New or Older Home Landscaping Design is Important By Jim Clifford

New or older Home Landscaping design is Important


Over the years my wife and I have owned 4 homes and learned the lessons of how important a good landscape plan really is. What is interesting is that the variety of locations has taught us it is not as simple as going to a nursery and picking up a couple of plants to put in the yard. When we landscaped our first yard we had to use the “Sunset Magazine” list of shrubs and flowers and figure out which “zone” we lived in to know what was best to plant. We had no idea of how to figure out where the best locations in the yard were for individual plants so we made mistakes. Some plants we moved and some unfortunately, we replaced after they did not survive.

For Northwest home owners the best sources for help to determine what plants to use and where in your yard to locate them are either through the Washington State Extension services “Master Gardeners” information , or the University of Washington Elisabeth C Miller Library on how to test your soil and plant problem solving However before you get started you need to have a design in mind. Think about what is important to you, what you want in your yard to enhance the time you spend outside. Hopefully you don’t just weed the flower beds and mow the grass while not enjoying time in your yard. According to “home design lover”  here are 10 reasons why landscape design matters .

When my wife and I purchased the home we live in now, my wife would not let us start our landscape design until we have actually lived in the home for a few months. She wanted to see for herself where the sun rose and set, how much sunlight the front side and back yards actually received. She also wanted to know where the winds came from and where we would want shade and open spaces. Next was deciding what plants we especially wanted like blueberries, Japanese Maples, azaleas and peonies and incorporating them into the design. We had three landscape designers give bids to design plant locations, patio, barbeque and outdoor seating area. We also included a water feature.

Is it worth it to spend the time and money? My answer is yes every time I’m sitting outside with morning cup of coffee watching the sun rise or sipping a glass of wine in the evening talking over the day with my wife.