A study commissioned by the National Association of Landscape Professionals states it in financial terms: Homes that have been professionally landscaped bring 15-20 percent more upon resale than those with no home landscape design. Landscaping is a very rewarding job that is often overlooked by many people. In saying that, many people want to learn home landscape design to fulfill their wish to be able to create beautiful yards. Now, you don’t need to go to University to learn how to design a good landscape. Some people are fortunate in that they have a instinctive eye for great design ideas in spite not having taken any home landscape design courses.
When we started building our first home we didn’t know much about how to design a good landscape, in fact, we knew almost nothing. Over the years though we have picked up quick a few tips which we would like to share with you now.
Before starting, ensure you do proper planning
This phase is where you get to dream. While you dream, you want to factor in how you and your family live in the space that will be designed. Will your landscape design fit your needs, whether that means a pool for the kids, a herb garden or seating space for lots of guests? Would you like an outdoor kitchen for entertaining or the visual and auditory pleasures of an outdoor water fountain? What qualities do you want to bring to your landscape–do you prefer lots of color, variations on one color theme or the more subtle effect of different textures of green? Perhaps you own an outdoor sculpture that you want to spotlight or have a garden type in mind, such as a Mediterranean landscape design or an English garden design. After a recent trip to Australia we liked the work we saw from a group of Sydney landscapers working across the road from our hotel (thanks for the chat too Luke, as promised we’ve mentioned you here and we’ve already used your tip for ensuring pavers are lined up!). The sky is the limit, just make sure you do you research so you can plan accordingly. Professionals, such as landscape designers and landscape architects, can help you make the best decisions.
Know your budget before you dream too big
During this phase, the scope of the work is defined, including phasing in the different landscape elements. Cost factors include the hardscapes items like patios or decks; surfaces (cement, stone, brick) and walkways; fences, gates and arbors; outdoor kitchens; luxury swimming pools and other water features. Also, landscape lighting; irrigation systems and landscape drainage systems; and types of grass, shrubs, trees, perennials and seasonal color. This article from Better Home and Gardens provides some advice for landscaping on a budget.
Ask the landscaper for details around their proposed installation
The installation of your home landscape design is critical and takes into account the features you want to preserve and highlight–and those you don’t. In particular, tree preservation is crucial. It involves building barricades around trees you want to keep so that roots don’t get compacted or severed during construction. Other aspects of the landscape installation involve setting up temporary drainage, preparation of the soil and garden beds, and installing irrigation, drainage and lighting. Then comes planting the trees, shrubbery, groundcover and any seasonal color. The final step consists of mulching and cleanup.
Don’t forget that you need to maintain it!
From mowing to watering, regular landscape maintenance protects your investment, preserves the quality of the space and enhances your enjoyment of a lush, healthy landscape. It includes regular lawn mowing and trimming, shrub and tree pruning, fertilization, putting down rye grass, and management of pests and diseases.
Think about the style you would like to see
Home landscape design often falls into two very loose categories which are formal and informal landscaping. As the terms mention, the rigidity of a formal landscape is vastly different from the informal one. Formal gardens usually have geometric design with which the plants are of uniform variety as well as uniform sizes. Trimming and pruning are religiously followed to maintain the balance of a formal landscape.
On the other hand, an informal garden is something that looks very naturally cultivated. In spite of the natural look, informal gardens still need some maintenance work done to achieve the natural look. Home landscape design courses will teach individuals interested in landscaping what to give their clients as well as what to recommend.
Wrapping it all up
Home landscape design has several aspects under it. These aspects include backyard design, pocket garden design, formal landscaping, informal landscaping, and others. There are several differences with the designs mentioned earlier and these have something to do with how the homeowners expect their areas to look like.
It is one of the things that make a home more welcoming to guests as well as its owners. Owners who have beautifully landscaped areas tend to be more relaxed and satisfied with their homes, thus spending as much time in it as possible. This is one of the aims of a landscape architect.