Landscaping Ideas

null

Landscaping

Regardless of where you live, how much space you have, and what your experience level is, you can enjoy landscape design with help from the Web. Landscaping is not only fun to plan and implement, but if done well, it can even reduce your energy costs, provide years of comfort and enjoyment, and increase the value of your home. Start planning your landscaping project on the Web by looking through photos for ideas as well as researching specific design principles, features, and types of plants. You’ll find useful blogs and forums for sharing tips and advice, and can even locate a nearby landscaper if the project seems too daunting to tackle on your own.

Landscaping Ideas

For most people, the best (or easiest) part of landscaping is imagining the design you want to achieve. Many sites on the Web can help you determine what style you want to create and the design details that work best for your home. Use these resources for inspiration.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • You’ll likely find scores of appealing landscape photos and ideas on the Web, so it may help to organize the sites you like best in a bookmark folder for easy browsing later. Bookmark specific pages or links on a site that take you directly to the pictures or articles you found most helpful.
  • Landscaping might just make your life easier. For example, you can create areas that block sunlight and lower your energy costs, or add privacy with trees and shrubs. Make a list of what your needs are so that you can address them specifically as your project gets underway. Keep a list with cutouts and inspiring images to help you prioritize what elements are most important to you when you finally begin your project.
  • You might love the look of a traditional English garden, but does it work for your lifestyle? Consider how much time you have for upkeep and maintenance. Remember that you can incorporate individual elements of a few different styles and create one that fits you.
  • If you come across a garden magazine that appeals to you, check to see if it has a Web site. Often, you can read archived articles online, and discover photographers or writers that inspire you.
  • To spark your imagination, consider visiting a professionally maintained garden in your area. Check with your local chamber of commerce for information about historic homes or parks where blooms are held in high regard.

Dulcinea's Picks

For landscaping photos and general landscape design inspiration …
For landscaping styles …
Back to Top

Landscaping Plants

Different plants thrive in different environments, and they require varying amounts of water, care, food, and sunlight. Use the following resources to learn which plants will work best in your climate.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • If you’re spending lots of time designing your home or garden to include certain types of plants, be sure that you select plant types that will grow and thrive in the years to come—not those that will wilt or wither after just a few seasons.
  • Landscaping projects can be expensive, but if you think ahead, you can use different plants and features to save yourself money in the long run. The U.S. Department of Energy offers advice for energy efficient landscaping.
  • Often, greenhouses and landscape supply centers employ master gardeners and experienced landscapers. Try to visit and speak to a knowledgeable staffer for advice that applies directly to your climate and location.

Dulcinea's Picks

For learning about climate …
For specific landscaping plants and features …
For landscaping features to increase the value of your home …
To use the best of the best plants …
Back to Top

Landscape Design

Now that you have an idea of what landscape design you’d like and which plants you’d like to include into your project, you can begin to develop your landscaping plan. Use these sites to familiarize yourself with some basic design principles. You’ll also find step-by-step, professional advice to help you do it yourself. In addition, this section of the guide includes resources for finding a professional landscaper.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • Texas A&M University publishes “Horticulture Update,” which featured the winter 2002 article “Planning the Landscape.” Horticulturalist Dan Gill provides a step-by-step process for designing your landscape.
  • Even if you are prepared to do much of the physical work on your own, you still might consider having a landscape architect or designer draw up plans and create a gardening schedule for you. You can purchase your plants and put them in the ground yourself to save money, but you’ll have some professional oversight to guide you. This is an especially good idea for first-time DIY landscapers.
  • If you don’t want to pay for a landscaper, there are plenty of ways to get professional advice for free. For example, many gardening and landscaping sites encourage users to email them for advice. At www.northscaping.com, for example, forum questions are answered by the company’s expert landscaping staff.

Dulcinea's Picks

For practical design advice …
For planning philosophies …
For information about landscape professionals …
For multimedia and landscape design programs …
Back to Top

Landscaping Forums and Blogs

Blogs and forums offer a full gamut of candid advice and information: you’ll find those that enjoy landscaping as a hobby along with professionals. Use these sites for firsthand advice from real gardeners.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • To find blogs on specific topics (say, water gardening), use a blog search engine such as Technorati or BlogPulse.
  • Gardening and landscaping are quite popular on the Web, and you’ll notice that many forums are busy and full of entries. If you have a question about something, consider posing it in a forum, as well as to your local greenhouse or garden-center staff to get a broad range of opinions.

Dulcinea's Picks

Back to Top

Most Recent Guides