By Kathy Van Mullekom Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)
Never underestimate the value of professional landscape designers.
Trained to know what plants work best and what designs function best, they can save you time, money and heartache.
“There is much more to landscaping than popping shrubs around a house,” said Peggy Krapf, a member of the Virginia Society of Landscape Designers.
“Good landscaping has a real artistic component similar to interior decorating.”
Here’s what Krapf and two other landscape designers say about good garden design:
Consider your architecture
“I love to bring the architecture of the house into the garden. Connecting them with fencing is a wonderful way to enclose the garden, making it feel like an extension of the house,” Krapf said.
“Be sure to use compatible materials and colors in the outdoor spaces. If your home has a brick foundation, choose a matching or blending color for walks and pathways. Pick out paint colors for fencing, furniture and sheds that echo the accent or trim colors on the house.
“Choose a favorite flower color and repeat it around the garden for a cohesive look,” she said.
Develop your plan
“Develop a plan, make your wish list, set your budget, know the local climate and imagine how you will use the space,” said landscaper Eric Bailey of Newport News, Va.
“Also, consider maintenance. Do you enjoy the garden? How much time do you have to spend?
“Do not restrict your landscape to only plants. Decks and patios transition your home from the inside out. If you have a patio, consider a pergola or arbor. If you have a garden path, consider a gate,” Bailey said.
“Always stand at the curb in front of your home and look at any issues that steal attention from the front door,” said Tami Eilers of McDonald Garden Center in Hampton, Va.
“Block unattractive neighboring views with trees and shrubs to keep the eye on your property. Hide trash and recycle cans from view.
“Ideally paving materials should reflect the same color as the roof,” she said.
“Placing a tree between the curb and the house gives a sense of added depth to the front yard; 90 percent of front yard shrubs should be evergreen,” Eilers said.
“Keep your house numbers and front porch well lit, visible and clean because this is the first place an arriving guest will see.
“Keep shrubs well below windows and clear from paths to avoid an unmaintained look,” she said.