Our garden center may be closed, but there are new ways to shop.

Landscaping Essentials for Building a New House

THE TED LARE LOOK
Landscaping Essentials for Building a New House

Homes are where we let dreams happen. A new home comes with a new start, and a new chance for your surroundings to reflect your family’s style. Home is the place we go back to every day, where we build our futures, and where we feel safest – it makes sense that we’d want to shape them to fit us and our needs.

New homes can also be overwhelming. With so much hope and expectation, it can be tough to know where to start. It’s important to keep in mind that there’s no rush. There’s a lot to be enjoyed about moving into your new home, and you don’t want to rush through the milestones. You don’t need to go from bare dirt to a prize winning garden in one month. Setting goals is important, but so is the process.

fiddle-leaf figs placed indoors

Getting Started with New Landscaping:

As you make plans for the construction of your new home, it is important to also think about the outdoor spaces as well.  As you select the size and layout of your home, think about how much space is left on the lot and how you want to shape the outdoors of your home. Think about the activities you want enjoy and how your new yard is going to accommodate them.  If you like to play sports in the backyard or are entertaining the idea of a pool area, then you want to create or preserve a large level lawn area for these activities.

Here are some general questions you can think about as you plan the build of your new home:

  1. What direction do I want the backyard and frontyard to face? Think about shade and sun, wind direction, and the existing views at different lots you may be looking at.
  2. Do I want the backyard to be shady or sunny?
  3. Will there be enough room on the sides of the home for lawn equipment to access the backyard?
  4. Will we want a privacy fence in the backyard?
  5. Are there views from the home you want to preserve?
  6. Are there other views you want to hide or screen with plantings?
  7. What size of patio or deck do you need?  Consider everyday activities with family and other occasions where you might want more space?
  8. What outdoor functional features do you want to include or plan for in the future? (firepit, outdoor kitchen, pool areas, shade structures, additional patio space)

Love what you’re reading? Sign up to our email newsletter, and get inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.

Spend a little time with your family talking about all of your wants and dreams for your new outdoor spaces included with your new home.  Then spend a little time prioritizing these different items on your list. Similar to the indoors of your home, you may need to trim some items off the list as budgets are developed for your new landscape construction.

As you get started building your new home, you will want to get a reputable Landscape Designer involved during the building process.  Our design team is the perfect resource for any new homeowner looking to get started. We’ll help you navigate the planning, design, and execution stages to guide you towards your dream yard. If you are looking for a truly unique design, try to get a designer involved early in the building process as you are budgeting for all of your expenses.  We can help with generating ideas for your outdoor spaces and shaping your own ideas into conceptual designs for construction.

fiddle-leaf fig plant

Steps to Landscaping your New Home:

It can be overwhelming to landscape your entire home.  Here are the steps we recommend to prioritize your new home landscaping.

  1. Budget for Sod and Irrigation
  2. Assess how much you want to spend on the new landscaping for your home.
  3. Pick a Landscape Designer to work with and obtain Estimates for Hardscapes (pool, patios, retaining walls, paths, etc.), Tree Plantings, and Planting Beds.
  4. Review estimates for proposed work to see what fits your budget.
  5. Revise hardscape and planting designs to fit your initial install budget.
  6. Continue to refine the design and material choices as construction approaches

We recommend trying to get as much of the heavy construction installed upfront, such as patios and retaining walls, during the initial home construction. These items are much easier and less costly to install before your lot is sodded.

Tree plantings are also nice to get started early as well, as they will take a while to grow into large shade trees.  Other than that, the front planting will most likely be required by your development. Hardscapes, Front landscaping, and Tree plantings are the areas to focus on first. Other items are easy to take care of down the road.  

fiddle-leaf fig plant

Preparing for New Plantings & Sod:

A vibrant and beautiful garden is impossible without good soil, and setting a good foundation is a great investment in making your gardening and yard maintenance easier for years to come. With a new home you’ve got a great opportunity to set this foundation – without any landscaping in place you can address your soil before you get started with anything else.

Some developers try to cut corners by leaving you with very little black soil, scraping it off and leaving a frustrating and unworkable amount for you by the time you move in. As you sign contracts with your home builder, ask questions about black soil depths in the lot and what is expected after the final build. The deeper the black soil the better, as you will have to water your lawn less and any new plants will thrive in black soil, compared to compacted clay. Four inches of black soil is the absolute minimum you’ll need for a healthy lawn, but of course more is better and even required for things like gardens and flower beds.

Even if you’re confident you’ve received the promised top soil, it can be a good idea to supplement additional black soil while everything is exposed, especially for areas you plan to plant during construction or later down the road. A full dump truck of black dirt spread across your front foundation will make a big difference to your future plantings installed with your new landscaping.  We recommend having 12” of black soil for planting bed areas if possible.

fiddle-leaf fig plant

Landscaping Design for your New Home:

The toughest exercise in self-restraint can be planning your hardscaping and waiting until you have a confident idea of what you’d like your yard to look like before you start laying down permanent fixtures.

Our landscape experts are the best source of knowledge to help set your plans and designs in stone. We can help you through the entire process, from preliminary planning and conceptual design all the way through final construction.  All of our designers have years of experience and the creative vision to help you build the new home of your dreams. Our detailed plans will let us help you do it right the first time. By taking the time to do it right, you can make the most of your opportunity to design a perfectly-customized outdoor space. When you are ready to start planning the backyard of your dreams, get in touch with your design team to get started.

YOU'RE READING
YOU’RE READING

The Ted Lare Look

Our garden style and trend blog, dedicated to helping you design and shape your dream home, garden, and outdoor retreat.

Inspiration comes in many forms. Have inspiration delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our email newsletter, where you’ll receive our best gardening articles, project ideas, and more!

RELATED POSTS

New Ways to Shop

Our garden center may be closed, but the plant parenting doesn’t have to stop. Here are a few ways you can still shop with us:

OUR WEBSITE
will be regularly updated with listings or buy a gift card

DAILY VIDEOS
or items at the store will be posted on Facebook and Instagram.

CURBSIDE PICK-UP
will be available for orders made online and via Facebook or Instagram.

FREE LOCAL DELIVERY
for all purchases of $50 or more in the Des Moines metro area and surrounding suburbs.

CONCIERGE SHOPPING
Text, FaceTime, or call 515-205-6985 to customize your order with a concierge in real-time.