By Erin Koch, LandArt
Your dream house is finally finished. All the interior decorating is complete, and your family has nestled in to make it a home. Then you realize that the exterior yard is bare and unpleasing--it doesn't match the style and the flow of the interior. Landscaping, too often an afterthought, usually is left for the last major part of your building project, often not included in the initial construction budget.
The landscape that you create in your yard is directly related to your home. The ideal landscape provides beauty, creativity and recreation that adapts to your particular lifestyle. Where do you begin? "A well- thought-out plan of action....enables you to feel confident that you're on the correct path toward building the landscape that’s right for you and your property" says Better Homes and Gardens in one of its landscaping guide publications. A well-planned landscape increases property value, enhances safety and security, contributes to seasonal comfort and energy savings, manages water runoff, controls erosion, and most of all.... adds to the enjoyment of your outdoor living space. A professional landscape designer will guide you in the right direction to create and implement your design.
The first step is to generate a base map of the property, accurately locating the house on the property, existing trees, driveway, property lines and other permanent features. Slopes and other grading issues also need to be addressed. After the base map is scaled on the paper or computer software program, you can begin your personal inventory of what you need and want within your future landscape. A landscape designer will walk through your site asking questions about your general lifestyle that will relate to your yard, considering such things as traffic patterns, outdoor living locations, your view from the interior, privacy issues, maintenance levels, children's play areas, and budget. A designer also will take into consideration soil type and sunlight exposure in all the areas of the yard, wind movement and drainage.
Once the site analysis has been competed, a professional will construct and create a scaled landscape design. When designing, every aspect of the property is taken into consideration. Walkways, patios, and bed lines are responsible for an inviting flow of energy throughout the yard. Not only the color of the flowers and plants are important. The plant material's texture, form and balance all work together to create unity within the landscape. When contrasting features and accents are correctly positioned with the design, repetition and rhythm are shaped.
With your finalized landscape design, you can estimate and calculate to successfully landscape your property. Keep in mind this doesn’t have to be done all at once. A well-thought-out landscape design gives you the opportunity to have a total overview of your project and implement it in intelligent and cost effective phases.
Finally, your dream home is complete. Welcome home.