When you finally want your dream landscape to happen it doesn’t start with a patio, plantings, water feature or even shrubs. It starts by working with a landscape designer to create your Master Plan.
Landscape Design Master Plan
A master plan is a comprehensive plan of action intended to guide growth and development. It documents every last detail of your space. You can create a master plan for professional success, for personal growth, for a community, and you can create a master plan for your home and landscape design.
Why a Master Plan is Important
The question you should ask is, ‘would I want someone to build my house without knowing how they are going to build it, what tools they will need, what kind of resources are required, or how much time is going to be needed to complete it?’ A master plan acts as a blue print or road map for the project of your dream landscape so we can answer all those questions and ensure the completion of your project the way we planned it TOGETHER.
Understand Your Goals For Your Landscape
Although you might know that you want a patio or a couple trees planted there are a few things to consider and figure out. The master plan will help you make certain of;
What you want: Patio, Retaining wall, Walkway, Natural Privacy screen,
Where you want it: Front yard, Side yard, Backyard
How it will be used or want to be used: For entertainment, Relaxation, Privacy, Personal space, etc.
Complications that could arise: What happens when the tree you planted grows? Is it too close to your patio?
This is why a master plan is crucial because once the project is completed there really is no turning back without spending money you shouldn't have had to if you had just created the master plan.
Break Your Landscape Project into Different Stages
Whether you implement your design in one season or break it down into phases and install over several seasons, a landscape master plan ensures continuity throughout the project. Master planning allows you a practical approach to construction sequencing and phasing, and gives you a better understanding of the costs and maintenance you will need for your landscape.
When your landscape project includes more than one project like:
- Tree Plantings for a natural privacy screen
- Patio design & construction
- Outdoor Kitchen/Fireplace
- Water features like a waterfall or pond
It is very important to break your dream landscape into multiple stages. This will allow you to have more control over your projects like completion dates and spending amounts. So if the patio project is your priority then you will be able to start with that and decide the next steps you are able to take and plan from that.
Flow of the Landscape
Your home, where you live, includes both the indoor and outdoor living space that should be complementary. You want a flow from one space of your property to the other. Your landscape should be a harmonious space from which you derive enjoyment.
With that being said, every property flows differently. Questions to ask yourself or for the landscape designer to consider is;
- Is your yard flat or does it slope dramatically? Is there a hill?
- What is your soil made up of? Rocks? Sand?
- How does your yard handle a heavy rain? Does it drain well or flood?
These are just a few questions that will be answered in your master plan so that both you and the landscape designer are on the same page throughout the process.
Landscape Design is an Art Form
Landscape design is an art, it uses the principles of simplicity, good scale, balance, sequence, and focalization. These principles are the guidelines in designing each outdoor feature, whether it's patio, stone walkway/pathway, a flower garden, or a shrub border. Every detail matters which is why it is critical to have the master plan to effectively and efficiently get the job done.
Improve Your Landscape
When you decide to improve your landscape, your outdoor living space, a master plan is essential. A Landscape Architect creates a master plan by working with you to understand your goals for the space and how you intend to live in it. Analyzing your goals and researching the parameters of the site helps determine the optimum solutions in advance of actual execution.
If you have any questions or would like to move forward with improving your landscape please contact our registered Landscape Architects to discuss master planning for your landscape design project.
Editors Note: This post was originally published in April of 2014 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.