Get your landscape plan down on paper
If incessant rains or freezing temps are keeping you indoors this winter, don’t just daydream about creating your landscaping. Get a pencil and paper and plan it out!
Having a plan is essential to installing it right the first time. From basic things like cardinal direction and sunlight intensity to textural contrast and creating focal points, landscape planning is a combination of constraints and desires.
Consider the placement of walkways and sitting areas first, which will dictate planting beds and other features. Think about what views you want to frame or hide or if a path should lead someplace such as a pond.
Once you know the viewing angles, sketch out the sitting areas, pathways and planting beds. Measure the area to be landscaped and scale it down by substituting inches for feet (ex. 1” = 10’).
A formal design with plants such as boxwoods will be dominated by straight lines, but paths and beds should still have some curves to punctuate the geometry and allow for groupings of perennials.
A naturalistic design should be all curves, and paths can be made with natural flagstone to bring another earth element to the scene. Include native trees, shrubs and perennials to reinforce our natural ecosystem and invite birds and butterflies to your yard.
Consider a water feature such as a fountain, placed close to the main sitting area so you can enjoy the soothing sound.
After the big picture is put on paper, turn your attention to plant design. Use layering by placing trees and large shrubs in the background, with smaller shrubs and perennials in front, perhaps leaving room for a splash of annual flower color.
When you visit the local retail nursery in spring, when lots of plants become available, you’ll be ready to bring them home to your landscape.