Here are 5 landscaping design ideas and steps when landscaping. They include determining your needs, conducting a site inventory and analysis, drawing up diagrams, develop a conceptual design plan, and finally, drawing the final design plan.

The first of these 5 landscaping design ideas and steps will establish functional, aesthetic, and horticultural requirements of the design. The last two steps will take those requirements and apply them to the creation of your final landscape plan.

The first of the five steps will begin with a detailed list of all of your desires and needs. This will make it easy for you to determine how your yard will be used by you and your family. The second step is the taking of the site inventory and an analysis of various things such as drainage, soil, existing vegetation, and climatic conditions.

This step will help you determine the type of plant selection and placement plus also the location of any areas for family activities. This is a very important step because obviously the climate will affect certain plants. Sunlight, rain, humidity, and temperature will also affect you and your family. You should also be able to establish at this point a theme for your landscaping project.

The last three steps involve drawing up a functional diagram plan and then a final design plan that will help you to determine where everything is about to go. All of these five steps are crucial for helping you eliminate any potential problems. If you follow this five step procedure your yard will be both beautiful and functional.

During these five steps it is also important to consider a few other key points. Try to understand how you will divide the areas for activity and plant selection. Always consider your final objective of what you want and need in this landscape design. Try to establish a theme throughout the process to help you stay on track.

Introduce a good flow into your landscape by linking spaces with designated activity areas and other landscaping elements. Always consider the function of plans in regards to the environment and your family. Try to highlight specific important areas such as focal points and transition areas. Pay close attention to the details in the materials that you will use both in the areas of color and surface texture.

At the beginning point it is important for you to thoroughly understand your site. Some of the issues that you will need to be concerned about include the regional climate, the soil type, and the topography. Analyze your soil and choose plants that will thrive in that type of soil. Soils can be amended but this is a costly process that is often ineffective.

Any existing vegetation that is growing will help you determine the soil type. In areas where plants are growing well take note of soil conditions and then choose plants that have a similar growing requirement. If there are areas where the plants are not growing well then you may need to do some adjusting before choosing any new plants.

Take special care to notice any drainage issues and correct these drainage issues in your functional design. A good drainage plan will have the water moving away from the house towards other areas of the yard that can withstand excessive water. Most regions have an average low and high temperature for the region. Make sure that you choose plants that are able to survive both of these high and low averages.

There are many websites that can provide you with plant hardiness zone maps. This will be a good place to start to choose which plants are appropriate for your yard. However, remember that any climate zone may also have mini micro climates that can alter the climate to a large degree.

There are also consideration is to be made in regards to both the sun and shade. Design a base map that will record all of these types of conditions and existing vegetation which will help you to understand any microclimates that you have in your yard. Most plants will fall into either two or four microclimate categories. They are full sun, shade, partial shade, and deep shade.

However, keep in mind that the shade patterns do change with the seasons and as your plants start to grow it will also change these micro climates. On your base map also include other important items such as power lines, underground utilities, septic tanks, roof overhangs, and drainage lines.

The first step of any good landscaping project is to remember the user. The user is you, your family members, friends, visitors, and family pets. Keep in mind these following questions as you work through your landscaping design plans.

How do you and your family currently use your yard? How would you like to use the yard in the future? How do you want the yard to look? What type of maintenance do you want to do? What is your budget? Keeping those 5 landscaping design ideas and steps clearly in mind throughout your landscaping process will provide you with a beautiful landscaped yard.