Landscape design

Plans Are Important!

I know it sounds self-interested when I say that having a garden plan is essential for any landscaping or planting project. For the past ten years, I’ve been working as a landscape designer and project manager.

Image generated by DALL-E, courtesy of OpenAI.

The Importance of a Landscape Plan

Before that, I working in landscaping, starting out as a simple laborer and working my way up to team leader, working on installation and directing landscaping projects in the field. I can’t count the number of mistakes of all kinds, sometimes very costly, that stem from the absence of a plan: one step too many or too few, lack of drainage, trees planted too close to a house, plants ill-suited to the conditions, and so on.

I’ve also met many people who improvise their gardens (you may be one of them!) and buy lots of beautiful plants that look good in the garden centre, but a few months or years later have lost their glory. Did you think about the conditions of your garden and the needs of these plants while you were shopping? The amount of sunshine, the type of soil, the mature size of the plants…

Some of us succeed without a plan, I know that. I’m not that kind of person, it’s just too much information to keep in mind at once. So I draw everything up and plan. Then I act! My girlfriend finds this terribly frustrating, but when I do something, I do it once, the right way! From her point of view, it takes forever to get anything done.

This is the basis of the Laidback gardener’s philosophy. To be Laidback, you need to prepare the soil well and choose the right plants for the right place. If you don’t, you run the risk of having to start all over again, or of having to care for plants that are sickly or sickly because they don’t live in the right conditions.

Why a Landscape Plan?

Planning a residential garden is essential for several reasons:

  1. A better understanding of your garden: When drawing a garden plan, you need to consider all the elements that make up the garden. In this way, we get to know our space better.
  2. Space optimization: A plan visualizes the use of each part of the garden, ensuring that space is used efficiently. It’s cheaper to experiment with ideas on paper than in reality.
  1. Budget and cost management: A detailed plan helps you anticipate the costs of materials, plants, etc. This helps you manage your budget and avoid unexpected expenses. Projects can be carried out over several years, if necessary.
  2. Plant selection: Planning helps to choose plants suited to the climate, soil and sun exposure of your garden or different parts of your garden. This increases the chances of successful plant growth.
  3. Aesthetics and functionality: A plan considers both the aesthetics and the functionality of the garden. It allows for the harmonious integration of elements such as paths, utility zones, play areas or relaxation areas with planting zones.
  4. Long-term planning: Gardening is a dynamic process in which plants grow and change over time. A plan helps to envision the future development of the garden, taking into account the maturity of plants and changing needs.
  5. Error prevention: planning reduces the risk of making costly mistakes. For example, plant wide-spreading trees far from a house so you don’t have to cut them down when they get too large.

Designing Your Own Landscaping Plans

In some more complex cases, I still suggest using the services of landscape contractor, horticulturists, garden designers or landscape architects. However, the basis of my work as a designer is getting to know my customers, their desires and needs. Often, the ideas come from them, and I only guide them. You know your property best. With a little help, it’s entirely possible to create a beautiful outdoor living space that suits your needs.

In the coming months, we’ll be providing you with methods and tools for designing your own landscaping or planting plan. Stay tuned!

Mathieu manages the and websites. He is also a garden designer for a landscaping company in Montreal, Canada. Although he loves contributing to the blog, he prefers fishing.

2 comments on “Plans Are Important!

  1. Having a garden plan makes total sense. It’s like having a map for your plants, so they grow strong and healthy. I loved the tips on avoiding costly mistakes and choosing the right plants. Definitely inspired to plan before I plant! ??

  2. Ann T Dubas

    So true and so challenging. But the challenge is very stimulating. It’s surprisingly difficult to find out ALL the important factors for a plant’s success. A notable one for us was finally finding a site that said New Jersey Teas are deer candy. Or belatedly realizing that our Red Bud is not close enough to the woodland edge. It has never bloomed.

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