As winter sets in, you probably are not doing much landscaping. In fact, you may not be thinking about your landscape at all, as you wait out the cold days until spring comes again.

But even as your landscape goes dormant, it’s the perfect time to bring your imagination to life. Time flies – and your gardens will be blooming again before you know it. The question is: will they be as beautiful as you want them to be? Why not take this time right now to begin dreaming, imagining, and planning your landscape for spring?

If you’re thinking about a redesign, or adding some feature that you’ve always wanted, like a pond or outdoor kitchen, these cold wintry days are the perfect time to start planning.

Break out your vision board! Here are some things you can be thinking about, sketching, and noting, right from the warm comfort of your home, that will help you plan for your new outdoor living space next spring.


Pick Out The Eyesores

Winter is a great time to make note of those less-than-lovely spots in your yard. With foliage gone and gardens sparse, it will be very easy to pick out everything you don’t love about your space.  (Once the snow melts!)

Is it the garbage pail that sits to one side of your house, necessary but unattractive? Is it the utility junction box that was planted in your yard without regard for aesthetics? The huge coil of garden hose that always seems to collect cobwebs and moldy leaves in the back yard? A pile of garden tools, a stack of firewood, a septic cap, a pipe… or any number of other blemishes that stand out?

Use these winter months wisely and when spring rolls around you’ll be ready to implement a landscape design that works like a charm.


Note The Best Parts

Unless you plan on bulldozing everything and starting over, there’s probably something you love about your yard. An old growth tree, that perfect, natural boulder, a favorite chair or that big ol’ planter that you and the kids fill and refill with new treats each season.

Don’t shed a tear for it – there’s no reason it can’t be incorporated into your new landscape design, even if you really do plan to bulldoze just about everything else!

Spend some time considering which parts of your space you’d hate to see go.


Decide What Bugs You

No, not literal bugs! Rather, think about the things that drive you a little bit too crazy. It could be that your neighbors are too close, and you’re tired of looking directly into their first floor windows from your seat on the patio (or maybe you’re tired of them peering out at you!)

It could be a little too much traffic noise from the street, or the unsightly view of the clothesline that your other neighbor has strung across their yard all summer.

Those little annoyances can really detract from your enjoyment, even if your yard is picture-perfect. Now is the time to start thinking about and cataloging those annoyances, and nobody will fault you for complaining! In fact, the more you complain now, the better your experience will be later.

You can work to mitigate the buggy stuff, whether it’s through privacy screening like bamboo, heavier shrubbery to block unwanted noise, trellises or other barriers to add more privacy – the possibilities are many!

Imagine What You Would Do… If You Could

Sometimes our imaginations get stuck in low gear. We worry about timing and budget and what-ifs and what-thens. But today, as you settle in for your long winter nap, challenge yourself to think past the everyday and the practical to the *possibilities*.

If you could walk out your back (or front!) door on a warm day this summer and do anything you want, what would it be? Would you love to dive into a sparkling, crystal clear pool, or wade knee-deep in a pond full of colorful, shimmering koi? What would you love to do next fall – rake leaves then hole up in your living room for the rest of the season, or bring your cozy blanket outdoors to sit by a fireplace?

Imagine each season in turn, and imagine what you would do, if you could – if you had no constraints, if the sky was the limit, if you could *enjoy your yard exactly the way you wanted to*.

Whether it’s a pool, patio, outdoor kitchen, covered seating area, fire pit, pond, basketball court, vegetable garden or just about anything you desire.

Make your wish list.  Calculate Costs.  Determine how to pay for the project.

Consider selling some unwanted items you no longer use to pay for the project or purchasing “gently used” items to save some money.