The outdoor spaces of most homes in and around Sonoma County incorporate some degree of landscape architecture, even if the homeowners are unaware of this.
In fact, it’s quite likely that most folks are not all that familiar with the term.
So, what is landscape architecture anyway?
What is Landscape Architecture?
Part of the definition of landscape architecture provided by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) includes the following,
“Landscape architecture involves natural and built elements, cultural and scientific knowledge, and concern for resource conservation to the end that the resulting environment serves a useful and enjoyable purpose.”
While most homeowners tend to think in terms of landscape “design” as opposed to “architecture” the result is the same: an outdoor environment that serves a useful and enjoyable purpose.
For most homes, landscape architecture involves the placement of plants, walkways, hardscape elements, water features, and the overall look and feel of their yards, gardens, and outdoor space. In addition, a heightened awareness of water and energy conservation, along with “home hardening” in a wildfire-prone region, all play significant roles in good landscape architecture.
How Good Landscape Architecture Can Benefit Your Home
One way to look at the value of great landscape architecture design is to consider the several benefits it can bestow upon a home.
Perhaps the most obvious and, for many, the most important features of good landscape design are the visual and sensory benefits. Well-designed and installed landscape architecture provides beauty and visual appeal to any home. The overall effect can be subtle and sublime, or dramatic and striking.
In addition, there is the benefit of experiencing a pleasant outdoor environment. Shade trees, flowers, soothing water sounds, and various other elements can all weave together to create an inviting and comfortable space to walk or sit and relax.
While it may lack the sensory appeal of a beautiful landscape, properly designed landscape architecture provides water and energy savings. For example, the proper placement of trees and large shrubs can reduce heating and cooling costs by lowering energy bills.
Making use of native plants can reduce water costs and even reduce chemical applications. In addition, installing native plants reduces the need for supplemental watering or irrigation.
Landscape architecture is one of the best investments you can make for your home and can add as much as 15 percent to its value over comparable houses.
In addition, a study from Virginia Tech has shown that landscape architecture increases in value over time, as opposed to other home additions or remodeling projects that actually begin to lose value once they’re completed.
Enjoying your own outdoor living space and its beautiful landscape architecture is one thing. But a property that provides a visually appealing and attractive presence on a residential street is a joy to others, especially your neighbors.
And, along with the beauty of a well-landscaped home, the heightened curb appeal this brings also adds tangible value to a home.
Landscape Architecture: A DIY Project or a Job for Professionals?
Sure, you can probably do a fine job of improving or adding to landscape architecture of your existing outdoor living space. However, not everyone is a DIY type nor is this the kind of project that lends itself easily to do-it-yourselfers.
While we might be a bit biased in this arena, the general consensus among home improvement experts is that any substantial landscape architecture should involve professionals.
Why is that you might ask? Well, here are few major reasons for hiring a professional landscape architect:
- Landscape architects have a plan. A big advantage of hiring landscape architects is that they’re trained to think about landscapes as systems. They will assess your property’s problem areas as well as possibilities and create a solid plan that addresses both the big picture and exact details of how your landscape will look.
- Landscape architects design low-maintenance gardens featuring beautiful native plants. For those who are looking for low-maintenance gardens, native plants are the way to go.
- Landscape architects incorporate permeable paving. Permeable paving can offer solutions for driveway flooding or just add beauty to patios and sidewalks while reducing runoff and encouraging groundwater recharge.
- Landscape architects can devise the perfect drip irrigation system. Drip irrigation systems water plants right at the root and serve as an efficient alternative to sprinkler systems.
- Landscape architects offer expertise from start to finish. Landscape architects will remain involved with the construction and follow through. What the homeowner may consider a long weekend project might actually take weeks.
When you consider that a well-designed, water and energy-efficient, and aesthetically appealing outdoor living space is a significant investment in both the value of your home as well as your day-to-day enjoyment of it, hiring a professional is an easy decision.
Get Expert Help for Your Landscape Architecture
We invite you to contact us for your landscape needs.
When it comes to creating the best look and the most value with your outdoor and landscape space, it’s important that you do it well. For that reason, we’re here to answer any questions you might have about improving or getting started on your landscape design.
Get ready to spend more time next year enjoying your beautiful outdoor space with family and friends!
If you have questions, or you’d like to schedule a consultation about your garden or landscaping project, contact the professional landscape designers and plant installers at Northview Landscaping today.