When looking to professionally landscape the exterior of your home, you need the perfect mix of outdoor elements to meet your needs and complement your lifestyle.

Creating A Landscaping Plan 

While many people decide to landscape and then head straight to their local stone yard or garden centre, creating a plan beforehand will make things easier and better. 

Like we mentioned in part one, the Perfect Pool Design, your outdoor project needs to start with a plan. An effective landscape design incorporates the functionality of the space, the environmental factors, and the local municipal by-laws, all while working with your personal style and vision.

Prioritizing Functionality of Landscape Elements 

Depending on your needs and wants, your backyard landscaping can include lots of open grass and space for activities, or include lots of detailed stonework. 

Consider factors such as: 

  • The seasons and when you plan on using the space. Are you thinking summer use only? Or are you Winter Warriors?
  • Are you envisioning entertain in the evenings? Do you want a playset for kids? Green space for pets?
  • How much sun do you get? Or lighting do you need?
  • What areas will be garden or pool or stone?
  • What’s your colour scheme?
  • Do you have a theme for your backyard?
  • Do you need to hire a trained landscaper to do the job?

Landscaping and the Environment

First and foremost consider the natural elements you need to work with. You should always consider factors such as: 

  • What is the topography of your site?
  • How many flowers or plants will you need?
  • Are you looking for privacy from your neighbours? Trees, shrubs or privacy screens?
  • If you are planning a pool, consider the foliage and debris – where will falling leaves go? 
  • Will you need retaining walls? 

Building The Foundational Elements of Your Design

There’s more to landscaping than just looking great, you also need to think through the critical foundational elements. There are two types of landscaping; softscapes and hardscapes. Softscapes are things like lawns and gardens, hardscaping is stonework or retaining walls. Both of these make up your outdoor space. 

You should always consider factors such as: 

  • Will you need foundational restructuring?
  • Who will build your retaining walls and grade?
  • What kind of foundation do you need for patios, decks, hot tubs etc? 
  • Will you need drainage?
  • What materials will you be using? 
  • What edging will you use? 
  • Do you prefer woods, metals, etc?

“Once you’ve determined what landscape design elements you’d like to incorporate into your yard, you can start to see the project scope, budget, and timeline. This will help you decide whether to do it yourself or hire a landscaping company.”  Space Wise

Following Landscaping Laws  

Before breaking ground on your pool or landscaping project, be sure to research the local municipal by-law, or work with a company that will take care of the red tape for you.

 You should always consider factors such as: 

  • What kind of fencing will you require?
  • If you want to build a deck, do you require a permit? 
  • Do you need a TPZ or an arborist to assess existing trees? 
  • Are there any greenspace (softscape) requirements for your address? 

Considering Maintenance of Your Landscaping 

Maintaining your yard can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. For example, if you replace your lawn with turf or patio, you’ll no longer have to mow and weed it. 

You should always consider factors such as: 

  • Do you have pets? Will they be outside and use the lawn?
  • How much lawn do you want to mow (Turf vs grass)?
  • How will you remove trees and debris from your pool?
  • Do you want a garden? 
  • Are you comfortable with removing weeds and trimming trees?
  • Will you hire someone to maintain your gardens or do it yourself?

HGTV Tip: Group plantings into beds and islands and mulch them well to avoid mowing and trimming around each individual plant.

Staying On-Trend In Your Backyard

While design trends are always changing, there are some important things to remember about getting the most out of your landscaping investment. 

For example, while dark stone may be popular right now, it can get really hot, and may not work for you or future homebuyers. Alternatively, really light pavers can stain easily, so you need to keep on top of sitting debris. 

You should always consider factors such as: 

  • What are the current design trends?
  • What’s the longevity of my design concept? Will the design I choose go out of style quickly? 
  • Is my design preference durable and smart?
  • How will landscaping elements increase my home’s value? 

“Landscaping is a great way to boost value without breaking the bank! Homes with landscaped yards can sell for as much as 12.7% more than those without landscaping.” Space Wise

Working With The Right Landscapers

At Pool Craft, Timbercraft, and Stonecraft, our design contract offers transparency and accountability.

Our 3D rendering option allows clients to see their full design plan as accurately as possible before their vision is brought to life. 

3D renderings are also offered as a stand-alone option for those who wish to execute the proposed design themselves.