Think of the foundation planting as you would for the perfect setting for a beautiful painting that enhances its natural beauty. Omitting a lawn is not just for areas where water conservation is essential. Lawn-less front yards will not suffer when water prices rise as supply decreases. Plus, there's no need for lawn care, which eliminates the cost of a gardener. That means more time to enjoy your outdoor living spaces all summer.
Most property boundaries do not extend to the road. Plants or hardscapes installed in a state, county or city right-of-way, for example between a sidewalk and the road, may be torn off for road works or for access Go to public services. Then gather and record information about the history of the property. What was there before the current house was built? What is the history of earth care? Was the property previously agricultural land? Have old buildings been removed, possibly leaving lead paint or plumbing? See AG-439-78, Soil Facts: Minimizing the Risk of Soil Contamination in Urban Gardens for Specific Design Strategies.
Not all square feet of the landscape must be filled. Most residential landscapes consist of limited space, so the number of tree and shrub species used should also be limited. It is more effective to incorporate groups of one type of plant than to install one or two of a wide variety of plants. Create simple lines and curves that add interest rather than irregular lines that could hinder design (Figure 19-22). Repetition in the landscape should not be confused with monotony. Repetition contributes to unity and simplicity. It provides a solid foundation for landscape design, such as the repeated refrain in a song (Figure 19-23).