There are many factors to consider in landscape design. Landscaping can be a do-it-yourself project or can be done by landscape professionals like landscape architects and contractors. Some of the first things to consider are money, time and effort. A budget should be determined to limit overspending. The amount of time and work put into landscaping should also be taken into account. Some other factors may include climate, soil and regulations. Normally, the first step in landscaping is planning. Computer software can be used to model the property being landscaped. Maps and blueprints might be drawn up to show the layout of features and boundaries. Photographs may be taken along with notes to help fill in details. Once the big picture can be seen, lists are made for the types of materials to be used, the types of plants to be added and the tools and equipment that will be needed to do the work.
At the beginning stage of landscape planning, the elements and theme need to be determined. Water issues have to be addressed such as irrigation and drainage. Installing an irrigation system may require a professional landscaping contractor. Pipes, sprinklers and timer with electrical system should be included in landscaping plans. If the landscaping theme includes swimming pools, waterfalls, fountains or a pond, a landscaping service should also be considered. The amount of light should be taken into account when landscaping.
The types of trees and plants can be a factor in achieving a balance between sun and shade. Different types of lighting at nighttime can add to a landscape's effects. These include up lighting where lights shine from below, down lighting, silhouetting or the addition of lamps, floodlights, or lanterns. Various types of themes are possible but generally depend on the region and the climate. Desert themes that use cactus and plants that are used to dry environments and tropical themes would be more appropriate for warmer climates. Other types of themes might be Japanese, mountain or a winter theme with evergreens.
Some of the preliminary landscaping tasks that might have to be done before planting include soil testing. The pH level has to be set to the type of plants being used. Plant nutrients may also have to be added.
The types of materials to be used may depend on the structures to be built on the landscape. Walkways, steps, paving and retaining walls may require materials used in masonry like brick, stone, sand and concrete. Decks, gazebos, gates and trellises as well as a fence may require a large amount of wood.
Depending on the task and the materials used, the types of tools and equipment should be selected. Shovels, mattocks and wheelbarrows might be needed when working with dirt. Working with wood may require a saw, hammer and screwdriver as well as a lever, tape measure and drill.
The different plants that should be taken into account include trees, shrubs, grass, flowers and hedges. Some of the popular types of trees include cedar, ash, walnut, popular, oak, fir and pine. Popular flowers include daisies, lilies, aster, iris, tulips, daffodils and rose bushes.
The amount of maintenance with associated tasks also has to be considered when planning a landscape. These tasks include but are not limited to cleaning, fertilizing, lawn care, leaf removal in fall and mowing along with other types of yard work. In winter, snow removal tasks such as salting would have to be considered for its effects on plants that are part of the landscape. If a landscaped property requires too much maintenance for the owners to do it themselves or if a special project or task has to be done, landscape professionals should be brought in to help, especially for very large problems.
There are tree services that can remove dead trees and stumps. Landscape contractors can also perform certain construction tasks like building terraces, driveways, swimming pools and baseball fields. They can also take over routine jobs like grounds keeping, lawn care, pruning, raking and snow removal in winter. Some landscape service companies perform landscape architect design as well as contracting.