Creating a comprehensive landscaping plan

Published 12:47 pm Friday, May 20, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Landscape and landscaping are words used regularly. The term can refer to a lovely painting, to maintaining a lawn and plantings, or manipulating the land for aesthetic or practical reasons. This improving or manipulating of the terrain, the plants, and structures is the definition 

that we will talk about today.


In a broad sense, anything outside the home itself is part of the landscape. From the perspective of a landscaper, landscaping is planning, laying out, and then constructing (or perhaps altering) the desired changes. Both professional and do-it-yourself projects ought to first be planned or designed prior to plants or materials being purchased in most cases, otherwise extra time and money may be spent and the result be rather ‘unplanned’ looking.


Think and  start planning well ahead of time. Rainy or snowy days are good for this. Plot the things you wish to do in your yard, first on paper. Then, move to the outdoors and use rulers and marking paint, or other tools if you need to improvise to lay out your plans. Thinking and planning are a prerequisite, even if only in your mind; otherwise it’s like beginning a trip on an unknown road with no map or compass or GPS.)


Plan on re-sculpting the land first. If you need to fill a low area, remove a hill, put in a ditch or culvert because of water, consider these things before planting trees, building sheds or patios and the like. You might not have to put in the culvert immediately, but if you don’t consider it as a future project, you might find you’ve spent money on a tree or lots of shrubbery that must be destroyed or moved at a later time.


Perhaps you have a steep slope, and terracing is the change you need to make to get more use of the land you have.Go ahead and plan your structures. This might be the new driveway, a patio or deck, or a detached garage or storage building. Planning first means you won’t plant things or spend money to create something nice only to have to tear it out to build the swimming pool or the detached garage or office.


Trees are also part of the skeleton of your yard, and their placement should be considered before creating the gardens, flower beds or doing all the small things.


Once your plan is established and you are ready to alter and beautify your space, you’re not required to do the big things or the expensive things first. But you may go ahead and do some of the simple things that give you instant satisfaction—being confident you’ve not expended the effort in vain because you have a plan and the things you are doing are going to be permanent pieces in the comprehensive plan. You may need to do things in a patchwork fashion, but if you planned first then each piece fits, just like in putting a puzzle together.


The author is a landscaper. Your suggestions are welcome.