Many of us have avoided starting a project because we don’t know where to begin and it all seems overwhelming. When dealing with your landscape, the solution to this problem is to create a master plan. If you are tackling the work all at once or doing the work in phases over an extended period of time, creating a master plan for your garden has many benefits.
Creating a plan
A master plan is a drawing that takes your entire property into consideration and addresses all your landscape goals, not just one area or project. Creating a master plan begins with measuring and documenting the current conditions (making a base plan). Next you decide on your program (what you want to accomplish). Then you are ready to design and draft your landscape (create your solution). Doing all this work on the front end pays off in many ways.
Benefits of Planning
Having a master plan will help you determine the best way to tackle your project. You can use the plan to establish a budget and determine what you want to prioritize, and what you may want to put off to another phase. A key benefit of mapping out your project this way is that it helps you avoid the cost of doing things twice. Without a plan, a shrub or walkway installed in year one, may be in the way of the next phase.
Pre-planning also helps you avoid painting yourself into a corner by allowing you to see the best possible way to stage your project. For example, you don’t want to block your access to the rear yard by putting in a fence and screen plantings only to have to move them to install a pool in year two.
Long term planning may allow you to save money by planting key pieces (trees and screen planting) earlier, at a smaller size, and letting them mature before other phases of the project are done. If you are using a material such as pavers or stone in different phases of the project, you may want to purchase enough for both phases and stockpile the material for the later section. This way you guarantee the material will be available and match when installed.
A finished landscape will often involve different trades (masons, electricians, irrigation contractors, etc.), so having a comprehensive plan will help them all be on the same page (literally!)
A master plan is fundamental in creating a cohesive finished product. If it is designed in advance to work together, the finished landscape will function as one, even if the installation is executed over several phases.
Working with your Budget and Schedule
Hicks Landscapes often creates plans for our clients that are implemented in phases over several years. Our design team can help you strategize the best approach for implementing your landscape. If you are struggling with where to begin, give Hicks a call.