Landscape Design & Maintenance

garden shed and landscaped yard

Selected Readings and Content

UMaine Extension Bulletins

UMaine Extension Videos

Additional Resources


 Master Gardener Volunteer Training

Core Competencies

At the end of these sessions you will be able to articulate and explain:

  • The elements of the art of landscape design
    • Color, texture, form, line, space, pattern, and light
  • Basic steps of landscape design based on biology, site analysis, engineering and project management
    • Assess the site in relation to the goals of the project
      • Define the environment both above and below the ground
      • Consider the function of the space-function before form
      • Make a list of the things you would like to include in the final plan
    • Develop a theme/themes for the landscape for filtering decisions
      • Design for beauty using the elements of art in the landscape
      • Determine which functions would be best served by hardscape and which by plants
      • Design the structure and layout of the landscape
    • Assess the factors influencing the design
      • Assess what is good in the existing landscape and what needs to be eliminated
      • Develop a budget (labor and materials) for the entire project and sub-projects
      • Consider labor and financial costs of long-term maintenance
      • Create an installation timeline where hardscape precedes planting
    • Installation: Select plants and use proper planting practices
  • Filter plant choices by theme
  • Choose plants by function and suitability to site
  • Consider hardiness, size, color, texture, and seasonality
  • Develop effective, scaled, sustainable plant combinations
  • Follow good planting and establishment practices
  • Applying landscape design principles to projects
    • Balance/Style
    • Dominance, focal point, focalization
    • Scale and proportion Rhythm and repetition
    • Transition/Tension
    • Contrast
    • Unity
    • Simplicity
  • Evolution of landscape design in reaction to environmental stewardship
    • Sustainability
    • Appropriate use of native and non-invasive exotic plants
    • Water quality and conservation
    • Energy conservation
    • Developing sustainable landscapes that have long term, low carbon footprint.
    • Awareness of what practices will help meet the goals of the space and sustainability

Practical Skills Gained and Strengthened

  • Be able to assess a landscape design – highlighting strengths and offering areas for improvement
  • Be able to draw a bubble diagram of a home landscape design.