This landscape design planner is the interactive help you need to outline your vision for a new dream getaway in your own yard and garden. We’ve broken it down into categories: Lawn/Garden, Hardscape, Kids/Pets, Outdoor Kitchens, Water Features and Fire Features. Consider these questions and get your creative juices flowing. Use this planner to partner with a professional for the bigger projects on your wish list.
Before deciding what to plant, the experts at Pike Nurseries recommend homeowners
get acquainted with their landscape to determine their sun exposure. Pictured above are plant varieties that require full (six to eight hours) to partial sun (three to six hours). Foreground: Hosta “August Moon,” caladium “Classic Pink,” vinca, crossandra, celosia and coleus “Kong Jr.” Background: Rudbeckia, coneflowers and verbena. www.pikenursery.com
Overview – What’s Your Landscape Design Vision
What is the size of the proposed project’s area in square feet?
______Front yard sq. ft. _____Back yard sq. ft. _____Side yards sq. ft.
Do you plan to use the outdoor space for:
____Parties or gatherings:
____Less than 10 guests: _____Seated ____Unseated
____10–30 guests: _____Seated ____Unseated
____More than 30 guests: # ____Seated ____Unseated
Outdoor kitchen/grill area
____Patio with seating (for how many people?)
____Quiet meditation. ____Yard for pets
____Children’s garden or play area. ____Pool ____Spa
____Containers with plants
____Garden space to grow: ____Herbs ____Cut flowers ____Vegetables/fruit
____Outdoor games or sports (please list)
If you have a budget in mind, what is it?
Do any of your family members suffer from allergies? Yes No
Does anyone who will use the site have mobility issues (use a stroller or wheelchair)? Yes No
Will your yard need to be fenced for safety or privacy? Yes No
Any noise issues (loud neighbors, busy streets)? Yes No
Is there a need to block any undesirable views from your property? Yes No
Are your property lines agreed upon by your neighbors and the city? Yes No
Are there any buried utilities on the property (septic systems or utility lines)? Yes No
Do you want an outdoor sound system? Yes No
What is the sun exposure in your yard (full sun, partial shade, full shade)?
Front yard Back yard Side yards
Does sun exposure cause problems inside the house (like too much heat from south-facing windows)? Yes No
Does sun exposure limit outdoor use (too hot to play outside, too shady to grow vegetables)? Yes No
What time of day will the site be used most?
What are the primary materials used in the existing landscape and/or exterior of your home?
____Fiber cement siding
____Cedar shingle siding
____Wood clapboard siding Aluminum or steel
What elements would most help improve the curb appeal of your home?
____New landscape design
Choose turfgrasses that withstand active playing, possibly to the point of wearing down. TifTuf Bermuda grass or Zenith and Zeon (pictured above) zoysia can handle high traffic and quickly grow back to fix any damage that occurs.
Learn more by searching “pools” at www.supersod.com
Lawn/Garden Landscape Design
What do you like about your existing landscape?
Are there existing plants that you want to stay in the yard? Yes No
What plants do you want removed?
What don’t you like about your existing landscape?
____overgrown plants ____dated architectural elements
Are there other features you want addressed?
____unusable steep space
What are your favorite flower colors?
Is there wildlife you want to keep out of your yard?
____ants ____bees ____cockroaches ____spiders
____mosquitoes ____flies Other
How much gardening work will you likely do yourself?
____I won’t do anything myself
____I will hire someone to do some tasks, like mowing
____I will do it all myself
Which, if any, of the following edible garden options do you want?
____Vegetable garden ____Herb garden ____Fruit trees
How much turfgrass (if any) do you want in your yard?
____Front yard ____ % of the yard
____Back yard ____% of the yard
Do you want an evergreen lawn, or is a lawn that goes dormant (turns brown) in winter OK?
Do you have an irrigation system? Yes No
Is it working correctly? Yes No
Do you need a new irrigation system installed? Yes No
Prioritize the following landscape items as
(1) very important (2) important (3) not important:
____Organic and/or vegetable/fruit
____Food and habitat for pollinators and birds
____Eco-friendly landscape (i.e., reducing water, fertilizers,pesticides and mowing)
What water-saving features most interest you?
____Planting groundcover to reduce water needs
____Installing a rainwater-catch system
____Installing a greywater-capture system
(Man-made parts of the landscape)
Are there existing hardscape features in your yard that must stay in the design? Yes No
Do you prefer a type of paving material?
____Stamped with patterns
____Cut stone (squares or rectangles)
____Decomposed granite (ground gravel)
Describe the colors, texture and style of the furniture you want to use in the space (either existing or new).
Planning Your Landscape Design to Accommodate Your Kids/Pets
How many children will use the space and what are their ages?
What activities do your kids enjoy?
If any, what sports will be played in the yard?
Do you have playground equipment already? Yes No
Do you want new play equipment? Yes No
Do any of these options for play areas interest you?
____Natural boulders to climb
____Tree swing or rope to climb
____Sandbox (with a lid if you have pets)
____Sidewalk or path for tricycle/bicycle use
____Inground wading pool or freestanding pool
____Batting cages/goal nets
Will pets use the area? Yes No
Describe the breed, age and size of your pets: Dog Cat
Describe your pet’s habits (i.e., the dog digs or the cat gets stuck in trees).
Are there any pet habits that you want to discourage?
Planning for an Outdoor Kitchen in Your Landscape Design
How often do you cook outdoors?
____Rarely—I just want a gathering place for entertainment
____Occasionally, in nice weather
____Often, in nice weather
____Several times a week no matter what the weather
____As often as possible
Do you want the outdoor kitchen to be adjacent to your house or out in the yard?
Is the area where you envision the outdoor kitchen already plumbed for:
____Water. ____Electrical ____Gas
Will you need storage for:
____Dishes or linens
____Cooking ingredients and supplies
____Wood for oven or fireplace
What countertop material do you prefer?
What wall material do you prefer?
____Natural stone ____Brick ____Tile
____Stucco. ____ Wood
Will you need cold and hot runnning water at a sink? Yes No
What type of cooking unit would you like?
____Traditional stove with _____ burners
Do you want an outdoor refrigerator/freezer? Yes No
If so, how many cubic feet of capacity do you need?
Do you want beverage storage or service in the outdoor kitchen?
____Wine/beer storage or service
____Undercounter fridge for snacks/drinks
Will you serve food or drinks at a:
____Patio table ____Bar counter
What heating elements appeal to you?
____Permanent overhead heaters
____Freestanding (portable) heaters
____Wood-burning fireplace in the outdoor kitchen
Will your outdoor kitchen need sun/rain protection? Yes No
____Partially open roof ____Solid roof
Would you want a misting system for cooling? Yes No
Will you want an integrated TV/sound system in the outdoor kitchen? Yes No
Water Features Landscape Design
Will you use a new pool or spa for:
____Exercise ____Relaxation ____Entertaining
Are you interested in these optional extras?
____Diving board or slide ____Grotto
____Safety fence ____Integrated fire feature
____TV/sound system. ____Cabana/bathroom
____Saltwater pool ____Vanishing-edge pool
How many people will use the pool or spa at one time?
Where in the yard will the new water feature be placed?
Will messy trees or plants impact the area near the pool? Yes No
How to Incorporate Fire pits and Fireplaces in Your Landscape Design
Do you want a: Firepit or a Fireplace
How many people will be seated nearby to enjoy the fire’s warmth or ambiance?
Will you use furniture for seating or do you want built-in seating?
____Furniture ____Built-in seating
What fuel source do you prefer for the fire feature?
____Real wood logs ____Natural gas
____Hidden propane tank
Do you have kids or pets that need to be protected from the fire element (say, by a hearth)? Yes No
Would you like a firepit that is:
____Flush with the ground ____Raised ____Portable
Do you want a fire feature that:
____Connects with the patio or other hardscape?
____Stands alone and is placed out in the yard?
____Is covered by a patio cover or pergola?
What optional extras would you consider for your fire feature?
____Fire/water combination (fire feature with an integrated fountain, for instance)
____Hearth for seating
The plants and their blooming seasons to beautify your landscape design
Full-Sun Flowering Perennials for Your Garden
The plantAchillea — Summer
Alyssum — Spring
Artemisia — Summer
Asclepias — Summer
Aster — Summer/Fall
Buddleia — Summer/Fall
Caryopteris — Summer
Ceratostigma — Summer
Chrysogonum — Spring/Summer
Coreopsis — Summer
Delphinium — Spring/Summer
Dianthus — Spring/Summer
Foxglove — Spring
Gaillardia — Summer/Fall
Gaura — Summer
Goldenrod — Summer/Fall
Gypsophila — Summer/Fall
Hemerocallis — Summer
Hollyhock — Spring/Summer
Lantana — All year
Liatris — Summer/Fall
Peony — Spring
Salvia — Summer/Fall
Sedum — Spring/Fall
Shasta Daisy — Summer
Swamp — SunflowerFall
Verbena — Spring/Fall
SOURCE: UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA EXTENSION
Best Time to Plant Spring Veggie Seeds
Beans – Mar. 27–Apr. 4
Cantaloupe – Mar. 13–27
Carrots – Feb. 14–Mar. 13
Corn – Mar. 27–Apr. 10
Cucumbers – Mar. 27–Apr. 10
Eggplant (seedlings) – Mar. 27–Apr. 10
Lettuce – Feb. 14–Mar. 13
Mustard (seedlings) – Feb. 28–Mar. 13
Okra – Mar. 27–Apr. 10
Peas (Southern) – Mar. 27–Apr. 24
Peppers (seedlings) – Mar. 27–Apr. 10
Pumpkins – Mar. 27–Apr. 10
Radishes – Feb. 11–Apr. 10
Spinach – Feb. 11–Mar. 13
Squash – Mar. 27–Apr. 10
Sweet Potatoes (seedlings) – Mar. 27–Apr. 17
Tomatoes (seedlings) – Mar. 27–Apr. 10
Watermelon – Mar. 27–Apr. 10
Landscape Design – What is the best turfgrass for your lifestyle?
• Requires less water
• Does best in full sun
• Fine, bright green color
• Recovers fast from traffic
• Easy to maintain
• Requires regular water
• Great for sun or shade
• Fine bright-green blades are soft underfoot
• Stays green over a long season
• Requires regular water
• More shade tolerant than other varieties
• Slow growing (hence the name), so needs less mowing
• Chokes out competing weeds
• Very drought and heat tolerant
• Can take moderate shade
• Good traffic tolerance
• Green throughout the year
SOURCE: NG TURF
Outdoor Living Trends
Home is where the hearth is
Modern outdoor living combines these two traditions into one with outdoor fireplaces and firepits. This trend will continue to be one of the fastest growing phenomenons in outdoor living for 2017.
Mimicking the indoor environment
Outdoor living room designs continue to mimic the look of their indoor counterparts, including furniture design, lighting fixtures, decorative accessories and flooring. Expect to see an increase in the popularity of larger format pavers with natural textures and design elements.
Rise of the outdoor chef
Expect to see an increase in brick ovens as more homeowners learn that these attractive fixtures can be used for more than just cooking pizza, but can actually function as a full-use outdoor oven.
Turns out, it is easy being “green”
As homeowners learn about the benefits of permeable pavers, the trend is beginning to make its way into the residential arena, particularly for driveways, and is expected to continue to grow.
Outdoor Grill Guide
• Propane cylinder is cost-effective, but pay attention! It can run out just when you need it the most!
• Cost: $140 to $3,000
• Easy to adjust grill temps
• Little wait time for grill to be ready
• Considered to offer the best flavor for food
• Cost: $100 to $400
• Briquettes provide consistent heat
• Lighting fluid can be dangerous to use
• Longest heat time of any type of grill
• Pellets are eco-friendly and energy efficient
• Smoke from wood infuses food with flavor
• Cost: $600 to $2,500
• Even temperature distribution
• Never run out of fuel—heat source is home’s electricity
• Cost: $170 to $250
• Safe for use in small spaces or balcony
• Not as easy to adjust heat temp quickly
• Cook with gas or charcoal—offers more food flavor options
• Cost: $300 to $3,000
• Gas option allows fast startup
• Doesn’t get as hot as gas grills
Make the most of Mother Nature with a modern outdoor bean bag furniture line featuring
sunshine-safe Sunbrella® fabric. This covetable collection provides a seating experience
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What’s Hot in Pools and Spas in 2021
These water features are much smaller than traditional swimming pools, but are longer than the usual spa. Strong jets of water allow the user to swim “upstream” to get a workout in a relatively small area. The temperature can be kept cooler than a spa so that the swimmer isn’t uncomfortable but, post-workout, you can raise the water temperature and relax those tired muscles.
This simple feature lets you stay cool and soak up the sun. It’s perfect for reading a book while dipping your toes or giving your little ones a spot to splash in. You can also purchase specially made lounge chairs that sit partially below the water’s edge, while keeping the rest of you nice and dry.
Fire/Water Feature Combo
A fire feature incorporated into a pool design makes perfect sense. What’s better than a nighttime dip lit by the glow of a firepit or fireplace? When the temps plummet, you can still enjoy the water’s edge with a fire feature that has seating for everyone, whether you’re roasting s’mores or warming your feet by the fire.
Give your pool some pop by installing a tile inlay. Available in fun colors and plenty of beautiful patterns, this is a simple way to bring some of your own style to your pool. Darker shades and hues of blue and green are predicted to make a big comeback.
Is It Time to Remove Your Tree?
“Sick trees can often be saved,” says Chris Heim, district manager and certified arborist for the Davey Tree Expert Company in Atlanta, “but a damaged or dead tree on your property that goes unaddressed is a serious safety risk. Homeowners may be surprised to know that with a few easy steps each spring, you can play an important role in keeping your trees healthy.”
So how to determine whether you and your tree are going through a rough patch, or whether your tree has a serious issue and it’s time to “break up?” In as little as 15 minutes, homeowners can do an easy four-step inspection to spot some of the major signs of tree health problems.
The key is being able to tell the difference between a dead and declining tree by using your eyes and hands to spot common issues.
FOUR STEPS TO TREE INSPECTION
Step 1: Scratch beneath the surface.Using a knife or your fingernail, scratch a twig of the tree. If it’s moist and green underneath, your tree’s alive. If it’s brown and brittle, try scraping a few more twigs to see if any are with fresh, moist green underneath. If there’s no green to be found, your tree is likely sick or dying.
Step 2: Find the root. Start low and take a look at the base of your tree. Examine the tree’s roots, seeking out any soft spots, decay, mushrooms or other fungi as these are signs of rot.
Step 3: Check the support.The next step is to examine the tree’s collar, the area where the trunk and roots meet at the soil surface. Pull back the grass to scan for any signs of decay. If the bark is missing, falling off or broken, that’s an indicator that your tree needs attention.
Step 4: Take a good look. Scan for any large cracks or splits in the trunk, these indicate structural weakness in the tree and require careful evaluation.
Trunk swelling, which is an overgrowth area of bark, is also a sign of advanced decay. Determining the extent of deterioration is a task best left to a certified arborist, who can use tools and expert knowledge to assess.
If any of the above steps revealed an issue, you’ll need to know the potential hazard and figure out the best next steps. A certified arborist can determine whether the tree can be saved and support you in removing or replacing dead or decaying trees. This important work will ensure that your yard is healthy and vibrant when spring rolls around.