Landscape design with waterfall, patio, and colorful plants

Landscape Design FAQs: How to Get the Quality Landscaping You Want

Most homeowners have questions about landscape design. So, we’ve gathered the top landscape planning questions from around the Internet and used them to assemble a guide to help you.  Read on to learn more about planning amazing outdoor spaces for your dream home.

What is a Landscape Design?

Landscape design is the art of arranging different elements of an area for aesthetic and practical reasons. It is divided into two components:

  • Hardscape – the nonliving elements like patios, walkways, pavers, water features and others
  • Softscape – the living elements like trees, plants, bushes, flowers and others

A professionally planned landscape design will increase the actual square footage of the usable space of your home and allow for more enjoyment. Thoughtfully developed outdoor spaces also increase the value of your house by about 20%.

What is Sustainable Landscape Design?

A sustainable landscape design evaluates different aspects of the landscape to minimize the input of resources and also the output of waste in your garden and yard while making the design attractive. Such design aims to encourage local flora and fauna populations while reducing pollution levels in the water, soil, and air.

Low maintenance xeriscape yard with boulders, gravel, and indigenous plants
Xeriscapes are becoming quite popular as a sustainable landscape design option.

What Questions Should I Ask a Landscape Designer?

Before you choose to hire a landscape designer, here are some of the questions you need to ask them:

  • What are the different services you offer?
  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • Can I see a portfolio of your past work?
  • What is involved in your designing process?
  • What are your payment terms?
  • What ideas do you have for my outdoor area?
  • How long do you think the whole project will take?
  • Is there any way to reduce the cost?
  • Who should I contact in case I notice an issue?
  • Do you do outdoor living spaces and outdoor kitchens?
  • Do you do both hardscape and landscape?

How Much Should I Budget for Landscaping?

According to experts, you should spend at least 5% of the total value of your house on landscaping. But it doesn’t mean you cannot plan landscaping on a tight budget. You need to figure out what is important and focus on the functions you will use the most. 

When deciding on a budget for landscaping, remember that a professional landscaper will add great value to your home and help you remain on track in terms of vision and budget.

Is Hiring a Landscaper Worth It?

Even though DIY landscaping projects can be enjoyable and rewarding, sometimes it is impossible to do all the work yourself. In many cases, you might end up paying much more for landscaping than you would by hiring a professional landscaper. They can help design the entire project, including the softscape and hardscape that would work perfectly in your space. 

Since they have expertise and experience, they can avoid landscaping mishaps that you might run into when tackling the job yourself. Usually, landscapers have a full team of experts that will speed up the entire process and get your landscaping done quickly. And they will have all the equipment and machinery necessary for your project. Plus, a competent landscaper will help increase the value of your home substantially.

Flagstone patio design at Lake of the Ozarks
Acustom flagstone patio and raised flower beds with nice tallgrass accents make this lakeside landscape design at Lake of the Ozarks a backyard paradise!

What is the Best Time of Year to do Landscaping?

Most people assume that spring is the best time to get the landscaping done, but for plantings such as grass, shrubs and trees, fall is the best time for landscaping projects. The warm days along with the cool evenings, allow new plants to establish themselves in your garden. 

When you plant in the fall, you generally have a couple of months to get the roots established before the summer. Also, the weeds are fewer, and the soil temperature should be perfect. However, to plant annual and perennial flowers, springtime is still the best.

What to Look for in a Landscape Designer?

Choosing the best landscape designer is a critical decision. It is important to pick a company or an individual you can identify with in terms of style, personality and process. Talk to a designer and ensures that you are able to express your expectations and he/she takes the time to understand your needs. 

A good designer will merge your needs and wants with the designer’s experience and expertise. Try Googling landscape designers near me to start the process and just ask them some of the questions in this guide.

A landscape designer talks with a couple of homeowners about their landscaping project
It's important to hire a landscape designer that you trust and connect with well as they explain their process and pricing.

What to Expect from a Landscape Designer?

If you are considering hiring a professional landscape designer, here is an outline of what you can expect. You should keep in mind that this is a generalized list so the order and processes can vary from one designer to another.

• Initial Consultation

In the first meeting, make sure you have some idea about what you are looking for and have a budget in mind. The landscaper will ask you about your needs, about who would care for the landscaping and other questions. The designer will also evaluate the property’s resources, the design of your home and the surrounding neighborhood.

After the initial consultation, the designer will create an initial concept to show you the overall layout, flow of beds, structural hardscape and others. It will provide you with an opportunity to request changes and to ensure you and your designer are on the same page.

• Landscape Design Details

Once you have approved the concept, the designer will create a hand-drawn or computer CAD program with extra detailing. At this stage, the designer will start to ask more questions such as the kind of pavers you like, the grass and shrub types, landscape edging, and any other details you want to incorporate into the design.

• Copy of Design and Signing the Project

Generally, once the final design has been completed, the designer will send a final invoice with the associated costs. Once a contract is signed, you can request a copy of the design. This is done to prevent someone else from taking the designer’s ideas and replicating them with another landscaping company.

• Final Design Review

Once you have signed the contract, you and the designer will thoroughly review the entire landscape design. It will detail the walkways, patio design, trees, perennials, pergolas, and any other elements you want. There will also be a list of the materials, including the quantities needed to start the project, along with the total estimate of the landscape construction project.

Hardscaping construction at Lake of the Ozarks
A landscaping crew from Heartland Landscape Group places shrubs in a raised bed.

Finding Landscape Design Near Me

If you are needing landscape work done, you can always search for “landscape design near me” or you can just call Heartland Landscape Group in Osage Beach, MO! Heartland is the premier landscaping company at Lake of the Ozarks since 1997. 

Our landscape designers have the expertise and experience to create exquisite outdoor spaces suited to your family and your home. And we use top-quality plants and hardscape materials, so you know you’ll the highest quality available.

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