Creating a landscaping design for your yard takes a mixture of your personal preferences, the size of your yard, its location and a good dose of imagination. Many homeowners consider the climate and overall appearance of the home and neighborhood when tackling landscaping decisions. Your yard is your outdoor home, your paradise, and a combination of landscaping features can help you create a beautiful, functional and effective yard space.
Determine what your backyard or front yard space will be used for. Your ackyard, depending on size, might be the perfect place for year-round entertaining, if you live in the Southwest, but not so much if you live in the Northeast, where snow, wind and rain can keep you indoors for months. Look at the space you have to work with, as well as your current landscape. Create a list of ideas or things you would like to incorporate or see in your front and backyard. Put everything you want into a drawing, and then narrow down your choices to the space you have to work with. The shape of your plot, current lawns, the location of shrubs and trees and your budget also will have a lot to do with your landscaping decisions.
Figure out what kinds and types of plants or trees will grow well in your yard, depending on your geographic location, the size and shape of your yard space, and how long you want to wait for trees, shrubs or other planted features to fill that space. On the other hand, you might see old or damaged trees that need to be removed, which will create more space for outdoor landscaping features such as fountains, ponds, pools, decks or that jacuzzi you've been longing for.
Ask other family members what they want in the front or backyard. A koi pond or a Greek fountain can add wonderful focal points to any yard. But take into consideration the amount of maintenance that might be required of such ideas, as well as the time and upkeep necessary for swimming pools and other amusements. If you want a built-in brick barbecue, determine how much backyard space will be required and its optimal location for ease of use. A waterfall rock garden or pond might also complete your own backyard getaway, but determine the amount of time, money and care such focal points might be required during various seasons.
Check out landscape books from the library or access Internet resources for ideas on landscape design to help you kick-start some ideas. Or take your ideas and mesh them with others that you see and like. Every homeowner's ideas should suit his or her plot of land, the space available and the climate when it comes to deciding what to add and what to leave out. The key is to try to picture different focal points in different parts of the yard, whether you're looking for the perfect private location for a gazebo or the perfect spot to plant your much-anticipated rose garden.