Good landscapes serve several functions: increasing home value and improving the quality of life, aesthetics and functionality of a space. Bad landscapes, whether due to lack of proper maintenance or poor design, can do just the opposite.

The most common question The Good Earth Garden Center team gets is, "What should I plant here?" Although correct plant choice and placement are key, there are other considerations to keep in mind when landscaping, especially if you are doing a big landscaping project. 

Is making positive changes to your landscape on your spring to-do list? The Good Earth suggests answering these six questions to get it right the first time and cut down on trips to the nursery.


1. What is my goal?

Do you want to add curb appeal, a complete renovation and style change, add shade, create new outdoor living spaces, replace aging plant material? These are all worthy goals and each can take the landscape in a completely different direction. This is the most important step of getting ready for a change, so take time to make a list of what you like and don’t like in your space.


2. How will my family use the space now? In 10 years? Twenty years?

We can’t predict the future, but if you know your interest in growing vegetables, fruits and herbs is increasing, and your patience with lawn maintenance is decreasing, some long term planning might need to happen! The same goes for play areas for growing children or grandchildren, as well as interest in a cut flower garden. Plus, this kind of family discussion is a good opportunity for device-free time.


3. How much maintenance are you willing to do?

Whether you are willing to invest in maintenance services or invest some evening or weekend time, it’s good to know your budget for either. Each plant has at least some maintenance needs, but you can have an outstanding and low-maintenance landscape with the proper plan and plant choices. Just make sure to talk it through with your significant other. Get on the same page or at least the same book before getting too far in the process.

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4. What is my style? My home's style?

Style matters! We suggest starting a Pinterest board for your upcoming project and invite your family to do the same. Ask them to send you photos and ideas they're drawn to. You chose your home for a reason, and a good landscape plan will enhance that style and make it even more your own. Visit The Good Earth’s Pinterest page for inspiration.


5. What is my budget?

The sky's the limit with landscape options, but for most of us, the budget doesn’t always match expectations. Don't want to skimp on style? Consider completing the project in phases instead of cutting back on individual pieces. The end result will be worth it.


6. Am I up for doing this myself, or do I need professionals to do the heavy lifting?

The Good Earth team can help either way by offering DIY help as well as complete planning and installation services if you need someone else to take the wheel.


After answering the above questions (and be realistic!), you're ready to consider the actual design of the space, which includes more than plant choice and placement. Stay tuned — tips like how to create good bed lines are coming in next week's article.

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