Will this be the year you give your landscaping and outdoor living spaces a well-deserved refresh? Then it’s time to start planning! Spring is the ideal time to tackle your landscape and hardscape transformation projects and as winter draws to a close, there’s no time like the present to start the process!

With proper planning, giving your outdoor spaces an upgrade is less of a chore (and less likely to be put off for another day!). It can even be…fun! Which is exactly why Heinen created  the Kansas City Landscaping Guide – and better yet, it’s free! The guide is packed with helpful planning tips – adding a little more confidence when moving forward with your outdoor renovation project. And, since the Guide was written by Heinen, the Kansas City climate, seasons and even plant-life that thrives in this area are taken into consideration. And, if you have questions or need a little assist,  the landscape pros at Heinen are, as always, here to help!

The Essential First Step – Create a Plan

When it comes to landscaping, “ready, aim, fire” is always better than “ready, fire. aim”! It’s tempting to pick up a trunk-load full of the prettiest plants in the lot at Home Depot on the first sunny Saturday of spring. Beyond the issue of rubbing elbows with every other homeowner out on the same “Spring Makeover” mission, you’ll also end up back home with a whole lot of plant material – and no idea of exactly what to do with it (except for continuing to water your would-be landscape as the sun attempts to dry their little plastic tubs!).

So before you hit the big box garden emporium, and before you break ground on your landscaping or hardscaping project, take the time to create a detailed plan as a reference guide and as a document to explore exactly what you like. Start by surveying your outdoor space and taking account of what you have to work with and what problem areas you’ll want to tackle first. Take time to rip out landscape design from magazines for reference  – or better yet, if you’re reasonably digital, get virtual with your own online Pinterest board where you can “Pin” all the ideas you like best in one place.

Visually identifying ideas you like, plants that appeal to you and even lawn furniture and hardscape elements for your refreshed outdoor living space will reduce the chance of future costly mistakes – and help you avoid potential missed opportunities.

When surveying your outdoor living area, pay attention to more than the size of the planting areas. Pay attention to the details. Does your lawn have patchy dead spots in your lawn from too much sun exposure? Are there ongoing drainage issues after spring downpours – that routinely damage your yard, plants, or even lead to water seepage in and around your home foundation? Are there deeply shaded areas of your property that prevent the sun from invigorating plant-life, or large trees in areas with little to no growth near their perimeter (thanks to thirsty tree roots)? Whatever your outdoor problem areas may be, identifying them is key to alleviating them during the design phase.

Pick Your Hardscape Elements

Whether they’ve been added specifically to create visual interest, to correct a problem drainage area, or to create a new outdoor entertainment area, well-chosen hardscape elements often become anchor focal points for your outdoor space. Pathways, patios, decks, outdoor kitchens, fire features, and retaining walls are just a few of many different components you might include in your design. 

When it comes to hardscaping, design options and the materials to build them are near infinite. Curving natural stone pathways are visually appealing and create new perspectives. Brick or natural stone walls may serve as retaining walls to adjust elevation and alleviate drainage issues – while doing double duty frame-up gathering spaces and extra seating options. A custom fire pit or outdoor kitchen adds a new level to your backyard by transforming it into a functional entertainment space you can enjoy all spring, summer, and fall. If you’re looking for some inspiration for your own outdoor space, check out Heinen’s recently completed Customer Projects and see what your neighbors have done!


With hardscape elements narrowed, consider plantings that match not only your desired aesthetic but serve other purposes as well. For example, deciduous trees planted along the south side of properties create shade and can keep your yard cooler in the summer.  Evergreen trees around the perimeter help reduce noise pollution from nearby streets (and noisy neighbors!). Keep in mind while choosing plants what kind of insects will be attracted to them, like butterflies or honeybees. Some plants even act as a repellant to some insects, like scented geraniums which naturally deter mosquitoes.

Most important of all is making sure the plants you choose thrive for years to come. You’ll want to make sure they are resilient enough to withstand the more extreme conditions of Midwestern weather. Also keep in mind the environment of your own yard, such as areas that receive heavy sun exposure or areas that receive no sunlight at all.

Ready to start choosing plantings for your project? There’s no better place to reference plants than through Heinen’s handy Online Plant Catalog! With nearly 200 different plants, the Heinen Plant Catalog not only shows what plants grow best in the Kansas City area, but also provides helpful information like soil and sunlight preferences, how big the plant will grow to, and how much maintenance the plant will require.

KC Landscape GuideTeam Up with the Professionals

Ready to get started, click here to download Heinen’s FREE Guide to Kansas City Landscaping! Creating the perfect outdoor space can be difficult, but remember, you don’t have to do it alone. The Heinen team can assist – from design to installation to maintenance, we’re here to help turn your outdoor living dreams into reality!

Call Debbie at Heinen at (913) 432-5011 for a complimentary consultation and kickstart your landscaping transformation today!