Tips and Tidbits

Why do a landscape design?

Would you build a house without a plan? Anytime you want to create something new you go through some level of a design process to sort out WHAT needs to be done versus HOW it will be done. That process can be as simple as a brief consultation or as complex as developing drawings that call upon the skills of many construction and engineering disciplines. However detailed the process is, it is important to make all those big decisions on paper before you spend a significant amount of money on the actual installation.

All landscape designers go through a similar process, though each may add their own special variation. The landscape design process begins by collecting the requirements for WHAT you want and WHAT sort of problems you are dealing with in the landscape. Are there erosion problems, drainage issues, too much sun, not enough sun, unsafe paths or driveways, poor aesthetics, etc.? Do you want to add features for better ecological responsibilities such as "Rain Gardens"? Do you want to reduce the amount of lawn, add a water feature, add a fire pit, or just make it easy to care for? 

At this initial stage it is also important to think well down the road, 5-10 years, for what you want for your landscape. A landscape plan is not just for an immediate change. It is a comprehensive plan that allows you to budget pieces of your landscape changes over many years.

There are many questions that must be discussed in starting a design. Once these questions have been discussed, your designer can begin the creative part of the process and make conceptual drawings/sketches of possible solutions for you. This part of the design process gets into HOW a landscape will change, and focuses on shapes and the use of space in your landscape. The conceptual drawings will address practical issues such as drainage and safety, and will begin the aesthetics of your design.

After you meet and discuss the various conceptual solutions, and decide on an approach to your new landscape, your designer will fill in details such as plant choices, hardscaping materials such as pavers and stone, and decorating ideas such as decorative pots, fire bowls, and art work.

So, when thinking about making changes to your landscape, please consider the efficient use of your budget and plan your changes first with our talented landscape designers at Outdoors By Design.