Planning a landscape is thrilling (well, of course we think so!) but the DIY approach can also be a bit daunting. To help you get started, we’ve provided a few tips. The beauty is that you can take your planning as far as you’d like – and we’ll be happy to jump in any time in the process to help!
Ponder the Big Picture
- The first step is to determine your needs. Ask yourself questions such as the following: What is the primary function of your landscape and who is using it? Do you live on LBI year round?
- Will you be entertaining? Do your kids or grandkids use the yard as a play area? Do you have pets who love the great outdoors? Is your yard an extension of your home? Do you crave a quiet retreat to unwind alone?
- After you’ve covered the basics, move on to the fun: your wish list. Put the budget aside and think about what you would like in the short or long-term on any scope: an outdoor shower, a fountain, a pond, a hot tub, a pool. Of course, these don’t have to be water-related they can be anything: a fire pit, an outdoor kitchen, a butterfly garden, an outdoor living room, a vegetable garden… the skies the limit, literally!
Add Reality into the Equation
- Now, after some consideration, marry the list of needs with the list of desires adding in a dash of reality. Of course, this means thinking about timing and budget but also consider other factors.
- Take into account wind and temperatures especially in terms of micro climates. You don’t want to place a patio so that it’s so hot in August it becomes unusable. You don’t want to put an outdoor living area with a fire pit where the wind is constantly blowing. Of course, these micro climates are also of utmost importance in plantings.
- Consider topography and drainage. This is important not only for hardscaping projects but again when choosing plants and trees.
- Plan for equipment access. This is a little tidbit that is often forgotten. Lawn mowers and other equipment may need to be used for maintenance or future projects.
Do a Little Drawing
- Using graph paper, draw the dimensions of your yard to scale including any permanent structures as well as trees or plants that will remain.
- You can include micro climates and details on the graph paper as well to make planning easier.
- Use tracing paper to overlay on the graph paper and draw different design ideas.
Once you’ve settled on the basic design, we can help you factor in the property survey and help transform your vision into a reality. If you get stuck before you draw the basic design, no worries! We’re happy to provide a consultation and get your project moving at any stage of your plan.