Creating a landscaping plan may at first seem like a daunting endeavor. Even though the final project should be completed by a professional, following the tips below will help property owners with basic decisions and get you started with a basic plan:

Getting Started

When designing a rough draft of the desired landscape, homeowners should ask themselves essential questions, such as how they plan to use the property and the average amount of time they typically spend outdoors throughout the year.

Doing a “walk around” is a wise course of action, as the property owner can consider what he or she finds pleasant or unpleasant with regard to the home’s current landscaping. Existing items that should be evaluated include the following:

  • Walkways
  • Flower bushes
  • Grasses
  • Statues
  • Trees
  • Patio floors
  • Bird feeders and fountains

It’s a good idea for one to make a list of which items are salvageable, such as a beautiful old tree, and which items should be removed, such as sagging decks or unhealthy shrubbery.

Factoring in one’s geographical location is also wise. For example, if a person wants to replace unhealthy bushes with roses, but the home is in an area where deer traffic is heavy, roses are not a good choice unless a fence is installed.

It is also important to consider if you want fountains, statues, new pathways and other additions to the property. Visualizing where such items should be placed is an essential part of planning the new landscape. Thinking about these and other details helps property owners obtain a clear vision of the finished project.

Focal Points

After doing a walk around and getting a basic idea of how you want to proceed with his or her landscape plan, it’s time to decide on a focal point. A focal point is an object that essentially “makes you look.”

Although most homeowners think of statues or specimen trees as focal points, there is also a virtually unlimited number of additional possibilities. The key to choosing a focal point is finding something different from the rest of the landscape in color, texture and form.

Focal points should stand out, but not “stick out” in such a way that they do not connect well with their surroundings. It is also important to consider scale. If the landscape features a generous amount of land with broad views, an ancient oak tree already located on the property may fill the role of the focal point quite well. If the lot is modest in size, a small statue or an ornate garden bench make good choices. Below are some other items one can use as interesting focal points:

  • Fountain
  • Outdoor recreational area
  • Spa or swimming pool
  • Ornate plants or mini-Japanese garden
  • Gazebo

Choosing Greenery

When choosing plants, trees and shrubbery, it’s important to consider the growth rate and the size of each botanical when fully grown. In addition, it’s essential make sure you’re well aware of the level of maintenance necessary for each plant.

Although fast-growing plants may seem like a bargain, the money and time spent on pruning and other tasks may cancel out the initial savings. However, those who enjoy gardening or have maintenance and care completed by a third-party need not worry about such issues.

Homeowners should also choose plants that reflect their personality and lifestyle. This helps to personalize the landscape and make it unique to those who live in the dwelling. For example, some individuals enjoy an eclectic look, while others prefer distinct form and symmetry.

A person may opt for flowering plants, if he or she enjoys making bouquets during blooming season. One may also prefer small trees and shrubs to create a lush, green environment around the home. Ultimately, plants should be purposefully selected and thoughtfully placed to ensure the view brings the homeowner years of enjoyment.

Adding Movement With Grass and Wildlife

Gardens should have movement to add interest and life to the surrounding landscape. For this reason, homeowners should not overlook ornamental grasses that gently sway in the wind. Additionally, planting flowers and bushes that attract butterflies and hummingbirds adds character to virtually any garden or landscape.

Creating an Ambiance with Statues

If the property is large enough, well-placed statues can easily add flair and style to most landscaping plans. If flowering plants abound on the property, angels, cupids, and Greek or Roman statues blend perfectly. If the landscape has a modern or zen-type ambiance, abstract statues are ideal. However, any statue selected should ultimately appeal to the homeowner and reflect his or her personal tastes.

Lighting Options

Lighting is an important consideration that is sometimes overlooked when one is completing landscape renovations. There are several lighting types from which to choose, such as low-voltage lights, LED lights and simple, traditional path lights.

Low-voltage lights are popular, as they can be added after the new landscaping is complete, rather than having to be integrated from the beginning. Many of the newest LED lights use much less electricity than conventional lighting and often last several years, making them a beautiful and practical choice.

Walkways can be lighted with a series of low-sitting fixtures that feature squat canopies. Consumers can even choose to light paths with artificial rocks in which lights are embedded.

Flickering lights are relaxing and beautiful, and therefore appeal to almost anyone. One can also choose strategically placed lights featuring pivoting bases, the latter of which can be directed to accentuate water elements, plants, statues or trees.

Fortunately, bright lighting is not needed to make a big impact. Rather, subtle lighting provides all the effect necessary to enhance the beauty of a property after dark. All landscape lighting options should be discussed with the professional hired to complete the work.

Fountains

Many homeowners choose to add a beautiful fountain when completing landscape renovations. There is a limitless number of fountain models on today’s market, from large, ornate models to simple tiered-rock formations over which trickling water gently flows. The fountain selected should reflect the general theme of the landscape, and blend well with plants and trees. Regardless of the style selected, a fountain is virtually guaranteed to enhance the beauty and value of a property.

Additional Considerations

Those who have decided on a specific landscaping plan may be tempted to complete the work without professional assistance. However, landscaping typically does not make a good DIY project, even for those who are quite handy or who have a green thumb. Designing and installing a landscape is a complex task and should only be completed by an expert. Those who are planning such renovations in 2018 should contact Heffner Landscaping to ensure an outcome that brings many years of enjoyment.

Making Your Landscaping Plan

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