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Michael Polikoff, PLA, ASLA
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Fall is officially here and another hot summer is behind us. Many of us have fresh in our minds what has worked in our gardens this year and what has not. Does your garden stay too hot? Are you pummeled by strong winds or dust? Does your garden lack seasonal color or is the patio or deck just too small? Perhaps your garden may need simple updating of its’ features or maybe your yard will require a completely new landscape design idea to satisfy your needs. Have fun with the process of creating a new dream landscape plan with your Landscape Architect or garden designer.
Now is the time to start the design process, as springtime planting will be quickly upon us. By carefully planning out your landscape master plan now, you will have the opportunity to be ready for each important step of the landscape project. Your Landscape Architect will create a scaled drawing where every component of the design is accurately drawn out. This will include where the paving, deck, walks, drive or other hardscape features are ideal towards fulfilling your objectives and desires. Additionally, all the beautiful plants required for your design will be specified by exact species, cultivar, size and locations. You may want to clip out photos of projects that inspire you and provide them to your landscape designer at the beginning of the design process. Your Landscape Architect will be able to advise you as to how these ideas may be appropriate to fulfilling the ultimate garden design for your property.
When your garden design is completed in the Fall or Winter, you will be able to install the hardscape, walls, steps, boulders or irrigation infrastructure as required prior to the Spring planting season. This will optimize your schedule and give you time to really think about all the required features for your ideal landscaping. So your first step in getting started is to create a landscape master plan according to your budget that will allow you to acquire accurate landscape installation estimates. Your Landscape Architect will provide a master plan bid document set to you. At that time, all contractors will be providing an estimate for the exact same specified plans. That way you can compare the bids and choose your licensed landscape contractor based on experience, professionalism and your relationship with them. Your Landscape Architect can also assist you in finding qualified contractors to get the job done right. The Landscape Architect may also provide inspections and coordination throughout the installation project if you wish. With a plan in hand you are one step closer to seeing your dream landscaping installed.