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Michael Polikoff, PLA, ASLA
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Our lives have become increasingly hectic with the relentless demands of our full and busy schedules. After an exhausting day’s work we often desire and need the proper environment to restore our energy levels, slow down, and sooth our soul. Our homes, and particularly our outdoor spaces, are ideally suited to fulfill these needs. Albuquerque has an abundance of warm mellow days, beautiful skies, plenty of fresh air and birds, butterflies and wildlife to remind us of our appreciation of the great outdoors.
So ask yourself: where can you go in your yard to kick off your shoes, put on your favorite comfortable cloths, and just relax? Where can you escape to that spa-like atmosphere that rejuvenates your mind, body, and soul? Ultimately, we want to experience that special feeling of space that makes a lasting impression through sight, sound, touch, and smell, that is rich in color, texture, and visual delights. With clever and inspirational planning you too can create that incredible retreat right in your own backyard.
The first thing that Landscape Architects and garden designers look at is the lifestyle you live and aspire to live. We ask you the ages and quantity of your respective family, children and friends. Is cooking indoors sufficient, or will you desire to cook and dine outdoors? What sort of environment inspires you? Do you like a formal or informal feel to your garden? Do you require more shade or sun, or protection from wind? Are you into gardening or do you prefer a yard that requires little care? Is an attractive swimming pool, waterfall, or spa your desire? We also look at your budget and possible phasing of a project over time, especially if you plan on staying in your home for several years to come.
Next, we evaluate the existing landscape and home to see how it sits on the property in order to bring out the ultimate your particular site has to offer. We take in the desirable views and determine what we will accentuate and what needs screening, what exposures are ideal for patio, pool, spa and garden. We then develop your dream garden retreat based on your needs, overall budget, and the opportunities and constraints of your site.
A good Landscape Architect will be sensitive to your budget while maximizing the pleasurable enhancements of a garden. Water elements in the garden can often turn an ordinary space into a relaxing retreat at almost any budget. From a simple urn-style water fountain to a custom spa, pool, and waterfall, your ultimate garden sanctuary can come alive with the judicious use of water as a focal element.
Properly designed outdoor living spaces should be a natural flowing extension of your interior living space. Additionally, your special garden should be large enough to accommodate you and your family’s needs as well as have intimate areas for reflection and retreat. Generously sized paved areas should allow enough space for tables, seating, furnishings and accessories. Outdoor barbeque areas ideally will be located fairly close to the indoor kitchen and be well lighted. Walkways, patios, walls, trees and plants should be positioned for optimum beauty and functionality. Your garden designer will provide color, fragrance, soothing sound and interesting textures in the landscape plan to create a relaxing and meaningful experience.
So whatever your perfect sanctuary may be your Landscape Architect will be able to create an ideal outdoor living area tailored to your desires.