Making a Sample Landscaping Plan

Summary: With no previous landscape design experience, a practical planting plan on paper, will pay many times over when it comes to the actual planting. Shade tree location, group of shrubs, flower border or path, can be changed on paper in a few seconds.

It is necessary, assuming you are starting from “scratch” and have no previous experience with landscape design, plants and planting, to plan for what you are ultimately looking to achieve.

But time has come where you need to make a practical planting plan for your own place. Remember such a plan, put down in black and white on paper, will pay many times over for the time and trouble taken to prepare the design. From getting a hold of the required lawn care basics to when you get to do the actual planting.

The location of a shade tree, an evergreen or a group of shrubs, a flower border or a path, can be changed on paper in a few seconds; whereas out in the garden, working with the actual materials, such changes would require hours and the probable loss of plant material.

simple compass using for drawing

The equipment needed for making a complete set of planting plans is pretty simple – no need for fancy software. All that is required is a few sheets of graph-paper, such as architects and draftsmen use; a ruler and an inexpensive compass for marking curves, will do the trick. The entire outfit can be purchased for about $7.50.

The ruled paper can be had in various forms. That which is marked off in one-inch squares, with ten sub-divisions to each inch, will be found convenient for making your plans. Each sub-division can represent one foot or six inches. For detail plans of different parts of the grounds or garden, a larger scale can be used.

The next step is to mark off on the ruled paper the outside boundary lines of the property. If a scale of one square to the foot is being used and the property is sixty feet wide, the front boundary would be indicated by a line 60 squares (or six inches) long. If a scale of one-half foot to the square is used, this line would be 120 squares or twelve inches long. It is best to use as large a scale as can be accommodated by the sheet of ruled paper.

Location of “Fixed” Objects

With the outside boundary lines in place the next step is to indicate on the plan all existing “fixed” objects: the house itself, walks and drives if they are already in place, large trees, walls, banks and so forth.

The location of these objects is obtained by measuring on the property their distance from the boundary line or other fixed points. To get these distances, they can be marked on a piece of paper, as one takes the measurements, without any regard to accurate scale. If a fifty-foot tapeline is not available, a ten-foot stick, approximately one by two inches marked off into feet and half feet, will be found very convenient in making measurements on the ground. These measurements are then transferred to the ruled plan. The result will be similar to the Sample Plan shown.

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