Landscape design is both an art and a purposeful process. It is the conscious arrangement of outdoor space to maximize human enjoyment while minimizing the costs and negative environmental impacts. A well-designed home landscape is aesthetically pleasing and functional, creating comfortable outdoor spaces as well as reducing the energy costs of heating and cooling the home. It offers pleasure to the family, enhances the neighborhood, and adds to the property’s value. With a little forethought and planning, the designer can maximize the property’s use and people’s enjoyment of it; establish a visual relationship between the house, its site, and the neighborhood; and contribute to a healthy local ecosystem.
The planning process, possibly the most important aspect of residential landscaping, is often neglected. We can see the effects: overcrowded and overgrown plantings, lawns with scattered shade trees, a narrow concrete walk, trees and shrubs planted too close to structures, every plant a different species, or too many of the same plant. The result can be unattractive and may not serve the family’s needs. Good landscape design creates a satisfying environment for the user while saving time, effort, and money and benefiting the environment.
~Excerpt from Extension Gardener Handbook
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