Secrets To Landscape Success: Day 8

Your Grand Entrance


Your landscape should be the entrance into your home. It should embody the overall feel, this outward presentation of the inside of your home. This begins at your property line. The entire property not just where your home begins. By using a gate or arbor, small fences, or hedges as a garden border you create a visual line to the entrance of your home. These are also used in the back yard; a visual guide to the flow of your garden.


The key to success in this is having a focal point and leading the eye to that point. This is where the elements of design come into play. Your landscaper should be well-versed in these principles and elements of design. These can be used in any garden, big or small.




Secrets To Landscape Success: Day 7


Patio, fire pit and Belgard Wall

Realistic Commitment

This might be one of the most important parts of this series. Is be realistic about what you can and can’t handle. Also, what you will and won’t handle. Will you be doing maintenance yourself? Will you have your landscape company handle it for you?  Many things can look good in the plans and on paper, but you must look at what a year or two down the road is going to look like.


Ask yourself, am I really going to prune these bushes? Will I keep the patio or deck sealed the way it needs to be sealed? Will I maintain the water features or ponds?  These are questions to ask yourself because if you are not prepared for the responsibilities you have just spent a lot of money for your garden to look like a jungle.


Know your own skills and boundaries with your planned landscape. Talk with your landscape contractor about what is realistic for each plant installation, the ins and outs and also speak with them about how their company maintains the plants and landscaping and weigh all the options and make the best decision for your situation. Bottom line: use plants and features in your landscape design that you can manage and handle.


Secrets To Landscape Success: Day 6

Wise Shopping


Planters and new Belgard wall

Landscaping like any other home improvement project can be easy and inexpensive or more complicated and more expensive. Make sure your landscaping company does comparison shopping for the items you want. Sometimes different nurseries and suppliers will have different prices. It is better to know that your company is taking care of your needs.


Relaxing fire pit

Cheaper doesn’t always mean better, you have to remember you get what you pay for. Create a budget priority list even if you are not on a tight budget. This will keep your pocket-book and the landscape contractor on the same page. If you are on a tight budget this will allow you to break down the items you deem most important and work your way down over a period of time still getting your desired landscape.


Remember to keep in mind the whole landscape and outdoor area. This includes your patio and the things you want on the patio. What is the use in having a beautiful landscape area and patio with nothing to sit on and enjoy it. Outdoor living has become more and more popular. Remember to include the outdoor living essentials in your plans!


Patio, Belgard wall, and fire pit

Secrets To Landscape Success: Day 5

Plan for the Future


You need to imagine your back yard in a few years when your landscape has filled in. It is bright and sunny now, but what will it be like in a few years? Think about your deck, the tree and shrub growth, and buildings, pergola, and any other items in your landscape that can change with time causing shady areas. You have to think about which plants need more sun and which need shade.


You need to make sure your layout incorporates the growth patterns of your desired landscape to insure all plants will stay healthy.  You can move some plants later if you must but your beginning basic layout should incorporate the changing growth and shade patterns for optimal overall landscape health.


Secrets To Landscape Success: Day 4

Study Your Landscape.


Full Sun Landscape

It is best to look at your yard different times of the day. Just like you did from in the inside of your house look at all angles and different vantage points around the outside of your house.  Take particular attention in any space you may be spending a lot of time and have large focal pieces.  Even look in different weather conditions and think about the different times of the year.


Shaded Landscape

An easy way to document this is by taking pictures of the different views, weather and times of day. This way you can go back and look and refer to your landscape plans and put the pictures to use to visualize this more. Especially for those who may not be as spatial as others. Meaning, those who can not look at something and see in their mind what it will be transformed into.


Wet Landscapes

This will also allow you to see where shade will fall and where rain pools. That way you can use the plants accordingly in low-light areas and areas of more or less natural saturation. This makes choosing plants that are well adapted to your yard’s conditions and zoning. Here, ground coverings, such as Pachysandra, are used quite often especially since we have very angular yards sometimes with steep inclines.

Pachysandra ground covering

Pachysandra ground covering

Secrets To Landscape Success: Day 3

The View.


Try sitting and looking out onto your landscape from every room in your home. Take note of what you see and then imagine what you WANT to see. Make sure to have plan views that show the inside looking out at different places in your home and different angles. You want your landscape to be just as pleasing from inside your home as it is from the outside of your home. You want the view to be spectacular.


This will help in creating a complete landscape plan. You may think something looks good on the outside but discover it blocks a little more light from the inside or detracts from the view.  This way you visualize all aspects of each part of the landscape plan before you’ve even started.

inside1 inside2

Secrets To Landscape Success: Day 2

Place Your Home In The Plans:


Your home is the largest focal point and thus must be included in your landscape planning. Your home and garden should work together in terms of style, scale, colors and materials. You can use trees to frame a house, but do not conceal it or overwhelm it. This will detract from the overall flow of your garden and diminish your curb appeal. You should use shrubs and flowers to create a welcoming approach to the entrance of your home. Create foundation plantings that are more than just a line of shrubs around the house — try varying levels of plants, deep borders and curves. Use seasonal colorful plants to add vibrant splashes of color to your garden landscape.


Day Two in a new twenty part series about how to successfully landscape your garden. For information about landscape planning you can email us at: Roanoke Landscapes

Secrets To Landscape Success: Day 1

Landscape Planning:

Bell IMG_5247

You start by planning and establishing the focal points. These can include trees, big shrubs and tall ornamental grasses, as well as structures such as a gazebo, archway, pond, trellis or statue. You place these first and the rest of your landscaping can be filled in around these large focal pieces. You must map out the focal points and large objects to make sure you have flow and harmony with your landscaping space.


Day One in a new twenty part series about how to successfully landscape your garden. For information about landscape planning you can email us at: Roanoke Landcapes