Gardening Articles: Landscaping :: Trees, Shrubs, & Vines

Landscaping 101 (page 4 of 5)

by National Gardening Association Editors

Committing the Plan to Paper

Leave the stakes, sheets, and hoses in place for a couple of days, or weeks, if necessary. See how the arrangement looks at different times of the day and in different weather conditions. Once you're comfortable with the layout, get out the tape measure, pencils, and paper.

Make a rough drawing of the shape of your lot and house--and please note the word rough. Even those who feel that they simply can't draw anything should go ahead and rough in this preliminary drawing, because it has to make sense to only one person--you--at this point. Use this rough plan to note the actual measurements.

Here are the measurements you'll need:

  • Measure the outside perimeter of your lot.
  • Measure in from the lot lines to the outside walls of your house to establish the house's position on the lot.
  • Measure the outlines of your intended deck, patio, play area, pool, sandbox, or whatever it is you're considering. To correctly position everything on the plan, you'll need to measure in from the lot line, just as you did with your house.

And yes, now is the time to indicate the location of the water spigots, electrical outlets, and whatever else you think should be taken into consideration.

Once you have the measurements on the rough plan, transfer them to the graph paper and make a nice, tidy drawing--one that you can show with pride to any landscaper, architect, or contractor. Alternately, if you doubt your ability to draw, ask someone who can draw to do it for you, with you sitting there explaining what all of those strange lines and squiggles mean. If a single sheet of graph paper is too confining, tape several sheets together to make a bigger drawing.

By the time you have the finished plan on paper, you should be confident that you have a design based in reality, rather than an abstract, two-dimensional drawing pulled together on your kitchen table. This, combined with your garden scrapbook, will hold you in good stead as you go about making your plans and dreams come to life.

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