When you choose an architectural style for your new home, you should also be thinking about what the rest of your lot is going to look like. Your landscaping design will want to fit in well with the house style.
Your first consideration will be determining whether to leave some of the existing trees on the lot, or add new trees. A local arborist can assist you in deciding if any old trees on the lot are past their prime, and should be removed for safety reasons.
If you wish to add new trees and shrubs, there are several things you need to consider before purchasing and planting them. The climate where you are building is a big factor in determining the trees and shrubs best suited for your lot. Rainfall amounts and total or partial sunshine are also determining factors. Your local nursery can assist you in determining what trees and shrubs will grow well, and provide the amount of shade, and the look you are trying to achieve.
Another option is contacting your local county agricultural extension office. They can be extremely helpful in providing information on what you should and should not do, based on your geographical location. The agents should have a list available of preferred trees, shrubs and flowers to suit your location, as well as your taste.
Established trees located in the right places on your lot can provide helpful shade in the summer, and reduce your air conditioning expenses. Shade trees can block the sun from creating a greenhouse effect inside your home, and make it more energy efficient. Large pre-existing trees may already be home to squirrels and birds, that will help rid your yard of annoying insects and pests. It can take many years to acquire these welcome guests in newly-planted trees.
When planning your landscape, you need to take into consideration the amount of time you will need to spend on maintenance and upkeep, and whether you will have that time available. If you know your free time will be short, what with increased work hours on the job, chauffeuring children to their events, meal preparation, and time out for entertaining and relaxation, you may not have the time you need to tend to a beautiful high-maintenance flower garden. So keep your landscaping design within your spare time available for maintenance.
When planning your landscape, drainage of your lot is also an important consideration. You don't want to wind up with rain water building up along your foundation, that may lead to other problems. The last thing you need is a wet basement. Some drainage solutions can also fit in well with the landscaping design. For example, ditches running through low points on the lot can be incorporated within flower gardens. Artificial swales can be created that look like dry creek beds, by lining the ditch with stones. This will also provide drainage for rain water runoff.
The landscape should reflect the design of the house you choose.
Rose gardens and azaleas go well with traditional style and colonial design homes. Maple and oak trees fit in well, as do evergreens and conifers such as spruce and hemlock.
Contemporary (modern) homes go well with Japanese maples, Lombardy poplars, and topiary designs of bottlebrush, lantana or boxwood.
Mediterranean style homes fit well with grape vines and climbing roses, as well as trellises and benches in the garden. Don't forget to include an herb garden as well.
European style homes such as English and French lend themselves to climbing plants such as ivy and wild honeysuckle. Your garden can include herbs, such as lavender and Echinacea plant.
Landscaping for Western style homes can include rock gardens, cactus and other succulent plants that require little water. Mexican style pottery and terra cotta pieces also fit in well with this style.
Working with a landscape professional to design the surrounding area to match your home's style will greatly improve the curb appeal of your new home.