Choosing a Landscaping Designer

Hiring a landscaping designer is very important to make your dream garden a reality. In your search, you will find that each designer has their own methods, style and techniques in landscaping. Their experiences will vary greatly. It is up to you to select the most capable and suitable landscaping designer to fulfill your requirements. As much as you are excited to start with your landscaping project you need to choose your landscaping designer with care because their performance can either enhance or ruin the look of your home.

Where can you find a landscaping designer? You can start by asking your nearby relatives, friends or neighbors for a referral. You may also check the list of landscaping designers in your area through your local landscaping association.

After you have a made short list of prospective landscaping designers, your next step should be to meet them in person. Make sure to schedule the meetings separately. Invite the designer to your home so he or she can evaluate the area to be landscaped. Usually initial consultations are free but be sure to ask if there are any fees.

One of the most important things you need to ask is the type of garden that the designer specializes in, especially if you have a good idea of what type of garden you want. For instance, if you are looking to have an English garden, a landscaping designer who specializes in Japanese Zen gardens is obviously not a match.

Interviewing a landscaping designer gives you the chance not only to get the know the person’s style and approach to landscaping but also to find out if you two have the right chemistry. It is important that you are comfortable with your landscaping designer so you can freely express your own ideas and to make the project enjoyable. The ideal candidate would be someone who is willing to listen to your needs and wants, answer your questions, and give you honest opinion.

During your selection process, you need to find out about the education, training, and experience of the prospective landscaping designer. Make sure to request for references and ask if you could see a portfolio of previous projects. If possible, visit the places he recently worked on so you can see first hand the quality of the designer’s work.

Even if the first landscaping designer you meet seems to be perfect for your needs, meet with at least two more designers so you can compare their services and skills. You should choose a landscaping designer just like you would any other professional. It is important to ask questions and learn as much as you can about the background of the person to ensure a satisfying experience.

Understanding the Basics of Landscape Design

The key to creating a beautiful, elegant landscape is achieving a harmonious balance between the classic simplicity of nature and the modern architectural elegance of your house. This perfect unity between home and garden provides enjoyable living both inside and outside of your residence.

The most basic step in planning any functional and attractive garden design, regardless of how elaborate or how simple it is, is careful consideration to the style of the home, as well as the size of the entire property. With this information, you can decide on an overall landscape design theme and begin to incorporate other essential elements and principles of garden design into your plan.

Defining the Elements of Landscape Design

There is much more to understanding the basics of landscape design than simply selecting an array of plants and positioning them in your yard. First, there are five key elements that, when properly implemented into your design, will create a comfortable and enjoyable outdoor living area.

  • Line – Lines and geometric patterns can facilitate directional movement through the landscape and showcase important aspects of your space.
  • Scale – An array of colors that present a complementary pattern can bring the entire yard together.
  • Scale – It is important to select plants and trees appropriately scaled to the rest of the landscape surroundings.
  • Texture – The various textures of leaves, stems, and petals add more detail to your garden design.
  • Form – The form and physical attributes of the plant life within the design generates natural patterns that provide appeal and style to your outdoor space.

The Seven Principles of Landscape Design

The principles of landscape design are the basic concepts used to implement the elements of garden design mentioned above.

  • Unity – Creating unity throughout your outdoor living area, as well as the inside of your home, is one of the most important aspects of a custom landscape design with a professional appearance.
  • Repetition – Repetition and rhythm are generated through the use of color and texture, creating simple patterns in nature that bring a sense of relaxation and tranquility into your outdoor design.
  • Focalization – Lines, shapes, and forms are used to build points of focalization and to direct attention to central focal points in the landscape.
  • Balance – Balance and symmetry work with these other design principles to create a uniform appearance that invites pleasure and pleases the senses.
  • Transition – The transition and flow of the design and each of its components is equally important.
  • Proportion – Proportion, closely related to scale, is also one of the basics of landscape design that require special attention.

The Importance of Planning

Each of the aspects of landscape design mentioned above play a significant role in garden planning, but attention must also be placed on several other aspects of design for a truly functional outdoor space that blends elegantly with the design of your home.

Planning living areas, planting beds, and other elements of your design is much easier with the assistance of a plot plan. You will also want to analyze the soil contents and drainage abilities of your yard to determine the best positioning for your plants, as well as the most appropriate types of plants for your local area and climate.

While the basics of landscape design are simple and straightforward, combining these essential elements and principles into the ideal garden plan is not always that easy. Many homeowners rely on the experience of a professional landscape design firm to make the most of their outdoor living space.

Landscape Design Style – The Best Look for Your Yard

The right landscape design style for your yard will depend on the appearance of your home, as well as your personal preferences and needs. There are many different styles to consider, each with their own unique characteristics, and each offers a number of individual variations for different tastes and purposes. Listed below are various types of garden styles. See which one will work best for your property.

Formal Gardens have linear patterns, defined shapes, and an overall neatness describe the formal garden style. The Georgian Garden is a perfect example of this design style and many other prominent estates feature the uniformity of a formal landscape design. While formal gardens are spectacular displays, they require extensive maintenance and can be quite costly.

Informal Landscape Designs are natural and relaxed, featuring imperfect shapes and meandering curves. The key to an effective informal design style is planning a natural layout with native plants that grow in overflowing flower beds full of color and texture. This type of landscape has an unkempt, laid back appearance and is easier to maintain than a formal garden, but it still requires careful thought and regular upkeep.

The English Garden Style is a unique blend of formal and informal garden styles, the English, cottage, and country garden designs are colorful and relaxed with an intriguing air of elegance amidst the simplicity. These gardens are characterized by quaint borders and hedges, vibrant, lush blooms, and intimate outdoor living areas.

Oriental Landscapes are peaceful, balanced, and serene, oriental gardens reflect the relaxing effect of nature. These Asian influenced styles highlight the beauty of the outdoors, often on a miniaturized level. Lush bamboo provides privacy and shade, charming foot paths and bridges add elegance, and the natural flow of water brings even more tranquility to these outdoor designs.

Tropical Outdoor Designs are lush, with vivid colors, and depend greatly on a warm, moist climate. Ferns, shrubs, and fruit trees with oversized leaves create a wonderful backdrop for the bright blooms common in a tropical landscape. Comfortable island style accessories with splashes of color create an outdoor paradise with a flair of the tropics.

Desert Garden Styles are dependent upon warm weather, but requiring a more arid environment, southwestern landscape designs make the most of a dry, hot climate. These gardens typically include a variety of native plants like cacti and saw grass. Desert style landscapes demand careful planning, especially in plant selection.

Contemporary Landscape Design is a more modern approach to outdoor design follows a formal garden style with defined lines and geometric shapes, but contemporary garden styles integrate various angles and patterns with innovative outdoor materials as well. Unique garden sculptures, rare plant species, and groups of similar flowers and shrubs are common elements in this style.

Natural Gardens are a completely informal landscape style, natural gardens are typically seen in commercial areas with large expanses of land or outdoor parks rather than residences. Also referred to as Xeriscape, this style incorporates native plants in carefully planned natural areas for a landscape that reflects the pure qualities of nature.

Mediterranean Style Landscape Design with its warm, breezy Mediterranean coast was where gardening seen its origin so it is not surprising that there are a variety of design styles within this broad category. The Italian Renaissance style, also referred to as Palazzo, falls neatly into this category and features refined patterns and formal designs that reflect the period of classic Rome. Tuscan landscape designs are one of the most popular Mediterranean garden styles These quaint and rustic outdoor spaces are influenced by Old World Tuscany and feature natural materials with elegant accessories.