Landscaping around your home is more than just planting a few flowers to create curb appeal. Although good landscaping can increase the value of your home, it is valuable for other reasons too. It can save on your energy bills, lower noise levels, block unpleasant views, and aid in proper drainage.
Always remember to start with a plan.
Planning a landscape is not as simple as arranging trees, plants and shrubs on your property. You should have a plan (written or simple sketch) of what will be placed on your property. This should include hardscape elements such as retaining walls, walk ways, patios, water features, fire pits, hot tubs, outdoor kitchens, lighting and shade or flowering trees, planting beds and shrubbery and plants.
Choose plants that work best for your climate.
Your local nursery is a good source of information for choosing the best plants for your location. You should consider how much sun or rain you will get, and the type of soil composition you have when choosing plants.
Consider drainage issues when developing a landscaping plan.
Dealing with water from the roof of your home as well as from the slope (or lack of one) to your building site is a critical element in the landscape design. All water should drain away from the foundation! The foundation should be much higher than ground level. The foundation should be covered with rock or with plants or shrubs to hide it, and not have anything around it that could limit drainage.
Natural landscaping that blends with the environment is a great option.
Many customers who build deep in the woods where they are surrounded by trees and undergrowth choose landscaping requiring minimal planting and which blends with the environment.
There are many choices for a walkway.
Lots of materials are available to choose from including stone, concrete, asphalt, aggregate stone in concrete, brick or crushed gravel.
There are pros and cons to using rock versus mulch.
Rock ground cover will last longer and not degrade. It is also better on a slope because it will not wash away. It does not require replacement or top dressing, but it does require a weed barrier underneath.
Wood mulch is extremely beneficial to the soil and to plants. It retains water, provides organic matter to the soil and reduces reflective heat. It does need to be replenished on a yearly basis.
The natural vegetation around a lake or other body of water will minimize the need for additional landscaping.
If you have a natural slope to the water, you can use decorative borders to create a tiered appearance. Rocks or landscaping timbers could be used. No matter how you landscape, if you have a water view, always capitalize on it with outdoor living spaces.