Picture this: Halfway through constructing a dream deck that would make your neighbor green with envy, you discover that you are building right on top of a drain field. Any do-it-yourselfer worth his lawnmower knows that constructing directly above drain fields is a big no-no.
You’d be forced to tear down your work-in-progress to comply with safety regulations. Costly mistake. This mistake could’ve been prevented if only you had carefully developed landscape plans for your property. Many homeowners would rather not develop landscape plans because they feel they could never justify the time and effort to do it.
A Step by Step Guide to Developing Landscape Plans
To be sure, drafting landscape plans is no child’s play; creating landscape plans requires thorough site analysis and needs assessment and may demand more than a rudimentary knowledge of landscaping. But its benefits, such as its potential to avert possible hazards or costly last-minute changes, make the task of developing landscape plans well worth the effort. When embarking on the project of developing landscapes, it is best to follow a step-by-step approach. Following a step-wise process when developing landscape plans allows you to break down the endeavor into easily manageable tasks and minimize mistakes along the way. Furthermore, creating landscape plans allows you to stay within budget and stick to a reasonable timetable.
Drawing a base plan for landscaping plans
The first step in creating landscaping plans is to prepare a base plan of your property. A base plan indicates the position and dimensions of your house and lot, the location of utilities, existing garden plants, property lines, buildings, driveways, walks, easements, topographic features, and ground characteristics. While a simple base plan would suffice at this point in the landscaping plans development phase, you’re better off drawing the base plan to scale. Any future drawing for your landscaping plans will be made on a tracing paper which you will place on top of the base plan, so it’s important to get it right. If you are developing landscaping plans for the first time and are a bit daunted by drawing a base plan to scale, you may obtain a scaled base plan from the builder, developer, or local government property records. The important thing is to start off on the right foot in order to ensure your landscaping plans are correct and accurate.
Conducting a site analysis for landscape plans
Conducting a site analysis of your property is the second step in developing landscape plans. A site analysis involves an examination of existing vegetation, natural features, house orientation, and utilities. When devising landscape plans, examine the current conditions of trees, plants, shrubs, groundcovers, and grasses. This helps ensure that your landscape plans will protect existing vegetation and create a setting that blends harmoniously with the natural environment. On this step of landscape plans development, you should also analyze natural features such as soil characteristics, rain fall distribution, wind pattern, micro-climatic conditions, and land form. They help determine plant selection and location, surface water drainage requirements, shade positioning, and location of activity areas, among other things.
Locating activity areas in landscaping plans
The third step in crafting landscaping plans involves locating activity areas in the landscape. In your landscaping plans, your landscape may be divided into three primary areas: public, private, and service. Public areas are the areas visible from the front of the house and the street and include the main entrance, the driveway, parking, sidewalks, and entryway plantings. Landscaping plans should blend the public areas into the neighborhood, provide convenient access, and enhance the home. Private areas extend the living area from the house into the landscape and may include decks, patios, garden rooms, and terraces enclosed by fences, walls, shrubs, or trees. Your landscaping plans should consider multiple use and convenient access, while ensuring privacy for private area users. Service areas in landscaping plans extend indoor service rooms like the kitchen, utility room and garage. When designing service areas for landscaping plans, emphasize convenience, orderliness, and accessibility. Landscaping plans usually call for service areas to be screened from the private and public areas.
Assessing family needs and desires for landscape plans
The fourth step in devising landscape plans involves assessing the needs and desires of the property’s occupants. Landscaping ideas and plans should consider both current and future needs of the family. A newly married couple might want a play area included in the landscape plans to accommodate a child in the future or an extended family might integrate accessibility in the landscape plans for senior or handicapped members. Ask family members about what they want and expect from the landscape and incorporate their suggestions into the landscape plans. Your landscape can be both practical and aesthetically appealing to all members of the family if proper consultation during the landscape plans design phase is made.
Developing final landscaping plans
Constructing the final plan is the fifth step in developing landscaping plans. Garden flowers and plant selection placement is determined in the final landscaping plans. The working budget and necessary materials should be properly outlined in final landscaping plans. Remember to calculate your material requirement thoroughly, use of cubic yard calculator to help you through the process. Your final landscaping plans should give you an idea of how long before you can behold and enjoy the fruits of your landscaping labor. Moreover, final landscaping plans should emphasize optimal resource use and minimal maintenance. Consult your local environmental protection agencies and non-profit organizations about making your final landscaping plans energy efficient and environmentally friendly.