Planning and Design The Keys to a Sustainable Landscape

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When it comes to making your landscaping work properly, good design is everything; it determines once and for all how the system will work. Design is especially important when you have big plans in mind. It's detailed, but it's a lot of fun too.

Sequence of landscaping operations, start to finish

Here's an overview of this whole big monster of a process of turning your nasty ol' yard into a sustainable landscape. Every project has its own particular aspects, quirks, and special needs, but some universals apply to all projects. Landscaping isn't an exact science, and many things can alter the passage from ugly to lovely. You may already have guessed that some of these steps are done concurrently with others. You may still be designing certain aspects of the project while you're building others, for example. (In fact, you probably will be.) Whatever the particulars of your project, the following table will help give you an idea of how things usually go.

Certain sequences are pretty hard to argue with. You have to do your demolition before you build anything new, and it's a whole lot easier to do the grading before the plants are planted and the irrigation is in. Other sequences are more flexible. You may install a patio in one corner of the yard before you even touch another corner. As for design, it can be a continuing process of thinking, learning, and reconsidering throughout the course of the entire project. Overall, though, if you follow this chain of events, you'll be fine.



Planning and design

Site analysis, landscape plans, budgeting

Permits and approvals

Building permits, zoning approval, and so on

Weed control

Grubbing weeds, sheet mulching

Utilities location

Call the free One-Call coordinating service at 811 (or visit for line location


Remove plants, structures, and so on

Tree trimming

Prune existing trees


Grading, excavating, importing soil


Underground drains, dry streambeds, and water-harvest-

ing features

Erosion control

Netting, silt fencing, hydromulching

Water mains

Piping, backflow prevention device(s), valves, hose bibs


Irrigation control wires, lighting wires, buried conduits


Lawn and other sprinklers

Heavy construction

Boulders, retaining walls, fences, and so on


Driveway, patios, walkways


Trees, shrubs, ground covers

Drip system

Drip tubing and emitters


Cover ground with mulch


Install fixtures, transformers

Site furnishings

Benches, tables, artwork, potted plants


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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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