Updated: Apr 9, 2019
If you love the outdoors and growing things, I’ll bet that, at one time or another, you’ve dreamed about the perfect garden – what you’d plant, how it would look – and then you thought “how would I ever manage to maintain something like that?” It’s easier than you think.
There are six landscape basics that come into play with the perfect garden and when they are addressed, maintenance becomes totally manageable:
1. Dare to dream
Let your mind wander as you contemplate the perfect garden. It’s okay. Think about the colors and textures you find pleasing. Consider different styles of gardens and what they might contain.
2. Craft a vision
While this may sound a little touchy-feely, it’s actually a very tactical step. Start by grabbing an armful of gardening and outdoor design magazines and cutting out the pieces that interest you – they might be patios, pools, fountians, flower beds, shrubbery, and lighting.
3. Design the project
Once you have a clear vision, it’s time to get it down on paper. Don’t worry about your artistic skills – the goal is to simply diagram or outline what will go where. Try drawing a simple bubble diagram. Put your house in the sketch and add circles where landscape elements will go.
4. Develop the plan
You’re now at the stage that involves TWO plans: the first is a schematic of what you’re building and the second is a how-to-build-it plan. This is the point at which you need to determine if you have the skills to pull it off yourself or if you need professional help.
5. Build it using best practices
By now you’ve thoroughly vetted your plan. You know it’s buildable. Here’s where you take a deep breath and say, “Okay, we’re good to go – what’s the best way to make this happen?”
6. Implement a management plan
Before you even put a shovel in the ground to begin installation, make sure you have developed a management plan you can successfully implement afterwards. Plan to bring your project through its various stages, starting with acclimation – you’ll need to be prepared to address the shock that plants go through after being transplanted.