I hope you found some time to sit in the shade and reflect on the possibilities for your landscape. Garden magazines and websites are great resources to start a clip file of your favorite ideas.
As you think about your landscape, consider how it fared during this toughest of summers. If there were areas that suffered considerably – especially grass areas on thin soils – consider replacing the grass with pervious hardscape or mulched beds.
As you think about your landscape design, sketch a layout of your property, making note of home dimensions and permanent features such as driveways, sidewalks and large trees. Make several copies of your base plan to work from.
Use one of your copies to locate assets (like a good view) and liabilities (electrical lines or air conditioner unit). Indicate sunny and shady spots. Use another copy of your basic plan to experiment with different functional layouts with public areas like entryways, driveways, and foundation plantings. Identify private spaces that can be designed as an expansion of your home for entertainment or play.
Finally, don’t forget to consider service areas that can be unsightly, but are necessary such as where to keep your trash and recycling containers, or compost pile. These areas you might want to screen.