The Essential Steps to Landscape Design
When it comes to designing outdoor spaces, take it one stepping stone at a time.
Photo By: Andy Vinson, Loch & Key Productions
©Julie A. Martens
Photo By: ProvenWinners.com
Photo By: Rain Dog Designs, Gig Harbor, Washington
Photo By: ProvenWinners.com
Photo By: Jalynn Baker
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Start Up Front
Toil In the Soil
When it is time to garden, amend your soil by adding organic matter such as finely shredded pine bark, peat moss, mushroom compost or leaf mold before setting out plants. Loose, fertile soil will encourage root growth on new plantings and allow them to become established quickly. Clearly define your turf and bed lines. First use a garden hose to lay out your bed lines then use orange spray paint to mark the lines.
Plant Next to Your House
Move to the Back
Gather Around the Fire
Wants and Needs
A Little on the Side
Choosing the Right Plants
Before planting anything, study your landscape. See where the sun rises and sets. Some plants love the morning sun but will not tolerate western sun. Consult with a local garden center about the plants that you intend to use and know their needs. Plants that need full sun such as herbs, vegetables, roses and many bedding plants require five or more hours of sunlight, so make sure to design your areas appropriately.
Plant Shapes and Textures
Add some design elements to your landscape by playing off the shape and texture of plants. Use fine-textured plants that have small leaves or needles next to bold-textured plants that have large leaves. Upright linear growing plants can be positioned next to round or low-growing plants to create interest.
Adding containers, hanging baskets and window boxes is a great way to incorporate a little more color into a landscape. A large planter or grouping of containers placed by your front door will create an inviting entrance. If you have several planters use a common plant or color in each of them for repetition and continuity. Too many colors combined together can become chaotic looking.
Incorporating Your Personality
Add your personal touches to your garden. 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.
To keep a beautiful landscape it must be maintained. Keep new plantings watered and mulched. Mulch makes a landscape look finished but it also helps soil retain moisture and keeps weeds in check. Work on your landscape but also enjoy it. Your outdoor areas should be an extension of your home. A beautiful and functional landscape makes your house more appealing and will increase its value.