Garden and Landscaping Design Tips

When you think designing our garden or landscape, the most important consideration is how you and your family use your outdoor area. Plants, trees, a lawn area – these are all part of the total landscape. But beyond that, there are other issues. Outdoor lighting will help you enjoy your garden in the evenings. Irrigation lines are the best way to get water to those thirsty plants. If you like privacy, fencing is essential. If you want shade, retractable awnings are a must. If you love entertaining, consider an outdoor kitchen barbeque area. If you are lucky enough to afford the cost of a pool and spa, make sure you incorporate these features into your design. And of course, you also must consider outdoor furniture placement.

Plants, Trees and Lawns

When you think of a garden landscape, you first picture lots of green, with wonderful splashes of color. But as water costs rise, that big lawn may be something you want to rethink. Many people are replacing lawns with more water-efficient areas, such as succulent gardens. This also applies to plants, whether they are in containers or planted in the ground. Besides their water needs, the types of plants you choose also depends on how much sun or shade you have naturally in your garden. When you design your layout, think about how the colors will go with each other, and try to incorporate different textures too. Consider your soil too. If you have very dense clay soil, you may want to avoid delicate plants or at least use a tiller to amend the soil before planting.

Irrigation

You certainly don’t want to spend all your time in the garden with a watering can, so irrigation is a must. Figure out where the lines can run from your original water source when you plan your landscape. When you layout your garden design, think in terms of irrigation zones, too, so you can water certain areas that need more water more frequently.

Outdoor Lighting

Once the sun goes down, you really need outdoor lighting. For most of us, lighting should blend in nicely with the overall landscape. There are different options. LED lighting is cost effective in the long run. Solar lighting is becoming more popular as energy costs go up. Lighting can also be used to illuminate specific parts of your garden, such as unusual trees, or an interesting collection of plants.

Fencing

They say good fences make for good neighbors. This is certainly true. Fencing is especially important if you have a pool or water area. Even if you don’t have children, your neighbors may, so you want to keep everyone safe. Wood fencing is often the least expensive option for privacy and security. Composite fencing can be less prone to termite and weather damage. Fences can also be decorative, for example wrought iron fencing can truly enhance a garden landscape.

Retractable Awnings

We’re all aware of the dangers of too much sun, so if you love the outdoors, you will want retractable awnings or some type of shaded area. The retractable awnings are great because they can roll back in when you don’t want shade, such as in the early morning or the evening. Electric awnings are easy to operate too. Just push a button for instant shade.

Outdoor Kitchen Barbeque

For the chef in the family, why stop at a barbeque, when you can have a whole outdoor kitchen center. These centers are built in, providing not only a BBQ grill, but counter space, running water and other features to make cooking a breeze.

Pool and Spa

If you can afford the cost of a pool and spa – or if you already have one – they can not only be something to entertain the family, they can also be a beautiful part of the landscape. One thing to consider in designing a pool is that unconventional shapes can make it more difficult to use a pool cover. When you figure the cost of a pool, don’t forget maintenance. You will need to keep the pool clean, you will have to maintain chemical levels correctly, and you will also need to redo the surface of the pool over time. A spa can be less work, although cleanliness is still essential for good health.

Outdoor Furniture

Finally, you need furniture to enjoy the outdoors. Before buying any outdoor furniture, consider how you and your family use the space. If you entertain a lot, you’ll need multiple seating areas, perhaps a larger table and chair set. You’ll want to place table and chairs close to the cooking area. You may also want to look into lounge chairs, gliders, outdoor swings or other types of seating.

There are many things to think about when designing a garden landscape. But when it all comes together, the result is a garden you and your family will enjoy for a long time.

For more information on garden and landscaping tips see your local home improvement or garden store.