How many times do we come home from the nursery with a car full of plants and then get home and be totally stumped on where to put them, or we end up moving plants around every spring. Unfortunately I hear this story quite often. As a Landscape Designer, contractor, and now business owner in Portland Oregon and surrounding areas for the past 15 years I have listened to hundreds of people tell me the same things over and over about their landscape. I also know that some of these design skills which help make me successful as a professional cannot just be learned by reading an article or book. I do however believe by following some basic steps I believe you can get the function and beauty from your landscape that you have been searching for.
First come up with a list of what is the most important things to you in your landscape, whether that be outdoor entertaining with outdoor structures, patios, BBQ’s, and fire pits, gardens of flower beds, large open lawn areas, terraced retaining walls, water features etc… Keeping these basic ideas will give you some direction and focus when making your own landscape design. Many times I see people who saw something in a magazine that they loved the look of, but when they implement it in there yard it ruins the function and flow that they really were trying to create.
Second keep it simple, I see many yards that look like a plant sale or a home show. They have one of everything although by themselves these plants are wonderful put together with too many other focal plants creates a busy and messy appearance that distracts from the peaceful environment they were trying to create. It is better to pick 7-8 different varieties of shrubs and trees that will function well in your backyard space. Then bring in 3-4 focal plants that will give you that wow factor you were looking for.