Homeowners have been landscaping their outdoors for centuries. Humans have been manipulating land for practical and aesthetic reasons since ancient Mayan times. Changing the existing terrain, adding plants and construction structures enhances the outdoor appearance and creates a functional space for outdoor activities.
A well-manicured landscape is a bonus for every home and starts way before you bury any seed on the ground. Although every home is unique, the landscaping process is similar, regardless of the outcomes of your end product. Whether you’re planning to hire a New Orleans landscaping company or do it yourself, understanding how landscaping works will help you prepare for the long, complex process.
The most crucial step of any landscaping project is designing, which analyzes your property’s grounds and overall state. It looks into everything from sun exposure to soil analysis, wind exposure, drainage, amount of shade, and flooding. When designing the landscape, you must understand the available space’s attributes, limitations, and assets. The extent to which you know every inch of the landscaping site is critical to creating a design that fulfills the property owner’s wants, needs, and expectations.
Before you can tear the ground apart for a landscaping project, you will need to create a plan to define what you’ll do. A good plan should include the project’s scope, dimensions, budget, and specific project details. For instance, if you intend to build a raised planting bed, your plan will entail the size of the planter, including height, width, depth, and the material you want your bed raised from.
Furthermore, the property owner will need to list every element they want in their yard. However, the size of the site and the property owner’s budget will determine the possibility of having every feature on the list and what functions to give priority.
The landscaping plan allows you to keep your project organized and ensure you stay on budget by calculating the materials you’ll require. It would be best to hire a landscape designer or architect for a large-scale project to help you create an effective plan.
Before you can even begin installing landscape elements, the ground will need some level of preparation. This will require lots of work and is crucial because it will affect the outcomes of your finished product. Generally, ground preparation includes:
- Removing existing landscape or grass
- Clearing the ground from rocks and debris
- Leveling the ground
The preparation steps will highly depend on the state of your yard and the design of the landscaping you’re doing. For example, if you’re planning on adding a small garden, your preparation will include removing grass and rocks and amending the soil.
If you’re adding a patio to your home, you’ll need to clear the grass and level the ground to prepare it for paver base installation.
Once you’ve cleared all obstructions, you’re ready to install landscaping elements. Hardscape features such as patios, fences, retaining walls, and walkways typically go first. These features will create the framework of the landscaping and define the space. Additionally, these features will usually take the longest time, effort, and money to install. With the hardscape installed, the area is ready for planting. Technically, the hardscapes are what will guide you on where to plant.
You can hire professional gardeners to guide you about horticulture, advise you on quality plants, and even plant the garden for you to save your efforts and time.
Landscaping doesn’t end the moment the building and planting process is concluded. Regular maintenance is required to keep your yard in excellent condition. The amount of maintenance required will depend on the type of installed landscaping. For instance, plants may need weeding, supplemental irrigation, pruning, and fertilizing.
Native plants thrive well in landscaping environments, and therefore, will require less maintenance. Wood structures such as fences and decks will need regular power washing, painting, or sealing. Additionally, stones and bricks require regular cleaning to stay attractive. Weeds will also grow in queer places such as between bricks, so weeding is a maintenance consideration.
The landscaping process requires art and science. You need to be well-armed with principles of landscaping, horticulture knowledge, and landscaping elements. Therefore, it’s advisable to let a landscaping company take over the project. But if you chose to DIY, your greatest mistake would be to rush into it without a plan. Take time to understand the process, and transform your yard into an admirable and functional space, or better yet, let the professionals handle it!