Baby, it’s cold outside, and the very last thing on our minds when looking out at our dreary winter landscape is planning for spring. Yet, it really is the perfect time to get inspired and start dreaming of and planning for the warmer months ahead. Consider this: your yard is actually your “outdoor house” – the biggest room in your home and a quintessential way to reflect your personal style for all to see and enjoy. Read on to garner some insight to get your creative juices flowing and start considering what you want to accomplish this spring.
Assess Your Current Landscape Situation
Bundle up, grab a pad of paper and walk your yard. Consider your objectives. What look are trying to achieve? Think about which plants were successes and which ones were not. Did you have plants that outgrew their space and will need to be moved or divided? Are there new plants you want to try? Dreaming of a bigger project, like a new patio or a water feature? Write it all down. Make a rough sketch of the area to reference later.
Think About Your Budget
Landscaping costs can vary widely depending on several factors. You need to have a solid idea of what you are willing to spend before you get started. Are you hiring a professional, or are you more of a DIY-er? Are you just looking at adding a few plants here and there, or do you need a complete overhaul? Knowing your budget in advance will help you to determine what you can afford and move you to the next step, which is to…
Prioritize the Features You Really Want
If you have a large list, and a limited budget, you may need to think hard about what you should do first. Landscaping is one of those projects that can be done in stages, even over several years if necessary. Determine what your absolute must-haves are for this season, and work within your budget to get it done.
Know Your Climate
Before you can even begin, you need to understand not only your geographic location, but also the climate in your own yard. Choose plants appropriate for how much sun and shade different parts of your lawn receive during the day for maximum effect. Check out websites or confer with a professional to help you determine what types of plants will look great and thrive in your particular environment.
Do Your Research
Planning really is half the fun, and inspiration is everywhere. Do you have a neighbor with an enviable plush lawn or drool-worthy flower beds? Ask them how they got there. Get online and search out ideas on DIY websites, watch landscaping shows on TV, create a board with ideas on Pinterest, and read home and garden publications to spark creativity. Get a landscape designer involved – a professional will often have great ideas to make the most of your particular yard.
Get in the Know About Your Local Pests
Watering and sun aren’t the only factors you need to consider when choosing planting materials. Pests such as wildlife and insects can wreak havoc on your landscape. Understanding those pesky enemies will save you time and money. Plan for wire mesh, fencing or even natural plantings that can ward off the critters.
Plant Your Landscape at The Right Time of Year
While you may be excited to get started and plant your trees and shrubs as soon as the Spring arrives, many plants will thrive better for years to come if you plant them at the suggested times of year that horticulturists suggest. Look at gardening websites or ask your landscaper what times are best for the plantings you choose for your outdoor space.
Plan for Growth
When choosing landscaping and sizes of plants, estimate how large the plants will grow when they reach maturity. Most plants will have height and growth requirements on the pots when you purchase them. Pay attention to these before you plant. Consider how much room you will need for walking around plantings, as well as growth and future maintenance of your landscaping. Ensure walkways will be clear of foliage, and that tall plants will not obstruct the view from inside your home.
Plan for Maintenance
Unfortunately, landscaping is not a one-time project. It requires year-round maintenance and care such as pulling weeds, watering and pruning, and sometimes the replacement of dead plants. Plan a landscape that will suit your maintenance schedule. Be realistic and tailor your landscape to your experience, lifestyle and motivation. You want to enjoy the process, not dread the upkeep. Contemplate hiring a professional gardener or lawn service to take care of your yard if necessary.
Landscape to Enhance Your Exterior
Think of your landscape as decorating the exterior of your home. Just like your interior design, it should express your personality. Choose plants that compliment or contrast the colors in your home. Pay attention to the architectural time period of your home. A modern and minimalist home’s landscape should look much different than that of a Victorian home. Again, research is the key to planning your landscape in harmony with your home’s exterior.
The winter months are the perfect time to fire up your imagination and to research and plan your vision for your outdoor space. As always, if you need a little (or a lot) of help, we are here for you. Give us a call and our professional team will help you create the landscape of your dreams and perhaps create a bit of neighbor envy of your own.