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House & Garden

All You Need to Know About Landscaping

  • Written by Hashtag.net.au

If you want to design a new landscape or you intend to renovate your garden, you may be overwhelmed about how to start. But it doesn't have to be so.

Good landscaping should begin with some research. During this phase, you will get inspiration about the style, size, layout, aesthetic effect, and purpose you want to achieve in your garden. To simplify the process of creating a landscape, here are some elements to consider when you want to create a beautiful landscape in your yard.

1. Begin with a Plan

Every successful project starts with a detailed plan. So invest sufficient time to plan the design of your landscaping project. Every hour you invest in examining your yard, drawing up a survey of your property, and laying out the location of borders, trees, plants, and outdoor seating, will be richly rewarded in the future.

Here are some tips you can incorporate into your landscape design:

* Get an overhead view of your property: Draw a layout showing all the structures, fences, stone walls, trees, large shrubs, and items that are not likely to change position.

* Note underground fixtures: Take special note of the location of buried utility lines, wells, and septic tanks (if present).

* Note windy, shady, and sunny spots.

After taking those initial steps, you need to stretch your imagination a bit. Ask yourself a few questions to develop a wish list:

* How do I want my garden to look?

* Do I need a spot for privacy?

* How do I increase curb appeal to boost resale value?

* What are the successful plants I have in my yard already?

* What spots in my garden lack foliage or color?

Write down your answers so you can make detailed shopping lists for plants, tools, and landscaping supplies. This will also in turn give you a good idea of just how much you’ll need to set aside for the project.

2. Put Your Tools Together

As a beginner gardener, you may be shocked by the large array of tools in a gardening supply store or similar home improvement outlets. However, instead of cluttering your shed with expensive tools, the best strategy is to choose those essential high-quality tools that will get you the results you need. Some of those essentials you need to include:

* Hand Gloves: Get those that cover and protect your hand up to your wrist and make sure the materials can be tough enough to withstand potential thorn pricks also.

* Hori-hori: This Japanese gardening knife can perform the function of three hand tools. Use it for cutting, slicing, weeding, and digging.

Other tools you need to include are a hand pruner, hand rake, row rake, digging fork, round-headed shovel, transplant spade, digging bar, water hose, and water wand.

3. Do Soil Testing

Soil testing is an essential aspect of garden maintenance and landscaping. While some people overlook it, you can't grow plants successfully without studying the type of soil and its nutritional content.

Test your soil early. Then you will know its present condition and the type of compounds, nutrients, or treatment you need to apply to improve the soil quality.

As a beginner, you can easily find out if you have alkaline or acidic soil. A soil that fizzes when a small amount is placed in a cup of vinegar is alkaline. On the other hand, soil that fizzes when a small amount is placed in a cup of baking soda solution is acidic.

4. Choose Your Location Carefully

Before you start making any choices, look at where the sun rises and sets. Study or recount the wind patterns at different seasons of the year. These observations will help you to set up your patio in the right spot and allow you to enjoy the sunshine and a cool breeze during summer.

5. Plan a Water Feature

Find a safe location where there are no underground utility lines. (The earlier mapping of your yard will come in handy at this stage). The selected area must have adequate sunlight, so your aquatic plants can thrive.

A flat portion of land measuring about 10 by 12 feet would be ideal for you to include a garden fountain. Avoid sloppy areas to prevent runoff and potentially washing away lawn fertilizers into your pond.

After defining your pond area, you can leave it for a while and get additional help or prepare to take on the task of digging, cementing, and installing a small water fountain.

6. Plant in Phases

Schedule your landscaping in distinct phases. Don't be tempted to start with the plants. Put your hardscape in place first. Define the edges of your lawn with concrete, rocks, ceramic tiles, or other boundary marking material. After that, you can start planting.

Begin with trees and shrubs, moving from your house outward. Remember to leave adequate space for the trees and shrubs to grow when they become mature. Next, layout your beds with a rope or hose.

7. Create a Relaxation Spot

Find and separate a place to relax and recreate. Your ideal spot should be sheltered from the scorching sun. You may also want to have a place where you can enjoy the warmth of the sun during the colder months.

Use ornamental grasses and big shrubs to shield the area for relaxation. Add some weather-resistant seating arrangement with concrete or durable wood.

With a well-planned landscape design, you can start small and spread the project out over several years. This of course depends on how quickly you want to see it come to fruition and the financial outlay that might be involved. Additionally, as you get better at gardening, you may rearrange or makeover your landscape to suit new styles and meet the needs of everyone in your family.

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