Why Hire a Landscape Designer?

Casandra Maier- February, 2021

AdobeStock_279974426.jpeg

All landscape projects benefit from working with a landscape designer.  Whether it is a residential client looking to improve their outdoor space and add curb appeal; or a commercial building or HOA in need of maintenance and plant solutions, a landscape designer is needed to develop the plan.  Designers help clients plan and visualize their projects.  Overall, working with a designer improves upon project value, protects the investment, and provides sustainability for the landscape.  The benefits of hiring a landscape designer are numerous.       

Client- Focused Advocacy

Landscape designers are advocates.  Designers assess their client's landscape needs and provide consultation.  They analyze a property's opportunities and constraints.  Their design solutions align with the client's budget and maintenance capacities.  Landscape designers are a non-biased, third-party advocate between client and the contractor responsible for the work.  In some cases, landscape designers connect clients with the best contractor for the job.  Landscape designers advocate for their client's landscape needs and values.              

Visualize the Investment

Before we break ground, it is helpful to get an idea of how the finished project will look.  Landscape designers create colorful conceptual drawings, renderings, plan-views, and 3-D models to help clients visualize their design.  Upon seeing a concept, it is common to request edits or changes.  It is much easier and cost-effective to make these adjustments during the conceptualization phase before construction begins.  Having a design concept also allows a landscape project to be broken up into phases for more effective budgeting.  A professional rendering can help with the sale of a property or provide a vision for a property's potential.   Landscape designers provide visual representation of their client's investment in the landscape.            

Landscape.jpeg

Creativity and Artistry

Landscape designers are artists.  Listening to their client's needs, they bring creativity, inspiration, insight, and artistic integrity to the properties they are designing.  Landscape designers use their artistic skills to create connection and flow, while linking outdoor elements to outdoor spaces.  They develop unique plant palettes that provide color and texture with year-round or seasonal interest.  Designers collaborate with their clients to develop a specific theme or style, and to highlight various focal points within the landscape.  They lend their creative solutions and artistry to every project.  Working with a designer increases the aesthetic value of the landscape.      

Plant Knowledge

A landscape designer is a professional with extensive plant knowledge and resources.  A client's investment in their landscape is actualized when plants thrive.  Designers use their knowledge of USDA hardiness zones, micro-climates, sun orientation and exposure, existing tree canopies and shade elements, as well as drainage and soil conditions to choose a plant palette that is set to thrive.  Based on their client's needs, designers provide plant solutions that include child and pet-safety, edible landscapes, year-round color, as well as sustainable choices that improve ecology and help pollinators.  A landscape designer assists clients with plant identification, selection, and trouble-shooting.           

LD.jpeg

Attention to Detail 

Creating a well-planned outdoor space means paying specific attention to detail.  There is specialization and refinement in a professionally designed landscape.  Attention to detail is reflected in the designer creating a solution that works for their client's budget and maintenance needs.  Landscape designers consider plant growth rates and the sustainability of design elements over time.  They consider the relationship between color, texture, and materials, and their interaction with the five senses.  A designer can improve safety and security on a property with outdoor lighting, privacy screenings, and proper maintenance planning.  They bring a cohesiveness to their designs by linking spaces with design elements.  The level of care and detail that comes from working with a designer is displayed in the quality of the landscape.                  

Cost Projection

A seasoned landscape designer can provide an estimate of the total cost of a landscape project before it goes out to bid.  Understanding the cost of time and materials informs and assists clients as they shop for contractors to complete the work.  Estimates are also helpful when determining the cost of long-term maintenance.  A well-rounded designer works with the opportunities and constraints of landscape and maintenance budgets both large and small.  Landscape designers help their clients stay on-track and on-budget in the process of enhancing an outdoor space.         

2601 parkway condo 1.jpg

Sustainability and Ecology

The consultation of a designer increases the sustainability of a landscape project.  While the design itself is an investment, clients save money overall with a design developed for longevity.  Sustainable landscape designs utilize plants that thrive in the micro-climate, address drainage issues, and offer realistic maintenance solutions.  This is achieved with native plant varieties, storm water solutions, and maintenance plans that match the client's values and capacities.  Designers protect local ecology by working with natural systems, so not to disrupt the land.  They source responsible, renewable, and recycled materials that protect our environment.  Working with a landscape designer is an ecological and sustainable choice.           

Successful landscapes start with a plan.  The best landscape plans are developed by a professional.  Landscape designers are professionals with the knowledge and experience to create successful outdoor spaces.  Before construction begins, increase the success of any landscape by hiring a designer.    

Sources:

Hansen de Champman, G. (2018). "Landscape Design: Ten Important Things to Consider." University of Florida IFAS Extension. EDIS

https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep375#:~:text=The%20five%20steps%20of%20the,drawing%20a%20final%20design%20plan. 

Dodge, N. (January, 2021). Interviews with ND Design Services Inc. 

ANLD. (2021). "Why Hire a Landscape Designer." Association of Northwest Landscape Designers 

https://www.anld.com/Why-hire-a-designer