Planning Your Landscape to Maximize its Appeal

Landscapes do wonders in upping the “wow” level of any house. A well-planned landscape acts not just as a frame for the house; it can also be an attraction in itself. When creating an outdoor space, it is important to first sit down, think the design through and carefully make your landscaping plan. This will help ensure that you are on the right track as you progress along the various phases of building the landscape. It will also help prevent costly mistakes.

Here are some important details to remember when getting started with your SLC landscaping project:

–  Understand the basic elements of landscape style. These include:

  • Proportion, symmetry and balance. The plants and decorative elements should be in proportion to the house and the surrounding space. This takes into consideration the plant’s size when it is full-grown. Balance or symmetry may not always necessarily mean that there are two identical halves. It may also mean that you are able to distribute equal points of interest across the landscape.
  • Color. The use of color in a landscape can help set the mood. It can be used to either unify or create contrast. Utah shrubs, trees, flowers and various plantings are like your paints and oils in creating the artwork that is your landscape. You can also make use of other design elements, such as Utah retaining walls, water features and lighting.
  • Form or style. Depending on the kind of look desired, this reflects the overarching theme that will be used for the landscape. You can choose from a wide variety of popular styles such as English gardens, formal gardens, Zen gardens and so on.
  • Unity/Contrast. The landscape should be seen as one unified design but with enough contrast to also see unique points of interest within the landscape. Contrast provides enough variety so that the overall look is not monotonous.

–  Provide space for equipment access and future expansion plans. Anytime in the future, you may need some equipment for construction or garden maintenance purpose. Always leave enough space so that you don’t have to face the heartbreak of having to uproot some of your plants just to make way. The same goes for construction projects such as future plans of a gazebo, a playground or a deck.

–  Assign your plantings away from utility lines. Take note of the location of your underground utilities so that you can avoid planting anything over them. If a Utah shrub or tree has already been planted over your underground water pipes or electric, cable or phone lines, this may prove problematic when you need to make repairs or replacements on these utility lines.

–  Plan the focal points of your landscape. These are things in your landscape that draws the eye and “engages” you into the landscape. If you have a small space, don’t also give into the temptation of cramming “focal points” into the space. The number of focal points depends on the size of the available space.  Focal points can be design elements that stand out in the landscape but still remain a part of the unity of your overall look. This can be naturally occurring, such as a full grown tree or man-made such as arbors, patios or trellises. For small spaces, you can have statues or bird baths.

–  Get the lay of the land. Walk around the area so that you become acquainted with what it already has (any existing trees and plants, the locations of the boundaries, the locations of the drains and existing irrigation systems, where the utility and the service areas are, as well as how the land is sloped. Getting to know your land helps you know what areas you need to work on, what things you need to work around of (things you can’t change), and the things you want to highlight. You can also get techie and use your GPS system or your computer to check sun patterns during different times of the day.

–  Know what you want. How does the landscape figure in your overall plans for your house? What is important to you? Would you like to do a lot of entertaining outdoors? Would you like to develop your own herb or vegetable garden? Do you want to provide the kids with their playing space? Do you have pets? Would you need to provide wheelchair access? How many hours are you dedicating per week to maintain the landscape?

–  Know the local requirements. Before you do any changes, be sure to check with local codes, as well as the homeowners’ association’s rules and regulations as to what you can and cannot do in terms of your landscape. This will prevent costly revisions due to violations of the said codes.

–  Get expert help. The best way to ensure that you have the planning (and later, the implementation) down pat is to get help from a Utah landscaping company. They have the practical knowledge and experience about planning, how to make a certain design idea come into life, as well as how plants can be properly planted and maintained.

–  Determine your budget. Decide beforehand how much of the family’s finances you will spend on this project. If you are hiring a Utah landscaper, it is best to get a proper quote of the entire project and see how the quote matches up to what you can afford to set aside and spend on the landscape.