LandscapingFor Beauty and Life
Let’s Start at the Very BeginningThe most important step in the entire project is talking. We need to understand your lifestyle and how you’d like your area to look, and you need to benefit from our knowledge, training, and experience when it comes to beautifying yards. We will learn what activities you want to do outside, what aesthetic styles you prefer, your maintenance style, and your budget. You can ask us questions and look through our portfolio of past projects to get ideas of what you like. The more we discuss at the beginning, the happier everyone will be with the outcome.
The Science of Site AnalysisThe next step is looking at the site. We analyze elevation, drainage, soil type, and the type of micro-habitats you have (south facing wall, huge shade tree, wet spots, etc.). We also inventory what is already there and determine which elements you want to keep. Knowing what is or is not growing well now gives us valuable help when choosing trees and plants to include in the new plan. All data will be recorded on an accurate base map of your site, including existing features, sun and shade patterns, and traffic flow around buildings and plantings. It is also important to locate vehicle access points, utility lines, and all boundary lines (really important for peace with your neighbors).
You need to plan how you would like to use your yard. What entrance do you use most? Do you have kids? Pets? Do you like lots of trees (raking), lots of grass (lawn care), lots of flower beds (planting and weeding)? Do you want to attract wildlife to your space? Do you want to avoid pesticides and fertilizers as much as possible?
Then there is your style: Formal? English garden? Classic? Do you like certain geometric shapes and lines, or prefer a curvy, meandering look? Or maybe a combination of the two: geometric hardscapes with naturalistic plantings?
Choosing Trees and PlantsTrees and shrubs will help determine micro-climates in the yard and should be chosen first. Siting them is all important if you want to consider more efficient heating and cooling of your home as well as providing micro-climates (shady places, protection from winds, etc.). Keep in mind mature sizes and growth rates as you plan. The three areas that have the most impact for being good stewards of the land are using resource-efficient plants, managing water (think rain gardens and efficient irrigation), and using environmentally sound materials in your hardscaping. It is important to choose native plants and trees as much as possible. They are more resistant to pests and do well with the amount of water and sunlight an area typically receives
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