After the last thaw of the winter season, you will have been cooped up long enough that you will want to plunge right into your outdoor landscaping projects.  There’s no doubt that your outdoor area will need a major makeover, but don’t let your spring fever lead you down the path of landscaping obliteration.  A methodical approach to grooming your outdoor space will leave you ahead of the game at crafting a pristine looking outdoor space.

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Winter is the ideal time to start planning those little outdoor projects.  Creating a solid vision of how you want your open-air space to look will make the laborious part of the job much easier.  Furthermore, having a plan in place will allow you to start working right after the spring thaw.  If you wait too long to design, your landscaping project could easily last you well into the summer months—leaving you no time to enjoy your outdoor beautification.

Where to Start Planning

Deciding where to begin is always the hardest part of any project.  When you are thinking about expanding your landscaping, it’s a good idea to start by selecting a major focal point.  Start by checking out the trees and shrubs you would like to add to your yard.  There are many different types of trees, so you need to decide what it is you are looking for:

  • Evergreen trees
  • Shade trees
  • Flowering trees
  • Fruit trees
  • Shrubs and Hedges

Browse the different options to be sure that what you like can survive in your state, and then commit to designing your outdoor space around your large accent pieces.  An outdoor area designed around a fruit tree will look a lot different than an outdoor space that has a Japanese maple tree as a focal point.  Deciding what you like is the by far the most important part of the process.

Next, you need to plan your accents.  Think about how you will use annuals and decorative pieces to add color.  Keep in mind that blending colors will make your space more aesthetically pleasing.  Ornamental grass is also a great accent feature that can offer a whimsical allure when placed appropriately.   Since you are doing your planning in the winter, experiment with different accent plants and color blends.

You are not in a hurry, so you might as well play around until you find the look that you love.  There are apps and websites out there that will allow you to plug in different plants, tress, shrubs, accent pieces, and bedding, so that you can find the exact look you are trying to create.  Be sure to use all the resources.  Lighting and bedding are just as important to creating your overall curb appeal as the plants themselves.  Don’t underestimate any of the elements.


Where to Start Working—Take Care of Your Existing Landscaping

When the winter thaw is finally over, and spring is starting to glance out from behind the cold, you need to start your outdoor clean up by taking care of the lawn.  The lawn is the most important part of the landscaping equations because it’s the backdrop for all of your other projects.  If your lawn is not up to par, the rest of your work will be in vain.  In order to help your lawn recover from the muddy mess that the thawing snow will have caused, you need to first apply fertilizer with preemergent crab grass control.  This will prevent any unsightly crab grass from peeking its head into your lawn.

Next, you need to take care of your existing trees and shrubs.  Trim any broken branches and prune your shrubs into shape.  From there, you should clean your beds and prepare them for your new additions.

Lastly, you can order your trees and shrubs—the pieces you will be using as your focal points.  21st century landscape shopping allows you to save the most money.  Trees and shrubs can be shipped from all over the US, so it makes sense to shop prices to find the best deals on the saplings and bushes that you want to plant.  Be sure that you find an online tree dealer that offers an arrive alive guarantee.  If the products are guaranteed to be healthy, and they are affordable, then it makes sense to get the most for your money.

Add Your Flora

With everything cleaned up and fertilized, you can add your new additions as soon as they arrive.

After you’ve added your focal pieces, it’s time begin adding those accent pieces.  You should have already planned this part of your project during your winter planning phase, so a quick trip to the local greenhouse should have you on your way to a colorful and delightful outdoor area.

Finish by adding your bedding and your lighting, and you will have mastered the art of using your wintertime wisely to plan the perfect landscaping project.