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Landscape Design Tips for Beginners

A thoughtfully developed and well-maintained landscape can do wonders for your home’s aesthetic appeal. It will increase the value of your house and help turn your home into the jewel of the neighborhood.

Check out our landscape design tips to achieve the pool, stairs and softscaping featured in this landscape design.

The first step to landscaping success is creating an effective design. Creating a simple yet practical landscape design can seem like an uphill struggle, especially if you are working on your first project. Many first-time homeowners and beginners get overwhelmed by all the choices available to them.

To help first-time homeowners in Sonoma County avoid confusion and make informed decisions, we have compiled a list of some landscape design tips.

Determine Landscape Needs and Wants

Before you start working on your design, understand the difference between needs and wants. A need is a necessity or an essential, whereas a want is a desire. Make a list of landscape needs and wants – a wish list.

Ask yourself important questions such as: do you plan to host outdoor parties? Do your kids need a play space? Do you want to grow veggies in your garden? Draw rough sketches of your dream yard. Be very specific about where you want to place things. Using sites on the internet can also be a source of ideas and inspiration

Do not worry about getting your sketch right. It does not have to be perfect and can be as simple as a few lines and a couple of circles. Remember, you are putting your ideas on paper, not creating a master plan.

Once your sketch is completed though and you are ready with your overall design, you will need to draft it to scale to determine such things as how many square feet of gravel pathways you will need? How many square feet for your paver patio? How many feet of pipe for your irrigation system? How many plants and so on. Putting a plan to scale is a great benefit if you are planning to implement your design over time.

Determine a Focal Point 

Focal points in a garden guide the viewer’s eye around the landscape. Your garden’s focal point can be anything interesting to look at, something colorful or visually appealing. Typical examples include a sculpture, a tree, a series of shrubs, a water feature, or a flower bed.


Think About Scaling and Pacing

Scaling and pacing your garden will give it a cohesive and put-together look. Depending on the elements used, there will be variations in size, shape, and color. Landscapers emphasize the importance of finding a balance between repetition and new elements.

Repetitions can create a sense of cohesion but may become monotonous when used excessively or unnecessarily. 

Think About Location

If you want to place your patio on the west side, remember that it will get lots of afternoon sun in the summer. Another factor to consider is wind speed. If your area encounters strong winds, keeping a pit fire burning may prove to be a task next to impossible on a cold and windy night. When creating a landscape design, study how the sun’s position changes and the wind behavior throughout the year.

Gardenworks is a team of seasoned landscapers in Sonoma County. We have mastered the art of striking a fine balance between aesthetic and functionality. To discuss your project with one of our pros, call (707) 857-2050.


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