The initial planning of your new landscape is the most important phase of the entire landscaping project. The first step of planning should include serious consideration of the following issues.

Addressing these various issues will save needless removal and transplanting of ornamental plants at a later date which would further delay the desired end result of your landscaping project.

Some of the basics...

Bradford Pear split from a storm
Do you want 'splitting Pears?'

High winds on Mother's Day 2002 caused this Bradford Pear to split-out.  Even though they have many desirable characteristics, their rapid growth habit causes problems. Therefore we do not recommend planting Bradford Pears since they are subject to splitting, mostly from ice and wind storms.


When designing your landscape, ask yourself these important questions:

  • Would you like to screen areas for wind, noise, or unwanted views?

  • Do you want special areas for children, recreation, entertaining, storage, pets, or gardening?

  • Would you like a sculpture, or other special design features?

  • Is your outdoor lighting adequate or in need of some added pizzazz?

  • Will an irrigation system be installed and if so now or later? 

  • Which paving and wall materials, such as wood, stone or brick, do you prefer? Are there any you dislike?

Designing around tree roots
You can add groundcover before or after trees with high roots get established


More landscape design questions....  

  • What are your favorite spots in the yard, and why? What are your least favorite spots?

  • Are there views or vistas you would like to keep open or block?

  • Will natural rainfall be able to reach all your plants without supplemental irrigation or hand watering? Overhangs on buildings can be plant killers!


Plants dried-out under a building overhang
This building's overhang prevented natural rainfall from reaching these plants, resulting in their eventual death.

TIP: Plant out away from beneath building overhangs!

  • What are your favorite plants or types of plants? Your least favorite? Are things like bees or thorns an issue?

  • In most landscapes do you prefer open areas or enclosed spaces?

  • What is the architectural style of your home? What landscape design will enhance that style the best?

  • How would you describe your decorating style? Formal, casual or "plain jane?"

  • Where will you pile snow in the winter? Leave allowance for snow piles from shoveling and plowing.

Plan ahead for winter snow
removal and where
snow will get piled

  • Are you planning to make later additions to your house or detached buildings?

  • What is your time frame for completing the job? How far ahead are local landscapers booking jobs?

  • What is your landscaping budget, both immediate and long-term? Annual maintenance is an additional cost factor with trimming and mulching.

  • Do you plan to implement all or part of the landscape design yourself? "Sweat equity" can save money but it helps to have a good plan.

  • Could you share landscaping projects along property lines with neighbors? It's a good idea to know exactly where your property line is located to prevent future problems.

  • Will you have to consider zoning or deed restrictions, easements, building codes, or utility lines? Most municipalities require permits for fences.

  • Are there any drainage problems? These should be a top priority during initial planning phases.

  • Is deer-browsing a problem? Deer resistant plants may be your best choices.

Plant worthy of honorable mention..

'Bloodgood' Japanese Maple
Bright red leaf color adds interest to any home landscape!

Leaf color adds interest to the home landscape


shrub planters and beds

construction damage to trees

backyard landscapes


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