Plant Your Landscape
Developing a landscape plan for your Idaho home is a very personal process. It involves defining how you prefer to use the precious land that surrounds your home. How important is recreation, food production, wildlife habitat or water saving? How can you enhance such landscape bonuses as fine old trees or extraordinary views? What challenges does your site pose: fire risk, tough-to-irrigate areas or eyesores in need of screening?
Landscaping is art. Imagine the landscape as an artist's canvas with the greenscape (plants) and hardscape (sidewalks, edging and patios) providing the colors, shapes and patterns of the living portrait. Landscaping also has a practical side. In addition to being more attractive, the benefits of a well-planned, well designed landscape include reduced maintenance, economic savings (reduced inputs of water, fertilizer and pesticides), enhanced real estate values and personal satisfaction.
To help you create an attractive and functional landscape, we will discuss some basic principles of landscaping including planning and design, plant selection and installation. Although the following principles are primarily for homeowners, you also can apply them to larger properties or landscapes. For more detailed information on landscape planning and installation, see the University of Idaho Extension's Idaho Master Gardener Handbook, chapter 16.
Additional general sites for landscaping information are maintained by Auburn University and North Carolina State University.
Sufficient information is accessible through this site to allow a homeowner to complete an attractive and serviceable landscape. However, some people may want to access the services of a professional landscape architect. Mississippi State University has a good site describing the process of working with a professional.