Land­scape de­sign for be­gin­ners

Lesotho Times - - Property - Kelly Rober­son

If you’ve never tack­led a land­scape de­sign be­fore, you might be over­whelmed by all the choices you can make. But the same prin­ci­ples that guide your room setup inside should guide your de­signs out­side, too. Here are some great ideas for land­scape de­sign for be­gin­ners. Idea 1

Make a list of needs and wants. Do your kids need a play space? Do you want to grow vegetables? Would your fam­ily gather on a pa­tio?

Do some very rough sketches of the yard with thoughts of where you want to place things; it’s a great or­gan­is­ing prin­ci­ple for land­scape de­sign for be­gin­ners.

“Th­ese aren’t master plans, just ideas,” says Mar­i­anne Li­panovich, au­thor of the Big Book of Gar­den De­signs (Ox­moor House, 2008). “The one I did for our front-yard over­haul was lit­er­ally a few lines and a cou­ple of cir­cles, but my hus­band un­der­stood the plan, and we went ahead with for­mal plan­ning out on the site. You can eas­ily play around with ideas with­out a lot of time and com­mit­ment.” Idea 2

Study the sun and wind pat­terns. You might want to place a pa­tio on the west side of the house, but it will get lots of af­ter­noon sun, which means din­ner­time in Au­gust won’t be re­lax­ing -- just hot. And wind whistling around a cor­ner will quickly ex­tin­guish a fire pit.

Those are common mis­takes in land­scape de­sign for be­gin­ners.

Your de­sign should take into ac­count what the sun and wind do at dif­fer­ent times of the day and year. “You’ll need so­lu­tions to tem­per the prob­lem,” Li­panovich says. Idea 3

Live with it for a while. Com­ing to quick con­clu­sions about your yard can lead to choices that don’t work in the long term. “In our yard, there are cer­tain ar­eas where you want to go and sit that I wouldn’t have thought of when we first bought it,” Li­panovich says. Idea 4

Start small. Home and gar­den tele­vi­sion shows are masters at re­veal­ing com­plete out- door makeovers in just three days -- but they have a crew of 60, which is not a sit­u­a­tion en­joyed by land­scape de­sign for be­gin­ners. Part of cre­at­ing a land­scape is slowly de­vel­op­ing a plan and en­joy­ing the process. from your master plan, start with a small flowerbed. Go out and work on it for an hour or two when you have the time, and worry less about fil­ing ev­ery­thing up right away. “Give your­self some time to see how things de­velop. Plants

Pa­tience is key to land­scape de­sign for be­gin­ners. If all of that bare space is too much to look at, and the kids and dogs are track­ing in mud, rely on tem­po­rary so­lu­tions — an­nu­als, fast-grow­ing ground­cov­ers that you don’t care about for the long term, even mulch — to cover an area while you’re fig­ur­ing out what you want. “Large land­scap­ing fea­tures like trees can be hard to move; an­nu­als can be taken out, and small peren­ni­als and shrubs can be trans­planted if you re­al­ize they’re in the wrong spot. But in the mean­time, you have some­thing out there,” Li­panovich says. — www.bhg.com

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