Landscape Design: A Planning Checklist

To ensure your planned landscape design incorporates all the necessary functional and aesthetic elements, it’s important to compile a list of both existing and desired components prior to beginning the project, and “check off all the boxes,” so to speak. 

Assess Your Property & the Conceptual Vision You Have for It.

Determining what type of environment you’d like to cultivate can be dependent upon a number of factors, all of which should be considered during the initial stages. Aspects to evaluate include whether the locale in question is a permanent residence, or more of an interim vacation spot; additionally, the age and style of said home may dictate the design direction you’d like to take. 

Also relevant to note is the direction your landscape faces, the distribution of sunlight and shade, general climate of the geographical area, topography of the land, and any existing utilities or drainage systems. These may help inform your decisions regarding hardscape and softscape materials and themes, as well as any utility and landscape structures you may want to remove, renovate, or incorporate into the new layout. 

Perhaps the most crucial factors in this initial planning stage revolve around the scope of installation and ongoing maintenance that will be involved in bringing your concept to life, as well as the cost associated with making your dream a reality. 

Draw Out the Details—or Enlist a Professional Landscape Designer to Do It for You!

Landscape design has been referred to as a floor plan for the great outdoors, and as such, requires the same degree of care and precision that would go into creating a blueprint for the interior of a home or business.

By crafting a visual representation of the site using scaled dimensions, this will make the process far easier to execute in logical, sequential stages. Utilizing the skills of a professional designer at this stage is highly recommended, as drawing out an accurate plan—allowing for scaled structures, foliage and transition areas—will prove extremely useful as the project begins to take shape. 

Natural elements such as flowers, trees, shrubbery, and grass will obviously factor in, as should those of the man-made variety, like lawn furniture, fountains, pools, gazebos, and sheds. Depending upon your prospective layout, it may be necessary to designate spaces for specific activities, such as dining, recreation, or lounging. Borders can be created by utilizing ground cover in the form of grass or asphalt, while also making allowances for irrigation and lighting. 

Bring the Elements Together & Turn Your Dream Into a Reality.

The key to a beautiful landscape design is ensuring that all elements, both natural and man-made, are working together to create the desired environment. Consider the function of the plants you select, color palette, as well as what the view might look like from within your home through the windows. 

Try to complement this aesthetic with the materials and surface textures you choose for the furniture, storage structures, and other installations to be included on the property. Transition areas and focal points can be highlighted through a variety of means, from layering plantings to employing a more minimalist design; either way, be sure to account for the projected growth of any foliage. 

And of course, when planning any landscape design, it’s also prudent to be aware of local zoning guidelines and regulations which may come into play. While your front yard is a testament to curb appeal, and your backyard a private sanctuary all your own, both may require adherence to certain rules—far better to know up front. 

A planning checklist

For assistance planning your next landscape design project, contact Dodds & Eder today.