Now, don’t get skeerd, as we say in Texican. Nobody else will see your masterpiece unless you show them. This is a simple schematic drawing that gives you a road map so you can actually arrive at your destination with the least amount of detours.
MAKE A PROPERTY MAP, using either graph paper or a FREE downloaded pattern on standard computer paper. Draw your property to scale. I like to make 1 square=1 foot, mainly because it’s easy. If you don’t have a plat with your home and surrounding yard’s dimensions from when you purchased your property, walk off the area you’ll be landscaping. (For you left-brainers, take your tape measure to get it exact or you won’t be able to sleep tonight.) Mark all existing plants that will remain as well as property lines and easements. I use an “X” with the variety name – if you know them – for trees and squiggly circles colored in for shrubs. This is also a good time to find out if your community has stipulations for changes to your property and note those, such as types of fences allowed if that’s one of the items on your agenda.
A BUBBLE DIAGRAM prescribes what will go where in the area you are landscaping. Inexpensive tracing paper placed over your scaled property map gives a backdrop of the permanent fixtures.
Now draw “bubbles” to show where your new additions will be. This method allows painless changes to be made, making a new patio larger or smaller or even moving it to the other side of the backyard simply by putting a clean sheet of tracing paper on top. It can be as detailed as you’d like, but I usually make general notations at this step. You might want to tape photos – of bed border materials (like a specific stone you like), hardscaping (such as tumbled pavers), furniture or any other features on your wish list – on the edge of your bubble diagram. (Use painter’s or masking tape so it’s removable, just in case you find something you like better!)
I don’t mean to leave you dangling, but….. Well, actually, I do, with the intent of giving you a chance to get ready for the next step, a leap from your preliminary to your permanent plan by PICKING MATERIALS, including plants. Time to get your wallet out because we’re going shopping!