How Do I Plan A Landscape Design?
If you've never tackled a landscape design before, you can be overwhelmed by all the choices you can make. But if you think of it as a space within your house, it makes it much simpler. The same concepts that govern the interior of your room should govern your designs outside, too. You know how to set up a room — so your landscape doesn't have to be a concern. Here are six concepts in landscape design for beginners.
Determine Landscape Needs and Wants
Create a list of needs and wants to do that. Do your children need a place to play? Would you like to grow vegetables? Is your family going to meet on the patio? Do some very rough drawings of the yard with ideas of where you want to put things; it's a great organizing concept for beginners in landscape design. They don't have to be master plans (they can just be ideas), according to Marianne Lipanovich, author of the Big Book of Garden Designs. Her drawing for the landscape design of her front yard was just a few lines and a few circles. You can mess around with ideas quickly without a lot of time and effort.
Sit Down and Enjoy Your Landscape
Live with it for a while. Coming to quick conclusions about your yard can lead to choices that don't work in the long term. After spending more time outside, you're going to start seeing places where you want to go and sit that you wouldn't have known of at first.
Think About Location
Study the sun and wind patterns. You might want to place a patio on the west side of the house, but it will get lots of afternoon sun, which means dinnertime in August won't be relaxing — just hot. And the wind whistling around the corner will quickly extinguish the pit of fire. These are common mistakes for beginners in the backyard landscape design. Your design should take into account what the sun and the wind are doing at different times of day and year.
Home and garden TV shows are masters of full outdoor make-up in just three days — but they have a crew of 60, which is not a situation appreciated by most inexperienced gardeners. Part of designing a landscape slowly creates a strategy and enjoys the process. Start with a small flower bed from your master plan. Go out and work on it for an hour or two, when you've got the time, and worry less about filling everything up right away. It's a good idea to take your time, so don't take shortcuts or get too lazy with your DIY landscape design.
Be Open To Change
Unless you are deeply committed to something, be frank about what you like — and what might be out of favor with you. Even Lipanovich has noticed elements she once liked that no longer reflect her style — it's okay to take those out and try something different.
Find A Focal Point
Every good garden design has a focal point or set of focal points, and it's an simple concept to put in place in landscape design for beginners. It could be a sculpture or a stunning plant, a tree or a series of shrubs. Let the architecture draw your eyes across the landscape.
How To Make A Plan
Create The Basic Grid
Measure the area and transfer the basic dimensions to graph paper or input them to an online design tool such as Google Sketchup. Visit the National Gardening Association for tips on drawing a landscape map. Next, map the location of fixed features that you can't or do n't think about, such as houses, trees, driveways, yard entrances, hardscapes, views, irrigation systems and the like.
Sketch It Out
Now you're going to have to play around. To hear different ideas, use the tracing of paper overlays or several images or electronic copies that allow you to try out designs, paths and proportions of different shapes.
It's not too early to add elements such as shrubs and patios to be scaled and put in various grid configurations. Don't miss out on practical information, such as location of irrigation and lighting systems, running electricity to the pond pump (or can you go solar?) and access (can you get the wheelbarrow down the stone steps?).
Draw The Final Plan
Once you've decided on the basic pattern of traffic and the "bones" of space, the fun begins as mysterious labels turn into cute green blobs, vibrant flower beds and paver patterns. As in decorating a space, imagine how colors, shapes , textures and patterns work together.
Are You Considering Hardscape for your Front Yard or Backyard?
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