Updated October 2018
Think about the sunlight available before starting your landscaping. Choose plants best to the growing conditions.
- Before buying supplies for your landscaping project, make a plan. By having a clear idea you won’t over-buy materials. In the long run this will save you time, money and a lot of frustration.
- Sketch your landscape design on a notepad prior to planting and developing your outdoor area, including your pond. Remember you’re planning a cozy environment not only for your family, but your goldfish as well. You’ll know precisely what materials you need and where you’re are going to use them.
- Think about the ‘rule of 3’ when planning. Innovative landscapers think that planting looks best in groups of 3. If not 3, then any odd number generally looks better than an even number. This is not a set rule but worth keeping in mind for all design projects.
- If you’re including archways or pergolas check they are tall enough. A good average height is 8 feet. If an archway is too low, people will not be able to walk underneath and enjoy it. If too tall, it can look overwhelming and out of place.
- Don’t forget the water. Whether you choose a sophisticated fountain or an easy pond, a water feature makes an appealing addition to any landscape. Not only does it add beauty to your yard, it offers a relaxing oasis for you and the local bird populace.
- If you have a small space to design, consider a yard fountain. Unlike a pond, a garden fountain needs only a small space and is very cost effective.
- If your landscaping includes a waterfall or pond, it’s necessary to border these areas with decorative stones, aquatic plants and flowers to enhance the design. This is a great feature and the sound of water flowing down the waterfall adds a sense of serenity, tranquility and calmness to your backyard.
- Remember your outdoor space is an extension of your living area for you and your fish that will live in your outdoor pond.
Plants and trees
- If you’re using flowers in your landscaping plans make use of both perennials and annuals. Perennials are available in beautiful choices, but annuals ensure you have color year round. Depending where you live you might be able to incorporate beautiful shrubs and flowers that bloom throughout the entire year.
- Think about the amount of sunlight that’s available prior to starting your landscaping. Plan the type of plants best suited to the growing conditions.
- When you’re choosing trees be sure to think about how big they grow. A 6 foot cedar tree can quickly expand to 20 feet. Research trees to make sure they grow to a size that’s in line with what you’re wanting to achieve.
- Companion gardening: While you might prefer to use chemical insecticides to fend off pests, keep in mind that they may cause damage to your plants. So what should you do? Consider growing plants that naturally repel bugs, or utilize a natural bug repellent like hot pepper spray, or natural (safe) dishwater liquid on your plants.
- You might decide to seek the advice of a landscaping professional. The expert has done numerous landscaping jobs and has experience to guide you in costs and ideas to improve the appearance of your outdoor space.
- Consider getting wood chips or other coverings to place around the roots of trees and bushes. This keeps the tree roots moist and healthy as well as making the area appealing.
Getting help and cutting costs
- Let people borrow your tools and talk about developing a collection of gardening tools.
- Costing your project: Remember plants, rocks, soil and wood prices can differ substantially by region and carrier. Some costs will fluctuate from season to season.
- Pay your kids to do the yard work. You’re not always going to want to do it and if they’re getting paid, they’ll be more passionate about their job. You can do this in place of an allowance and they can have their own job earning money in exchange for a service.
- Befriend your neighbors. You might be able to share expenses when you lease big bulky equipment or when buying large quantities of landscaping materials. Offer to help your neighbors with their landscaping project and they might help you with yours.
A great landscaping design adds value to your home. It’s wise to invest in concepts and ideas that will give you and your family enjoyment for many years.