Planning Out Garden LandscapingPlanning Out Garden Landscaping

Be it a formal garden, a cottage garden, a Victorian garden, a rock garden or even a simple, kitchen garden; the key to making it aesthetically pleasing and functional, is planning its landscape with due care and consideration.

Planning out garden landscaping, first involves ascertaining the items (both natural and man-made), that are currently on-site. The best way to set about this would be to obtain a site survey, which would be done to scale; and if up-to-date, give an accurate representation of the lay of the land. A site survey can generally be obtained with relative ease, as the builder, the developer or the local records department should carry a copy. To verify the precision of the site-survey, it is always advisable to visually confirm its accuracy. If a site survey is unavailable, a photograph would give a bird's eye-view of the plot in question, while with the use of a measuring tape and graph paper, a site survey can be drafted by the home-owner/landscape artist himself.

Then, it is important to identify key features of the land; namely the location, the soil, the slopes, the irrigation, the lighting and the seasonal weather conditions. A quick scan of the neighborhood would be beneficial so as to ascertain what foliage, crops or flowers, flourish best in the area in question.

Now that the practicalities are established with regard to the current landscape and environment (and we know exactly "where we are"); the next step is to envision what our ideal garden would be like. Different garden styles need to be looked into, and one that is in keeping with the overall appearance of the house, and which facilitates the home-owners lifestyle needs to be adopted.

Once the type of garden has been decided upon, a simple bubble graph can be used, when planning the landscape-to-be. It will most probably undergo a few changes at least, from inception; once the homeowner/ landscape artist looks at the costs involved (for some expenditure might exceed the budgeted, whilst other items might prove to be surprisingly cheaper), and reconfirms the natural movement of the land, and ascertains the suitability of specific, selected plants. In this instance, referring a few gardening manuals might prove to be of use, as plant selection, its maintenance and suitability to specific weather conditions would all be addressed here; a boon to planners who will then have incorporate fewer modifications.

After finalizing the bubble graph, the master plan is then ready to be drafted. Ideally, the master plan should indicate the properly lines and the boundaries, the walkway, the existing structures or trees that are to be kept and those that are to be newly built /planted, preferably using different colors so as to differentiate between the existing and the proposed, both of which would come together in forming the new landscape.

Landscaping software, irrigation suppliers and soil tests (designed to ascertain the adequacy of nutrients in the soil), are freely available, enabling you to fine-tune your plan prior to implementation. An internet search engine can also be used, so as to glean relevant knowledge, helpful information and practical tips, all of which may prove invaluable in the long run.

Finally, the success of planning a tasteful, functional, landscaped garden; depends on the optimal utilization of available space, the ease of maintenance, its affordability and most importantly, the joy it brings to the homeowner.
by Chris Moore
References and Bibliography
Landscape Constructions are Perth landscaping experts. They provide professional garden services to WA homes.
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