BASIC LANDSCAPE DESIGN PRINCIPLES
Landscape design is the conscious arrangement of outdoor elements for human satisfaction and enjoyment. Good landscaping practices consider the following principles to enhance composition and avoid poor plant choices and improper plant placement.
ENVIRONMENTAL AND SITE CONSIDERATIONS
Look at the areas where you will be planting and understand the characteristics of each. This can affect your plant selection and design decisions. Even areas that are close together can be very different.
Sun versus ShadeWet versus DrySoil conditionsDrainageUnique featuresUnique problemsBed shape and sizeFocal points - signage, posts, lightingSeasonal variations
Consider these basic design principles when selecting and placing plant materials. Apply the principles consistently in all planting areas to maintain a unified look.
When making specific plant selections, be sure your plants fit the characteristics of your planting site and that plants will be suited for the type of care they will be receiving once they are planted.
Mature SizeHeat ToleranceDrought ToleranceNative or Adapted to TexasLow maintenanceInvasivePoisonous
Consider the characteristics from the list below first and then select a plant that meets those requirements of each location in your planting area.
LANDSCAPE INSTALLATION AND MAINTENANCE
The long-term survival and health of the landscape depends on the care that it receives. Installing plants with proper bed preparation and proper care will improve the plants' chances of survival and its ability to grow to its mature size.
Pick the right plants for the right place! A beautiful design should last for years. Don't skimp on preparation. It's better to buy less plant materials and invest in a good growing environment for your landscape. You'll save money in the long run and can fill in with more plants later.
HOMEOWNER ASSOCIATION LANDSCAPE DESIGN
Collin County is growing in leaps and bounds. Beautiful neighborhoods and beautiful homes of all sizes are popping up like fireants after a warm summer rain. Many of these
developments have entry ways that set the stage for the neigborhood with decorative walls, fences, signage and landscaping.
These days Homeowner Associations are looking for drought tolerant, low-maintenace plants that will mature and look attractive over time while providing an attractive entrance for homeowners and visitors alike.
Master Gardeners are frequently asked to assist Homeowner Associations (HOA) with design plans for these neighborhood entry ways. To help with these projects, we've put together some resources to help with recommended plants and design ideas that will look great and thrive in these suburban landscape areas.
Just like getting dressed in the morning, arranging the furniture or planning a meal, there are some basic guidelines that you follow to be sure the final result works and is pleasing or attractive. We've put together the basics for plant selection that will help you make good decisions that are both practical and beautiful. Success of your landscape depends on plans that consider the cultural and environmental factors affecting your plant choices.
Click here to view our guidelines for Basic Landscape Design
GENERIC HOA DESIGN PLANS
There are a lot of similarities in HOA landscape areas when it comes to shape and size. We've picked some of the most common shapes and developed some generic plans that can be customized by selecting plants from one of the HOA Landscape Plant Lists based on the Design Plan Categories shown in each design plan.
Click here to view our design ideas.
HOA LANDSCAPE PLANT LIST
Plants on our HOA Landscape Plant Lists were specifically selected for use in HOA entry way landscape area. These plants will be low maintenance, disease resistant and will look good over an extended period of time in these areas. Use the plant lists in conjunction with the Generic HOA Design Plans to make plant selections by matching the plant category and size to the drawing.
Click here to view the HOA Landscape Plant Lists
Most of neighborhood entry ways have landscape areas with similar shapes and sizes. Here are some suggested designs for some of the commonly shaped areas.
Rather than list specific plants, each design suggests a plant size and category. Use the HOA Landscape Plant List to find plants that match the category and size of the plants shown on the design diagram. This way you can customize each design for your neighborhood.
If you are designing several entry way landscape areas for the same neighborhood, be sure you make consistent plant selections so that all areas will be coordinated and look like part of the same neighborhood.
Click on any image below to view in larger window.
OUTSIDE CORNER DESIGN
INSIDE CORNER DESIGN
HOA DESIGN PLAN CATEGORIES
Edging & GroundcoverOrnamental GrassesSmallShrubsMedium ShrubsLarge ShrubsSmall Ornamental TreesSeasonalColor
Click here to view the HOA Landscape Plant List
HOA LANDSCAPE PLANT LISTS
The plants on our HOA plant lists were carefully selected by the Collin County Master Gardener design team espcially for use in HOA landscapes projects. These are plants that are known to be reliable choices for these types of projects.
Foundation Plant ListSeasonal Color Plant List
There are lots of options for each plant category. Refer to the Basic Landscape Design Principles to narrow your selection based on various plant charateristics and to acheive the look you have in mind.
HOA DESIGN PLANT CATEGORIES
Edging & GroundcoverOrnamental GrassesSmallShrubsMedium ShrubsLarge ShrubsSmall Ornamental TreesCoolWeather Seasonal ColorWarm Weather Seasonal ColorPerennialColor
Foundation plants are primarily shrubs and trees. These are the permanent plantings that create the backdrop for your design. While these will provide a mostly green backdrop, many foundation plants have foliage of red, grey, or variations of green that can be used for their color contrast. Some will have blooms that add color as well.
Ornamental grasses add form, texture and motion to the landscape.
Groundcover and edging plants add a finished look to larger planting areas and landscape borders.
Shrubs should be selected based on their mature size so that trimming and shearing can be minimized.
Small trees with a mature height under 25 feet provide shade and interest without interfering with untilities.
Click here to view foundation plant list.
SEASONAL COLOR PLANTS
The plants that will provide the splash of color for you landscape project will be flowering annuals or perennials.
Cool season annuals must be planted in early Fall. Many can provide color through the winter but will not survive the hot summer temperatures.
Warm season annuals are planted in the spring but will not survive the cold winter temperatures.
Perennials may die back in the winter, but will return each spring and will provide color year after year during certain months of the year.
For bold color, plant annuals in masses as close as plant size and spacing will allow. Most perennials will need more room and will grow much larger than annuals in one season.
Click here to view the seasonal list.