It’s January, a month when many set down their personal goals and resolutions for the year ahead. But oftentimes it’s our surroundings that keep us from the change we seek!
At GreenPro we’re all about working with our clients to create new surroundings, new outdoor landscapes, new living spaces. But we can only start with what our clients want to do, and our easiest client experiences come from working with those homeowners who have a strong and clear sense of what they want from their properties.
As a result, we want to encourage clients not to merely slap down a garden border or a helter-skelter patio, but to really think through how best to make your new space the space you want. That way when you call us, we know exactly what you want to do, and can help you implement your dream property.
Start With the Dream
What do you want out of your property? How do you want your guests to feel when they visit? What values are most important to you? Do you want to create a cozy retreat, an entertaining patio, or a playground for children? It’s amazing the level of thought that should go into your property and the effect you seek. In essence, we encourage our clients to dream a little, then think about what they can afford – as well as what they can realistically maintain. Clients might want to invest only a little time, energy and resource into the maintenance of their property, but an ambitious dream may not coincide with this hard truth. The clearer your goals are, the easier it will be for GreenPro to come alongside you!
Look at Your Property With Clear Eyes
What do you like about your space? What do you need to change? Does that rose bush need to come up? Is that sagging rotten deck finally done? Does your she-shed need to be hidden a little more? Do you live on an incline? What’s the topography of your land? Hilly properties or awkwardly laid-out homes may not be best for that deck you’re dreaming of. Be honest with yourself about the property you have and adjust your dreams accordingly.
Research the Rules
Different cities will have different permits and regulatory processes that may hinder some of your goals and dreams. If you live in an enclosed community, your homeowner’s association may have specific regulations as well, like maximum fence height or projects that require permits. While we’re happy to do our research if you bring us on to execute a landscape design, we’d prefer not to have to surprise you with information about fines and legalities. The more you know ahead of time, the easier our job will be!
Make a Plan
It’s always helpful to sketch your landscape design ideas down on paper to make sure they make logistical sense. Designers will often draw bubbles to represent generic spaces like a patio, playground, garage and pool, then link the bubbles together with pathways, lawn areas and gardens. You don’t have to draw your plan to scale necessarily, but it’s helpful to get a sense of how each individual space you may be designing contributes to the space as a whole. As the old saying says – “measure twice, cut once.”
Look At the Outside From the Inside
A good outdoor landscape design will look good when looking out from the interior of the house – including windows. The kitchen window is the space where many (if not most) will see their outdoor space most frequently, so it’s important to assess your design based on your view. What may seem like a good idea on paper looks very differently when you think about the view. Be mindful of this, and be sure to evaluate your plan from a number of different vantage points before proceeding.
Additionally, what colors are you thinking? Do those colors work with the background? Does your floral color pattern mesh well with your fence? What sort of lighting will make it look good? How do all of these things look from the vantage point inside your home? If there’s an issue, it’s wiser to think it through ahead of time rather than moving forward with the design and discovering any issues after the fact!
Start Wide, Then Zoom In
Once you’ve thought through everything in context, it’s time to refine the design of each individual space. Look at your playground in terms of afternoon sun, for example: turn it sideways if there’s going to be an unmanageable glare. If the patio area is near an unsightly view, consider adding a fence or green privacy screen. Focus on the details of your wish list, and refine as you plan.
Go Step By Step
The best thing about a comprehensive plan is that you can execute it in steps. A big plan may be cost-prohibitive if you do it all at once, but moving step-by-step can allow you to execute your plan with consideration, as well as refine as needed. You don’t need to do it all at once. Work on one area at a time, but be sure to think ahead as well. Don’t commit to things that will undermine the larger plan. (For example, if you’re redoing the patio and eventually want to do an outdoor kitchen, don’t wait to install the gas hookup, since it’s more cost-effective to do when the ground is already dug up.)
At GreenPro we specialize in working on the big designs. We love working with our clients to execute the landscape design plans of their dreams. Make your goals, think about your plan, then give us a call – we’d love to help you make this year the year where you create the landscape of your dreams!