When we moved into our house, we knew we would need to tackle the landscaping right away. And while I love gardening, and have always had a small vegetable patch even while I lived in a small apartment, this was the first time I needed to actually deal with landscaping.
So the big question for us was – where to begin?
In the end we didn’t want to bring in a professional to plan our landscaping; we wanted to design it ourselves, so my husband and I began to brainstorm the design for our yard. It may seem pretty basic, but the best place to start landscaping is on paper.
We knew we wanted an area for seating in both the front and back of the house. Although it may seem unconventional to have a seating area in front of the house, our home shares an inner courtyard with several neighboring homes, which also have outdoor seating in front. There are often people sitting around outside in the evening having a cup of coffee or a drink. We felt this would be a nice way to stay social with our new neighbors and to be a part of the community
We also knew we wanted a vegetable patch, where we could grow root vegetables for the colder months, and lettuce, peppers, and other veggies for the warmer months. My husband also enjoys caring for rose bushes, so we decided to choose a section of the yard to focus on his rose bushes.
We took a copy of the blueprint for our house and sketched our ideas for our landscaping project.
We evaluated materials for our two seating areas. In the front, we needed something that would blend in well with our hedges, since we weren’t going to be replanting those, and it also needed to be consistent with the atmosphere created by our neighbors. In the back we wanted something that blended in with the garden atmosphere we wanted to create.
A quick trip to the store, and we decided on wooden beams for the front yard and stone pavers for the back yard.
Once we picked these elements, we began to plan the larger plants for the area. We needed plants that would flower or remain green for as long as possible. As we live in a northern climate, it’s nice to keep a little bit of color for as many months as you can. We selected a few potted plants for both patios as well, to add a little life color to the somewhat drab stone paving.
If you are aiming to do your own landscaping work, I think having a solid plan is an important place to start. Sit down and sketch out all of your ideas before you get going. That way your yard has a cohesive feel. Also, you can plan your purchases and shopping accordingly. Remember you can always add or subtract later, if you feel your design isn’t working 100%.