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How to Properly Set Up a Landscape Design

Set up a landscape design

Where do you start when you are dreaming big landscaping dreams? Realizing your own landscape design can be a challenging, yet very rewarding process. There are many things to consider before you even break ground though, and it is certainly worth your while to figure out what you are getting yourself into before diving headfirst into the dirt.

1. Define Your Goal, General Look, and Current Yard Conditions

Begin by asking yourself what kind of landscaping you are willing to put a lot of hard work and love into. What do you want as a result of your investment? Is it beauty? Is it a relaxing space? A rich landscape full of greenery? A full landscape makeover, or just a few areas? It is important to know your intention before you start.

After you define your goal, start gathering ideas for the design:

  • What kind of look do I like? (Browsing the internet for pictures and ideas helps you see what’s already been done, so you can figure out quickly what you like and don’t. Try visiting our portfolio!)
  • What plants do I like/dislike?
  • How much consistent maintenance am I willing to put in? (This will determine if you choose high- or low-maintenance plants and features.)

And then, take stock of your current landscape:

  • What already lives in my landscape? Will plants or features need to be moved or taken out?
  • Measure the size of the space you hope to landscape, and any elevation changes.
  • Assess how well your landscape drains—how wet does the area get and stay?

2. Design, Refine

Now that the image in your head is coming into focus, it’s time to put your ideas to paper. Whether it be a simple drawing, or just a list of the tasks you want to accomplish, this makes a huge difference in keeping your project organized and easier to picture. A to-scale drawing certainly makes life easier, but for the at-home gardener just getting thought to paper is definitely better than going from memory.

Now is also the time to do your final heavy research, narrowing down what types of plants will grow in your home’s setting (sun, shade, water requirements, drainage preferences). Don’t forget to pick plants that will grow in Zone 5 (see more about zones). Also, and this is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT, call someone in to mark your utilities. Do this even if you are simply digging a hole for a tree. A 5-minute call can be the difference between making a huge mistake (or even death) and having a smooth landscape installation process.

Putting the time in before breaking ground is incredibly important. Do not start before you have thought through and planned out your project.

How Long Is the Landscaping Process?

In our humble, experienced opinion, landscaping never truly ends. However, for practical purposes, time between design and execution varies greatly. A small project could take as little as a few hours. Larger landscape projects could take months or days depending on how much time you have to work on it, the scope, and any other outside influence like weather. Be prepared to sweat and get dirty. That’s part of the journey, and in the end what makes it such a rewarding experience.

Keeping Up the Landscape After You Are Finished

For starters, you can read our many blogs about plant care (see below) to learn all about watering, fertilizing, and other landscaping tips. If you want a beautiful landscape, be prepared to invest time upfront and for the following years to come. A landscape isn’t a do-it-once-and-forget-about-it installation. It requires continuous maintenance and love. You can either do it yourself, or pay someone to do it for you. Simply, make sure someone gets outside and takes care of things, just like you would  your house.

Eagleson Landscape’s Plant Care Blogs:

Need a partner in your landscaping ventures? You can give Eagleson Landscape’s experts a call at (317) 997-4803 or visit our website to tell us more about the landscape you’re dreaming of.


Eagleson Landscape Company provides landscape and hardscape services in the Greater Indianapolis area, including Carmel, Zionsville, Westfield, Fishers and Geist.

 

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