One of the biggest problems most families face when deciding how to design their existing landscape is “where do I start?” If you are not a creative person or cannot afford a professional consultant to design your landscape plans, what do you do? Most people are looking for some simple and easy landscaping ideas that they can follow and do the work themselves. I have had several friends and neighbors ask me for my advice and guidance so they can get started on their landscaping plans.
One of the first thoughts is to spend some time evaluating your current property with particular emphasis on how you want your finished landscaping project to look. Don’t try to copy your neighbor’s design! For example, they have no children and you do. They don’t need a playground and you do. Therefore, it is important to know what you are starting with, such as the existing layout and the primary features of your current garden. Is your lawn taking up most of the property? What type of trees and where are they on the property? Is the property level and easy to work on or are you faced with ravines and rocky soil? Once you’ve determined the pros and cons of what you’re starting with, you can sketch out a rough design and come up with a workable budget.
Now that you have an understanding of your terrain and landscape, you need to consider whether to include a vegetable garden in the overall landscape plan. A vegetable garden is not as aesthetically pleasing as a flower garden, but sometimes it is easier to plant. If you are only planting a flower garden, you will want to keep the plants and flowers with a certain color scheme such as a combination of vivid yellows and reds. While choosing plant colors is a personal decision, mixing certain colors will give you a more beautiful and coordinated look.
Don’t overlook the importance of the need for direct sunlight for your plants. Some flowers require direct sunlight, while other plants need a certain amount of shade. Determine the amount of shade a specific area of the yard receives, and if it is in direct sunlight, how to create shade for flowers and vegetables that grow best in indirect sunlight. You can do that by planting them in the shade of certain larger plants, bushes or trees. One of the easiest ways to create artificial shade is to plant vines on a trellis or fence.