Landscape design inspirations

Q. We would like to renovate our landscaping.   I need some advice on where to find some design ideas?

A. If you ask 10 different landscape designers for a landscape plan you will get 10 different landscape designs for your landscape.  Landscape designs can vary between elaborate to simple and traditional or contemporary.  The goal is to fit the landscape design to you and your family’s lifestyle.

The first thing you should do before visiting a landscape designer is to start a list of what you like and do not like in a landscape. Visit other homes to see a variety of landscapes and take notes of aspects you would like in your home.  Bringing along a camera to take pictures of plants, walls and paths you like will help you remember later on.

Garden design books are a great source of inspiration.  You can see themes of landscapes and a large variety of plants.  Note which plants you like, then research to see if those plants will grow in our climate growing zone 6.  Trees and shrubs should grow in our area if the zone number is equal or smaller for the plant.  The Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association also prints a color photo book of shrubs and trees along with another one on perennials which narrow your choices to only plants compatible with our growing climate.  Most garden centers have these books available for sale for about $3.

Home and garden shows are beginning now.  This is a great place to see what is available for building paths, walkways and patios.  You will also see some spectacular landscape displays.  Bring along pictures of the area you would like to landscape and ask for design ideas for your project.  Without committing to a complete landscape design you can get a variety of opinions of what the designers think will look good in the landscape.  This will help you decide how elaborate of a landscape you want and also help you set a budget for your landscape.

Once you have a list of plants you like and landscape design ideas that you would like to incorporate, you can build you own landscape design. If you need assistance, now is the time to find a landscape designer to help.  At this point you will both have a better idea of the perfect landscape to fit your needs.

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