Do you want to change your yard's landscape? Before you put a shovel in the dirt, take time to complete a few important planning steps. These will give your project focus, avoid mistakes, and ensure more success. So, what should you do to plan for a great yard? Here are three steps to take.
1. List Your Assets
First, think about what works on your property. This could be large—such as a great view from certain sections—or small, like a thriving tree that you enjoy. You may find that your yard has several assets that you can incorporate to make the job easier or which may provide inspiration for redesigning.
In addition, look at your assets beyond the physical structure. What tools do you have to get the job done? Can you afford to hire outside help? If so, can you hire a lot of assistance or just a little? How much time can you put into the project? Or what art pieces might you already own that could be great for the yard?
2. List Your Liabilities
Next, look realistically about what will make your job harder. What areas in your yard have drainage issues? Are there established bushes and trees that look bad? Does the back of the house seem boring or need maintenance? Can you not afford to replace an aging fence? Does the shed need to stay where it is?
This exercise isn't about being negative about your yard but rather looking at it honestly and understanding where your challenges lie. Drainage problems, for instance, usually must be fixed early to facilitate the rest of the landscaping. And working with the old shed may mean an adjustment in landscape design or a side project to fix it up.
3. Note the Topography
Finally, walk around the yard with a keen eye to its physical topography and organic makeup. This exercise should be a neutral task, not judging elements as positive or negative but simply as existing. For example, what parts of the yard are smooth and where are the uneven sections? What gets more sun or less sun? For how long and at which times of the day? Where is access to electricity, water, and existing irrigation systems? Where do kids or pets tend to play? And where might the ground soil be better or worse? All these elements can be positive, negative, or neutral but just need to be recognized.
Where to Start
Ready to get started assessing your yard in these three ways? Begin with a consultation at a landscaping service in your area. They will help you analyze the yard's assets, liabilities, and topography as well as making a plan to build on its strengths and minimize its weaknesses.