Whether you hire a professional or do it yourself, landscaping your yard or garden can be a daunting task. Envisioning a tree here or a bush there may not be enough to give you the grand scheme of your intended design. You may find yourself wondering if that was the right place for that Japanese maple. Maybe the boxwood hedge should go along the driveway instead of the sidewalk. Computer landscaping software does a good job, as it lets you see exactly how your yard will look once the landscaping is completed. However, these types of software packages can be costly and you will most likely only use them once. A better and more economical way to help keep you within your landscaping budge is to make your own landscape design board. It is easy to make, requiring very few materials, and it allows you to make quick changes while the landscaping is in progress.
2 – 8″ by 10″ poster boards
Several sheets of tracing paper 8″ by 10″
2 – Pencils
2 – Clipboards
Making the landscape design board (we will make two – one for you and one for your spouse or significant other)
On each poster board, sketch the existing design of your property including sidewalks, driveways, pool, deck, patio, house, and other structures. This will be your base design. If possible get a photocopy of your property survey and draw the hardscapes (house, sidewalks, driveway, etc.), on it. In order not to cover up any of your design with the clip of the clipboard, leave at least one inch on one side of the poster board free of drawings. If you plan to landscape your entire yard, do not draw any existing trees or bushes on your base design. Also, include notations for power lines or underground cables, sewer or water pipes.
How the design board works
Lay one sheet of tracing paper over the base design, securing both under the clip of the clipboard, and label it “walkways” in one of the corners. This sheet will be used to draw any walkways you may want in your yard, such as a stone path to a shed or vegetable garden. You can also use this sheet for retaining walls, fishponds, or permanent structures.
Lay another tracing paper over the walkway sheet and label it “trees and shrubs.” Indicate on this sheet where you would like specific trees and shrubs to be planted. You can also indicate here if you would like an area designated for a vegetable or flower garden.
Having two or more sheets of tracing paper allows you to make changes without disturbing your base design. You can erase and make changes or get a new sheet of tracing paper and start over.
Source: Master Gardener Classes