Carter’s Garden Blog


Landscape Design Ideas
December 13, 2008, 10:19 am
Filed under: Articles | Tags: ,

Landscape Design Ideas     By: Mark Carter

A client recently asked me : HOW can you live in a tight , ‘zero lot line’ neighborhood and still create some private outdoor living/garden space ? That’s a great question and one that requires some thought and planning .

There are many advantages to living on a small lot ; Less maintenance and upkeep are at the top of the list . BUT , the big drawback is space . Many of the new homes that I see today are almost as big as the lot that they are built on , with only 8 to 12 feet between structures . Even so , we ALL want and need a place to go outside those walls . A place to talk and visit with family and friends or a place to just sit quietly and ponder .

What Do YOU Want

This is an important question that you should ask yourself : What do you want to do ‘Out There’?….. Dine with guests , read a good book , bar-b-cue or feed your fish in the Koi Pond ?
Do you want a privacy screen from the neighbors , a rose trellis or an arbor , a deck or patio , a dog run ? The list of possibilities is endless , but sometimes the space that you have to work with is not .

I also see a lot of small ‘trouble’ areas or out of the way areas in the landscape that people have never been happy with ….. That front or side entryway that needs ‘Something’ , that small patio off the master bedroom that you never use or that back door that leads to nothing . . Sometimes these small areas hold GREAT promise.

The biggie to me is to create a Landscape Design that you LOVE before you start to do anything ; It will save time , trouble and money in the long run .

Creating a Design

Coming up with a new concept or creating a new Landscape Design can sometimes seem challenging , but it usually seems harder that it really is . My advice is to keep it simple …..

*Start with a list of wants and needs ( Examples – a small patio out back with a table and chairs for dinning , a fountain or pondless waterfall for a soothing sound , a privacy fence or plant screen , a kennel and dog run for the pets , etc…).

*Gather some ‘Idea’ pictures from magazines , the internet or from a recent home , garden or pond tour . They can really help you form a mental picture of what you want .

*Then the fun starts ; Get some paper , a pencil and a good measuring tape and measure/sketch out the home on the paper . Seeing your home and property on paper will really help you to understand the space that you really have to work with .

*Then try ‘plugging in’ your wish list of features . You will probably have to make a change or two, but you will be surprised how much you can achieve by using these simple methods of design.

Bigger Ain’t Always Better .

Many times bigger is just more and more isn’t necessarily any better! Many of these spaces that you have are tight fits , BUT , with a good Design they can turn out AWESOME ! If all the bases are covered and the finished product is functional , has a nice aesthetic feel and a good ‘flow’ throughout the available space you can create an outdoor area that can rival any ‘big’ Landscape .

Many of you have had the ‘Big Lawn’ and the ‘High Maintenance Landscape’ before and for whatever reason you want to enjoy life a little more and work in the yard a little less .

So remember these tips and no matter what you do ;

* Do your homework !

* Get a Landscape Design you love before moving forward !

* AND – Get outside and enjoy life’s abundance !


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