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An Empty Space Impatiently waits in your landscape. Perhaps you are starting from scratch, or a fallen tree or remodeling job has left you with an open area. Maybe you've just grown tired of a foundation planting you've never really found attractive and have finally torn out the overgrown shrubbery. Whatever the reason, you're ready for a landscape makeover.
The basics of landscape design are as easy as 1-2-3: have a plan; choose a focal point; then add plants while considering their size, texture and color.
The amount of time devoted to each of these steps depends on the size of the job. To landscape an entire yard you may want to spend the first year on just step one, the planning and research phase. For a small bed, a few hours and a mental picture may be all you need before moving on to step two. Not every design job calls for graph paper and a tape measure.
Step two, choosing a focal point, helps to lead you smoothly toward the final step of filling in with plants. For a large project, step two also includes placing the paths, patios and other structures that make up the hardscaping, or "bones," of a landscape. It is not unreasonable to spend a year or more installing hardscaping, focal points and large trees.
Once you've made these decisions about what will anchor and define the space, you'll be more confident in selecting the plants that will fill your garden. Relax and enjoy step three. Gardens are never finished; you can enjoy a lifetime of adding, removing and rearranging plants.
Whether you're working on a weekend project of colorful annuals or a grand scheme spaced out over several years, you're just three steps away from a lovely landscape.
PLANNING FOR SUCCESS
What does your dream garden look like? Do you prefer a woodsy, natural look or a more formal, tidy garden? The location of your empty space will help you to define the style that fits the area. The front yard of a traditional home, for instance, needs to be more formal than a narrow strip of land rarely seen on the …