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    Search Beat   > Home and Garden >   Is Your Yard Just a Blank Slate? Those of you ready to landscape your yard shouldn't think of it as a blank slate to be "drawn" upon.

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Is Your Yard Just a Blank Slate? Those of you ready to landscape your yard shouldn't think of it as a blank slate to be "drawn" upon.


" Several things must be taken into account as you make plans for your landscape, even if your space is not very large. "

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By
Stacy Helt

Those of you ready to landscape your yard shouldn't think of it as a blank slate to be "drawn" upon. Any plot of land has many factors which make up an active network. Several things must be taken into account as you make plans for your landscape, even if your space is not very large.

----------------------------

For a residential site, you may not have skyscrapers, fierce traffic, and heavy pollution to account for. Depending on where you live, though, desert conditions, existing plants, lots of shade, or even sea spray may need to be factored in to your site planning. Looking at the entire situation, or context, of your site helps not only to decide what kinds of elements to include (decks, walkways, vines, lawns, etc.), but where they should be placed and how they will interact with each other.

For instance, having your heart set on your favorite rose bush may cause you disappointment if your entire yard is densely shaded. Planting your whole backyard in ivy may save you some lawn maintenance, but if you have young children, where will they play?

----------------------------

Before you even think about taking a major step in landscaping your yard, you or a professional need to look at the following criteria:

  • site location

  • size of your space

  • shape of your yard

  • contours (change in elevation, dips and hills)

  • drainage patterns (where does water enter and leave your yard?)

  • zoning (what things won't you be able to do with the existing ordinances?)

  • setbacks

  • utilities (where is that gas line, anyway?)

  • significant existing features (stumps, sheds, trees)

  • traffic patterns

  • views from and into your yard

  • climate/microclimates within your space

  • neighborhood patterns (is your corner lot a cut-through?)

----------------------------

Brainstorm; sit in your yard, walk around, and come up with the variables that make your yard unique. Do you have kids who need a place to play? Is there a big utility pole right where you wanted to plant flowers? Does your drain spout empty in a really bad spot? See if there are any unfavorable conditions that can be fixed beforehand; if not, your landscape plan will have to work around, or even improve, these situations.

Good luck on this first step. Next you'll need to make a proportionately-drawn sketch on graph paper, in which you'll insert all of this preliminary information. From there, you can go on to designing your yard, but if you have trouble doing so, you'll at least have all the footwork done so that a designer can take the process from there. Happy landscaping!

----------------------------

Brought to you by: World Wide Information Outlet - http://certificate.net/wwio/, your source of FREEWare Content online.

Stacy Helt is a home business owner who specializes in personalized plant lists and landscape design via the Internet for customers in every region of the United States. She has a five-year degree in Landscape Architecture, and can be reached at designer@yourperfectlandscape.com. Her business web site can be found at http://www.yourperfectlandscape.com/. While there, you can sign up for Perfectscapes, the free e-newsletter about gardening and landscaping.



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