Designing your own landscaping saves you money and gives you complete control over the project. A well-landscaped home improves the curb appeal and improves the value of the home overall. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends using native plants that are able to adapt to rainfall for a reduced need to water the plants. Native plants are also more resistant to disease. Check with a local plant nursery to determine the type of plants that are native to your area.
View the front of the home from a spot across the street so you are able to see the entire space. Identify areas ideal for landscaping, such as along the house, around trees, along the driveway or along the sidewalks and fences. Consider the amount of sunlight, drainage and protection from wind when choosing where to place landscaping.
Measure the ground area where you want to add landscaping areas. Mark out the rough area with stakes to get a sense of the space and how far the landscaping will extend out into the yard.
Sketch the landscaped areas on a piece of grid paper. Include the home, sidewalks, driveway and other structures in the drawing for an accurate sketch. Add in the boundaries for the landscaped areas.
Allocate areas in the yard for different uses, such as a child's play area or an entertaining area with a fire pit and hot tub. Leave enough space around these areas so plants aren't ruined during normal activities.
Draw in where you want each type of plant to go. A staggered approach with taller plants or shrubs in the back and shorter plants in the front gives your landscaped areas visual interest. Group plants with similar water and light requirements together so they grow well.
Incorporate various plants to keep your landscaped areas colorful year round. Evergreen bushes provide greenery all year. Incorporate flowers that bloom at different times of the year, such as tulips in the spring, shrub roses for summer and mums for autumn.
Review the landscaping plan to ensure the selected plants don't interfere with regular activities. Avoid tall shrubs or plants under windows or near doors, as they provide cover for potential burglars. Don't place plants too near the driveway or other areas where they might cause spacing issues.
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