The process of Site Inventory and Analysis Lanscape Architecture process involves detailed planning of both the hardscape and softscape features of an area in order to make the optimum use of an outdoor space. When starting your planning be sure to consider such factors as entertainment space, privacy, maintenance, drainage, cost and of course aesthetics and functionality. The proper planning of a property can be an overwhelming task for the homeowner and often a professional designer may be called in to tackle the task at hand. The designer will discuss with you all the factors involved and organize the information as a drafted plan that can be implemented all at once or in phases. The purpose of a landscape design plan is to show the “big picture” of how your property will develop over time.
The Design Process:
Site Analysis: Site Analysis involves walking the property and taking note of existing features such as hardscape, existing plantings, sunlight, elevation, drainage and location of utilities such as cesspools, drywells, cable or gas. A survey of the property will help to facilitate this procedure.
Conceptual Plan: The conceptual plan is an overview or the initial layout showing the location of hardscape and softscape. Hardscape is defined as anything permanent and static such as pools, water features, patios, walkways, driveways or retaining walls. Softscape involves anything that is dynamic or changing such as the plantings and whether the look is to be formal, informal, cottage style or traditional. At this time each aspect of the design can be discussed and be altered as needed and the designer’s job is to make sure that all the elements work together to make the design functional.
Master Plan: Upon approval of the conceptual plan the designer will then draft a scaled to size master plan (or blueprint) that will show the layout of hardscape and softscape. Detailed listings of hardscape and plant material, sizes, quantities and specifications will also be included in the design. Computer rendered imaging of your design may also be included to show a visual of how the completed design will look.
Implementation: At this point you may proceed with installing your project. You may decide to hire out all or some of the elements of your project and your designer can help you with this. Also you should be aware of your budget. Keep in mind that the project does not have to be installed all at once. Installing your landscape in phases allows you to spread out the expenses and the amount of time you commit to the project. The big picture provided by the design plan will help you prioritize the project
An inviting front yard is a real estate asset. Here are some front yard landscaping ideas for you to consider for your own home.
Is your front yard ready for a makeover? Is the grass tired? Are the evergreens trimmed down to the bare branches? Are the walkways cracked and uneven?
Now is the time to start planning a new front yard with some fresh landscaping ideas. Curb appeal is a valuable real estate asset, but you will also derive personal joy from a fresh, new space. Who knows? You may inspire the neighbors to spruce up their front yards, too!
Planning is important
A major overhaul is a big project that requires a good bit of planning. Smaller projects, such as a new flowerbed, a small water feature, or painting the front door can be more impulsive. If you want a new look while adding value to your home, it will take planning, budgeting, and hiring landscape contractors and architects.
Look at the obvious. Do the walkways, driveway, or fencing need repair or replacement? What needs to be fixed should be at the top of the list.
Once you take the necessities into consideration, get creative with cosmetics – the beauty and design of a new front yard.
Consult with several professionals for ideas and estimates. Know what you can do, if you are a DIYer. Get a plan on paper, and make a budget. How will you pay for it? Is it within your price range? Will it be a good investment?
After you get the realistic stuff out of the way, start visualizing your new front yard!
The front yard is not only the first impression of a home, but it is also a beautiful thing for passersby to see. Don’t you love to see attractive yards during your travels?
A well-kept fence with an arbor that defines the entryway can be the backdrop for colorful perennials and vines. A gate can be a focal point and artistic personal expression, inviting visitors to enter.
Terrace a sloping front yard. The different levels will automatically create visual interest. Dramatic shrubs, perennials, and creeping greenery will make an even bigger impact.
Check with your town, and see if there are regulations against planting in the strip between the sidewalk and the curb. This is a wonderful spot for drought tolerant plants that need little maintenance.
So now that you’ve satisfied everyone who drives by or comes over, satisfy yourself. Build a patio of stone pavers, or crusher fines. Make a seating arrangement for casual conversation, or add a table and chairs for outdoor eating. A front yard patio may encourage neighbors to stop by and visit, like the old days of rocking on the front porch!
Away from the house, plant a decorative tree that has year round visual interest. Textured leaves, unusual coloring, peeling bark, or a weeping shape will make a lovely focal point. Use much shorter shrubs and perennials in the rest of the yard to emphasize the tree.
Install a curved walkway from the road to the house. Attractive pavers winding through a perennial or herb garden will give your guests something to enjoy on their way in or out. Alternatively, line the walkway with containers of flowering plants or evergreens.
Landscape edging can be used as a visual transition from walkway to lawn. A layer of 3-5 small flagstones creates appealing height, as well as transition.
Add walkway borders of contrasting pavers. Try the same style in a different color or pattern, or use a completely different material with a similar color.
Edging can also be used around flowerbeds. Laying material, such as bricks or stones, flat, you create a space that keeps you from mowing the flowers down. It can also help keep stray grass out of the bed.
Upright edging can be a creative DIY project of upside down colored bottles, hardy bamboo stakes of different heights, pavers cut in half, or bricks half buried beneath the soil level. Edging can also be purchased at a nursery, garden center, or hardware store.
Doubling your outdoor living space
Fixing up your front yard, whether it’s simple or complex, will make it an attractive and inviting place to be. Plan on adding some seating, even if it’s just a bench on the porch. I bet people will begin to congregate there, giving you twice the space to entertain or simply hang out with family on a summer’s evening.