The Best Time to Design Your Dream Landscape


We all know bringing in the new year means new resolutions, and honestly, we know some of them do not last. Fortunately, when it comes to the landscape, it takes time. Landscapes are an ever-evolving dream, and just because it is not an ideal time to plant in our zone right now, it is the perfect time to plan. Planning and designing early permits season longevity and more time to enjoy your garden. If you are unfamiliar with the design and planning process, your Franz Witte specialists are here to help. We have a design build department ready to make your dream landscape come to life. Our landscape designers walk you through the whole development and listen to your ideas. They also provide solutions and deliver on the complete installation. Perhaps you are more of a do-it-yourself homeowner. Our garden center is filled with horticulturalists and plant experts willing to answer any plant questions you may have. Even more practically, though, here are several tips for planning this year’s garden.

1. Start with the simple questions

Consider the available space in your landscape and think of different ways those spaces could be utilized. Here are a few examples:

  • What do I want out of my landscape?
  • How much maintenance am I willing to put into it?
  • Do I entertain often?
  • What do I like most about my landscape right now?
  • What would I like to change about the use/function of my landscape?
  • Write down your questions and your answers. Doing this acts as an anchor if the process ever gets overwhelming or you begin to feel lost. Coming back to your simple goals allows you to refocus and even adjust if you run into any dilemmas.

2. Consider your existing landscape

The key to a successful landscape is understanding what you already have. Your landscape’s orientation to the sun influences which plants are suitable for specific locations. Perhaps your yard gets too much sunlight and you would like to incorporate shade. Now you have the option to plant trees, install a pergola, hang a shade sail, or brainstorm other ideas.

Soil is another component to successful gardening. Certain plants thrive in different soil types. Perhaps it is time for a soil remediation. Franz Witte offers soil conditioner, compost, top soil, and various other bulk materials for all your soil needs. We also have recommendations for proper soil care and the best ways to get the most life out of your soil.

You can also refer to your landscape and see what is working and take note of what you like. From there, you may contemplate the best ways to improve the areas that need work. Doing this brings cohesion and unity, rather than pulling random elements together and hoping they work. Take note of different garden styles you like. Sketch your existing yard (trees, shrubs, structures, flowers, and gardening beds) it does not have to be anything fancy, and identify what needs to change. Do not be afraid to dream big! There are many practical ways to get your dream landscape without going over the top or breaking the budget.  

3. Functionality and plant palette

Once you have an idea of what you like, play around with different layout concepts to get the most functionality out of your landscape. Think of your outdoor space as an extended room. Hardscape provides the structure such as patios, arbors, fireplaces, pergolas, paths, and pools while softscape refers to the live elements and focuses on the plants. Plants frame and soften the landscape and provide a variety of functions.

Choosing the right plants for the right place is vital. Franz Witte is a local plant nursery that provides all your needs, and our staff is passionate about helping you find the perfect fit for your garden. Because we are located in the Treasure Valley, the plants we carry are well suited for our area and zone. The proper plant in the proper place means greater quality, extended lifespan, and maximum environmental impact. If there is a plant you like but it will not perform well in a specific location, stop in for plant recommendations.

4. Create a timeline

Projects take time, especially landscape transformations. The best way to stay on track is to create a realistic timeframe. Tackle the areas that need the most immediate care first and mark the areas that need improvements throughout the season. Take into account the weather and the climate. Be honest about what you can accomplish yourself and seek professional help or guidance on the tasks that are beyond your expertise. Sticking to a timeline offers a structured schedule so you can enjoy your dream garden as soon as possible!

5. Maintenance is a reality

While HGTV landscapes and magazine gardens look immaculate, keep in mind that is not always the reality. Pristine landscapes take a lot of time, maintenance, and upkeep. Weeds always seem to creep in and pruning and deadheading can get overwhelming if not kept up with. This should not deter you from designing the garden you have always wanted, but your Franz Witte team recommends you consider the work and time commitment before getting in over your head.  

Starting the design process in the late fall or early winter allows ample time for the design process to get completed. There is plenty of time to design in the winter rather than when the weather gets warm and there becomes a sense of urgency to get outside and get to work. Create ahead of time and give yourself leeway to change your mind or pay attention to the key details. Doing this permits a successful landscape that you are confident and satisfied in.  

By Riley Rehberg

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