If you're a new homeowner and need to now handle your own landscaping, you want to ensure that you take the time to plan it carefully. Landscape design includes more than just planting the right flowers and shrubs; you need to ensure that the soil is prepared carefully and that your property will also be protected. Where and how you plant those flowers and shrubs will also be important, if you want to create maximum curb appeal on your property. Note the following simple tips.

1. Have your property inspected

The first thing you need to do before planning any landscape feature is to ensure that your property is properly graded for drainage. The moisture that is drawn to your plants and shrubs by their roots needs to be able to run off and away from the landscaping, or it may collect in that area and put pressure on your home's foundation. Cracks and then leaks may form. You may need to create trenches for your landscaping or otherwise allow for proper drainage.

You'll also want to ensure that buried power lines, cables, and plumbing pipes are marked so that you don't dig these up, or plant large shrubs and trees that may allow their roots to wrap around these and cause damage. Your property may also have an easement, which is a path that your neighbor is allowed to use across your property to access their own. Easements cannot be blocked in any way, and that includes not interfering with their visibility. A site surveyor can mark off all these factors so you can plan your landscaping around them.

2. Create paths and groupings

If you're not a landscape designer, you may wonder how to actually create curb appeal with your plants and shrubs. Design pros know to create paths and groupings for maximum visual appeal. A path from the driveway to your front porch is a great way to make your home look welcoming when it's lined with colorful plants.

Groupings refer to one area that is planted with flowers and shrubs; you might see them planted around a tree in a front yard, or a grouping might be created at the corner of a home to help create balance. Rather than just scattering plants throughout your yard or in a single row in front of your home, use them to create these types of paths and then create substantial groupings, just like the pros do.

For more information, contact a company like Great Southern Lawns & Gardens.