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How to start your dream landscape for less?

Posted on June 13, 2017

A beautiful, useful, safe, and easy to maintain landscape is greatly desired by homeowners. The mystery for most people is... how?


Let's start with a story about Dave and Connie. They purchased a home in Washougal and wanted to landscape it in a way that met their needs and desires. When meeting with them we discussed their wants and needs as we walked together around their property. They needed soil work, retaining walls, pathways, fencing, a water feature, plantings, outdoor lighting, and lawn. It was obvious that they needed help defining their project in a clear, cost effective manner. After talking with many landscape contractors, they had the wisdom to choose a professional landscape designer to create a written plan. See their testimony at Dave's testimony


You would not build a house without a set of written plans. Neither should you attempt a major landscape project without a written plan. Written plans clearly define the project for you, and your landscape contractor will follow it like a road map.. The process of design helps you discover what will really work for you, your property, and your budget. Written plans help make your project cost effective, with a predetermined outcome. Written plans save money, time, frustration, and stress.


Finding an experienced professional landscape designer can sometimes be a challenge. Not everyone who claims to be a landscape designer has the credentials and experience necessary to make a detailed written landscape plan. There are many variables to consider on every property. Not all designers have had appropriate training or know industry standards for the many different aspects of installing a landscape.


Most landscape contractors will claim to be able to design your landscape without a plan, ignoring the proven written, detailed design method. They mean well and a few contractors will even listen to you, although they usually plan on installing based on what they have on hand, or have done before.


Look for a landscape designer who has been practicing landscape design fulltime for over five years and also has many years of hands on experience working in landscape construction. A landscape designer should have a professional certification in horticulture and landscaping. They should be willing to listen and interact with you in order to help you discover what will really work for your family, your property, and your budget. A design professional will be able to show you several proofs before your final plan is done. Your landscape designer should be analytical and creative, making sure the design is functional, beautiful and cost effective.


Before starting your landscape project, it is important to have a detailed landscape plan completed. I have met dozens of people who have tried to begin their landscape project many times, and spent thousands of dollars, to find themselves unhappy with the results. I think our minds and emotions sometimes deceive us into thinking the quick way is the best way. It may be tempting when a contractor tells you he can install your landscape in a few days, but it is prudent to wait until you have a professional landscape plan customized for you and your property.


When you have completed your detailed written plan it is your road map! It becomes your detailed shopping list, and part of your contract with your landscape contractor.



If you are planning on doing major landscaping in the near future, please contact us so we can help you turn your ordinary yard into an extraordinary garden!

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