Now that spring has sprung, homeowners everywhere are turning their attention to the outdoors and looking for ways in which they can improve their lawns and gardens for the seasons ahead. Of course a major landscape overhaul is more involved than a simple Weed ‘N’ Feed application or a flat of bedding plants in a few porch boxes: It is a major remodel that requires time, planning and thoughtful consideration. Luckily, we have the experts you need to get your project off to a good start!
MAKE A PLAN
Prior to calling a design professional to help you create the yard of your dreams, it is important for homeowners to make a list of the plants they plan to keep and the plants they plan to jettison. It’s not always an easy decision, but if you have trees that need constant trimming, whose limbs obscure the view of the house or evergreens that have been in the ground for 20 years or more, it may be time to replace them.
According to Judy DePue, owner and landscape designer at New Vistas Landscaping, Goshen, landscapes evolve over time. Trees that were cute when they were installed may have grown too large for the yard and may be inhibiting the other plants.
“You may have started out with a sunny space and now have more shady areas than you used to. When you are planning your new landscape plan, you need to think about what you want to keep, what new materials will work well in the space and how to find those elements that will give you the best balance,” she says.
Your landscape professional will be able to help with plant selection, but it is important that homeowners work with a company that has a landscape designer on staff rather than a firm that contracts the work out to a third party. DePue says all too often there is a disconnect when a homeowner does not get to work with the landscape designer directly.
“So many people say to me, ‘I told them what I wanted, but that’s not what I got.’” She says, “When you work directly with the designer, you’ll get a feel for whether or not they understand what kind of plants will work best in your area and, more specifically, your yard.”
Although landscape trends are as varied as homeowners themselves, some of the biggest trends in the front yard include larger sidewalks and pavers with better driveway access. A focal point that gives homeowners something to see from the inside is also an important consideration as is what plants look like from the street level.
“You want to balance your materials between those that are evergreen, flower and offer color throughout the year, but a good landscape professional will be able to help you choose plants that will give you varieties — that will give you something to look at and enjoy all year long,” DePue says.
Homeowners still look to the backyard as the perfect private retreat, and Mark Walker of Kuert Outdoor Living, Goshen, says his company is ready to help you turn that dream of a backyard oasis into a reality. He says homeowners want the opportunity to take what is ordinarily a three-season space and use it for three and a half seasons. Like DePue, Walker says it is important to create a plan and to do things in phases in order to avoid frustrations.
“I can’t tell you how important that plan is because you can then execute it in a logical order,” he says. “There is nothing more annoying than putting in a nice patio or installing pavers only to have to destroy it so that you can run a gas line for the outdoor kitchen.”
Although outdoor lighting and pergolas are among the most popular elements to the backyard, Walker says by far the number one element homeowners are looking to upgrade is the outdoor kitchen. He says homeowners are looking for ways to entertain outdoors without tracking things in and out of the house. “They like everything in one central location, and if truth be told, food tastes better when it’s cooked outside,” he says.
Walker also knows that a large landscape project is not inexpensive, and that by working in phases, homeowners can make it more affordable. Walker says he likes to help homeowners complete their backyard transformations by creating a plan that allows them to do it themselves if they want, or enlist help if needed.
“One of the reasons why we have been so inundated with business is because we support the community and work with them to create their plan and support them as they install it themselves,” he says.
Homeowners can save as much as 50 percent on the total cost of their landscape makeover and still receive support if they get stuck on a glitch during install. Walker says when you run into the need for a professional, his firm is there to help.
“We don’t want to take away that feeling of doing it yourself, but we do want to help you get the job done and completed in the right order, and that’s where a plan and a backup can help,” he says.
Dave’s Lawnscaping – Middlebury 574.825.8873 daveslawnscaping.com
Kuert Outdoor Living – Goshen 574.312.7557 kuertoutdoorliving.com
New Vistas Landscaping – Goshen 574.534.3298 newvistas.net
Sunrise Sprinkler Systems Inc. – Goshen 574.533.8884