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Practical Landscaping Ideas

Posted on May 17, 2019

When people think about landscaping, they usually want ideas to improve their property's looks with beautiful plants, paths, water features, and lights. I usually direct them to first think about what they want their landscape to do for them in a very practical way

Starting from the ground up is the logical way to proceed.

  • If a beautiful yard doesn't provide the necessary function, it's just a beautiful yard that serves no purpose.

  • Looking at some landscapes from a distance, they seem nice, but, upon closer examination, you see little functionality.


One of the first landscaping needs to look at is good drainage.

  • If after a major rain storm there is standing water for longer than six hours, it usually means there is a drainage problem.

  • Sometimes this problem will cause other complications such as building foundation problems, crawl space problems, unhealthy plants, and access problems.

  • Most drainage problems are caused by poor soil, improper grading, or water runoff from other areas or springs.

  • Until the cause of the drainage problem is diagnosed, it's almost impossible to recommend a long term solution.


Irrigation solutions are among many valuable landscaping ideas.

  • In Clark County Washington, we usually have a good 3-4 months of summer weather a year.

  • It is recommended that new landscapes include at least an automatic drip irrigation system for plants.

  • Even plants that will become drought tolerant need some watering during the first 2-3 years in a new landscape.

  • Lawns after the first season will recover if allowed to go dormant in the summer, so irrigation is not as necessary to lawns unless you want to keep your lawn green all the time. If that is your desire, then an automatic sprinkler system for your lawn makes sense. It will get the right amount of water in the right place which is almost impossible with the hose and sprinkler method.


Hard surfaces (patios, deck, and walkways)

  • Created so people can have entertaining areas or move from one area to another in comfort and safety.

  • The very reason for their existence is to make life easier for those who use them.

  • It makes sense, then, that walkways and patios are wide and smooth enough for their intended use.

  • Traversing the contours of your landscape should be done with proper slopes or steps.


Structures for landscaping

  • Should be designed to bring shelter and privacy to areas in a landscape.

  • Some of the structures considered for landscaping are patio covers, pergolas, arbors, gazebos, greenhouses, and sheds.

  • They all should serve a well-defined purpose and their construction should be planned based on their intended usage.



  • Usually one of the last elements to be installed in a well-planned landscape.

  • They should have a purpose which could include food, shade, fragrance, erosion control, aesthetics, ecology, or bird and butterfly attraction.



Landscape lighting

  • Like adding frosting to a cake.

  • First, landscape lighting should be installed for safety and security.

  • Maybe there is a corner that is really dark or the steps that are hard to see, then landscape lighting is necessary

  • With LED landscaping lights, it doesn't have to look like an airport runway. There are many types and styles of lighting to enhance the beauty and safety of your landscape.


Landscape ideas show be very practical and add value to your property. Please contact us for an on-site consultation so we can help you turn your ordinary yard into an extraordinary garden


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