The Basics of Residential Landscaping

Landscapers Baltimore can increase property value and saleability, especially if the landscape reflects the home’s style. It also provides aesthetic interest, creates privacy, and serves several functional purposes.

A well-designed landscape can minimize erosion and soil loss. Adding groundcovers, trees, and shrubs to slopes can help stabilize the soil. Soil amendments can prevent water loss from the soil and reduce the need for irrigation.


Just like you wouldn’t build your house without a blueprint, it is important to invest the time and money into creating a landscape master plan. This helps to ensure the success of your project and provides you with a clear roadmap so that everything is built in the right order and meets your long term goals.

Your master plan is a full CAD drawing that will show your entire property including existing plant material and hardscapes, a design for the areas where new work will be done (including patios, outdoor living spaces, etc) and a detailed planting plan with specified plants. In addition, a point perspective design and/or 3D color renderings can be included to help you visualize the finished product.

During the planning process, many things will change – the wish list will grow to include a vegetable garden or an outdoor fireplace, perhaps that play area becomes bigger than anticipated or your landscaping is in need of a refresh. A good plan allows you to rework the elements into a cohesive and functional landscape that will allow for these changes and save you time, effort and money in the long run.

It will also allow you to save on costs by investing in those elements with a longer lead time first (like trees or screening plants) and allowing them to mature before starting on the next phase. This will keep the project running smoothly and ensure that the end result is a beautifully coordinated and cohesive landscape that functions as intended.

The public area is the space that is most visible to the public when they look at your property. It’s where the front of your house is located, and it’s often where the driveway and walkway are located. This is also where a lawn, flowering shrubs ros,es, and other trees are planted. It’s also the area where water features and ponds may be located, as well as patios, decks and swimming pools. You might even choose to have a small greenhouse in this area. This is where you might want to have a few specimen or unusual plants for your guests to enjoy as they walk around the garden.

A key to a successful public landscape design is thinking about the people who will be using it and what they will want from it. This involves knowing the time of day, week and year that it will be used and determining what activities they will be doing in the space. It’s important to consider how the landscape will be impacted by the seasons and whether there will be snow, rain or sun. It’s also important to consider the location of nearby businesses, residential areas, landmarks and other factors that will affect how people move through and use the space. This can be done by surveying the area and seeking input from community members. It’s also important to encourage stewardship of the landscape by having zero-litter initiatives, cleanup volunteers and encouraging local involvement in the care and protection of city greenways and other public spaces.

Foundation plantings frame a house, providing an attractive transition from the lawn to the building and anchoring it to the site. A well-chosen combination of low- to medium-sized shrubs, evergreens and perennials can add interest all year. A few small trees may be included in the mix to add height and vertical dimension.

Evergreens provide structure and privacy, and are the classic choice for foundation plantings. They’re also easy to keep clipped and looking their best throughout the winter, so they’re a good option for hiding ugly concrete foundations or air-conditioning units. A mix of evergreen and deciduous flowering shrubs, perennials and groundcovers offers year-round color and texture.

Avoid plants that lose their shape or look ragged in summer heat, such as perennials whose flowers fade rapidly. Aim for plants with lasting seed heads, like astilbe (Astilbe spp. and cvs., Zones 3-9) or hydrangeas that develop reddish brown heads in fall. Plants with bright berries, such as holly and barberry, offer winter interest in foundation plantings.

Some people shy away from using deciduous plants around a house, fearing they’ll lose their appearance in winter. However, dense deciduous shrubs such as ‘Hidcote’ St. John’s wort (Hypericum ‘Hidcote’, Zones 6-9) or ‘Crimson Pigmy’ barberry (Berberis thunbergii’ Crimson Pigmy’, Zones 5-8) offer effective screening in winter while adding color with their stems and berries. Grasses also offer a colorful alternative to shrubs in some foundation planting locations, such as switch grass (Panicum virgatum) and tall fescues like ‘Fescue’ (Fescue acutiflora). They’re also salt tolerant and work well near driveways and paths that are salted in winter.

Residential landscape design is not only an aesthetically pleasing addition to your property, but can also enhance your enjoyment of it and increase the value of your home. Residential landscape design is a process that can be daunting for many people, but it doesn’t have to be. A few basic rules can help you create a functional and beautiful yard. Start by identifying areas that will serve a purpose, such as play or recreation or areas for gardening and storing tools. Next, indicate any areas where you or others often walk and note how you want to direct traffic. Finally, divide the landscape into borders, which are groupings of plants used to define spaces.

Landscape screens can be highly practical, simply decorative or, ideally, a blend of both. They’re often used to shield a property or specific areas like patios, pools and hot tubs from the view of passing pedestrians. This is an especially important consideration for those living near busy streets or close to neighbors.

There are a variety of materials that can be used to create a landscape screen, including plants and trees, fences, walls, gates and even stone. Wood lattice, for example, can be used to define garden rooms, screen a swimming pool or hide landscaping bins. For a more artistic approach, painted steel tubing mounted on posts can be slatted to create an eye-catching privacy covering for a backyard lounge. And for a touch of luxury, premium metals such as bronze, stainless steel and Monel can be used to add an elegant flair to any home garden.

If you’re using evergreen trees to form your landscape screen, consider staggering them in their planting rows. This will provide a more natural look and add height to the screen even before they reach maturity. You can also enhance the appearance of your plant screen by adding a focal point specimen tree to it that stands out for its unique plant form, foliar texture or flowering.

If you opt for a shrub-based landscape screening, choose species that require little or no pruning to maintain their shape and size. This will help reduce maintenance costs and minimize the potential for disease and insect problems.

A well-done residential landscape isn’t just beautiful, but adds economic value to your property. It provides you and your family with a comfortable living space, reduces energy bills by buffering seasonal changes in temperature, and helps control noise pollution.

Unlike commercial properties, residential landscaping services usually involve maintaining smaller lawns and gardens. Nevertheless, this type of work still requires a wide range of skills and expertise. It also includes adding ornamental features, borders and screens, and implementing water-efficient irrigation systems.

Residential landscaping services often require a greater understanding of homeowner preferences and needs. For instance, a homeowner may want to install a swimming pool or outdoor kitchen. Your company’s landscape design team should consider these factors, along with the homeowner’s budget.

Another consideration is the property’s topography and drainage. A good landscaping plan should minimize erosion by directing rainfall to other areas of the yard or underground, rather than entering storm sewers and ponding on the property. This can be done by constructing swales, terraces, catch basins and piping to redirect water flow, and by grading the yard to prevent slopes that increase runoff.

The last thing you want is to waste time and money on a design that won’t add to your home’s resale value. For this reason, it’s best to keep the design simple, with a focus on plants that are easy to maintain and add color.