Home Landscape Plan
This page is dedicated to a specific as it is transformed from a plan on paper, through the installation process, to a finished backyard landscaping design.
While it is certainly not necessary for homeowners to have a design created in order to complete their project, having a design in place does produce better outcomes.
The thought of creating a for your project can seem overwhelming if you are not a professional landscaper. I know I felt overwhelmed when I considered how to do it, and initially had no desire to draw out a plan on paper.
My brother and his wife, Jeff and Amy, own a bungalow. They had overgrown evergreen bushes in the front of their house that they wanted removed. Once they removed them, they were left with bare, open space, and neither one of them were sure what to do with it, or where to start.
Neither of them enjoy gardening or landscaping, and knowing that this is a hobby of mine, they asked if I’d be willing to do some planting for them if they were to purchase their yard plants. I was happy to do the project, but knew that I would need a home landscaping plan that was actually written on paper to give them an idea of what I wanted to do with their front yard.
Even though I was skeptical of my need for the design, it helped solidify the ideas that I had in my head. Seeing it on paper helped me get a feel for whether or not the vision would actually work.
A low maintenance , and low maintenance plants, was something that was definitely a “must” for this couple who
aren’t too fond of working in their yard! (See before and after picture
Here are the plants that I used in this design:
- Weeping Laceleaf Japanese Red Maple (Acer Palmatum Dissectum): This is the landscaping tree
on the left side of the house. While it’s not always important to know
the botanical name of a plant, there are different variations of
Japense Red Maple, each one having unique qualities and characteristics.This is a tree that displays beautiful shades of red throughout the
growing season. It grows to a mature height of about 10 feet, and is
best used as a specimen plant. It is one of the Japanese Maples better
known for it’s disease resistance, and once it is established, it is
fairly easy to maintain. It’s a good idea to include at least one accent plant in any .
- Pyramidal Yew: This is the landscaping bush
on the right side of the house. This Yew is a dense evergreen shrub
that grows to a maximum height of 10-15 feet tall, and 4-5 feet wide.
It was one of the few Yews available at the local garden supply store
when I did my shopping after Labor Day. (Which means that although I
didn’t get my first choice – the Japanese Yew, I DID get this Yew at
about 40% off the original purchase price. Not a bad deal!) This hedge
has a natural pyramid shape to it, and while it can be pruned, it may
not need it with a mature height of only 10-15 feet. This bush is
located next to the neighbor’s house, and will provide some privacy for
Jeff and Amy when they are in the front yard with their kids. When
completing your own design, be sure to consider
how you will utilize the space once the project is complete.
- Golden Globe Arborvitae:
This is a compact, round, evergreen shrub that bears a gold color
throughout the winter. It can be pruned for a formal look, or left
alone to create an informal look. It grows to approximately 4 feet both
tall and wide, although this bush may be trimmed if needed. I designed this plan to include 3 of these landscaping bushes
on each side of the front door, but changed my mind because I thought
that would be too crowded as the plants mature. Also, I intended to
plant only the Golden Globe, but when I got to the nursery, I decided instead to pair the Golden Globe with the Dwarf Eastern Arborvitae. The Dwarf Eastern Arborvitae
grows to approximately 3-4 feet both tall and wide, and has a deep
green foliage, which I thought would offset the golden color nicely.
- Blue Fescue: This is a perennial
grass with a blue-silvery hue to it, that grows to be about one foot
tall and wide. It is a mound-type grass that works very well in a border garden,
and requires little maintenance. These grasses were staggered on either side of the entryway. Staggering plants in this
fashion creates a more dramatic and aesthetically pleasing appearance.
- Dwarf Japanese Garden Juniper:
This is a ground hugging evergreen that radiates from the center to
form a dense ground cover. Other Junipers tend to form a thick, uniform
that serves their purpose nicely, however I was particularly found of
the spreading habit of this ground cover, and the artistic look of the
branches as they spread over the area. As a ground cover, it does well
to prevent weed growth. This is something that Jeff and Amy are
currently struggling with, and I want to use this plant under the
Weeping Laceleaf Japanese Red Maple, as well as the Japanese Yew. It
may not be as necessary with the Yew, but the Laceleaf will definitely
need the protection from weeds in the future. Try to prevent
much pruning of this plant if possible, as it looks it’s best when left unsheared.
- Stella D’Oro Hybrid Daylily: I had originally planned on planting Hosta
along the South side of the house, but I was concerned that the Hosta
would not do well with the amount of sun it would get in this location.
I was also concerned about how it would handle the dry summer months.
The Stella D’Oro Daylily is a long-lived bloomer, and an easy, adaptable
It requires little, if any, maintenance, loves sunny locations, and
has the ability to adapt to different soil conditions. Because this is a
low growing plant, Jeff and Amy should not have difficulty with it
lopping onto the driveway and getting run over.
So that’s it! Interested in how this backyard landscape and design came to life? See the pictures here on landscaping small yards. You’ll notice that the finished pictured above does not mirror the
that was actually created for Jeff and Amy. I left it this way on
purpose. I wanted you to see that while it is important to have a plan
in place when completing do it yourself landscaping, it is also a good
idea to be flexible with the finished product and go with what looks
Jeff and Amy are really very happy with the outcome of this project, and have received lots of compliments on it!
(Actually, I received a compliment from one of their neighbors one day
as I was watering the plants! You can imagine how happy that made me 🙂
At some point I’ll help them plant hosta along the North side of the
house (currently they have grass growing up to the house which requires
regularly trimming…yuck!) and I’ll also try and convince them to let
me replace their mostly dead lilac bush in the back.
Below is another I created, and a picture of how the finished design worked out. Click on the graphic which will take you to a page describing each one of the plants that I used for that design.
Start thinking about your own home
landscape plan, if you haven’t already. Take a look at the information about landscaping plants that I have available on this site, and think
about which plants you’d like included in your own design. Think about extras that might back your landscaping stand out even more (such
as learning how to build an outdoor
fire pit or building a
If you need a , but aren’t interested in creating your own design, consider having one completed with a local landscape business. There’s nothing quite like having an expert complete this project the
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