Whether you are developing a new landscape or renovating an old one, it is important to have a plan before doing anything with permanent implications. In the long run, not having a plan may create maintenance problems and reduce the overall appearance of the landscape. The following steps will help you develop a plan for a landscape that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Define Your Objectives and Constraints
This is the most important step of the landscape process. Establishing clear objectives and constraints at the beginning will help you achieve the benefits you hope to receive from your landscape plan. In practice, decide what type of layout best fits the needs of your household, while working within existing economic, social, environmental, and physical constraints.
1. Possible objectives:
a. Low maintenance (reduced watering, pesticide and fertilizer applications, less mowing).
c. Adequate recreation area.
d. Enhancement of appearance.
e. Attraction of wildlife habitat (includes forage and cover for birds and desirable insects).
2. Possible constraints
a. Environmental conditions (includes climate, soil, and precipitation).
b. Physical barriers or obstacles on the landscape.
c. Social (includes public ordinances restricting water use or plant selection).
e. Physical handicaps.
Texas A & M University provides an excellent web site on landscape planning that will give more detail on how to assess and site and complete a plan of work.