October 10, 2023

If you don’t have a plan for your landscaping, you won’t be able to manage it in an ideal way. Knowing what to do with your yard, to make the best use of your spaces, features, and elements, will require an overall inventory of your landscape. Having this type of assessment will also allow you to better plan what kind of maintenance is necessary for your outdoor spaces to work well throughout the years.

colorful phlox, cosmea flowers on a flower bed on a sunny day.Floral Wallpaper.park arrangement of a colorful flowers.Bright summer.Floriculture concept

Twin Oaks Landscape designers can complete an overall plan for your property, which will include informative inventories, both from their observations, your own gathered information, and your needs.

To make a plan, you need information. Making a comprehensive inventory of your landscaping features, spaces, plantings, and other important elements on your property will give you the right information to move forward with your landscaping plans.

Gather Information for Your Plan

To get started, walk around your property, and take note of trouble areas you deal with, note both plantings that do well and plants that you have struggled to keep thriving. Below are some basic things that are considered in the planning and maintenance of your property’s landscaping.  Basically, a landscape inventory plan will include:

  • An original sketch of your property lines; marking off the house, other buildings, and permanent facilities (such as a pool or pond.) Make, and record, all measurements that determine the square footage for each facility of your property. Note existing structures such as fences, driveways, walkways, and other ‘hard scaping’ features (walls, patios, decks, steps, boulders, etc.)   A mortgage survey is a good document to start with; determine and mark North on this.
  • Next, (on a Copy of the first sketch of your properties’ main facilities and structures) draw in all the main ‘soft scaping’ areas where you have plantings, lawns, and gardens. Indicate existing trees, large shrubs, significant garden features, and so on for this second page. It can be helpful to include informal landscape areas, too; woodlands, wetlands, meadows, slopes, swales, etc.

 Gather Further Information

  • Create corresponding lists of different landscape elements for each ‘mapped’ area; such as soil composition (including pH,) drainage issues (do you need downspouts buried?), or eroded areas. This comprehensive list can include concerns about your lawn, and snow, ice, or salt issues, too.
  • Then, and this is where experts will again come in handy, create a plant inventory list for each landscaped area. Go through and make a list of everything planted in each area and garden. A plant inventory should include names of evergreens, trees, shrubs, vines, groundcovers, and at  least the areas for perennials, annuals, herb/bulb gardens, vegetable gardens, and any other group plantings in your property (note quantities of each plant type when possible.) Any vegetation that requires care and maintenance should be included in these inventory lists.
  • In some cases, for multiple gardens and particularly dense gardens, you may want to make additional copies of original sketches, where you can add more detail for each planted area.

Look Closely at the Different Spots on Your Property

Once you have overall ‘mappings’ and lists about your property, plus an inventory of your plants, make notes of how environmental elements impact all the areas where you have plantings. Go out into your yard and note which areas get full sun, which areas are shaded, and which areas get stronger morning and/or afternoon sun. Document all this information on different copies of your original two pages of the property. In addition to the sun, look for where the ground is wetter. Many properties in this area have poor drainage in spots due to soil composition, and this can impact the health of your plants. Mark any areas and plants you have concerns with (i.e. are harsh winds or deer desiccating certain plants? Has a former shade tree fallen to expose shade plants?)

Look at What Worked Well This Year

Your lists can start to include what you do to maintain your landscape each year. Start noting which areas look full and complete. For the areas that work well and don’t need a change,  identify why they are so successful, so you can replicate successes each year (e.g. if an area has annual plantings which need to be replaced, make sure to note the maintenance necessary to remove the old plantings to prepare for next springs’ plantings. Or maybe you wish to add bulbs in certain places for next year? Is your lawn lush because it is irrigated correctly? Would you like to see some plants to act as ‘screening’, backdrops, or focal points to the views you have from inside your home?)

With your property landscapes ‘mapped’ and inventoried you can start keeping better track of what works, and of any changes you would like.

Determine What You Want to Change Next Year

Not every area is going to thrive every year, and in some cases, even if the plants did well, the area may not look as good as you hoped it would. Once you have a plan to look at, determine why the area isn’t ideal. Is it too sparse? In this case, consider what you can add. Too dense? What needs to be removed? Did the plants struggle? Do you need help keeping plantings weeded?

Consider if you have plants in the best place. Some plants do well in full sun, some do better in partial sun, some in shade, some in wetter, or dryer, areas; some plants are very finicky about the pH of the soil. Make note of what didn’t work for your property and what an ideal change would look like so you can speak to your landscaping professional about implementing your ideas.

Get the Right Help

Making a complete inventory can be overwhelming, and determining what to do with your property based on that inventory can add another layer of stress for you. So, let us help! You do not need to be a landscaping expert, and you are not doomed to a less than ideal property.

Professionals at Twin Oaks Landscape can help you through all the stages of building, assessing, and planning your landscape and maintenance inventories, so you can have the best plans for what to grow in your yard; and to better able obtain the necessary landscape planning and maintenance to keep your plantings healthy, safe, and beautiful.

Contact us today to learn more about our all-inclusive landscape maintenance, planning, and design services from Twin Oaks Landscape.