Lawn Landscaping Basics

Flowers in bed alongside grass
  • 2-100 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-10,000

Lawn landscaping involves the creation of a pre-planned design to improve the appearance outside a home or business. It generally involves the use of plant materials, but may also include decorative stones, fountains and other features. Creating a landscape design from scratch is a multi-step process, but one that can pay off with a fresh, welcoming look.

Step 1 - Carefully Examine the Space

Before even attempting to create a design for lawn landscaping, it is imperative to understand the space in question. It should be examined for such things as:


Soil type


Sun exposure

Other special considerations, such as availability of water.

Step 2 - Brainstorm Plants for Lawn Landscaping

Landscaped yard

Before attempting to draw out plans for how a lawn landscape should look, it’s a good idea to explore plant options to get a feel for what might be best suited to the space in question. Information on plants and how they might thrive in certain environments is available online, in books, through local nurseries and extension service offices.

When considering plants, keep these things in mind:

Their appearance, size, shape, and how they might fit in the desired design.

Their sunlight exposure requirements.

How much water they require.

How different types will look together.

The anticipated amount of care they might need.

The type of soil they best thrive in.

As a general rule of thumb, it is a good idea to go with plants that grow natively in an area. This can reduce the need for watering and also lessen maintenance time.

Step 3 - Draw the Lawn Landscaping Design

Landscaped yard

Once some ideas of plants and how they might look are firmly in place, it’s a good time to draw the planting design. Keep in mind that lawn landscaping generally includes turf grass in the mix. As the design is being drawn, make sure to:

Designate dimensions for planting beds.

Consider how different plants will look together.

Try to group plants with like watering and sunlight needs together.

Any yard obstacles that must be worked around.

Any extra features that might be desired, such as fountains or benches.

Step 4 - Execute The Plan

Once a plan for lawn landscaping is in hand, it’s time to get down to work. To put lawn landscaping dreams into action, make sure to:

Create a materials list that matches the plan and purchase the necessary items.

Properly prepare the planting area by removing grass and weeds.

Enhance soil with additives if this is deemed necessary.

Pay attention to plant spacing.

Follow the plan as closely as possible.

Turning a plain lawn into a beautifully-designed one doesn’t always require an “expert.” It will demand time, thought and elbow grease.