Home landscape design matters. A study commissioned by the Professional Landcare Network states it in financial terms: Homes that have been professionally landscaped bring 15-20 percent more upon resale than those with no home landscape design. From an aesthetic viewpoint, it delivers pleasure. “The importance of home landscape design is that it creates an experience and evokes emotion as you come up to the house,” says Jeff Halper, home landscape design specialist with Exterior Worlds. “Additionally, it supports and enhances the architecture of the home.”
Home Landscape Design: The Steps
Planning. This phase is where you get to dream. While you dream, you want to factor in how you and your family live in the space. Will your landscape design fit your needs, whether that means a pool for the kids, an herb garden or seating space for lots of guests? Would you like a outdoor kitchen for entertaining or the visual and auditory pleasures of an outdoor water fountain? What qualities do you want to bring to your landscape—do you prefer lots of color, variations on one color theme or the more subtle effect of different textures of green? Perhaps you own an outdoor sculpture that you want to spotlight or have a garden type in mind, such as a Mediterranean landscape design or an English garden design. Professionals, such as landscape designers and landscape architects, can help you make the best decisions.
Budget. During this phase, the scope of the work is defined, including phasing in the different landscape elements. Cost factors include the hardscapes items like patios or decks; surfaces (cement, stone, brick) and walkways; fences, gates and arbors; outdoor kitchens; luxury swimming pools and other water features. Also landscape lighting; irrigation systems and landscape drainage systems; and types of grass, shrubs, trees, perennials and seasonal color.
Installation. The installation of your home landscape design is critical and takes into account the features you want to preserve and highlight—and those you don’t. In particular, tree preservation is crucial. It involves building barricades around trees you want to keep so that roots don’t get compacted or severed during construction. “Trees are large organism and don’t die immediately from the stress caused by construction. It may take them several years to die and many homeowners don’t realize that the damage actually happened during the construction phase,” explains Halper. Other aspects of the landscape installation involve setting up temporary drainage, preparation of the soil and garden beds, and installing irrigation, drainage and lighting. Then comes planting the trees, shrubbery, groundcover and any seasonal color. The final step consists of mulching and cleanup.
Maintenance. From mowing to watering, regular landscape maintenance protects your investment, preserves the quality of the space and enhances your enjoyment of a lush, healthy landscape. It includes regular lawn mowing and trimming, shrub and tree pruning, fertilization, putting down rye grass, and management of pests and diseases. Exterior Worlds offers a menu of home landscape maintenance services: full service (52 or 42 visits a year), monthly or quarterly. “Our standards go way beyond most homeowners’. You don’t have to micro-manage it or worry about it. We do everything for you,” says Halper.
Exterior Worlds has been specializing in landscape design and services for the greater Houston area since 1987 in neighborhoods like Tanglewood, River Oaks, West University and Bellaire. Call them at 713-827-2255 to discuss your home landscape design plans.