Whether your yard is small or large, planning a makeover can be a daunting prospect. With so many variables in any yard and so many options available today, you may not know where to start. But you can meet this challenge and have fun along the way.
To help you get started, here are four basics of creating your own landscape design plan.
1. Know Your Terrain
The first step to creating the right yard for your space is to understand the needs of your space. This may take some observation and notation, so don't rush this step. Observe how the water flows in the yard, where it pools, and where it evaporates quickly. Figure out the sunlight patterns and what areas of the yard get more or less sun. What areas are most affected by other weather patterns like wind and snow?
In addition to the climate, note the elevation changes in the yard. Large slopes and grades may need to be worked with, but small ones could also be leveled out. Create a sketch of the yard showing where outdoor electrical and water connections are as well as any permanent features, such as large trees or outbuildings, will stay.
2. Track Your Usage
Once you have a better idea of what your yard actually offers and requires, spend some time figuring out what you really want from it. Many homeowners get their landscape ideas from television or from other homes. But each family uses their yard in unique ways, and so you should build your plans on your unique lifestyle rather than someone else's.
For example, do you need a kids' play area? Do you want to do a lot of outdoor entertainment? And if so, does it tend to be large parties or just another couple? What are your plans for the future, such as installing a hot tub or expanding the outdoor room? Do you garden? And what type of plants do you want to garden?
3. Find an Inspiration
One inspiring focal point will jump start your entire plan. Your focal point could be simple, such as a walkway design or a beautiful tree, or it could be large and ornate, like a backyard gazebo. But whatever piece makes you happy, let it inform the rest of your plan.
Using your focal point, create a complementary decor style for around it. Decide how other features you like will complement your focal point or take inspiration from it. How can you draw attention to those things you love most? Conversely, how can you use them to draw attention away from less appealing spots?
Don't be afraid to run with your ideas. Remember that you can always change your mind as your plan takes shape.
4. Don't Go Overboard
Television shows and magazines make massive transformations of homeowners' yards look easy, but without a huge crew of assistants, you can easily become bogged down trying to do the same. Instead, start with a manageable project in a limited portion of the yard.
As a beginner, you may want to break down your overall landscape plan into projects that can be completed in a weekend or a week. Identify which of those projects you can complete on your own and which will require the help of professional landscapers. In addition, give each project a budget so that you don't run out of money with a half-finished yard.
For assistance getting started or meeting specific challenges in your own yard, call CDS Landscaping & Tree Services LLC today. For 20 years, we have been helping South Carolina families create the perfect outdoor environments, and we can help you as well.