7. Final Habitat Landscape Plan
final habitat landscape plan contains all of the details.
This kind of plan is simply a refinement of the previous
bubble diagrams, and it will be the guide as you put down
the pencil and pick up the shovel.
After you have
drawn your ideas, compare these preliminary plans to see which best
fits your needs and those of wildlife. You can combine the best
features of each to make your ideal plan. Once you’ve decided
what you want, you now need to turn your bubble diagram into a landscape
plan. Now is the time to add the details of plant species and materials
(such as types of paving or fencing), and locations and dimensions
of these features.
The most involved
task will be selecting plants for different parts of your yard (see Choosing Plants). For example, if you
want a tall evergreen hedge for privacy: which plants have dense foliage,
grow about 10 feet tall, can tolerate your specific environmental
conditions, and are good for wildlife? Or, for summer shade and winter
sun: what plants are deciduous, grow to 30 feet or more, and offer
good food for wildlife?
will need to be added. For example, if you want a pond you need
to determine if it will be excavated, whether lined with a flexible
liner or clay or both, how it will be cleaned, and if you want recirculating
When all the
details have been worked out, you can draw up a final landscape
plan. Accuracy is important, because it will be the “blueprint”
that will guide your habitat construction and development over time.
(See Fig. 7).
- Choose plants
that will provide seeds, berries, nectar (flowers), and good cover.
Avoid sterile varieties (those that do not produce fruits of seeds).
- Pay attention
to sun, water, and soil needs of each plant species and place
them in your yard where they will best flourish. Most plants are
fairly tolerant but prefer certain conditions. Be sure to check
with nurseries and garden books.
height at maturity and other features such as fall color, showy
flowers, aroma, or unique leaf shape. Combine for aesthetic variety.
- Keep in mind
how plants aid in energy conservation and comfort by letting in
winter sun, protecting from prevailing winter winds, and shading
the summer heat. Evergreens give winter protection for you and
wildlife but will block the sun. Many deciduous trees have good
food for wildlife and allow in winter warmth; they do not protect
from winter winds.
- Note any
special problems some plants might have, such as weak wood, messy
fruit, over patios, or invasive roots.
- You will
probably find more than one plant that fits the needs of a certain
spot. Cost, availability, and personal preferences for unique
features may influence your final selection.