Whether you are starting from scratch, updating parts of an existing landscape or completely renovating your current landscaping, redoing your outdoor areas can be a lengthy and expensive process. Phased landscape design and installation can help you adjust your time, labor, and budget to create your dream landscaping project in easy-to-manage steps.
The Answer to Affordable Landscaping? Building in Phases
Instead of doing an entire large project at one time from start to finish, phased landscape installation breaks the project into more manageable pieces. It may take several weeks, months, or years to complete the installation in phases, depending on the size of the project and what resources are available to complete it.
Phased landscape installation can be beneficial in several ways. Not only does it make a large project more manageable, but it also allows for tweaks and refinements throughout the process as needs, preferences, and living styles may change over time. Installing a landscape in phases can also better accommodate a limited budget or limited time with shorter seasons, while still allowing for the yard and garden to be used and enjoyed before the full project is complete.
Designing an Affordable Master Landscaping Plan
Creating a master plan is a critical first step in phased affordable landscaping installation. A master plan is necessary to keep the end result in mind, and that plan can be adjusted as needed throughout the different phases. When the full project can be envisioned, it is also easier to plan the order of phases to be installed with the greatest efficiency so there is less disruption to established parts of the yard or garden when a new phase is begun.
The first part of a master plan should involve a comprehensive evaluation of the site and its landscaping needs. This should include soil condition and quality, drainage concerns, sunlight levels, potential erosion problems and more. This evaluation can help direct the installation to correct difficulties with each step. After the overall evaluation, the first phases of landscape installation need to be sufficiently detailed for the project to get underway. Later phases and finishing touches may change by the time the final phase of installation is ready to begin, so those phases may not necessarily be as firm when the plan is first developed.
It is important to keep the master plan accessible, especially when it may take several years to fully install a larger, more elaborate landscape. Keeping notes, changes, suggestions, and updates documented will help ensure that future phases of the installation run smoothly.
The 11 Phases Of A Dream Landscaping Project
The order of projects in phased installation will vary depending on the overall master plan for the landscape, as well as how each phase is integrated into the overall process. Needs and preferences can also influence which phases are implemented first to ensure the space is usable and enjoyable from the very first. Typical phases may include…
1. Affordable Landscaping Surfaces
Sod, seeding, groundcovers, or mulching. Why? For erosion control and visual appeal.
Borders and edging, terraces, retaining walls, etc.
3. Planning for Gas and Electrical Lines
Think ahead, and create support for water feature pumps, lighting, outdoor kitchens, and other things that might require energy. If you don’t think this through in the beginning and plan accordingly, you may set yourself up for a big headache later.
Tip: read this article on How to Avoid Utility Lines When Digging in Your Yard
Sprinkler systems and drip plans as well as drainage adjustments.
Large trees and plants to provide shade for outdoor living spaces as well as structures.
6. Entertaining Space
Patios, decks, spa, or pool surrounds and similar high use spaces.
Pergolas, trellises, arbors, sheds, play structures, etc.
Ponds or pondless waterfalls, creeks, streams, fountains, pools, and hot tubs.
9. Garden Spaces
Raised beds or dedicated growing areas for practical harvests, fruit trees, etc.
10. Landscaping Pathways
Connections between parts of the landscape or around the entire home.
11. Flora and Fauna Landscape Design
Shrubbery and flowerbeds, specimen plants, etc.
While the order of phased installation can vary greatly, many plans prioritize surfaces, hardscapes, and shade in the early phases of the master plan. Surfaces are often used right away and help a landscape look attractive even as the plan is being implemented, while hardscapes establish the borders that will gradually frame the entire landscape. Shade is also important to implement early, as larger trees have slower growth cycles and will take longer to mature and provide their full benefits, so the sooner they are planted the sooner they will be providing that shade. Of course, depending on the exact budget and master landscaping plan, several phases may be implemented at once, or smaller phases may be spread out over a greater period.
In addition to these potential phases, it is important to consider the final step of installation – care and maintenance. Particularly when plants are young and the ground may still be settling, extra care may be needed to nurture plants and ensure they adjust to their new environment. Proper care, including pruning, fertilization, and pest control, will help keep the landscape looking just as attractive and inviting as it is from the first moment of installation.
Are you considering phased landscape installation? The team of experts at Drake’s 7 Dees can help develop your master landscaping plan and recommend the best steps to take to create your dream landscape. Contact us at our Portland garden center to get started!