Landscaping is an art. It brings together a home’s design with the beauty of the natural world. There’s so much room for creativity! Whether you’re planning your new home’s landscaping or refreshing an old one, here are the important things to consider.
Good landscape design accounts for all the highs and lows of your chosen climate. Understanding the local weather patterns and trends in temperature and humidity will help in planning your new home’s landscaping.
Ever picked up a healthy plant from the garden centre, only to watch it wither within a few months? Climate is often the culprit. Many of the beautiful trees and flowers you see at the greenhouse are not native to Canada, so it can be a challenge to keep them alive and well. Climate is a significant factor in plant choice.
What is a microclimate, you ask? Microclimates are small areas where the climate differs slightly from the region at large. A good example is how cold air settles at the bottom of a valley, making it a few degrees colder than the surrounding climate. But microclimates can also occur on a smaller scale, even within the boundaries of your own backyard.
Think of how light and moisture levels can vary in different areas of the yard. The area beneath the shade of mature trees is ideal for plants that like cooler temperatures and low sun. Moist, sunny areas are perfect for plants that don’t mind getting wet. There are also ways to add or modify the microclimate to suit your landscape design, such as by adding a fence to create shade or creating a rock garden in a sunny spot.
One of the greatest joys of landscape design is selecting plants to populate the yard. Plants are more than a pretty accent. Consider layering tall plants behind short ones to create depth or using groups of plants to define areas within the landscape. If you plan it right, you can ensure something is blooming in the garden at all times of the year.
4. People and Pets
What do you want to see when you gaze out your window? Is it kids kicking a ball across the lawn, or friends kicking back on the patio? How you want people to use the space is an important thing to consider when planning your new home’s landscaping.
It is possible to create a landscape that is both beautiful and child-friendly. You have to keep in mind that kids are apt to run, climb and crawl over every square inch of your well-thought landscape design. Safety is especially important if you have a pool or your lot backs onto a lake or river (lucky you!)
Pets are another consideration. Be aware that some plants are known to have toxic leaves or berries when choosing vegetation for your landscape.
The yard should be a place everyone in the family can enjoy. That includes people of all ages and abilities. After all, people who use wheelchairs and other assistive devices love the outdoors as much as anyone!
Accessibility needs are something to consider when planning your new home’s landscaping. Incorporating smooth pathways and level surfaces into the design will ensure that everyone who visits can enjoy your new yard.
There are many essential things to consider when planning your new home’s landscaping: climate and microclimates, people, plants and animals, safety and accessibility.
But there’s one factor that underlies all the rest: maintenance.
The bigger the lawn, the more it needs mowing. The grander the garden, the more it needs pruning, weeding and watering. In landscaping, you should always consider the level of time and effort you are willing to put forth to keep it beautiful.
If you want to spend less time working and more time relaxing, look to low-maintenance landscaping ideas like native plants and water-efficient irrigation.