How-To: Start Planning Your Landscape Project

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When beginning a landscape project, you might ask yourself, “Where do I begin?”  It’s easy to look through magazines and drive through your neighborhood and think to yourself, “I want that!”  But let’s be honest, we can’t just snap our fingers and magically all those awesome features appear.  So, take this big project in steps and don’t rush the results.  There are hundreds of ways to make your home beautiful and here are a few tips on where to start.

  • First, start up front.  Wow your neighbors and guests when they come to your home by not only adding beauty but property value as well.  Curb appeal is key, but keep it functional as well.  Focus on your hardscape projects first; this includes a porch, sidewalk, driveway, decks, fencing and so on.  These projects usually involve heavy construction which can wreak havoc on your yard.  So, make sure the big stuff is done before you start focusing on the details.  When it comes time to start thinking about the dirt, enhance your soil by adding organic matter in the form of peat moss, compost or leaf mold.  All of these items will help make your plants thrive.  To easily define your turf and bed lines, use a garden hose to lay out the lines or spray paint.  This gives you a clear visual of where the grass stops and plants start.  When choosing plants, pick items that embrace your home, not cover it.  Choose low-growing shrubs under front windows and larger rounded shrubs to accent the corners of your home.  Creating a small bed in your yard for colorful plants would add depth to your creation.
  • Now that you have a great start on the curb appeal, move to the rear of your property.  Think about what you desire for your backyard.  Is it privacy?  Start by adding a fence or large shrubs.  Do you like to entertain guests or barbeque?  Adding a patio or deck for seating would be most ideal.  Which brings up the next point, grilling station and outdoor kitchens are ideal for the dedicated grill masters.  A popular compliment to the backyard is a fire pit or outdoor fireplace.  Both of these options make entertaining a breeze and is a great way to cook up a tasty s’more.  What other additions would you like in your backyard?  Adding a children’s play area or perhaps a small garden for fresh veggies.  As a family unit decide what are the most important features to your upgraded backyard.  Before heading off to the garden center, study your landscape throughout the day.  Take note of the times of day there is the most and least sun in certain areas.  A professional can help you choose the plants that are most appropriate for sunny and shaded areas.  Keep in mind how large a shrub or bush can grow when placing it in smaller areas.  Pick plants that add design elements to your landscape, different shapes and textures will create interest.  Great additions to enhance the beauty would be various pots and planters filled with colorful flowers. Choose plants that are common in nature, too many colors can be very overwhelming to the eye.

Don’t forget to add your personal touches to your new landscaping.  You can do this with water features, garden art, statues, birdhouses or landscape lighting.  To keep your landscaping looking beautiful, take the time to do the maintenance it requires.  Regular watering of plants and mulch will help to retain moisture and keeps weeds down.  Your outdoor area is an extension of your home and personality.  Remember to sit back and enjoy the creation once complete.  If you are looking for help or ideas on your project, don’t hesitant to contact us at The American Landscape Company.  We offer free estimates and can help answer any questions you might have regarding making your home more appealing and increasing its value.