Landscape Design: Knowing the Right Style for Your Home

Whether starting from scratch or perfecting an existing palette, here are a few design tips for refreshing your landscape.

Janet Albrecht, owner of Perennial Palette, has been in business for 12 years, earning the majority of her clientele through word of mouth and positive referrals. With the summer season and plenty of yard time ahead, ESTATENVY connected with Albrecht on a beginner’s guide to landscape design.

The first step is to visualize the yard that you want, which includes analyzing the spatial elements to determine needs versus wants. If you enjoy having company over for celebrations, do you need to build out a patio space? Do you have children? Will you need a playset? What about a fence for the dog? Having these key elements in mind helps your designer narrow in on your vision during the initial meeting.

“I begin the landscape design process by meeting with the client on site,” said Albrecht. “This answers many questions immediately and allows the landscape designer to get a feel for space, size of area to be landscaped, lighting, quality of soil and any obstacles that may be present. This first meeting is imperative in determining the client's needs, budget and vision for their project.”

Assessing the exposure and quality of soil are often mistakes that homeowners overlook. Without taking into consideration the proper sunlight needed for each unique plant selection, these new green friends may not even last the extent of the season.

“Plant selection should be determined by size and lighting,” according to Albrecht. “Most plants do well in a mix of sun and shade. Full deep shade is more challenging, as most plants require some light to flower and thrive. Full sun exposure, which equates to a total of six hours daily, allows for a wider array of plant selections. The size of the planting space determines which trees, shrubs and perennials are best for the site.”

If you've never tackled a landscape design before, you might be overwhelmed by all of the choices that you can make. But the same principles that guide your room setup inside should guide your designs outside, too. Here are several ideas for landscape design for beginners.

“The best plants for any site vary depending on lighting, size and how much time one is willing to devote to garden care,” Albrecht said. “There’s a plethora of low maintenance plants, but all plants do require some investment of time to maintain. The best low maintenance plants, whether they’re trees, shrubs or perennials, are the ones that are hardy to the area.”

As we enter one of the busiest periods of the year for home sales, proper landscape can also help get your home off the market faster and, according to Albrecht, even increase your sale price.

“A well designed and maintained yard increases property value,” she said. “The visual and functional beauty of a thoughtful landscape design provides a relaxing space to enjoy for years to come.”