Before investing in any landscape or garden, it’s important that you take a step back and look at the big picture. If you dive headfirst into your landscaping project, you may find yourself in a situation where you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. Your project could experience delays due to unforeseen problems, or the final product might not look exactly how you envisioned it.
But, with the right planning, all of those problems can be avoided. So, before starting your landscape or garden project, make sure you take the following questions into consideration.
1.) Know Your Yard
Before you can plan for the future, you need to know what you’re working with in the present. The following questions will help you understand what basic elements you have in your yard that you’ll be integrating into your design, as well as potential problems (that you can then avoid).
What type of soil do you have in your yard?
Which kind of plants thrive in your yard/soil?
What plants do you have that you want to keep?
What common pests does your yard attract?
How much shade/sunlight does your yard get?
What is your climate like? How much rain/snow do you get each year?
Where do the utility lines run in your yard?
2.) Consider Your Landscaping Goals
Think about the big picture. What are you hoping to accomplish by redesigning your landscape, and what will it take to get there? By thinking long-term, you can develop a realistic design plan that will be sustainable.
What is your proposed budget?
How long do you plan to stay in your home?
Are you planning on remodeling your home (will the remodel interfere with your landscape)?
What’s your ideal timeline for the project?
How flexible is your budget/timeline?
Do you have a completion date already in mind?
3.) Define Your Yard’s Function
By understanding the purpose of your landscape, you can then make sure that it meets those needs–for example, if your yard is going to be used by pets, you can plan for that by making sure you don’t include any plants that may be toxic to them.
Do young children play in your yard?
Do you have pets that are going to use the yard?
Are you planning on hosting family gatherings or small get-togethers?
How often is your yard going to be used?
Is your yard going to be purely decorative, or made to be interacted with?
Do you want your yard to be accessible year-round, or just for a season?
4.) Outline Your Design Goals
Here’s the fun part. When all is said and done, what do you want your landscape to look like? Think about your must-haves, your desired aesthetic, and your features. Pro-tip: collect examples of yards that you really like (try Pinterest) in order to get an idea of the style you want your yard to emulate.
What landscape features are important to you?
Which plants do you especially like and want to include?
What existing features will you be designing around?
What aesthetic/mood do you want to see in your yard? (Consider below.)
What elements do you want to see included (consider below)?
- Water feature
- Decorative stone
- Fire pit
- Outdoor kitchen/grill
What do you want the focal point(s) of your yard to be?
What locations are best for which features? (For example: a fire pit in an area sheltered from wind.)
How open are you to change if something in your design doesn’t work out?
5.) Consider Maintenance Requirements
Last, but certainly not least, is maintenance. The upkeep of your yard should be top of mind when planning out your landscape–after all, it would be a shame to build a beautiful yard only to watch it wither from lack of care!
What maintenance is required for the plants/features you want to include?
What level of maintenance are you willing to commit to?
Can you physically keep up with the maintenance, if maintaining your landscape alone?
Does maintenance fit into your budget if planning on hiring professionals?
Looking For a Professional? Let McDonough Design Your Landscape!
Once you have a general idea of your answers to these questions, now it’s time to bring your project to the professionals. At McDonough Landscaping, our experienced team can help you plan your landscaping project to fit within your budget. We’ll also advise you on the best plant options to choose for a maintenance routine that’s right for you. Book a consultation with McDonough today to get started on planning your landscape!