I sometimes have to wonder when I pass by beautiful homes and notice their landscaping. They range from a few shrubs in the front yard to a few perennials or annuals, and just plain turf. Then again, some homes have beautiful landscaping with well balanced color, texture and placement. Getting back to the ones mentioned previously, I wonder why some homes haven’t put attention to their front yard scapes. There’s probably a myriad of reasons, time, maintenance issues, watering, design skill, cost and just plain ol’ no interest. But I think they are sorely missing out on beauty they can have privately on their property.

Let’s take a look at how we can “Have It All.” Take a look at your landscaping and notice if it reflects your tastes and matches your home or business. Then imagine what could be added or taken out. Imagine what could be done do to make your landscaping better. Jot your ideas down and make a small rough sketched plan on paper. Take your plan to a nursery or designer and ask if this will work and what can be added to make it really beautiful. 

With planning there are many variables to consider, for example, sun, shade, property direction, maintenance, growing climate and balance. For the novice, this can seem a little overwhelming, but with a little patience it can be accomplished with a little effort.

Now that you have your front managed, it’s time to look at your back. Your backyard is an extended room of your house. The backyard can be your personal oasis for tranquility, relaxation and entertaining. So let’s take a look at how you can accomplish of having it all.

There are many, many designs you can choose for your backyard area. You can select themes such as English, Mediterranean, Spanish, Oriental or Feng Shui to name a few. Play around with ideas that will work well with your property and that matches your budget. In adding a themed landscape design you will have an area of your home to enjoy that can take you to a different place. 

The design should accommodate enjoyment for day and night. Think of shading some of your garden and leaving portions out for sun. Use your patio for central entertaining and extending it outward into the yard. Use creative lighting for night enjoyment or entertaining. 
Think about small ponds, waterfalls and fountains. Think about art placements. And most of all think about plant varieties to put in your oasis that will make you feel great every time you enter it.

Also, think about seasonal design for fall, winter and spring. Fire pits for cozy areas can be exciting on nice brisk fall days. Artwork and artifacts can work well in the holiday season and look great covered with snow. Bulbs planted in the fall will come up in the spring to begin waking up your garden oasis.

Of course, I’m making this sound much easier to do that it really is. Landscape design is a personal and functional matter that needs detailed planning for maximum effect. Get your family involved and work/compromise for everyone’s input. With a little time and patience you will find landscape planning is a rewarding and fulfilling experience for the whole family. Try it and see!

Glen Williams
Is Chief Landscape Designer for Specialty Gardens LLC
(314) 571.4003