[ Found in the Design Path
Note the directions of winter winds and summer breezes. Shady areas can change with the seasons.
Look for low-lying areas where water drains.
Include your observation in your notes.
A well-designed landscape looks great and works well. To achieve both goals, designers
combine classic design principles with basic functional guidelines. You can use
these same concepts to create water-thrifty outdoor spaces that work for you. The
first step is taking stock of your existing yard— from both inside and outside your
What do you see when you look out your windows? What would you like to see? Do you
have a great view to showcase or maybe an eyesore you’d like to screen out? Could
you use a little more privacy? Think, too, about what you’d like your landscape
to do for you. Do you need climate control? More shade in summer or more direct
sun on cold winter mornings? Would you like to block or redirect a breeze? Where
could you use a patio or sidewalk?
When it comes time to choose plants, you’ll want to know which areas of your yard
see the most sun and which linger in the shade. Which areas have good drainage and
which quickly puddle? You can use these clues to match your choices of waterwise
plants with existing conditions, reducing your irrigation needs from the start.
By placing trees and shrubs strategically to shade your home, you can also decrease
your energy use. Finally, be sure to jot down your observations and include them
in your overall landscaping plans.