While most of us spend the majority of our time indoors, there’s still something that draws us to the sights and sounds of nature. Observing the sunshine, green grass, gorgeous flowers, appealing fragrances, and wildlife strikes a deep chord with our hearts.
Having a nice outdoor space is a great way to bring that experience closer. A beautifully landscaped yard can make all the difference; from generating positive feelings for you and loved ones, to enabling you to make a great first impression.
You probably have grand plans that you’ve envisioned for your landscape. But before you get that landscape architect to bring your imagination into reality, here are the top 10 things they wish you knew:
- Your children will quickly outgrow your space.
If you’re planning your space around your children, you’re going about it the wrong way. The simple reality is that time flies and that little toddler of today will grow at an incredible rate, faster than what you imagined. When that happens, that small lawn or garden you have would just be too small for them to explore.
That’s why you should allow your kids to occasionally play in the neighborhood park. But what you can do for your kids in terms of outdoor planning is to create a private space where they can hang around with their teenage friends.
- Xeriscape still needs water (although, very little)
Xeriscaping is a landscaping philosophy that uses many native drought-resistant plants as possible, efficiently arranged to limit the amount of water required.
But here’s the caveat, most drought-resistant plants require up to five years to establish themselves, and within that period, they need proper irrigation. Installing a smart irrigation system can help minimize water usage. However, it must be adjusted to meet seasonal changes.
- Artificial grass cause more harm than good
At the surface, artificial grass seems like a god-sent – no puddling, grass stains, or even bare spots. There’s no need for harsh fertilizers. You just have a smooth, drought-resistant recreational area that’s easy to maintain.
However, it’s not environmentally friendly and cost-effective. It retains heat, gives off harmful gas for years, and the underlying granules tend to migrate into your water system.
Using a natural, native grass with low-water plants gives you a natural-looking landscape that’s very easy to maintain. Planting a meadow or no-mow lawn is preferred if you don’t want to bother yourself with mowing, weeding, and fertilizing.
- Gravel’s not a replacement for mulch
I get it, using mulch comes with a wide array of challenges, like the messy looks it gives when it blows into your patio. However, using gravel won’t solve your problem. While it might not blow into the patio, it lacks the crucial nutrients needed for your plants to thrive.
A good way to avoid the problem associated with mulch is to plant a ground cover near walkways. However, you’ll have to wait for about a season for it to spread out.
- No specimen tree will last forever!
In case you’re asking, any tree planted singularly as a focus of attention is considered a specimen tree. However, designing your landscape around a specimen tree isn’t always prudent. Don’t compromise on your house design just because you want to show off your majestic tree.
Consult an arborist to determine the tree’s health and longevity. If it works, good for you. If not, you can always plant news trees you can watch grow into legacy trees.
- Landscaping Isn’t Cheap
It’s surprising the grand landscape designs many homeowners want compared with their limited budget. As a result, many are willing to cut corners just to achieve their endgame.
Realize that the amount it’ll take will exceed what you have in mind. Aside from the design costs, don’t forget to include labor costs. Hiring a landscape contractor is expensive because they bring in years of experience. Even those seemingly easy landscape designs you see around, wasn’t easy and cheap to actualize.
- Patience is key
The journey from having a design to enjoying your lovely garden takes time. Building or renovating a garden occurs in gradual increments that can make you think the contractors are slow at their job.
However, it’s a complicated process. A remodeling project starts with the demolition of utilities, and there’s a pretty good chance worker come across something unexpected in the dirt – like a gigantic tree root or untapped spring – that they’ll have to deal with.
A great way to resist the urge of complaining is to take a vacation and leave the professionals to do their job.
- Codes change, inspectors happen.
No matter how experienced your design team is, know that the process will be slow and inefficient. One major reason for that is the ever-changing officials at your local planning and building department. When dealing with them, something unexpected is always bound to occur. But just remain at ease, it’ll eventually pass and you’ll get to realize your dream garden.
- Keep your Neighbors in the loop.
Yeah, it’s your land, but it’s wise to get your neighbors involved. Maybe you’re about to take down a tree that has given comfort to a lovely couple next door for the past 30 years. Some neighbors just want to feel that their opinions matter. So before you submit your plans, do the kind gesture of reviewing it with your neighbors. Remember, the best neighbors to have are happy neighbors.
- Trust the professionals
These guys are good at their craft and they have helped several other clients figure out what works best. You’ll spend a lot of money hiring the design team, so you can as well trust them. Do not micromanage them or get too fixated on your ‘grand plans.’ Sometimes, the design you have in mind might not be ideal for several reasons. Listen to the professionals and come to a design compromise that you love and will also be the perfect fit for your landscape.
Reach out to us today for more information. We look forward to working with you on your next project!