. Consider Who Will Be Using Your Yard
An important consideration before starting is “who will be using this space?”
For example, do you have children or pets? Do you plan on hosting parties frequently? Or do you prefer to use your space for relaxation or gardening?
Before starting your landscaping project, make sure you ask yourself these questions and check with your landscaping company about how to arrange the necessary elements for the space. For example, guests will enjoy using walkways, patio areas, and furniture, so consider how you want to lay out your hardscapes accordingly if you plan on hosting parties.
4. Determine Placement of Your Plants
Now that you’ve determined your theme and overall placement, it’s time to focus on the plants.
From trees and bushes, to flowers and aquatic plants, you’ll need to consider the size and shape of each plant and how these softscape elements will complement the hardscape elements of your yard.
You’ll want to consider the overhead plane, such as archways and trees. Then below, on the ground, consider how closely spaced or far apart your plants should be, or if you need assistance, have your landscaping company help you layer and stagger your plants. Usually, larger plants will be used behind smaller plants to create depth and visual appeal in your gardens.
Pro Tip: You’ll want to group plants with similar water and sunlight needs together. Also, consider their full grown size when choosing their location so that they can thrive as they mature.
5. Choose Environmentally-Friendly Hardscapes
While softscape elements are the living elements of your yard, hardscapes include all the non-living elements such as brick, stone, and concrete, paths, driveways, patios, walls, etc. in your landscaping.
Talk with your landscaping company about choosing environmentally-friendly materials that will complement your plants.
6. Create Space with Each Element
As you plan where your softscape and hardscape elements will go, always remember to create space with each element to help ensure that your yard is functional and easy to navigate.
Pro-Tip: Leave enough space for each plant to grow and develop, and make sure there is ample room for outdoor furniture, decor, and water features.
7. Highlight Important Areas of Your Landscape
Along with making sure there is plenty of space in your landscape, you should also consider highlighting important areas of your yard. For example, if you want your landscape’s focal point to be a beautiful waterfall, pond, fountain, tree, or sculpture, you should design your softscape and hardscape elements around it.
If you aren’t sure exactly how to achieve this, your landscaping company will be able to give you tips on what elements to use and how to place them to get the result you’re looking for.
8. Pay Attention to the Details
There are also a few details you should consider when planning your landscape. These include:
- Selecting the right outdoor lighting
- Choosing complementing outdoor decor
- Using the right colors for your plants and hardscapes
- Complementing textures and shapes of your softscapes and hardscapes
Don’t overlook the details! Each element, whether large or small, will help tie all of the elements of your landscaping together and create a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing outdoor space.
9. Plan for the Future
We hinted at it already, but you should also consider what your landscape will look in a few years or even in the next couple decades as the landscape matures. For example, take into consideration how your trees and other plants will grow and change and consider how much space they’ll need as they grow over time.
If you can, you may also want to try to choose low maintenance hardscapes to keep the yard care minimal so you can spend more time enjoying your landscape.
10. Choose a Reputable Landscaping Company
Lastly, consider a reputable landscaping company to help you achieve the backyard oasis of your dreams!
A good landscaping company will demonstrate:
- Years of experience working in your local area
- A customized plan that fits your unique needs and preferences, using high-quality materials
- Great track record with good testimonials and Google and Facebook reviews
- Prompt, friendly service and wiliness to answer your questions
Why Fleming Group, LLC?
At Fleming Group, LLC, our team understands the importance of creating a beautiful and functional outdoor space. In fact, we have more than 30 years dedicated to helping clients throughout the Fox Valley design the landscape of their dreams. We have had the pleasure of working with residential and commercial clients alike, and we provide services for hardscaping, softscaping, water features, and woodworking.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you create your dream outdoor space!