Gardeners who find themselves on small city lots dream of more garden space but having a lot of space can be daunting in its own way. it is hard to know where to begin and how to keep from sprawling out too much and creating a landscape that is impossible to maintain. By looking at the benefits and the obstacles of each piece of property, you can better devise a realistic landscape plan.
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Consider the Landscape as a Whole
In gardening circles, they talk about garden rooms in which the front, back and side yards are designed in different styles. This, however, does not apply to acreage. Sections of the property may be used differently, but as you look out over the landscape it should be visually pleasing as a whole. The best way to begin landscaping acreage is to start at the house and work your way outward rather than starting a lot of little projects everywhere. Finish each one before moving on to the next so you will feel a sense of accomplishment instead of becoming overwhelmed. If you have wooded areas, clean up the weeds and alien plants and encourage the native plants to grow. In time, this will be one of the lowest maintenance areas. If you have a flat treeless area, the first step would be to add the trees so they can be growing while you are working elsewhere. Too much bare land results in a lot of messy brush to clear.
Consider Water Needs
Rural properties have wells, so the availability of water will have an impact on landscaping. Choosing plants that have very low water needs puts less stress on your pump and water system. All new plants need regular water the first year, even if they are considered draught tolerant. Plant the thirsty ones near the house and the most draught tolerant ones furthest away. Only put in as many new plants as you can keep up with, even if you have a great well, it still takes time to water. Have a good assortment of sprinklers and install as many water outlets as you can.
Be Realistic about Maintenance
Unless you employ gardeners, most tasks will be performed by one or two people, so keep it simple. Use the topography of the land to your creative advantage: An herb garden or a terraced vegetable garden will do well on a slope instead of grass that would be difficult to mow. How you lay out your landscape will also depend on the type of equipment you own---make sure there is ample room to maneuver equipment from one area to another.
Special Considerations for Acreage
Septic tanks, common on rural acreage, need to be serviced periodically. Be careful what you plant over your septic tank or drain field. Tree roots can become a problem, so plant grass or just spread gravel over this area. Do not allow machinery or vehicles to drive over the septic tank. It can be difficult to get concrete into some areas, unless you enjoy mixing and hauling concrete with a wheelbarrow make sure that the cement truck can get to the necessary areas.
You Will Have Visitors
The further out you live, the more wildlife you may see visiting your garden. Expect this and plan for it. Any edible plants will be a draw: Plant extra berries and nuts with the idea that some will be taken. Burrowing and digging animals will eat bulbs, so avoid planting them altogether or bury them in pots with chicken wire over the top and cover it with mulch. Deer will visit and browse. Plant a row of their favorites along the edge of the garden to discourage deer from coming in closer. Ignore lists of deer resistant plants---they are too general. Deer in each region target different plants. Observe what they are eating in your area. As a rule, deer love native plants, tender new foliage and roses. Deer do not like strong smelling plants so herbs are never bothered and may actually act as a deterrent.