Like all timeless masterpieces, beautiful landscapes are not built in a day. To achieve the backyard landscape of your dreams, you must first create a concept plan that carefully lays out the features you want in your landscape. Each landscape plan should be created custom so that the overall design meets the unique functional and aesthetic appeal you are looking for.

Before you dive into a landscape project here are three main considerations you should contemplate. Ultimately an effective landscape design will involve figuring out the functionality you are looking for in an outdoor space, what environmental factors will influence your design and what style you are going for. Once you have a greater understanding of your goals and the natural landscape you are working with, you will be able to create the perfect outdoor living space. Planning ahead will help create unity between your indoor and outside spaces and reflect your personality & lifestyle.

Functionality

The first step to creating your own personal oasis, is deciding what you want out of your landscape. The options are endless, but you need to prioritize what kind of activities you envision yourself and your family doing outside. Depending on you space and budget you might be able to create a space that has it all, but in most cases you must prioritize what you want out of your backyard. Some common backyard goals include: privacy, entertaining, relaxing, and growing your own garden. These different goals will help you figure out what kind of items you want to incorporate in your design.

The Crowd

Another key factor is who you are catering your outdoor space too. Whether you are catering your design to an adult audience, children or even your pets, you must consider who will be spending time in your space. If you have small children, safety becomes a main priority and the landscape must minimize and eliminate all dangerous situations adventurous youngsters might get into. Meaning if you plan on having a pool, a gate that prevents children from entering the pool themselves is a crucial backyard aspect to include. If you plan on having an older adult crowd, you may want to include a larger deck so that you have an area to entertain your guests. Overall the people who will be spending the most time will carry some weight when planning a backyard layout.

Making the Commitment

When tackling a landscaping project you must also designate how much you would like to invest in your landscape. Be realistic and find designs that are within your price point. Doing projects yourself sometimes feels like the most economical way of landscaping, but without proper knowledge you could face pricier future problems. Discussing your landscaping plans with a professional is always valuable way of helping bring your ideas to life and avoid future anguish.

One often overlooked aspect of landscape design is maintenance. When deciding your dream backyard layout you should consider how much time you plan to invest in the upkeep of your property. Maintenance level should be dependent on your abilities and time you can invest in caring your landscape. If you do not love gardening or don’t have the time in your schedule for maintenance consider a landscape that has minimal upkeep. You want to enjoy your backyard not add it to the exhausting list of chores, so pick a landscape that is consistent with your level of dedication.

Your Environment & Climate

It is great to dream big, but keep in mind that you have to work with the environment and space that your backyard offers. Tropical plants and palm trees are lovely, but not realistic for our long & cold Ontario winters. Pick plants and flowers that are suited to your individual climate so you can extend your landscapes beauty. It is usually best do to some research or discuss with a professional about which plants are best for your location.

If you plan on adding trees to your landscape you need to account for the room needed for the tree roots as they expand. As trees grow larger their roots could possibly destroy your pipelines, which will leave you with a costly bill. Locating your utility lines before starting your project will help you pick the perfect spot for your new tree addition.

Before you plant anything you also need to check your soil to see if it is draining properly. A good way to tell if your soil has proper drainage is to dig a hole about a foot deep and fill the hole with water. If the hole drains completely within a day or two then your soil is ideal to plant anything. If you find that your soil is not draining efficiently you will need to take measures to create proper circulation. These factors will play a key role in how well your greenery grows, which is the most important aspect of any landscape.

Get Inspired!

Thanks to social media sites like Pinterest is now super easy to find several different landscaping styles and ideas. Looking online at all the different pictures can help you visualize what kind of details you would like to include in your landscape design and give you a clearer vision of how to go about your project. Do you want a formal landscape layout where everything looks extremely neat and put together or would you prefer a natural formed landscape that resembles your own personal forest? These decisions correlate to the required maintenance level. Formal designs require more up keep to remain clean cut whereas natural formed layouts look best when a little wild. Landscaping has endless design possibilities, whether you are going for modern, rustic or even just accessorizing with zombie gnomes, find a landscape that truly showcases your personality and lifestyle.