If you’re looking to work with a professional landscape designer for a major overhaul of your home or yard, there are some key considerations to discuss in advance before agreeing to a plan. Here are the top five details to settle before work begins.
Take an honest look at your lifestyle now and for at least the near future. Are you just beginning your family, or have the kids grown and gone and you’re now thinking about downsizing? Consider how much you like to use the space to entertain and how you will use the space year-round. Lastly and most importantly, be honest about the amount of maintenance you’re willing to do. Once you have this picture clearly in mind, be sure you list this out and communicate these goals to your landscape designer.
2. Think Green
As organic gardening becomes more popular and even necessary, your designer should be knowledgeable and able to guide you on options for your lawn, including even false turf if you’re a grass lover or have pets. Also be sure you think about possible water saving features as many parts of the country have long-term issues around this problem.
3. Go Native
Your landscaper should be able to give you good advice on working with native flowers, shrubs and trees. Keep in mind the long-terms needs for soil regeneration, and an organic focus on managing pests using integrated methods. A great many native plant selections can complement each other toward those goals.
The landscape design should always begin first with the hardscape installation, as this is how your yard connects to your home. Be sure you talk through with your designer all of the walls, ponds, patios or decks in detail. Be sure you have good flow throughout the whole yard area with paths, and ample accommodation for proper water drainage and any retaining walls. Lastly, be sure you can envision your personality in the yard with room to accent it with outdoor furniture, fountains and other accents to give it character that’s meaningful for you.
Your budget needs to be realistic with your end goals. Again, think not just about the immediate work that needs to be done. What other maintenance costs will there be? In choosing your plants, water features, ponds or other elements, think about how will things look five or ten years from now. Before any work begins, your designer should provide you with a written estimate. Be sure this includes all specific details of the work to be done and reasonable time-lines for completion.
Hiring the right landscape designer is a big decision. Making sure that all of the above clearly agreed to will insure you have a successful landscaping project that improves the value of your properly and gives you and your family a place to enjoy for years to come. Posted by Jean Widner.