Your Guide to Optimal Landscaping This Summer

With summer in full swing, it’s the perfect time to turn your garden into a personal oasis. Landscaping isn’t just about making your outdoor space look pretty; it can also add value to your property and improve your well-being. From selecting the right plants to maximizing your outdoor space, this guide will walk you through the essential steps to take your landscaping to the next level this season.

Here’s your complete guide to create a breathtaking, functional, and sustainable landscape this summer.

1. Assess Your Space

The first step to any successful landscaping project is to assess your space. Take note of the size, shape, and any features you want to keep or remove. This includes trees, shrubs, and other plants, as well as any hardscape elements such as pathways, decks, or fences. Identify areas that receive a lot of sunlight and those that are shaded throughout the day. Understanding these details will help you plan a landscape that works with your space, rather than against it.

Consider the sunlight needs of your plants

Different plants have different sunlight requirements. Some thrive in full sun, while others prefer shade. Knowing which areas of your garden receive how much sunlight will help you choose the right plants for each spot.

Take stock of existing soil and drainage

Check the soil quality and whether there are any issues with drainage. Compacted or sandy soil may need to be amended before planting. Poor drainage can be improved with raised beds or strategic landscaping. Proper soil and drainage can make or break the success of your garden.

2. Set a Budget

Landscaping can get expensive, but there are ways to make your dollar stretch. Decide how much you’re willing to spend and prioritize your projects. If your budget is tight, start with small changes that have a big impact, like adding mulch to your garden beds or painting your fence.

Prioritize essential hardscaping elements

If you’re working with a limited budget, focus on hardscaping elements like pathways and retaining walls that provide the backbone of your landscape. Plants can be added over time, but ensuring you have a well-designed layout first is key.

Plan for ongoing maintenance costs

Remember that landscaping is an ongoing investment, and your budget should include maintenance costs. Plants need water, mulch needs refreshing, and pathways need occasional weeding. Factor these into your budget from the start.

3. Design Your Space

Now that you know what you’re working with, it’s time to design your landscape. Start with a rough sketch of your space, marking where you want to place different elements like flower beds, seating areas, and water features. Think about the function of each area and how you want to use your outdoor space.

Incorporate sustainable practices in your design

Consider sustainability when planning your landscape. Use native plants that require less water and maintenance. Implement rain gardens or permeable pavers to manage water runoff. Designing with sustainability in mind can save you money and help the environment.

Keep it flexible

Your landscape design should be adaptable. You might change your mind about the placement of certain elements, or you might need to accommodate new additions in the future. Make sure your design can flex with your evolving needs.

4. Start with the Bigs

The backbone of your garden, like trees and large shrubs, should be the first things you plant. They’ll take the longest to establish and will determine the layout of the rest of your garden. Make sure you give them enough room to grow to their full size.

Ensure proper spacing

No matter how small your plants are when you buy them, they will grow. Be sure to space them adequately so they have room to thrive. Overcrowding can lead to competition for resources and a higher likelihood of disease.

Consider your home’s architecture

The plants in your landscape should complement your home’s style. Tall, slender plants work well with modern homes, while more sprawling varieties might suit a traditional style.

5. Add Color and Texture

Now it’s time to add the plants that will give your garden its character. Choose a mix of colors and textures to create interest. Use a variety of perennials, annuals, and flowering shrubs to ensure that something is always blooming in your garden.

Think about year-round interest

Plan for plants that have visual interest in different seasons. Evergreens can provide color and structure in the winter, while deciduous trees might offer striking fall foliage.

Layer plants for a more natural look

Create depth by planting in layers. Taller plants at the back, medium-sized plants in the middle, and low-growing plants at the front. This will create a natural, cohesive look and make the most of your space.

Landscaping can seem like a daunting task, but with some careful planning and creativity, you can transform your outdoor space into a beautiful and functional extension of your home. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting, these steps will help you create a landscape that you can enjoy all summer long. Remember to be patient, as great gardens don’t grow overnight, and have fun with the process!