landscaping 101
It takes real thought and care to plan and organize a beautiful landscape. When planning your landscape it may be difficult to know where to begin or what elements to incorporate. This simple landscape planning guide will help you assess your particular situation so you can make the best decisions about what to include in your landscape and how to organize it for an aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable effect.

Beauty and Function
The best landscapes are a combination of aesthetics and functionality. Both concepts are extremely important so you’ll want to make sure you create a balance between the two in your own design. The most breathtakingly beautiful yard means nothing if you have no place to sit and enjoy it, and likewise a landscape with plenty of comfortable seating but nothing interesting to look at won’t draw you out very often either. Keep this need for balance in mind as you start to formulate your design.

Needs and Wants
When you’re deciding what sort of areas to divide your yard into it helps to think about the needs of the space and what you want to be able to do within that space. Every landscape has problems and weaknesses but if you analyze them, you can turn them into opportunities and strengths with your new design. For example, if there is an area of your lawn that is consistently worn down and trodden on, you can consider putting in some sort of hardscape walkway there.

What are the primary ways in which you and your family would like to use this outdoor space? Swimming? Entertaining guests? Roasting marshmallows? Active play? Gardening? Answering this question will help you decide what elements to include in your design: a pool, plenty of outdoor seating, firepit, a large open space, a garden. And once you’ve decided what elements to include, you can start to think about which areas to designate to which purpose, helping make sure that each area of your yard has a purpose and will be used.

Incorporating Sunlight
It’s important to pay attention to the way the sun affects your outdoor space. Sunlight can be important for certain activities, while being a hinderance to others. Make sure that you have sun hitting the right places in your yard and the proper amount of shade in others. Resist the urge, especially in warmer climates, to over-shade your yard. Too much shade can attract more insects and leave your outdoor space feeling less open and inviting.

Insect Control
If you’re outdoor space suffers from an obnoxious amount of bugs you should consider building your design to be less bug-friendly. You can protect your deck space by screening it in or by installing exterior ceiling fans. You can prevent your yard from becoming too much of a breeding ground by getting rid of any stagnant water in your design. Keep the water in your yard moving with submersible pumps or make sure to empty out old water and refill areas such as bird baths every few days.

Views and Transitions
Don’t make the mistake of thinking about your exterior landscape plan in isolation from the interior of your home. It isn’t just about creating a pleasing experience outside, but also creating pleasing views that you can see and enjoy from the windows of your home. A beautiful view can actually make your interior space feel larger and more open.

You’ll also want to consider the pathways from your home out to the yard and vice versa, making sure that there are clear and logical paths that connect both the indoor and outdoor spaces in a nice way.

These are just a few important things to keep in mind as you plan your landscaping design. We hope this gets you excited about designing your outdoor space!

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