How to Landscape - A Tutorial for Beginners

Learning how to landscape your property will add both beauty as well as a higher financial value to your home. While many people seek out a professional for this type of work, a beginner with the right motivation can learn how to landscape by understanding a few basic principles.

The Basics

By definition, landscaping is making improvements to the area outside your home. These changes can be for practical or for artistic reasons. For instance, installing landscape lighting can provide much needed illumination on a sidewalk or pathway, while planting certain flowers and shrubs can offer a touch of color and fragrance.

Everything that surrounds your home, whether plants or junk or tools, affects the atmosphere of your property in either a positive or negative way. Learning how to landscape begins with this simple concept and then builds on the premise that by adding or subtracting items from your property, you can improve the overall look and value of your home. Another basic principle in how to landscape is that everything must be in harmony with other, either through colors, textures or placement of certain plants. This is known as landscape designing and even a beginner can accomplish this.

Time To Begin

The first step in landscape design is to access the current state of your property. Are the trees healthy or do they need to be trimmed or even removed? Do you have dead shrubs or cracked sidewalks? Perhaps you have a vine that has taken over a fence? Basically, you will need to clean up, remove or prune any existing plants or deteriorating conditions in your yard.

You may have to call in a tree trimmer for a larger job, but for small trees and shrubs, check your local stores for the right tools to complete this task. After this step is finished, it will be time to design your new landscape.

One of the best ways to learn how to design a landscape is by looking at photos. Your library, bookstore or nursery will have resources that will show you completed projects. The general idea in landscaping is to group certain flowers and plants together for color or for practical reasons. Select a color scheme that is in harmony with the color of your home. Many people like to add a vivid touch to their gardens and may even match the flowers to the color of their shutters or trim work on the house.

Another important consideration is placing plants where they will grow the best. Plants that need a lot of sun or extra shade should be allowed to grow in areas where those conditions are present. If your new plants need a lot of water, consider installing an automatic sprinkler system. It's helpful to draw a picture of your yard and even color in the plants to get a more visual idea of how your landscaping project will look. Learning how to landscape your property will give you a sense of fulfillment as well as an increased financial value to your home.