A garden design for your home is one of the first impressions guests, and a homeowner sees when approaching. Choosing elements in your garden design can make or break your overall appeal from the outside as well as the inside of your home. Unfortunately, many homeowners wait until the very last to think about their garden design. A well rounded and thought out garden design is just as important as the color of your walls or the choices of pictures and interior decor. The exterior spaces will also be apart of your interior view.
Let’s take a look at what goes into the ideas for a well thought out garden design.
Style of Home & Features
Plant materials can complement the style and size of the home. If you prefer the mountain lodge styling, then the indigenous and conifer trees will be used to finish the outdoor space and accentuate the styling and architecture. If a Mediterranean home is a favorite, then terraces and succulents may be appropriate. Different plants can lend themselves to different styles.
Plant availability can be an issue if you are a transplant from another region of the country and bring your plants with you. The availability for a garden design is dictated by what the local garden nurseries and wholesalers grow. Those plant lists are varied and are usually an excellent overall list of what’s available nearby without costing a fortune to ship into the area. Also, the plant material that the local industry carries is ‘tried and true’ varieties that growers have had success in this area. If a gardening magazine is featuring a new plant variety, it doesn’t mean the local grower is stocking it. It takes time to filter and test and get down to the local suppliers.
Low Maintenance Garden Design
Everyone wants a low-maintenance garden that looks good 24/7 and doesn’t need water. There is no such thing. There will be times when the garden needs fertilized and watered if there isn’t enough precipitation. Dead, damaged and diseased limbs sometimes are found and need to be removed. There is a maintenance calendar to every garden just like there needs to be new paint on the walls from wear. It happens. But overall, good garden design is dictated by home much time the homeowner wants to spend in the garden. Low-maintenance gardening is a crucial point to discuss in the pre-garden design.
The Winter Garden Design
Consider the winter garden design first. It often can be the most forgotten and neglected part of the garden. The winter garden will be the “bones” of your garden. It will consist of evergreens, conifers, stems with exfoliating bark, berry ridden plants that bring color to an otherwise stark environment. The winter garden is what will be in view when all the other plants are hibernating.
Sun and shadows in the garden
The direction the sun is moving through the garden and the shadows cast by the home’s architecture and other elements in the garden will dictate what plant materials to use. The amount of sun is the key. Does it get 8+ hours of hot, parking lot baking sun (full sun) or just 4 hours of morning sun? There is a big difference, and plant material will perform accordingly. Knowing which plants like morning sun and which ones can tolerate afternoon or full-sun will play a part in the choices for your garden design.
When standing outside on a windy, winter day, a windbreak is always welcome. Studying the areas of outdoor activities and how it might affect the festivities at different times of the day goes into the garden design plans.
Take a look out the window. What do you see? Will it be a beautiful blooming Redbud tree in the spring and colorful red-twigs in the winter against a blanket of snow? Positioning the plant material in eye-view of your interior spaces will be a point in the garden design that is important. Outside areas don’t have to be the only time you enjoy the garden. Positioning specimen’s in key locations to get a double benefit for enjoyment serves the homeowner well.
Colors and Favorites
There is a whole Crayola crayon box to work within the plant kingdom. And it is not just found in flowers. Stems and berries hold color along with the leaves. Knowing the preference of colors helps balance and maintain a consistent palette throughout the garden design. Suggest to the garden designer what your favorites are for the garden palette.
Every interior design has a focal point in each room. This design philosophy extends to the exterior garden design too. When viewing your home from the street or a window, where will the ‘punctuation points’ be in the garden design? Does the entrance need a focal point? Does the gathering area need a focal point? i.e., Some focal points can incorporate a fire pit, a beautiful plant specimen, or a garden gate.
A homeowner’s lifestyle will dictate what elements are in the garden design. If entertaining is a priority, there will be an outdoor space with plenty of room for seating or play. If privacy is a desire, there will be more intimate spaces and plant materials to use for hedging. Envision the area to use and what activities will take place. These elements all go into your garden design portfolio of ideas.
How much will it cost? There are many variables to consider when answering this question. How big are the plot plan and planting areas? The design decisions just mentioned previously will dictate the price. It is always safe to say that the number to budget for a home garden design is from 5-10% of the home’s value with average yard space. Of course, if a condo or townhome is the space, then that figure will be considerably lower. But on average, the balanced garden design considers all these elements including hardscape, trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses, sod, groundcovers, mulch, and annuals. Each needs to be represented in the garden.
If you would like to discuss in more detail how to include these elements into your garden design plan, give me a call today!