Developing a design

Design deserves your best thinking because it determines the outcome of the project and how it will function over time. The design phase is a time to slow down and pay attention. Design goes from the general ("I think I want a vegetable garden") to the specific ("I want four 4 x 10 raised stone beds in the northeast corner of the back yard with six kohlrabi plants, a dozen rutabagas, and five Bad Boy tomatoes").

Designing a sustainable landscape is rigorous, but anyone can do it. I discuss design in detail in Part II of this book. For now, here's an overview of the process:

  • Creating the conceptual design: When you understand the site and your own needs, you're ready to take a first stab at putting everything together. This draft is called the conceptual design. You create it in steps, starting with a bubble diagram and moving through field measuring, a base sheet, and ending with a concept plan.
  • Refining your design: When you have a good understanding of how the elements fit together, you can begin to work on all the little details. What will that patio be made of, and precisely what will its shape and location be? Which tree will go on the east side of the house, and what size will it be at planting time? What species of perennials will go in the front border, how many of each kind, and what container size? You can even develop a series of individual plans that detail the construction, planting, irrigation, and other phases of the work. These plans will help you refine your ideas and guide you through the long process of constructing the landscape, and they'll help you share your vision with a contractor if you decide to hire a pro.

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Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.

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