Enjoy Your Outdoor Space This Spring: Five Actions to Take Now for a Fantastic Landscape

This time of year, as we grow tired of snow and cold temperatures, it can be useful andorative to think about your landscaping and get prepared for a new spring landscape. Take stock of your outdoor surroundings. Which parts of your property worked and did not work last summer? Take inventory of existing conditions. If…

This time of year, as we grow tired of snow and cold temperatures, it can be useful andorative to think about your landscaping and get prepared for a new spring landscape. Take stock of your outdoor surroundings. Which parts of your property worked and did not work last summer? Take inventory of existing conditions. If your property is still snow-covered, you may have to use your imagination here and think back to last fall. Here are five steps to guide you through this process.

First, does your landscape look interesting in the winter? This is the perfect time to evaluate that. Even if you are not outdoors much in winter, you can still have great views from your major windows. If it does not have much interest, there are many ways to improve the winter appeal of your yard. Select trees and shrubs that have interesting branch structure, bark, or berries. This is a great way to have year-round beauty in the landscape. Another way is to include features such as stone walls, boulders, or sculptural elements that can act as focal points in the yard.

Second, you can determine if you have the right kind of outdoor lighting. This can be evaluated from a functional standpoint, including the security aspects of outdoor lighting. But outdoor lighting also makes an aesthetic statement all year and is an important element in the winter appealing of your property.

Third, let's think about your use of the property last summer and fall. Were you satisfied with the way your yard functioned? Was there enough spaces for sports, play, and entertaining? Were you happy with the amount or location of parking, with the condition or layout of your driveway? Did you have sufficient privacy from your neighbors? Are you contemplating adding a pool or spa? Was there enough shade or too much shade in the yard? Any other functional shortcomings that may have hindered the full enjoyment of your property?

Fourth, consider the plants around your home. Did you have plants that underperformed and others that you really enjoyed? Were there overgrown plants that obscured the front entrance or blocked the views from windows? Did you have enough color and interest in the form of flowering shrubs, trees, and perennials, or was the garden static and boring? Did you have a healthy lawn?

Fifth, this is a great time to get professional advice and make plans for any upcoming spring work. Gather ideas, explore websites such as Houzz for lots of great ideas and then collect the images that appeal to you. Whether you want to do it yourself or hire a contractor, it's important to have a plan. Depending on the extent and / or complexity of your goals, retaining a landscape architect can be a good idea to facilitate bringing together your ideas, likes and dislikes, functional needs, and aesthetics and creating a master plan for this season or for the long term .