Designing a landscape for a large rural property can be just as challenging as crafting one for a very small property — just with a different set of obstacles to overcome and goals to reach. To help you design a great landscape no matter how large your acreage, here are five tips for success.
1. Define Zones
Multiacre properties can seem unmanageable if you look at them as one large chunk of land to cover. Instead, break up your property into zones and usage areas. Define your yard — front, sides, and back — as well as spaces such as kid's play areas, a barn, livestock areas, and wild zones. Then, tackle each zone as an individual project with individual goals and challenges.
2. Scale Down Maintenance
The more property you own, the more it can take up in terms of time, energy, and money. To combat this, work actively to reduce maintenance and irrigation needs as you move farther from the home and other structures. This allows you to design a beautiful and lush yard and landscape your outbuildings, but it prevents you from having to spend excess time caring for the north forty.
3. Plan for Protection
Unfortunately, rural properties are at risk from a number of natural elements. The biggest risks are usually fire, flood, and wildlife. Create a fire protection system such as the NFPA's zone-based wildfire protection plans. To combat flooding, you might add retention ponds or improve grading and drainage. While looks are important in landscape design, it must first protect your home and investment.
4. Decide on Fencing
Some land owners want to fence their entire property to protect it from wildlife and intrusion or to keep livestock inside. This can become expensive and time-consuming, though, so it should be carefully considered within your budget and ability to do maintenance. Explore alternatives such as tree lines and green fences.
5. Keep It Native
When you work with a large area for landscaping, native plants and materials are generally best. These require the least maintenance and watering without sacrificing beauty. A native wildflower meadow, for instance, keeps distant parts of the land beautiful and often calls for little or no regular upkeep. Native landscape elements also tend to have lower carbon footprints, more accessibility, and more success taking root.
Where to Start
Ready to get started crafting a great landscape design for your particular property? Start by consulting with a landscape designer in your area today. With their help and your vision, you're sure to design a space everyone will want to come home to.
When I was young, I loved helping my mother in the garden. Our yard was filled with plants and flowers that she kept in immaculate condition. Once I was an adult and bought my first home, I learned that there was much more to landscaping a yard than I ever imagined! After a little trial and error planting a few flowers in my yard that died quickly, I realized the technology that is available to aspiring gardeners makes trial and error a thing of the past. After I found out what my "hardiness zone" was, I realized I was planting flowers made for much cooler climates, and I played around with software that let me design my yard very easily! I learned a lot throughout the experience, so I thought I would share my tips with everyone who needs them. Come back often to check out my new tips!