1. It Needs to Be Considered From Inside the House as Well as Outside
It might feel counterintuitive to imagine a landscape from inside your home, but this is where it will often be viewed from, so sightlines are really important. Consider which windows overlook the yard and think about what kind of view you’d like to see from each one.
You might want to bring colorful planting right up to a large picture window, as shown here, or you might prefer to create a sightline down to the end of the plot. Make sure you let your landscape designer know what experience you want from the yard from both inside and outside the house.
2. Shade Is as Important as Sun
If you want to spend lots of time in your outdoor space, you’ll need to both maximize sunny areas and factor in plenty of shady spots in which to rest and relax.
Taking into account how the sun travels around your yard, you may want to add a pergola or similar structure to provide pockets of shade from the midday sun. Or you might prefer to think longer term and add in a tree or two.
Your landscape designer will be able to advise on the best way to create areas of both shade and sun within your space.
3. Plants Add Up
Buying plants has to be one of the most exciting parts of creating a new landscape. It’s the final stage in what can be a long design process, where you can experiment with color and scent and allow your creativity to run free.
However, buying lots of different plants can be expensive. Investing in a planting plan from a landscape designer can help to avoid costly mistakes and reduce overspending in the long term, allowing you to budget carefully and allocate your funds wisely.
4. Your Seating Area Doesn’t Need to Be Next to the House
It might seem logical to place a dining area close to the house, as it’s close to the kitchen and often where a large patio will go, but this might not always be the best place for it.
Depending on how you use your yard and what time of day you want to eat outside, it might make more sense to move your dining area to a different spot in the landscape. This is something you’ll want to discuss with your designer at an early stage, as it could affect hardscaping plans.
5. You’ll Need Lots of Outdoor Water Sources
Maintaining a landscape calls for an outdoor water supply, so you’ll need to think about the practicalities of accessing an outdoor tap or water barrel. In light of potential droughts or watering restrictions, consider investing in a rainwater harvesting system, such as a cistern or rain barrel.
Factoring this in at the planning stage will help to ensure you have access to water in the areas of the yard where you need it most, such as near vegetable beds or pots, so you won’t have to carry buckets of it around every time the plants need a drink.
6. Privacy Is Important
When we think of planted gardens, many of us picture flowers and shrubs at ground level and forget that vertical space is important, too. When it comes to providing shade and privacy, some tall plants, climbers or trees will be an essential part of your design.
If you live in an area with close neighbors or overlooking buildings, ask your landscape designer to factor in some plants to provide privacy. They may also be able to suggest ones that can help to dampen road noise and absorb pollution, too, if these are a concern.
7. It Will Never Be Finished
There is no end point to a landscape design — and that’s the beauty of it. An outdoor space will evolve and alter seasonally as well as year over year, but this is precisely where the enjoyment of it lies. A freshly planted yard will look very different from a more mature landscape as the plants establish themselves and settle in.
Gardening is also completely addictive. As your new yard grows and changes, you’ll inevitably find yourself spending more and more time outdoors tinkering, pottering and just generally relaxing into the space. Which is exactly what a good landscape design should invite you to do.