Where do you start with planning your landscape?

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Where do you start with planning your landscape?

Post by Jcaa » Fri, 19 Apr 2002 13:13:35



I've lived in my development for little over a year now.  The trees the
developer planted were not to my wifes liking, plus I think they were dead on
arrival anyway.
My wife replaced the four trees in the yard recently, crape myrtle(sp),
Japanese Maple, and the rest I don't remember.  While I really dont care what
my wife plants, I am a little concerned about the tree selection and placement
in the yard. I would like a unified look for the yard, so my question is, do we
need to hire a landscape designer or can we get some ideas out of a few good
books and take it from there.  Any book suggestions?  Having never hired a
landsaper before, how do they operate?  Do they draw up a plan for you and send
you the the nursery, or do they select and plant as well?

For those who may have suggestions, here are the particulars on my yard;
15,000 sq. ft
In Maryland, just outside of DC
Typical suburban development, house in the middle of the lot surrounded by
grass.
Back of the yard slopes towards the house, probably a 6 foot change in height
over 20 ft.

Thanks.

 
 
 

Where do you start with planning your landscape?

Post by Toni » Fri, 19 Apr 2002 19:31:20



Quote:
> do we
> need to hire a landscape designer or can we get some ideas out of a few
good
> books and take it from there.  Any book suggestions?  Having never hired a
> landsaper before, how do they operate?  Do they draw up a plan for you and
send
> you the the nursery, or do they select and plant as well?

Plenty of good books out there.... many are regional so check the local
section in your bookstore.
First, look at a drawing of your property, and decide what zones you need.
Somewhere for the kids to play, somewhere for ***s to relax, an area for
work (a shed?), and any public areas. Are you doing a veggie garden?
Then you look at your views.... what do you want to block out, what do you
want to see? What are the good and bad points of your property? How much
maintenance will you enjoy doing? Don't design a paradise then neglect the
upkeep... plant things you are able to care for yourself.
I had a landscape designer do a drawing of what they thought I could do...
cost me somewhere in the neighborhood of $250. I had a copy of my survey and
measurements ready so she didn't have to spend time doing that. I also gave
her a list of plants I had and wanted to keep, plants I wanted, and plants I
would not use no matter what. I did end up buying about 6 large trees from
them, and they did the installation.... each was $250-600 depending on
variety including installation. Everything else we did ourselves over the
course of a year or so, but we used the general layout of her plan. We
substituted a few of the plants, but stuck to the feel of the design.. kept
the balance and flow as she saw it.
You can let them do everything for big bucks, let them just do the big stuff
like I did, or just take the design and walk away to do everything yourself.
Depends on your budget and your back.... how much of the work do you *want*
to do?

--
Toni Carroll
Sunny South Florida
Zone 10

 
 
 

Where do you start with planning your landscape?

Post by Tsu Dho Nim » Sat, 20 Apr 2002 00:06:25


You can get full service ... they draw, plan, suggest and plant
($$$$$$$$$)  all the way to totally DIY ($$$).

Start with drawing a good to-scale drawing of the house and yard,
putting in all the permanent things and noting where water and
gas lines are.  Outside the property lines, indicate where you
have good views, bad views, or need to shield for privacy.  

Note direction and sun angles and slopes.

Go visit as many public gardens and demonstration gardens as you
can find, and drive through established neighborhoods to see what
grows well in your area. Take note on what you like, take photos
of good ideas.

Look in local gardening magazines for ideas ... start a clipping
file.  Don't plant until you are darned sure what you want to
have where.  If you spend the next year planning you are spending
it wisely.

Hiring a landscape architect for a couple of hours to draw up a
long-term plan with suggestions is a good investment.  A
full-blown landscaping is EXPENSIVE, but you can do them in
stages if you have a plan.

Tsu Dho Nimh

The neat thing about free speech, practiced properly, is that *everyone*
gets to do it.

 
 
 

Where do you start with planning your landscape?

Post by GURUSHAK » Sat, 20 Apr 2002 02:20:39


FIrst do as earlier suggested, make a scale drawing of your lot with your house
and other building included.
Decide what uses you want for you garden. Do you want flowers, veggies, a pond,
pool, spa, kids play area, service area (compost piles, potting bench etc.),
arbors, greenhouse, cold frames etc. Do you want high water or low water
requirement plantings.
Note the sun patterns both summer and winter.
.If you can't afford the time and money to do it all at once,  I would suggest
that you  get the watering system in if you plan one and plant the trees and
some of the shrubs first. You can do paths, arbors, etc. later on.
Set yourself a schedule -- maybe in phases. Phase 1 plant the shade trees and
maybe the front shrubs.
Phase 2 etc.etc.
The library should have a lot of books on landscaping and I'm there a lot of
info on the web as well.
 Good luck!
Regards,
June
 
 
 

Where do you start with planning your landscape?

Post by Jcaa » Sat, 20 Apr 2002 04:05:10


Thank you all for you suggestions.

I've ordered some books and I have a drawing of my yard.  My wife and I are
talking about what we want now and what we can put off for later.  A fence and
scrubs in the front yard will be the first thing up.  The neighborhood kids are
already cutting across my lawn.  I've also made a request for one of the
designers at the local nursery to give us a call.  We are leaning towards
getting some detail plans but doing the work ourselves.

Thanks again for your suggestions.
J

 
 
 

Where do you start with planning your landscape?

Post by bryan lafle » Sat, 20 Apr 2002 05:43:08


All of these suggestions are good ones for determining the look you
want.  One of the biggest problems for many homeowners is plant
selection.  You can get good information from an established
nursery(not a chain), or the county extention service.  You can really
spend a lot of money on plants even if you do the work and have them
not do well if they are poor selections for your area and your
particular circumstances.  A good designer should have good knowledge
of both plant selection and incorportation of other landscape ideas.

Good luck.

Bryan

 
 
 

Where do you start with planning your landscape?

Post by Tsu Dho Nim » Sat, 20 Apr 2002 20:43:25


Quote:

>You can really
>spend a lot of money on plants even if you do the work and have them
>not do well if they are poor selections for your area and your
>particular circumstances.

  Look at the freeway landscaping if you want TOUGH plants, and
the established plants in slightly older neighborhoods to see
what survives and grows rapidly.  

Tsu Dho Nimh

The neat thing about free speech, practiced properly, is that *everyone*
gets to do it.