First off, let’s clarify what exactly a landscape designer or architect actually is. Yes, a landscape designer does tell you what color flowers to put in your yard and which bushes will best frame your windows, but the work of a landscape designer encompasses so much more. Hiring a designer is about creating “good bones” or a solid foundation for your yard. This is an investment that will not just last while you are in the home but, if done correctly, can last for decades. There are many wonderful things you as an individual can do around your own yard but hiring a landscape designer will help you avoid mistakes, and will they will bring the foresight and experience of what will and what won’t work for you!
My number one priority in any landscape project is functionality. My philosophy is that every aspect of your yard or garden should have 360-degree accessibility. You should be able to walk around each part of your yard and plants, shrubs, or trees should be planted where you can easily get to them. Also, your space should be designed specifically for your family. Do you have small children? There will need to be space for them as they grow whether that is a future basketball hoop or a playground! Are you trying to downsize? There is no need for you to have a massive garden or landscape design. Not only should a good designer help design what works for you now, but they should be looking towards the future. Some of the homes that we have worked on require a long-term plan of 50 years or more! A good designer will help you make wise investments about each aspect of your design.
One of the main things that I share with each client is that if you are not planning on making an investment towards proper irrigation and drainage in your yard, the rest of the project is a waste of your time and resources. Why? Because without correct water flow, other aspects of the landscape will not withstand time or outdoor elements. All it takes is one heavy storm to destroy plants without proper drainage. Irrigation will help your plants receive the right amount of water and without good coverage and watering, your plants will quickly fade. Without a drainage plan that expertly curated, your plants will sit in water and, just like any other living thing, will not survive. But if these aspects are done right, your yard and garden will be able to flourish for many many years. If you are wanting to make an investment in your home through landscape design, start with the good bones of proper drainage and irrigation.
While a landscape designer brings much to the table when it comes to your property, don’t get pressured into doing every phase at once! Live with your current landscape and get an understanding of what both you and your yard need! Start with a good drainage plan and after that you can move on to your evergreens, or your trees and shrubs. The last step for your yard is what I like to call the jewelry! This is all the color that gets added to your yard, from planted flowers to window boxes. When you are ready to make this investment in your home, sit down with a skilled and experienced designer who can help you create the best game plan for your space!