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Advice to Homeowners BEFORE Landscaping

How many times have you gotten excited about a project and rushed into it only to find you forgot something? Landscaping takes considerable time, effort, and money … so you want to do it right the first time. There are a few, crucial steps you need to take before starting your landscaping.

You must first take the time to consider what purpose your front and/or back yard will have in your family’s lives. Do you want to sit on your patio and enjoy the birds and butterflies flitting around your flowers? Do you want to have a place where your children or grandchildren can play? Do you want a serene hideaway where you can read and enjoy the sounds from a water feature? Do you want all these things? Until you know how you will be using your yard, you won’t be able to decide how to landscape it to best suit these purposes.

Next (or throughout that thought process), clip pictures from magazines or the newspaper of outdoor spaces you find attractive, make you smile, or give you a good feeling. While not all these designs may be practical for your own yard, most of them can give you a target for what you’d like to achieve with your landscaping.

Measure your yard and draw it on graph paper. Play with ideas of how much space you would like for the kids to play or your hideaway spot. The graph paper will help you better understand the dimensions of your yard and how much is possible within that space. Allow plenty of space for the bushes or flowerbeds you want to use to separate various aspects of your yard.

Decide if you will be doing your landscaping yourself or hiring out some or all of it. If you will be using a landscaper, now is the time to present your ideas and let them design a realistic plan based on what you have drawn or collected. 

If you plan to landscape yourself, collect catalogs from nurseries and visit a few of your local nurseries. You will want to start learning which plants, grasses, bushes, and trees do well in your area. Nurseries are great for seeing the actual plants, but they will usually only carry what is commonly sold in your area. If you would like a few unusual plants or variations, reviewing your catalogs will yield some delightful surprises.

The last step? Add your comments to this post and let me know if you have followed similar steps and whether or not it helped. Or let me know if you wish you had given your landscaping just a little more thought!


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