Why Buy a Landscape Design Plan?
So, you’re thinking about completely “redoing” your outdoor space and don’t have a landscape design plan. But, where do you even begin? Should you choose what plants you want first? Plan around hardscape features or vice versa? Will your budget afford the vision you have in your head?
You wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint, right? The same goes for creating the backyard of your dreams. That’s where a solid landscape design plan comes in handy. These can help you choose the right plants, stay on budget, and ensure that your yard will have a cohesive look you’ll love for years to come. So, what is a landscape design plan?
What is a Landscape Design Plan?
As we said, a landscape design plan is basically a floor plan of what and where you would like it included in your outdoor space. This can be anything from a rudimentary drawing you’ve created yourself to a professional CAD drawing (computer-aided design). As you can imagine, they can be simple or very intricate. In our opinion, the more detailed a landscape plan is, the more likely you will be happy with the result. You won’t be as likely to encounter a situation of, “I wish we would have included a patio here” or “I wish we would have placed a small shrub over here.”
As you can imagine, landscape design plans will likely include plants. This can be perennial flowers, trees, shrubs, and grasses, and even specify what type of each (i.e. Black-eyed Susans, Dogwood trees). Landscape planning can also include hardscapes and other features, such as patios, water features, rock gardens, and pathways.
Some research should go into what types of plants you like and want as well as what materials for hardscapes that might interest you. Some decisions and brainstorming should be done before you get started on a master plan. Landscaping professionals can help you with this process too by offering insight into what plants would work well in your outdoor space and what hardscape materials would complement them based upon region, native plant types, and other important factors.
A master landscape design plan can also include more details, such as reference photos of plants and materials. This will help you better visualize how everything will coalesce in the end to create your beautiful new outdoor space. Speaking of which, section drawings can also be included so you have a more specific idea of what each area will look like and what it will entail.
Important Considerations for Landscape Design
Other than researching plants, hardscape materials, and landscaping ideas, there are some other key things you should consider when it comes to your landscape design.
• What do you hope to get out of your outdoor space? Will it mostly be used for entertaining family and friends? Are you want to simply raise property value numbers and curb appeal? Do you need a designated area for kids or pets to play in as well? Or are you looking for a tranquil area to relax and enjoy your own slice of nature? This is obviously of utmost importance and will help immensely in the design process. It wouldn’t do you much good to have a yard full of beautiful flowers but nowhere to sit if you entertain outdoors regularly. It’s also worth considering, realistically, how much time you plan on spending in your new backyard.
• What is your budget? Do you have the means for a complete outdoor renovation? Or should you start with smaller projects first? Even if you find yourself with budget constraints, phase planning can help you achieve the yard you’ve been envisioning. We’ll talk more about this below.
• What are your personal preferences? Already have a color palette in mind for the flowers you would like included in your design? Is there anything in particular you currently love or hate about your landscaping? Knowing these things can be quite a big help in the design process. This is especially true if you’re working with a professional designer. You’d be wasting both of your time if they came up with a plan that includes, say, a natural pond, when you’d rather have something more modern-looking without a water feature altogether.
• What do you want to see from inside? This might seem trivial since, after all, you are probably wanting an outdoor makeover so you can spend some more quality time outside. But, let’s face it: we still spend quite a bit of time indoors. Think about what you would like to see from your kitchen window while washing dishes, looking out your front window on a sunny afternoon, or maybe even enjoying a sunroom or enclosed patio. This can help you narrow down the placement of features in your design plan.
• Will you use a landscaping professional or DIY? Multiple factors center around this decision. Perhaps you’re more of a hands-on person and enjoy working on outdoor projects. In this case, you’ll have to do much more research yourself, but you save on labor costs. Keep in mind that you can always contact a professional with any questions you have and even work on a landscape design plan to give your project a solid foundation. On the other hand, maybe you don’t have the time or interest in doing it yourself. That’s what professionals are for, after all! Using experts, both in the planning and execution phases, can save you a lot of time, disappointment, and money if things don’t turn out as imagined.
What are the Benefits of Landscape Architecture?
Aside from the obvious benefit of ending up with a yard you actually enjoy, adding a little landscape architecture to your yard offers some other perks too. Read on to learn more about them.
First of all, landscape architecture and landscape design is all about making the best use of available space. In other words, you’ll end up with more usable and functional space, whether it’s for your enjoyment, attracting wildlife to your yard, or both! Landscape design is all about creating an outdoor space that you will actually use and spend time in.
Having a well-constructed, well-thought-out property improves your landscape efficiency. Plants should be grouped by similar watering needs which means less work for you. Less time and money will be spent on routine maintenance too. Not just on mowing, but weeding, watering, and fertilizing as well (this is especially true if you choose native plants for your design as they are less work than ornamentals).
A beautifully cohesive, usable outdoor space leads to increased property values too. It is a well-known fact that curb appeal is just that: appealing. With a well-designed and cared-for property, buyers are much more likely to be drawn to your home over others. That extra pizazz outdoors also means you can get away with asking a higher price when you sell your home. Even if you don’t have any intentions of selling for a very long time, nicely executed landscape architecture will still increase your property value and possibly even that of your neighborhood. In fact, it can increase the value of your home by up to 20%!
Worried your budget and dreams might not be lining up for your big project? Don’t want your entire yard under construction all at once? That’s where phase planning comes in. Phasing is also why a solid master plan is so important. You can work from that and decide what order makes sense for completing your smaller projects. Master landscape plans are also helpful if you will need any special permits to complete some of your projects, whether it’s now or in the future (pergolas, for instance, may require a permit).
Already have certain features in your yard that you would like to keep? Another perk of landscape design is that you can plan around features. This will also save on install time and money. Planning around features also means the style of your house will be taken into consideration to ensure a smooth transition from your indoor to outdoor space.
Ready to Get Started?
Greenscape Geeks is happy to assist you in creating your own master landscape design plan. Give us your ideas or let us take the wheel for you. We love creating usable, eco-friendly outdoor spaces our clients love and we’ll have plenty of ideas if you’re unsure of where to start.
No project is too big or too small. Our landscape designer and architect love what they do and take great pride in their work. After you’ve had your professional landscape plan created with CAD, Greenscape Geeks is ready to provide all of the work you will need to complete your dream space. From rain gardens to raised garden beds to patios, we’ve got you covered!
Greenscape Geeks is a central Indiana landscape architecture and landscape design, construction, and lawn maintenance company, serving Indianapolis (including Meridian Kessler, Herron Morton, Williams Creek, and Irvington), Carmel, Noblesville, Fishers, and Zionsville.
This blog post is by Alicia Owen