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Tips for Landscaping Basics – How to Landscape Your New Home

February 20th, 2012

By Cheryl Jones

These tips for landscaping your new home will provide you with the landscaping basics that you need to get started. Whether you are a first time homeowner, own a new home or a new to you home, landscaping is often one of the most daunting tasks for a homeowner. Follow these steps to make your landscape project a success.

If your home is a new construction, then you may have a blank canvas to work with on landscaping. Should your new home be an existing one, keep in mind that foundation plants in landscapes generally need to be replaced every 12 to 15 years to keep them fresh looking and keep from getting overgrown. Smaller perennials and ornamental grasses will vary in their lifespan anywhere from 3 years to permanent fixtures. It really depends on the plant variety as it can vary.

For new home construction landscaping, start with foundation plants and lawn area. To keep year around color and texture, plant at least 50% of the foundation plants in evergreen shrubs. Then, blend in smaller sized flowering shrubs, ornamental grasses and perennials. Use plants that bloom at different times of the year to create interest in all seasons.

The main rule for planting trees in the landscape is to plant them at least as far away from the foundation as they will grow in height. For example, a red bud tree generally matures around 20 feet tall, so it should be planted no closer to the house than 20 feet. One can fudge a little, but over the long term, the root system from trees can seriously damage the foundation of the home.

As a new homeowner, it is exciting to begin your plan for landscaping your property. However, whether the house is new or new to you, it is highly recommended to live in the house at least one full year before beginning any major projects. A complete year will show you how the house and property react during the seasons, such as drainage, lighting, privacy and other potential problems as well as showing you how specific areas are being used by you and your family.

Keeping a journal to record the seasonal changes of the property along with pictures and articles of plants or landscapes will be invaluable to you as you begin your landscape project.

Factors to look at in planning your landscape:


How property/areas are used

Style of house

Existing hardscaping

Outdoor lighting

Foundation plants

Extensive plantings (beyond foundation)

These factors are also what a landscape architect will ask you to consider.

Once you learn the basics of landscape design, you will be able to design your own backyard, place foundation plantings, and plan for gardens and activities.

Cheryl Jones writes articles on plants, plant care, gardening tips and Basics of Landscape Design. Her website, GreenwoodNursery.com, offers a great selection of plants including flowering shrubs, evergreen ground covers, strawberry plants, small fruiting plants, lavender plants, creeping phlox, and Thjua Green Giants.

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