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Landscape Design Considerations

June 8, 2015 by Corey Hurst, Landscape Project Manager

You’ve decided that it’s time to spruce up your outdoor space, but where should you start? We’ve put together a list to considerations when making changes to your landscape. Our landscape designers want to present you with a landscape design that reflects your personality and will be perfect for how you plan to use it. To communicate that, it is helpful for you to research, brainstorm and gather ideas and materials to make your dreams come to life. Feel free to page through our Idea Book to help get you started.

Site Considerations

We realize that some neighborhoods must follow specific rules or city ordinances. You might also have existing structures to consider for the new design. In order to comply with these rules and other considerations, make sure to gather neighborhood covenants, as well as site maps for existing irrigation, septic and/or geothermal systems. Don’t forget photos of your current landscape!

We’ll also need to know if your property requires drainage correction or a retaining wall. Have you thought about what materials you would like for that retaining wall? We know – there are so many items to consider! That’s why we’ve developed this list of questions to help you think through the plans you have for your landscape prior to meeting with a landscape designer. Our list of considerations will help you think through your outdoor space.

Design Goals

First and foremost, your landscape will be dictated by your budget. Most large or extensive designs are installed in budget friendly phases – it is not uncommon to install a new landscape over the course of a few seasons. For example, in the first year of your project, you might build a retaining wall, and in the second year, we’ll complete your seating area complete with a fire pit. With that being said, consider what your overall budget is for this season and the entire project.

Ask yourself how long you plan to stay in your current home. While the possibilities are endless, the length of your stay might not be. Think through how big or small of a project makes sense for you in your current home situation.

Even though you are interested in changing up your landscape, that doesn’t mean everything has to go! What parts of your landscape do you love and can’t part with? Are there sections of your landscape you want to hide? Think about what rooms in your home you use the most and what parts of your landscape you can see from them. With so many things to consider, we recommend narrowing it down to your top three priority areas to start.

Your Style

Like the inside of your home, the outside of your home should be a reflection of you. Besides listing your favorite and least favorite plants, brainstorm colors and attributes to incorporate into your garden. Some people like native plants or flowers for cutting while others would choose conifers or collection (hostas, etc.) plants. Do you prefer:

  • Curved or straight bed lines?
  • Hardwood mulch or rock?
  • Annuals or bulbs? Or both?

 

We’ll ask you if there are ornamental features you like and dislike about plants, too. For example, you might prefer berries, flowers or fragrance. Overall, we want the space to reflect your general lawn and garden style. What styles best apply to you and your family? More than one category might apply!

  • Loose: plants are allowed to touch and intermingle/hang over the edge
  • Manicured: each plant keeps to itself/tidy plant choices with increased spacing
  • Formal: well-manicured, clean, classic, simplistic, incorporates geometric designs
  • Informal: free flowing, relaxed, natural, loose and billowy plant material, curved lines, irregular shapes
  • Modern: clean lines, minimalistic, bold patterns, use of contemporary materials
  • Naturalistic: free-form plantings, soft edges, various pathways and sitting spots
  • Symmetrical: structured, traditional, formal
  • Asymmetrical: natural, abstract, free forming, relaxed, varied heights and dimensions, casual

 

Your Interaction

Everyone uses their yard differently. Some like to entertain or have a private retreat with intimate seating while others like an open space for yard activities or playing games with kids. Plus, you might have an area we need to accommodate such as a compost bin, dog kennel, garbage can storage, pool, garden, play structure, etc. If you are interested in a patio, consider how many people you would want to accommodate and the type of material for the patio. Do you want to attract or repel wildlife? Your answer might be different if you have small children or outdoor pets. We’ll also want to know how much time you will devote to maintenance after the project is installed. Whether it’s less than three hours or acts as your release after a long day, we’ll design with your time in mind.

Taking the time before meeting with a landscape designer allows you to consider what you want to get out of your outdoor space. Your answers help us create a custom design that suits your unique lifestyle and tastes. You are ready to update your landscape – and maybe you know what you’d like or maybe you don’t – either way, give us a call to set up an initial meeting. You can request a quote online too. We look forward to working with you and your family to create the space you’ve been dreaming of!

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