Mainly designed for entertainment purposes and for extended living areas, backyard landscaping designs can be as detailed as needed to gain the look desired. Taking time to draw out a design is important. This design should include plans for existing trees and shrubberies, retaining walls, fences and backyard structures. Backyard landscaping designs need to be well thought out and planned. Use and function of the layout should be the first designing step. Privacy issues with neighbors, pet issues, and stray animals need to be addressed when planning the landscape design. Play areas and entertainment areas need to be well planned for.
An ugly fence or chain linked fence can be covered up by a tree line or shrubbery line that will bank against it properly. Use this period of designing to think about planting for noise and privacy reasons. Most landscaping designs flow freely with no set structuring other than being pleasing to the eyes of the beholder. Existing patio areas and pools should be carefully designed around to keep entertainment value high. Crowding plants around in haphazard ways is not an option when it comes to seating arrangements.
Boxy seating areas are not as pleasing to the eye as those that curve and curl around a seating area on two sides or more. Every corner should be taken into consideration by the height of plants needed for privacy. Proper walking paths can be scattered with pea gravel or set with occasional stepping stones winding through the landscaping design. Pavers are also ideal path material and can be used, as to avoid having to edge the landscaped area with edging material.
Often, a plant or shrub can be safely moved to be incorporated into the design. Large trees may take more planning. Talking with a local nursery about moving larger planted trees, like fruit trees, is recommended. Planning the move for existing plants should be done when they are in their dormant state to avoid any potential re-rooting problems. The design stage should also include a nearby water source for landscape watering, or a water irrigation design should be added. It is recommended that all waterlines, underground cable lines, electric line, phone lines and gas lines be well marked beforehand. Calling the local utility and power company is a good idea before ever digging up a yard.
Once the backyard landscaping designs are drawn and finished, plants, trees, water structures and pavers or stepping stones need to be bought. Plants, trees and shrubbery should be chosen for their beauty as well as their hardiness. Make sure the plants that are bought for the landscaping project are properly zoned for the area. A local nursery or landscaping magazine will have this information. Native plants should be used, not only for the existing wildlife species, but because invasive species tend to become aggressive and quickly take over the design, often killing off native species.
Water fountains and backyard water ponds lend artistic and architectural value to backyard landscaping designs. Plants that are known water species or tolerate wet soil conditions should be easy to find and establish in and around these water features. If fish are added to the water pond, a good investment would be a pond mesh covering to keep birds from fishing in the pond. Additional features to add around ponds and fountains are beautiful riverbed rocks and small landscaping boulders. Lights that light these features up at night can add even more interest to the landscape. Solar light kits are the most popular and most cost-effective to use.