With a rough sketch of your property drawn and accurate figures gathered, you are well on the way to redesigning your yard's landscape. Now, go back inside and turn the rough sketch of your yard into a detailed, drawn-to-scale map. The sooner you do this, the fewer trips you'll have to make back out to recheck your measurements.
A drawing board and T-square will make the job easier, but they aren't essential. All you really need are any flat surface (a breadboard or large piece of cardboard makes a fine portable one) and a piece of paper large enough to draw your yard on. Most yards up to a half acre can be drawn on graph paper 18 to 24 inches square or vellum 17 to 22 inches square.
Use a scale of 1:4 (1 inch equals 4 feet or 1/4 inch equals 1 foot) for a small yard, down to 1:20 (1 inch equals 20 feet) for a half-acre lot. The larger the second number of the scale, the smaller everything will appear on paper.
Graph paper and vellum come with 4, 8, or 10 light grids per inch. These will not reproduce on a blueprint but will be helpful prior to that stage.
If your yard is very large, you may want to make one map of the whole yard at a small scale first, then later make separate plans of individual areas at a larger scale.
Find inspiration for your front yard landscaping design.
As an aid, you can use a professional scale. An architect's scale is calibrated in eighths of an inch, an engineer's in tenths. You can buy one scale that combines both. Or you can just use a ruler.
Tape your paper to your surface with a sturdy but removable tape such as masking tape.
Continued on page 2: Making a Base Drawing