Landscaping is art. Imagine the landscape as an artist’s canvas with the greenscape (plants) and hardscape (sidewalks, edging, and patios) providing the colors, shapes, and patterns of the living portrait. Landscaping is also has a practical side. In addition to being more attractive, the benefits of a well-planned, well designed landscape include reduced maintenance, economic savings (reduced inputs of water, fertilizer, and pesticides), enhanced real estate values, and personal satisfaction.
To help you create an attractive and functional landscape, we will discuss some basic principles of landscaping including planning and design, plant selection, and installation. Although the following principles are primarily for homeowners, you also can apply them to larger properties or landscapes. For more detailed information on landscape planning and installation, see the University of Idaho Master Gardener Handbook, chapter 16.
Sufficient information is accessible through this site to allow a homeowner to complete an attractive and serviceable landscape. However, some people may want to access the services of a professional landscape architect. Michigan State University has a good site describing the process of working with a professional.