Landscaping a yard seems like a huge task, but like most projects, dividing into manageable segments works. Some yards already have trees and buildings in place, and these are not obstructions, but are building blocks or starting points for the landscaping plan. Develop a plan with flowers, shrubs, walkways and water sources around construction and trees.
Start a Landscaping Plan on Paper
Freezer paper is a good size to work with for a landscaping plan, and using the dull-finish side makes writing and drawing easier. The shape of the paper should approximate the lot shape, with an outline of the boundaries of the property. Draw the approximate shape and scale size of the house and outbuildings, as these are permanent structures that develop the starting points for a landscaping plan.
Since building construction is usually rectangular and square, landscaping looks best with curves and flowing lines.
Consider the Property Use
Locate flower beds that need water near hoses or water access, and design a landscape with walkways where they are needed for access from front yard to back, or from side to side. Design the landscaping plan with consideration for guests and family as well as for privacy and beauty.
Plan for Flower Beds
Designate significant areas to flower beds, since these areas include shrubs and plants that may get large. Flower beds should be at least five feet deep, and larger is preferable. Use the landscape paper plan to designate an approximate area, and mark the physical area with a garden hose to separate a flower bed from grass. Flour or spray paint is a good marker for flower beds before work with the shovel and hoe begins.
Work One Area at a Time
Select one flower bed or area to work, and define the work area as well as the plant selections. Larger plants or shrubs go in the back, and the design should be balanced but not symmetrical. Take all grass out of the flower bed area, and use it in a low spot. Place a divider between the grass and flower bed and amend the soil with potting soil or compost to make it higher than the surrounding grass. Plant the flower bed sparsely before starting another area of the landscaping plan.
Plan for Continuity and Curb Appeal
Use some of the same flowers and shrubs in several of the flower beds to develop continuity throughout the yard. A good landscaper will plant vegetation in groups, not rows, with groups of three, five, and seven flowering plants together.
The homeowner can be a landscaper with no license requirement, and with some thought, can create a more usable landscaping plan than a professional. A homeowner knows the use of the property and can develop a design that has beauty and appeal with less cost. Landscaping on a budget can become a reality for the homeowner.