Once the end of February is on the horizon, I feel like spring is tantalizingly within reach. It is also my signal to take my wintertime garden dreams and turn them into realistic plans that I can actually achieve. Through the years however, I have learned that I usually need help in designing and installing my major landscaping projects. Too many times I have either found that what I envisioned in my mind did not really translate well in my yard and I needed someone to help me fix it, or I was totally overwhelmed and out of my depth when I started planting and needed someone to install it. This year, since I am dealing with both renovating parts of an existing front landscape and creating an entirely new backyard environment, I decided to work with a professional.
For those who are also looking for landscaping guidance this spring, some legitimate and essential questions may arise: What kind of a firm do I need? Do I need a landscape designer or a landscape architect for my project? When should I call and begin the process?
The scope of the project helps to determine what type of firm is best suited for the job. Each group has its own strength and niche in the green industry, so making the right choice relieves stress and offers a more successful experience for the client. Both groups are directly concerned with planning, improving and managing the environment and both can undertake residential and commercial projects. Both work with softscapes, or natural materials such as plants and soils, and hardscapes such as stone patios and brick walkways.
In order to be a registered landscape architect, an individual must complete a broad spectrum degree program from an accredited school and pass required professional exams. Registered landscape architects can typically produce construction plans for technically challenging issues such as grading, drainage, retaining walls and paving. Additionally, they can design plantings and outdoor structures. They are often called upon to design large, public spaces such as parks and are involved in outdoor areas for planned communities.They tend to design for larger projects, but some do specialize in residential design.
Landscape designers are also trained professionals, many with degrees in environmental design, ecology, horticulture or related fields. They may also be non-licensed graduates of landscape architecture programs. Landscape designers provide innovative design solutions from a different perspective and typically are highly knowledgeable about plant material, especially those of their service area. Designers can assess a site, develop conceptual and master plans and often supervise installation of the project from start to finish. Landscape designers tend to focus on more detailed garden planting designs especially suited for residential sites.
Although we tend to think of spring and fall as the prime “landscaping season,” depending on the weather, some projects can be worked on throughout the year. Often, projects are initiated in the winter months and completed later in the year. With spring fast approaching, calls for those first appointments will dramatically increase. Consider setting an appointment for a consultation now before the season really begins to peak. Depending on the type of project, an earlier start date can mean a quicker completion time.
If you are ready to turn your wintertime daydreams into your summertime lifestyle, then consider contacting Embassy Landscape Group for your landscaping projects. They are a full service company with experienced landscape designers and a registered landscape architect on staff prepared to handle just about any project from the design phase through installation. As an added benefit, Embassy Landscape Group can also provide estate level maintenance to guarantee that your investment is well-protected. Call or contact Embassy today to schedule your initial meeting.