Poor Jadwiga and her expansive blank slate of a property in Wisconsin! Well, on the other hand, that’s a NICE piece of land… One thing’s for sure however, Carson Arthur, our Outdoor Design Dilemma expert-in-residence, is pretty adamant about Jadwiga’s dilemma not being a DIY or quick fix of any kind. Some things really are best left to the professionals, and I’ll agree with Carson that this is one of those things…
How to choose that professional? What to look for? How does one decipher a landscape designer‘s portfolio? Carson demystifies!
From Jadwiga: “Dear Carson,
We have put up our new house and now I don’t even know where to start with our landscaping project.
We live on a sloped hill, which water drains down. We live in north east Wisconsin, zone 4-9. I was looking for a stamped concrete patio and boxwood-like shrubs that don’t require too much maintenance, due to my running around the house after two kids.
Anything will help.
Carson suggests: Jadwiga…I hate to say it but…’Yikes’
Blank slate doesn’t even describe it in your case. You need major help. Don’t even start this project without a professional. There are so many pitfalls ahead that you need a three-page manual just to stick the proverbial shovel in the soil!
Lets talk about getting you the help that you need…
- When picking a landscape designer, browse through web portfolios and make note of the designs that make you smile, vs the ones that resemble your house and property. A good designer takes the visual cues from the particular space at hand, instead of using the same plan reworked for every similar property.
- Next, be very clear about your expectations and what you want in your design for the WHOLE space, not just for what you think you can afford today. This design is something that you are going to use for the next several years as your guide to creating the space of your dreams, even if it’s rolled out in stages.
- Ask your designer to quote or approximate the general cost for each of the elements in the design. This way you’ll know how to prioritize where you spend your money as funds become available.
- Finally, be patient — I promise it will be worth it!
Have you worked with a landscape designer? Any pointers for Jadwiga on how to make the best of it?