10 Steps To Landscape Designing The Perfect Outdoor Living Space


Any landscape designer who knows what they are doing would never dream of designing a garden without following a series of logical steps. The idea that you can ‘make it up as you go along’ does not exist in professional landscape design. Whilst some amateurs might try it that way, it almost certainly will end up with a landscaping project that comes nowhere near its potential as an outdoor living space.

Whether you are a hobbyist gardener, a homeowner wanting their garden landscaped, or someone who might be thinking of a career as a landscape designer or landscape architect, then you should know what steps are necessary for a customised outdoor living area. That being the case, here are the ten leading steps that should be followed by professional landscape designers and landscape architects when creating an outdoor living space.

Determine The Purpose: The first step must be to determine what the purpose of the new outdoor living space is to be. The area available will influence this, but regardless, decide if it is for parties and barbecues, quiet relaxation, a fun place for the whole family, or to be a visual delight.

Create The Layout: Next, you want to create an initial layout. This will need to take into account the space you have, any existing features that are remaining, and your ideas for any new features and furniture. Plus, some accounts must be taken out of the available budget.

Take Account Of The Surroundings: As you continue planning the new outdoor living space, you have to factor in the surroundings and, if applicable, what views there are from the garden. You want to ensure the new design does not block these. Conversely, you can use new bushes and trees to block unsightly views.

Track The Sun: Whether you want your garden to be bathed in sunshine all day, just part of it, or entirely in the shade, you need to know where, about your garden, the sun tracks as the day progresses. You can then adjust the plan for taller features and plants to accommodate your preference.

Decide What The Hardscape Will Be: If any areas of your new garden are hard surfaces rather than grass, select which hardscape(s) you will use. Decking, granite slabs, paving, and wood are just options.

Choose The Plants: What some might consider the most critical elements of any garden are the plants that grow within it. Your preferences, the prevailing climate, the type of soil, and the size of your garden must all be considered when selecting your flowers, bushes, shrubs, and trees.

Select The Garden Furnishings: If your design will include garden furniture, then you will need to select this. There are so many choices we cannot list them all, but critical considerations are durability, design, colours, and size.

Think About Water: This applies for a couple of reasons. The first is whether you will have any water features, which, if your garden is big enough, may even include a pool. Other than that, the irrigation for the plants in your garden needs to be planned for and added to your design.

Select The Lighting: The final element concerning planning what you will include in your new outdoor living space is the lighting. Again, you have a massive choice with everything from hanging lights wrapped within the branches of trees to globe lights sitting on your lawn.

Create A Maintenance Plan: One final element of your landscape design is to think ahead and plan for its maintenance. Think about the time required and which tools may be needed, and we suggest you also create a maintenance diary so that nothing is forgotten.