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Landscape Design Tips

Designing your outdoor living space can be a daunting challenge. Maybe you know what colors you like or plants. There are definite styles that appeal to some people, but not others. It's important that your yard reflects your personality and also serves the needs of your family. But where do you begin?

Think of colors and plants and styles more like interior decorating. Interior decorating is important, but you first need the house. Dividing up your yard into functional areas is the first step to creating the landscape of your dreams. The three areas of usage in your yard are the service area, the public area, and the private area.

Landscape Plan NHThe service area - The service area involves utility access and storage for those necessary but often unattractive elements required for modern-day living. Service areas include garbage cans, propane tanks, clothes lines and storage sheds for tools or pool accessories. It is important for service areas to be easily accessible but also hidden from view.

Propane tanks should be placed where they can be accessed by the fuel delivery person, even in a New England winter. If the driveway is to be plowed, consider where the snow will be pushed. Tanks and pool filters can be concealed with lattice fence panels or plantings. In some cases the service area cannot be hidden from view, such as pool sheds. In this case it is important to choose a style that will work aesthetically with your overall plan.

The public area - Public areas are those parts of the yard that are most frequented by guests and used for recreational purposes. The public area often dictates the placement of walkways and screen plantings. The focal point should be the main entrance area.

Consideration of how your guests will arrive and where they will go first is important. For example, the front walkway should have a flared entrance to allow pedestrians to take the path of least resistance and be wide enough for two people to walk side-by-side. It should be well lit and have an inviting appeal from the curb.

The public area also has much to do with how recreational space is to be used. Families with small children or pets require lawn space for playing. Pool areas and patios are also considered as they are often used for entertaining guests.

When designing your landscape for recreational use, remember that life has seasons and is subject to change. Over a period of 30 years a property can serve newlyweds, young families, empty-nesters, and retirees. A well thought out design will be easily adaptable to the next phase of your life.
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