Surviving a Landscaping Remodel
Get tips for managing your expectations and minimizing stress while redoing your outdoor spaces.
By: Laura Fisher Kaiser
"The number one thing that homeowners don't take into account with their landscape is planning," says Pete Marsh, a landscape designer with Buck & Sons in Columbus, Ohio. "You need to have a grand vision that you're working towards even if you're phasing it in over a year or several years. It's important to have that star in the distance you're tracking towards so you don't end up with mistakes like putting in a patio that almost immediately is too small or doesn't fit your needs. You can't just be plugging in plants here and there without thinking about how to use the space."
"People will get spring panic when they see all the flowers at the garden center and want a garden in a week," says Risa Edelstein, president of the Ecological Landscaping Association. She counsels patience as you work through the design process, which she says can be two steps forward and one step back because of its collaborative nature, but is ultimately a good investment of time and money.
Understand what's guaranteed and what's not. If your landscaping professional puts the wrong plant in the wrong place and it dies, that should be covered, at least for labor. However, if you go away on vacation and neglect to water your trees and plantingsnew ones require extra moisture to get establishedthat's probably not.
Finally, realize that plants grow, land shifts, life evolves. Even the best-laid plans can be disrupted by things beyond your controlweather, blights, 17-year cicadasbut out of these episodes comes opportunity. Your landscape is, after all, a work of living art in progress.
Doing a Landscaping Site Analysis
Note key elements affecting your design, like existing structures and plants, views and water issues.
Budgeting for a Landscaping Project
Get tips for figuring out how much you can spend when upgrading your yard and other outdoor areas.
How To Add Curb Appeal to Your Yard
Try these tips for transforming your front yard from drab to fabulous.
How To Make Your Yard Private
From a fence to a row of bamboo, these strategies will shield an outdoor space from the world's eyes.
Starting a Landscaping Project
Here's how to create a plan, choose plants, set a budget and hire contractors.
Dividing Outdoor Areas by Function
When planning your landscaping project, define how you will use the space
Designing Paths for Your Landscaping
Create walkways that direct traffic and connect the different areas of your outdoor space.
Space Planning for Your Landscape
Visualize your outdoor areas as rooms with floor, walls and ceiling.
Assembling Your Project Team
Know which tradespeople and contractors you need to complete your landscape renovation.
How to Plan a Landscape Design
Learn the four steps to creating a scale plan for your landscaping project.
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