5 Landscaping Design Tips for Beginners

If you don’t have a background in landscape design (or design of any type, for that matter), you might find yourself at a complete loss when it comes to creating an exterior space that is as inviting as the interior of your home. But with just a few tips and a little help from the pros you can soon create the layout and the yard you want. Here are some guidelines to get you started.

  1. Plan a layout. Before you start buying birds of paradise and fully-grown palms for your yard, it’s important to put together a plan of action that ensure you won’t be ripping those plants out to replace them because they don’t end up working with your ultimate landscape design. Planning will save you time and money and it involves creating a layout that shows how you want to zone your yard (for a lawn, a patio, planting areas, a water feature, and so on). With the aid of open source (read: free) software like 3D Landscape for Everyone, Imagine Pro, and dozens of others you should have no problem creating your virtual landscape before you dig a single hole.
  2. Keep vertical layers in mind. When you’re creating a layout on paper it’s easy to forget that you need more than just ground cover. You’re trying to fill a 3-dimensional space so you’ll no doubt want flora and fauna of varying heights to provider you landscape with visual interest, privacy screening, shade, and so on.
  3. Use native and drought-resistant plants. When it comes time to select the plants that are going to populate your yard, you no doubt have a few ideas about color, foliage, and more. But unless you’re an expert, you might want to ask a professional at your local nursery for some help selecting plants so that you can get the variety you prefer. This is also a good time to ask about the benefits of using native plant species, as well as flora and fauna that fall under the drought-resistant category. This strategy can help you to avoid the weed-like spread of non-native species that can choke out other plant life and help you to conserve water in the process.
  4. Prep the yard. Making sure your land is properly graded before you start is a must because it can affect the value of your home down the road. If the land slants towards your home, it’s going to funnel water right to your foundations, potentially resulting in serious damage. So unless you want to have to dig up all of your landscaping later on in order to address the issue, you might as well look into it now. While you’re at it, take the time to install anything that will go under your landscaping, such as an underground sprinkler system or French drains, just for example. And you might want to check the soil to make sure it is conducive to supporting the landscaping you plan to install.
  5. Add finishing touches. While landscaping can transform your yard into a verdant paradise, you’ll no doubt want to do a bit more to turn it into the comfortable and personal outdoor living space you desire. This could mean adding a patio or deck, installing a grill, and creating seating areas with outdoor furniture. Or maybe you simply want to add to¬†your landscaping solutions with planter boxes or a water feature that will enhance your design. Either way, these touches will help to complete your space and deliver the beautiful and functional yard space you crave.

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