Wanting a landscape plan that delivers the best design outcome for your garden and make the most of your outdoor area is never achieved by wishing. You must consult a landscape architect; this is one way to ensure this happens. The residential garden landscape is the canvas upon which you paint a picture. The landscaping ideas and landscape design should be timeless and without allegiance to prevailing fashion. Sadly, many fashionably recent residential gardens today will soon faze out, thereby actually detracting from the value of the property in the future, rather than appreciating the value of the home year by year.
Mainly, you want your designer to plan a garden that supports the architecture of your home, acts as a frame for its architectural style, and exhibits the works of the landscape architect at their best.
Interested in urban recreational spaces?
Read about how landscape architecture is “Saving the world from total breakdown” written by Landscape architect and urban planner Regine Keller here.
Secondly, to design a garden that suits your specific needs and tastes. A good landscape architect must have the skill is to combine these two requirements in a form that adds value to the property.
Before consultation, pen down a “wish list”, including those things you would love in a garden and also those things you would not like.
Then, discuss your wish list with him or her, discuss what will work and what may not, what will best suit the architectural style of your home and will add the maximum value to the property. You also need to talk about materials, styles, approximate costs and the general direction that the garden should go. Never let an architect enforce a “boring” plan upon you! This is one that simply has repetition of similar plants all in neat little rows, with little variation or interest over the long term. Ensure that it is a wide range of textural variation such as:
- tree bark
- sizes of shrubs, trees, garden beds)
And, that the plants reflect the best of each seasons – e.g. azaleas in winter, roses and annuals in Spring to Autumn. You may also need to consult about the benefit of landscape lighting – for both functionality (security etc.) and interest. Your garden can look very different and beautiful at night with the interplay of light and shadow. Always make sure you see examples of his work – in a similar setting as your own. This will help you get an idea of what to expect of his creativity and experience. Don’t just go by photos if possible. Make sure, before you sign any contracts, that you fully understand the costings – of the labor and other costs, including architect fees.
Be prepared to include your own sub-contracting – for example you may be able to buy the plants cheaper, or want to employ for the labor some high school lads who are looking for summer work. At the end of this process, you should have a very clear idea on the direction in which the project should or can go.
Culturally, landscape architects are frequently associated with larger projects, and landscape designers are associated with smaller projects. But in actual practice, that’s not the case 100% of the time. In the landscape design profession, “Landscape Architecture” is generally the broad name of the more advanced level of college education pertaining to landscape design.