How to Prepare for a Landscape Design

Front yard landscape ideas for Prosper Texas resident featuring new garden beds and Zoysia sod grass surrounding patio and driveway.

As a Prosper, TX landscape design company, we work hand in hand with customers to create custom landscapes to suit their individual styles and lifestyles. In order to provide a customer with the best design for their unique situation, a thoughtful landscape designer should come to your initial consultation with lots of questions. These questions should help both you and the designer put together a landscape design that provides the function and the aesthetic you’re looking for. To best prepare for a consultation with a landscape designer, here are some of the most important things for you to consider.

What are the areas to be landscaped?

Before a landscape designer comes to your home, you should have an idea of the areas to be landscaped. The cost of your design will vary greatly depending on the scale of the design. Will your landscaping be focused only on the backyard or do you have areas of your front and side yard that will need to be included in the design? Make sure you mention all areas to be designed at the time of the consultation.

How will the landscaped areas be used?

For each area to be landscaped, you should let your designer know how you intend to use these areas. For example, front yard landscaping might only be for curb appeal while backyard landscaping will need to focus on the specific areas the yard will be most used. The design for a backyard intended for entertaining might be very different than a backyard retreat. Perhaps your main concern is privacy from neighboring yards. Finally, some areas of your landscape may simply have a utility purpose. For example, side yard areas that are rarely trafficked may need landscaping to hide utilities. Make sure to identify these areas for your designer. 

Landscape design for small spaces before image of side yard containing pool equipment, sod grass and dirt.
Landscape design for small spaces after image of side yard pool equipment and river rock landscape stone hardscape area.

Where will the landscaping be seen?

Take the time to walk through your home and give thought to what you will see when looking out windows and doors. A well thought out backyard design when seen from the inside can actually encourage you to come outside. Share important lines of sight with your designer. For example, if your home office looks out on the front yard, a large tree planted in front of these windows might change the lighting and feel for the whole indoor space. In addition, plan for your neighbors experience as well.  Suburban homes with neighbors on all sides will be greatly impacted by the landscaping choices you make.

What is your landscaping style?

Don’t underestimate the importance of communicating your landscaping style to the designer. Some people feel very strongly about symmetry in their landscape while others prefer a wilder look. Are you looking for rows of finely manicured shrubs or do you want the feel of an English country garden? Make sure to give your designer a sense of the style you are after. In addition, let the designer know if you have favorite colors or particular plants you love…or hate.

How involved do you want to be with your landscaping?

Do you look forward to spending time puttering in the garden or do you want a landscape that will be enjoyed with your eyes only? Will it be a hardship to put in the time twice a year to prune or hire someone else to prune your trees and shrubs? Knowing how involved you intend to be with your landscaping should guide your designer in both their plant and material choices. For example, if you are looking for low-maintenance landscaping, a designer should not plan to include large shrubs that need to be pruned several times each year or a garden bed full of annuals that will need to be replaced every couple of seasons.

How do you plan to get water to your new landscaping?

This is often the last consideration when planning a new landscape and an added cost most customers are not prepared for. New landscape plants and new sod will need to be watered daily for several weeks and consistently for the life of the plant. The very best way to water your plants in a garden bed space will be through the use of a drip line irrigation system. Large, individual plants such as trees can be serviced by hand watering with a hose until established or making use of a watering bag. Discuss the best strategy to get water to the plants with your landscape designer.

Do you have HOA regulations?

Many Home Owners Associations (HOA) have strict requirements about both front and backyard landscaping. In addition, these associations often require you to submit an application for approval when altering your existing landscape. Before making any landscaping plans, check with your HOA to understand their application process and landscaping requirements. Some common HOA regulations might be: must have 2 mature trees planted in the front yard; no rock should be used as an aggregate in areas visible to neighbors, mature trees and vines cannot be planted near neighboring fences, etc.

After considering the various ways you intend to use your landscaping and the options available to you, you should go into a consultation with your landscape designer fully prepared with all the information they will need to create a custom landscape design uniquely suited for you and your home.

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