Expert Tips for Creating a Beautiful Landscape
For those without a green thumb – and even for those with one – consulting a trusted professional is often the best first step.
Why? Because in the long run, hiring a landscape designer can cost less than doing it yourself. You’ll get a “doable” design created right the first time, which will save you the cost of repeated tries at getting it right. A professional landscape designer envisions creative solutions to the most difficult outdoor challenges – problems they’ve more than likely solved before.
In addition, according to the Journal of Environmental Horticulture, a high-quality landscape increases home sale prices up to 10.8 percent, compared to a home with a simply average landscape. Many feel the first positive impression your landscape makes will help to sell your home more quickly. This rivals the return on a new kitchen or bath.
Consider your space and any “issues” that it has. Landscape designers are frequently asked to hide an air conditioning unit, add privacy or change boring views to beautiful ones. “As a landscape designer, I see the big picture,” says (CA)-based landscape designer Sean Romero, owner of Savannascapes Design “A designer sees the problems that you see as well as the ones you don’t, and can offer solutions to create beautiful, functional and earth-friendly landscapes that add enjoyment to your lives.”
Next, do your homework. Tear out favorite pictures from gardening magazines, and start making a file on what you would like for your dream garden. While not everything might be possible for your garden, it will give your landscape designer a visual starting point. Make a list of your favorite plants and color combinations. Don’t forget about hardscape such as patios, decks and fencing; designers can also help with these.
Take your time. Romero warns of the temptation to impulsively buy plants at a garden center and attempt a garden make-over. This can be a costly gamble for those without knowledge and experience. It takes the help of a designer to create a well-planned landscape project that includes both plants and hardscape.
While there is a cost to hiring a landscape designer, it is ultimately more economical to work with an expert to create a plan specific to your property. You will get a detailed plan with a plant list. The project will be completed in a timely manner and within budget when you create a landscape plan. Expect to spend about 3%-5% percent of the total cost of the project on the design.
Association of Professional Landscape Designers
2207 Forest Hills Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17112
Phone: 717-238-9780, Fax: 717-238-9985, Web: www.apld.org