Planning a landscape is perhaps the most important part of the landscaping process. Once a solid plan is in place, it’s easier to combine all the pieces to create a stunning masterpiece. As with most foundational and crucial steps, landscaping planning can be tricky, overwhelming, and time-consuming, especially if you aren’t working with Portland’s top landscaper.

Getting around the right landscaping plan doesn’t have to be a tough nut to crack, especially if you have the right strategy to approach the process. This article breaks down the landscaping planning steps into 6 essential phases to help you design the perfect masterpiece for your property.

Step 1: Set Your Goals

Every landscaping project is different in its own right. The uniqueness of your landscaping project revolves around the goals and preferences you’ve set at the start. Consider the following as you set a realistic goal for your landscaping project.

The look and feel of your landscape: The look and feel of your landscape say it all. It is the difference between an aesthetic masterpiece and just another landscape in the neighborhood. Determine the specific flower types you want, shapes and sizes, color theme and schemes, as well as other landscaping design features that’ll stand your property out.

Usage: How you intend to use your landscape or garden can affect your plans. Ask simple but honest questions and decide what’s best based on your answer. If you’re planning to use your landscaping for sports, you need short grasses that do not grow too tall.

Ecosystem: Homeowners should consider the ecosystem and their impact on it when planning their landscape. Adding trees to your home can help improve oxygen and fresh air availability. You should also ensure that you have created an ecosystem that eliminates the need for inorganic chemicals for your landscape to thrive.

Step 2: Site planning 

With a clear goal and direction in mind, the next step is to plan your site according to the land area that is available to you. Proper site planning will consider the buildings, the slope, trees, plants, gardens, and paths. Ensure that all the important aspects of functional landscaping, including irrigation lines and electrical outlets, are properly planned into the site.

If you need help with how to start planning your site, take inspiration from browsing the internet or contact a landscaping professional to discuss your goals.

Step 3: Site analysis

It’s not enough to set a goal or plan for your site; you should understand if the plan is feasible and viable. Site analysis gives you a perfect understanding of your site and how your plan falls into the site’s structure. 

During the analysis state, focus on where the sun rises and sets. You should also focus on identifying the shaded areas, areas with the most access to sunlight, and grey areas. This analysis can help you to better plan your site such that plants and flowers that need sunlight the most are planted right where they should be.

As part of this analysis, consider the site’s slope and the need for slope-breaking structures like retaining walls to counter surface runoff, erosion, or water damage. You should also consider the wind and wind direction.

Step 4: Translate/visualize the ideas

Everything looks better when put on paper in a visually stimulating manner. At this stage, translate your ideas into visuals and start bringing all elements of it to life.

Consult your earlier goals, look at your site plan, and consider your site analysis to help situate the different landscaping elements where they ought to be.

There’s a chance that you may start to see holes in your original plan or goals. Now is the time to move things around to ensure that all chosen landscaping elements are needed and in sync with achieving the set goals.

Step 5: Design your concept plan

The visualizing stage comes with a lot of trial and error. In fact, you may find yourself going over things multiple times, moving landscaping elements around, and looking for the perfect fit for each component. At that stage, you may eliminate some elements because they no longer fit your landscaping goal.

Whatever the outcome, you can be sure that you’ll come up with a perfect plan that considers every one of the important factors. At this stage, you can draw up a concept plan that adds further details like the paths, lawn, pond, water features, and others. This concept plan will be the final piece you’ll deliver to the landscaper.

Step 6: Planting plan 

With clear visuals of your landscape and what it should look like, you can start working with a landscaper to choose the most suitable plants for each section of your site. This process often requires professional help as there are plenty of plant types and considerations based on your location, climatic condition, maintenance requirement, etc.

Following the six steps above can help you, as a professional or homeowner, to design the perfect landscape for your specific needs.