Landscaping for Your Home: How to Start Thinking About What’s Needed

When moving into a new house or sprucing up an old one, landscaping requires a great deal of thought and planning to turn it into something special. Plants and construction can be costly, and the design options may seem endless. Read on to learn about a few key things to think about before beginning your big project.

Do Some Research

When begining landscaping for your home, it is important to consider the lot’s topography, the soil type, and the climate. The yard will probably include microclimates, depending on how much sun and shade it receives. These microclimates are usually broken into four categories: full sun, partial shade, full shade, deep shade. Take note of the microclimate when choosing plants for the landscaping. Studying the site’s topography will help to understand how water moves through the yard. Optimally, the water should move away from the home and off of the property for proper drainage.

Use of the Yard

Think about who will be using the yard. Will children be running around and playing games? Will there be lots of parties? Are there pets that need to be taken into consideration? For example, if there will be pets in a yard, it might be important not to use poisonous plants in the landscape design. If entertaining is on the agenda, having walkways to connect areas and move people might be a good idea. 

Consider how much maintenance is needed in the outdoor space. If someone loves gardening and working outside, creating a space that requires a lot of maintenance is fine, but given the lifestyle and busyness of many people now, usually less maintenance is desired. Choose plants that will meet these expectations.


When designing a landscape, think about what kind of style is preferred to unite the space. This can be as easy as choosing complementary plants or even creating a relaxation garden. Because a yard is an extension of the home, consider the style of the home when creating the landscape plan. Try to complement the lines and architecture of the home. A theme can help decide how to choose and place plants, decorations, and structures. 

Use of Plants

Decide early on how to use plants in your landscaping. Plants can provide fresh fruits and vegetables, lovely scenery, and beautiful scents. Shrubs can be used to separate areas or even block them partially from view. Correct placement of trees and shrubs can even alter the climate in the yard. For example, if a large leafy tree is planted in the middle of the yard, it can provide a great amount of shade for both plants and people.

Think about various visual planes when planning where plants will go. Starting with the overhead plane, this might include any arches or trees. Then work down to the ground level where groundcover, flowers, and small beds will dominate the view. Repeating visual patterns throughout the outdoor space will help to unite the landscaping project.

Consider the Future

When planting plants, always keep in mind how quickly they will grow and what their maximum size can be. Be sure to provide enough room for plants to mature to their full size. 

A backyard is an extension of a home. Plan to create a relaxing, beautiful outdoor space that is as welcoming as the inside of your home. 

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