There are few things quite as good for the soul as a haven of green on your property where you can escape to. However, creating that little Eden can be quite a challenge, especially if the property isn’t in the best of shape to begin with. Luckily a trained eye will see endless possibilities where others just see a heap of rubble. Whether you have a family home in Helotes TX or a small condo in Palm Beach FL, with a bit of clever landscape design you can turn your property into something extraordinary.
The design of landscapes is about more than just gardening. It is about planning exactly what to do with the space, from choosing the plants that should grow there to where fences and garden paths are placed. It involves several disciplines, from horticulture and botany to engineering, surveying, conservation and architecture.
The designer often works closely with the architect. The planned city of Brasilia, the Brazilian capital, is almost entirely the product of a collaboration between architect Oscar Niemeyer, urban planner Lucio Costa and landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx. Sometimes the roles even merge into one, for example when architect Antoni Gaudi designed the Park Guell, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and urban park in Barcelona.
For something on a smaller scale, like your garden, you can keep things much simpler. If your budget doesn’t allow extensive renovations just yet, don’t despair. Start with the basics, such as a path or walkway and some beds of striking flowers. Be creative with the fencing and the gate and the battle is half won already.
Water is a great way to transform any garden into an extraordinary space. It adds serenity and coolness. A bird bath or a small water feature is an economic way to start. In time, when you can afford it, you may think about adding a pond or a beautiful swimming pool.
Even a courtyard can do with a bit of design intervention. Potted plants are an easy fix but can take up a lot of floor space. However, the walls are like empty canvases waiting for your creative touch and can become a lush jungle with the help of creepers and hanging plants. Some beams or lengths of bamboo overhead provide even more space from which to let plants grow.
When you plan the design of your garden, it’s important to take the natural environment into account. If there are plenty of large old trees already, you may want to create a shady, forest-like space rather than having to chop down these old beauties. A steep and uneven topography may require the use of terraces. You also need to think about the natural climate. A garden full of tropical plants simply won’t be sustainable in a dry desert climate.
There are different ways to go about planning your dream garden. If you’re creative, you may want to browse through gardening magazines for ideas and come up with your own design. However, it’s well worth spending a little bit of extra money on a professional landscape architect who will help increase the value of your property.
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