With the rough sketch of your property drawn and accurate figures gathered (see pages 38-39), you are well on the way to redesigning your yard's landscape. Now, go back inside and turn the rough sketch of your yard into a detailed, drawn-to-scale map. The sooner you do this, the fewer trips you'll have to make back out to recheck any measurements.
This base plan will give you a good picture of your yard as a whole.
A drawing board and T square will make the job easier, but they aren't essential. All you really need are any flat surface (a breadboard or large piece of cardboard makes a fine portable one) and a piece of paper large enough to draw your yard on. Most yards up to a half acre can be drawn on graph paper 18 to 24 inches square or vellum 17 to 22 inches square.
Use a scale of 1:4 (1 inch equals 4 feet or 1/4 inch equals 1 foot) for a small yard down to 1:20 (1 inch equals 20 feet) for a half-acre lot. The larger the second number of the scale, the smaller everything will appear on paper.
Graph paper and vellum come with 4, 8, or 10 light grids per inch. These will not reproduce on a blueprint but will be helpful prior to that stage.
If your yard is very large, you may want to make one map of the whole yard at a small scale
first, then later make separate plans of individual areas at a larger scale.
As an aid, you can use a professional scale (see photo, opposite, top). An architect's scale is calibrated in eighths of an inch, an engineer's in tenths. You can buy one scale that combines both. Or you can just use a ruler.
Tape your paper to your surface with a sturdy but removable tape such as masking tape.
Draw an arrow pointing north. You can, of course, fill this in later, but it is best to have the north point at the top or side of your paper for quick reference. It will tell you much about the sun patterns and govern many plant and placing decisions (see pages 96-113).
Then, using pencil, draw your map, starting with the property lines. Fill in the lines of the house and other structures. Measure with scale, compass, or ruler and make dots on the plan.
Join them for lines. Mark the trunk positions of the trees and shrubs you plan to keep. You also may want to sketch in the present branch lines with thin but solid lines and keep the possible future spread lines in mind.
<A scale or ruler and triangle allou you to transfer any slope measurements to a formal drawing like this j'or help in deciding about grades. You can use the same methods to make eleration sketches (see page 45).
<IJere is the formal base map drawn from the measurements recorded on pages 38— 59. Once you complete your plan, make several photo- or blueprint copies for you and any contractors to work with. Put the original in a safe place.
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