What are the Keys to Landscaping?

Before you start any landscaping project there are a few things you need to take into consideration. Landscaping really does happen in stages.

It is never wise to just go into your yard and start digging or moving things around. You need a well thought out plan.

Here, we will discuss these elements of landscaping:

1 Planning
2 Successful Design Principles
3 Setting the Landscaping Stage

1. Planning your garden:

In the planning stage you need to decide what you want. This is so you know what you'll need to work with and can consider balancing certain elements and aspects of your landscaping design and plans.

The most important function of any landscaped yard is how it makes the owner feel. You may want to impress your friends and family, but since you're the ones who will spend the most time in your yard, you need to make sure you love every inch of the completed project. This will be your sanctuary and it needs to feel like one.

A landscaped yard, at its simplest definition, is merely an environment. Before you begin you need to think about what you want in that environment.

If you want to attract birds and butterflies, that will help you determine the types of trees and bushes you plant in your yard.

Other aspects of planning your landscape include how functional you want it to be. Of course you want it to be beautiful, but will you use the area for a lot of family get-togethers? Do you want places for people to sit and relax in different areas of your yard?

What types of materials do you want to incorporate into your designs? Do you like brick, rock, wood or iron? Do you want to use several different types of material?

What types of plants do you want? Do you want a lot of trees or shrubs? Do you want several flower beds or rose gardens?

2. Successful Garden Design Principles

Designing your yard is more than just putting some plants out and creating a walkway. You also want it to be a functional part of your living space that can enjoy year round if the weather permits.

Before you start designing take the time to look at magazines and gather a collection of photos of things that appeal to you. Start a scrapbook so you can piece these items together and see how well they can all work together as a whole.

Things you'll want to consider are things like: fragrance, color, light, textures and even sound like water elements and birds singing. You will also have to take into account drainage and irrigation systems.

Once you've determined all of that and inspected the layout of your land, you can begin drawing your design. It doesn't have to be fancy, it just needs to give you something to start working with.

Other things to consider at this stage is your budget. Can you afford to do a complete over haul on your yard? Or will you be working with a monthly budget instead?

It's okay to do your landscaping as an on-going project. In fact, many people do this, especially retired couples who aren't in a big hurry, live on a fixed income but want something to do with their free time.

3. Setting the Stage – the pre-landscaping stage

After your plans and designs are finished and you know what you want, it's time to set the stage.

* Do you want to clear your whole yard and start with a completely blank slate?

* Will you keep certain fixtures that are already in your yard, like a storage building or a large tree?

* Will you level the property or build multi-levels into your landscaping design?

Also consider if you'll need to work in sections. You may want to clear your whole yard at once and start fresh, but if funds are limited, you may have to do this in stages as well.

Whatever you decide to do with your landscaping, remember it's a process that works best in stages and needs to be planned out as much as possible.

I have put some more gardening tips for beginners online here on my squid pages, and I'll also be publishing some really helpful gardening books soon - ENJOY!

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