Landscape Design: Seven (+3) Tips for Beginners

nashville landscape design ideas

Every now and then I'm asked for  landscape design tips.  I came across an article in Better Homes and Gardens and thought it worth sharing.  For those starting out in this wide world of exterior artistry...welcome to the rest of your life.  Once this bug bites you, it usually doesn't let go, at least for not for awhile anyways.  It can be a blessing, however, since instead of itching and swelling, it can cause your property value to increase.  Imagine that.  Plus, if you do some of the landscaping yourself, you'll be burning calories, reducing stress, and coming home to a more beautiful setting.  Not too bad eh?

The article does a good job in covering the basics, but of course, I'd like to add a few more ideas to the mix.  Feel free to start at #8 and continue through, the link coincidentally appears at the bottom of this blog post. Wink wink.  Happy designing my friends!

Idea #8 Understand Landscape Lingo

Knowing the right terms can help make the landscape design process much easier and more effective in the long run.  Most are familiar with the common ones like annual, perennial, shrub/ bush, and tree.  woodland landscape designBut terms like evergreen, deciduous, flowering, dappled shade, deep shade, afternoon sun, poor soil, evergreen screen, groundcover, back of the border, tough/ hardy, low maintenance, winter interest, drought tolerant, shade tree, ornamental tree, and poor drainage all come in handy when searching google or a garden expert's brain as they will produce a palette of plants better suited for your particular situation.


Idea #9 Take Pictures

In many cases, imitation really is the greatest form of flattery.  Snap photos of landscapes around you that blow you away.  Not only will this help you to determine your landscape preferences, but you can then show these pictures to garden center professionals who can identify these once mystery plants.  front foundation landscapeYou'll quickly digest new plant names without having to use vague sentences like "I'm looking for this type of green bush about this tall and has these little black berries."  Yeah....won't get very far with that.  Once you identify said plants, you can then use these as a base to form your own landscape, injecting your personal touches as the design continues.

Idea #10 Respect the Size

I'll just be frank.  I feel the majority of beginners plant things a little too close, to each other, to the fence, to the house, to the dog, whatever.  I'm not saying every plant care tag is always 100% accurate, but it's usually in the ballpark.  overgrown landscapeTo keep from transplanting in future years, its better to respect the mature size of the item you're planting and providing it with more room to grow.  Even if it means breaking out a measuring tape at time of planting to accurately envision final size specs.  And I'm not saying plants shouldn't touch, but brushing and growing into each other are two completely separate looks.

So there you have it.  Maybe my ideas stretched the beginners level a bit, maybe not.  In the end, these tips should get you farther in less time when it comes to the world of landscape design.  So go on and get bitten by the bug, I promise you won't regret it. 

For those still not ready to tackle this endeavor by themselves, do not fret.  I just might know someone who specializes in Landscape Design.  Oh, and that link we discussed earlier...

Better Homes & Gardens Link Here

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Matt Kerske


Matt Kerske

Great information. You always bring us up to date information , stated in easy to understand terms and It is not overwhelming. I appreciate that and I look forward to what is next.

Matt Kerske

Such a nice place to go fishing, this is so perfect, A

Matt Kerske

Great information. You always bring us up to date information , stated in easy to understand terms and It is not overwhelming. I appreciate that and I look forward to what is next.

Matt Kerske

If you truly want certain plant varieties which are not suited to the soil type – the soil can be improved. Adding mulch or peat moss, or crushed limestone or clamshells can change soil texture and pH. This can help you maintain the beauty of your landscape.

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