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Most of us start with a clean slate when it comes to landscaping our new homes. Designing your yard and garden can be a truly rewarding experience and an opportunity to let your personal style shine through.  Get started with a few tips and tricks for landscaping at your new home.

How to Landscape your new Home

  • Map out Your Space - Before sticking the shovel into the ground, get out a sketch pad or - better yet - some graphing paper and measuring tape. Map out the dimensions of your yard and create a scaled diagram that will allow you to understand how much space you have with which to work. Use this model to draw in your desired landscape, and include a key that defines symbols for various items, such as trees, shrubbery or decorative stones.
  • Select Materials – If you don’t know a dahlia from a zinnia, or a yew from a boxwood, there are lots of professional tools and experts to help you, and many of them won't cost you a thing.
    • For example, check out the Better Homes and Gardens interactive online garden planner, which allows you to get some great ideas from the comfort of your own computer. Using the tool, you can drag-and-drop common landscaping plants, shrubs and trees into a virtual yard to visualize how they might look in your own space.
    • If you prefer in-person advice, visit a local garden store. Staff can help you select a varied collection of plants, such as trees, bushes and grasses. Additionally, they offer suggestions on landscape complements, such as benches or statues.
  • Find the Tools – If you don’t have a shed full of tools, hardware stores offer equipment that people can rent when they decide to renovate. You can call for estimates on specific products and rates before finalizing your yard design. Common implements include shovels, wheelbarrows and clippers.
  • Don’t Forget the Basics - You'll definitely want protective gear, such as garden gloves, goggles and a soft pad for kneeling if you plan on planting. For polishing the look of your yard, you may want additional tools, such as a hedge cutter, weed-whacker or edging implement for fine-tuned trims along borders and walkways.
  • Personalize the Space – After you plant, consider adding personality to your yard using gravel, mulch or stepping stones to create pathways through your garden. Metal borders can also help give structure to your space and separate elements like flower beds and the lawn. Consider seating such as traditional benches with an old-fashioned appeal or wooden or stone seats, or even a backyard gazebo.
  • Consider an Herb Garden - Herb gardens are a pretty accessory that can liven up your kitchen, or your yard as well as your dishes Apart from adding some zest to your food, they are an eco-friendly and fresher alternative to buying bottles of herbs at the grocery store. For more information on starting an herb garden, go to
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