Before you sit down to pick plants and hardscape features for your garden, consider function. It’s easy to get caught-up in what looks good and to forget about what works well. Aesthetics don’t need to be sacrificed, but consideration of those requirements early in the design process provides a solid foundation for a successful and useable space.
Keep these suggestions in mind while you plan:
Access: • Design access-ways to be clear of obstructions and safe for walking or driving. • Keep plants trimmed from overhanging walks and drives.
Drainage • Maintain a positive grade away from your house to avoid a wet basement. • Grade lawn and garden areas to avoid muddy patches. • Keep drainage off of walks and drives to avoid puddles and icing.
Utilities • Provide utility access to water, power and gas meters. • Allow yourself access to hose bibs and outdoor power receptacles. • Keep plants and debris away from HVAC equipment.
Maintenance • Lawn and garden spaces will each require water and seasonal attention. • Select plants based upon their growth rate and level of care according to your budget.
Safety • Be wary of trip hazzards. • Provide adequate light for walking and for security. • Limit obvious hiding places for bad guys near walks and driveways.
Children, Pets and Wildlife • Plan for fencing to limit ingress/ egress and check for gaps. • Don’t plant things that will get eaten, dug-up or trampled. • Provide open space for kids and dogs to run.