Are you thinking about your yard? Maybe a renovation? Refresh an outdated area? If you are thinking about tackling a ‘design’, there are a few particulars you’ll want to know. It comes down to a two items: wish list and your site conditions.
The first, your wish list – tends to be the easiest! People know what they want. The second, site conditions – tends to be bit more difficult for people to really understand and overcome.
Can you say No to You?
So I’m going to say it … one of the hardiest things you will ever do is design your own yard! There, it’s out there for the world to see! Why?
It’s really quite simple, if you don’t have the ability to see your project finished, or to understand site conditions, or if you don’t know products and plants and how to use them, and you can say NO to you then being your own landscape designer is one tough job. By the way, the toughest client I have is me!
Your Wish List – Be Realistic!
Creating a list of wishes for your project can be fun and exciting. Depending on your lifestyle your list could that consist of a few items, such as more colour in the garden, or a wider walkway to a large list of items like an inground pool, lounging area, outdoor kitchen or sports areas. The list can go on and on. I say “create your Wishlist!” Just remember, be realistic. If you have a small, urban yard a petting zoo really isn’t a great idea.
Assessing Your Site!
It takes years to learn site assessment. Understanding grading changes tends to be the most difficult. What I wouldn’t give for a truly flat piece of land! Retaining walls, steps, terraces and ramps are all great ways to overcome grading changes. Deciding which one to use, now that’s a skill. Being creative with design, that’s a talent. Understanding building regulations, codes, and rules for construction, this enquires expertise. This is one area where you don’t want to make a mistake!
Draw it Out!
Even a simple drawing works, so you know where you’re going. Much better to make a mistake on a piece of paper than to install and find out you made a real, live, expensive mistake. Yikes! A drawing keeps everyone – you and the contractor – on the same page.
When is it Time to Bring in the Big Guns?
“Good landscape design requires far more than creativity. Creativity without horticultural expertise and an extensive knowledge of site engineering will only lead to disappointment in the finished product.” Landscape Ontario: https://landscapeontario.com/hire-a-cld
Hire an Industry Certified Landscape Designer
Of course I would say that … I’m an Industry Certified Landscape Designer. However people can tell the difference between a project created by a homeowner and a project designed by a professional. There’s great value in investing in a landscape drawing! It’s the little things and sometimes it’s the big things like: trees & shrubs planted to close to the house, walkways not quite wide enough for winter use, dining spaces too far from the house to be inviting, not enough room on a patio to allow guests to pull back after dinner without ending up on the grass, or a garden that isn’t your style. Hiring a Designer doesn’t cost, it pays. By ensuring that the most practical solutions for your site are designed to create an amazing finished product.