Tips and Articles

Landscaping Your New Home

One of the underrated benefits of building your own home is the opportunity to design landscaping that fits your needs and reflects your personality and taste. It is an important part of the home design process and one that should be considered early on in the building process to ensure your garden and yard work in harmony with your home.

The key to stellar landscaping is planning.

Start by considering your lot and the trees and plants that can be salvaged and incorporated into your new design. Is there a weeping willow or a grand oak that can be saved? Next, visit a nursery and landscaping store to explore the many options. Explore the plants and consider the incorporation of landscaping elements such as rock gardens, trellises, arbors or a lattice shaded gazebo. Would a pond or waterfall fit into your plans?

Be realistic about the amount of time you have to dedicate to the garden. Consider the use of drought-tolerant plants such as bluebeard, coneflower, stonecrop, coreopsis and ornamental grasses. Ground cover and pest-resistant plants will also reduce the amount of maintenance you are required to do.

Next, create a list of everything you have ever wanted, from plants to waterfalls and arbors. Assess what you can feasibly do now and what you should postpone. Take your modified list and sketch a variety of plans incorporating different ideas. Take your time, consider your options, and remember that your yard will be what visitors base that all important first impression on.

Design your garden and your landscaping in a way that complements your home. Plant eye-catching foliage next to your main entrance and away from eye sores like the tool shed or garage. Use low-maintenance plants along the perimeter of your lot to provide a clean look that requires only minimal care.

Chose plants that blossom throughout the year, not just in the spring and summer. Burning Bush, Red Chokeberry and Oakleaf Hydrangea all highlight the glorious colors of autumn while Sumac, Fothergilla, "Tor" Spirea, Blackhawk Viburnum, Bittersweet, Virginia Creeper and Viking Black Chokeberry are other good choices. Select plants and trees that are in scale and balance with your home.

Finally, review your landscaping plan with your builder to see if see if alterations to your home plans are required to accent a feature like a deck or arbor. Slight alterations may be needed if electrical cables or a natural gas line is needed to fuel an outdoor barbeque or a lighting system.

Now there’s nothing left to do but wait for building to get to the stage where landscaping can begin. Remember, a well-designed landscape enhances the neighborhood, increases your property value and is a source of joy for your family and everyone who visits.

A well-landscaped home is the icing on the cake; the encore that sends fans homes wanting more. Enjoy!