For the best landscaping-plan-blueprint, start with whatever element is most important to you (trees, flowers, water elements, etc.), and plan around those.
If you have no landscaping or very little, walk your property and decide (visualize) where you want all of your landscaping elements:
* trees and what kind
* beds (shade, sun, or a combination of the two)
* decorative (bird baths, statuary,etc.)
Keep decorative elements and container plants to a minimum in your landscaping-plan-blueprint if your yard is small as it can easily end up looking ill-planned and cluttered.
* walkways, dog runs, etc.
* water areas (pools, ponds, waterfalls)
* recreational areas
* Any additional uses you have planned for your outdoor
"SEGMENT" OR BLOCK-BY-BLOCK METHOD
Another approach I use for the best landscaping-plan-blueprint is to visualize my yard in "segments". For example, one segment would be the areas on either side of your front door. Another would be around a pool, another maybe an area between your patio and fence that's just right for a small bed -- sort of a block-by-block concept.
BASIC ELEMENTS OF GOOD DESIGN
As you form your master landscaping-plan-blueprint, keep in mind the following:
No tiny beds for a huge yard, a giant commercial sized pot or lamp post for a really small yard, or a two-story house with a tiny tree in front! (Plantings and decorative items should be appropriate for your yard and size of your beds).
You wouldn't want a large tree or pool on one side of your yard and nothing to balance it out on the other, or a few tall flowers in a bed of very short ones.
Keep in mind the colors of your house when deciding on colors for flowers, flowering trees and shrubs for your landscaping-plan-blueprint. You probably wouldn't want to have orange flowers with a pink-toned house. Colors can create an emotional impact. Soothing color combinations can be restful; bright colors can be stunning and exciting.
Your design should flow smoothly. I like to use curved beds a lot because they naturally draw the eye to the next area of your landscape.
Just as in a painting, a good focal point really draws attention to your garden.
I have a larged circular bed with curved borders in my front yard (see my home page) with a couple of trees, shrubs, and a lot of flowers. I get more compliments on that than anything else in my landscape.
Other focal points for your landscaping plan blueprint in your back yard might be a pool, a waterfall or a pond.
Everything I do in my step-by-step idea landscaping plan, I think ahead of the type of care it will need and how I can make it as care-free as possible. Keep in mind how much weed-eating/edging will be required as you plan and try to lessen that where you can.
Another element that is always evident in great landscapes is "layering". It makes your landscape look incredibly lush and very appealing.
I like beds that have a mid-sized hedge in the back, a
smaller hedge or taller, bushy flowers such as begonias in front of that for the second "level", regular height flowers (about 6") in front of that, and last, a border flower (about 2").
The only exception would be a cottage-type garden with more free-style type flowers such as Day Lillies or Irises, but again, you still would want to at least "group" flowers by their general height so it doesn't appear haphazzard or messy.
And a few other landscaping-plan-blueprint ideas that I use ....
I live on a corner, so I have a long fence-line on the side street with about 12" of grass. I put in thin metal edging at the sidewalk and put lava rock in place of the grass so there's no mowing or edging needed there.
I also have 3 Bradford Pears on the parkway that kill the grass beneath them. A good resolution for this area was to use Hostas under the trees which are beautiful, love the shade and require no edging. I did put a metal edging around these as well to keep the dirt off the sidewalk and the grass from my lawn from creeping into the edges of the Hosta area.
In addition, my yard is very large, so on the corner side between the house and the street, I built a curved brick walk and inside, planted some Slash Pine Trees, a beautiful Oklahoma Redbud, and English Ivy. It left a "natural bed" between the brick walk and the fence near my gate to the back yard which I fill with Impatiens every year.
I do have to edge the ivy on the inside of the walk; however, the shade of the trees keeps the grass around the edges sparse so there's very little edging required outside the walk, and it created a very large area that doesn't need mowing!
These are the main methods I use that have worked well for me for years, and by thinking and planning ahead, I've saved hundreds of dollars and have made very few "mistakes" that could have cost me a lot of time and money later. Hope I've helped you to be able to do that as well. If so, I've accomplished my primary purpose for this website!