If you’re planning to oversee a significant landscaping project, there are a few key factors to keep in mind. Landscape architecture is a big job, but following these tips can ensure your project is a huge success.

Choose native plants

The first thing you need to consider is which types of native plants will work best for your project. Choosing native plants means the plants are well-conditioned to your unique local environment. For example, if you’re in the Rocky Mountains region, native plants will be more tolerant to the cold winters, strong winds, and other environmental concerns.

Using native plants is also a great choice because they usually have fewer problems with pests. And if you’re working on a budget, they typically require less care both now and in the future.

Grading concerns

Before you put the first plant into the ground, consider what type of erosion might occur.

Is erosion already happening on the property? Walk the area looking for wet patches and areas that are unusually dry. If you see any, make a plan to stop erosion in those areas. In some cases, a retaining wall may need to be installed.

It’s also essential to think about how the changes you’re planning could cause additional erosion. Remember that long, steep slopes will lose topsoil quickly. Corrosion must be prevented, or your plants will starve to death as the topsoil contains the moisture they need to survive.

Land use and purpose

Think about the land’s intended use and purpose before starting your landscaping project. Start by researching what the area was used for in the past, then consider how the area should be used now and in the future by residents. As part of the process, you should also consider the environmental, economic, and social impacts of your proposed changes.

If the property was used for mining or an industrial purpose in the past, run a soil sample test. You need to make sure that no contaminants are left in the soil. You also need to ensure that the nutrients your plants need are present.

Special considerations

There are several special considerations that might factor into your decision-making process. If the area was part of a previous wildfire, you might need to take special erosion prevention steps, especially if there are significant cultural properties below the location.

Likewise, if the area is prone to severe flooding, it’s essential to consider the impact that water standing on your landscaping may have. In both cases, if previous work was not completed, you may need to haul in new topsoil before you have your plants installed.

Supporting local wildlife

Think about whether wildlife needs to be supported on your property. If so, you’ll need to address three major elements: food, water, and space.

First is providing wildlife with a source of food. You can encourage many types of wildlife to feed on your project. Planting trumpet vines, for example, can be a great way to attract hummingbirds who feed on the pollen. Milkweed is a terrific choice for attracting butterflies.

Secondly, you need to provide wildlife with a water source. While the water can be stagnant, moving water helps to deter mosquitoes while providing a place for wildlife to get a drink.

Third, consider planting leafy trees, as they provide cover for bird nests. Trees provide space for wildlife as well. Other types of wildlife in your area may have additional space requirements that you need to keep in mind.

Local expertise

Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned landscape architect, it helps to partner with an expert for large-scale projects like this. It’s even better when you can find a local expert that has a unique understanding of your regional needs.

That may sound challenging, but thanks to search engines like Google, it’s pretty simple. Run a simple search for your location, like “Colorado seed company” or Utah erosion control company,” and you should wind up with several results that you can evaluate based on consumer reviews and testimonials on their website.


A lot of preparation and hard work goes into a large-scale landscape project, and the bulk of that work takes place before you plant your first seed. Taking the time to prepare your area now will help ensure your success in the future.