Envionmental Psychology

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Landscape Plan - Consider Your Family's Lifestyle

By Jeanette Joy Fisher

If you've been considering changing you're home’s landscaping, don't forget to consider your family's lifestyle as you create your initial plans. Everyone's routines and daily activities need to be considered before you make any significant changes.

For instance, if you put a flowerbed or shrub in the middle of your backyard, will that hinder your children from playing various games? You want to encourage your kids to play at home and to invite their friends to join them, so it's important not to do anything that will adversely affect the space where they usually play.

Another example would be planting a shrub along a route that someone in the family likes to walk on a regular basis. It can be something as simple as the route to the mailbox, or something as elaborate as a path that someone likes to walk every afternoon to commune with nature. Either way, planting something that alters their enjoyment of that simple routine wouldn't be a good idea.

You may also want to consider what adding a particular landscaping element would do to enhance your family's living experience For instance, would adding a hot tub to a proposed new deck be something the family would use enough to justify its expense, or would it be enough just to add the deck and use it for barbecuing and getting together with friends?

You might also think about future additions to the family when making your landscaping plans. For example, even though your own children have grown up and moved out of the house, you might think about adding a sandbox to your landscaping project, so your grandchildren will have a place to play when they visit over the weekend.

As you think about what you might like to incorporate into your new landscaping project, it's a good idea to start keeping a folder where you can stuff pictures or ideas. You might also want to keep a journal, jotting down ideas of possible additions that come to you from time to time. When you finally sit down to create your formal plan, you can dig these out, and you may be surprised at some of the things that caught your imagination as you mulled over your landscaping project.

Regardless of what you finally decide to include in your landscape remodeling project, it's important that everyone in the household be considered. It's their home, too, and they have the right to be given the maximum amount of opportunity to enjoy it.

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