10 Times to Hire a Landscape Architect
Landscape architects are skilled at creating designs that work with not just the surrounding terrain but also the architecture of your home. On this 3½-acre property in Hudson, New York, landscape architect Dale Schafer of Wagner Hodgson Landscape Architecture designed a garden that complements the home’s modern architecture. Schafer’s design opened up views of the Taconic and Berkshire mountains and relied heavily on ornamental grasses for color and seasonal interest. Of the completed project, Schafer shared, “It is in keeping with the simplicity of the architecture — not competing for attention, but rather a complementary foreground to both the house and the long view beyond.”
Tour an Atmospheric, Minimalist Landscape in the Hudson Valley
If you want to add a retaining wall or terrace to your property, as in this project by J. Montgomery Designs, you may need to have a landscape architect submit sealed drawings to get approval to build. Regardless of whether they are legally required in your area, having a licensed landscape architect working on a project as structurally complex as terraces will give you peace of mind.
Whether you’ve just purchased a home, are in the midst of a major remodel or are in the process of building your dream home, incorporating plans from a landscape architect can be a wonderful way to ensure that your whole property comes together in a beautiful, cohesive way. These plans are from Jacobs Grant Design.
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4. You Want to Add Value to Your Home
Landscaping is one of the (relatively) few big-ticket home improvement projects that can add considerable value to your home — and make it more appealing to potential buyers. An investment in the skilled work of a landscape architect is an investment in your home.
Landscape architects are trained in sustainable practices, and some choose to focus on sustainable landscape design. If what you want is a landscape that integrates all of the latest thinking in water and resource conservation, a landscape architect can help bring that to fruition.
In the American Society of Landscape Architects award-winning space shown here, designed by CARBO Landscape Architecture, a boardwalk leads across a stormwater management feature, marrying form and function.
Need help designing around a steeply sloped lot, rocky wall or other challenge? Landscape architects have the experience and know-how to approach all sorts of site challenges with creativity and innovation. Landscape architects are also licensed to draw grading plans and can submit sealed grading plans as part of your permit application package. Banyon Tree Design Studio worked with this sloped site to create a new front entry and renovated rockery.
If your property is situated in a flood plain or includes some protected wetlands, it’s a good idea for a landscape architect to be on board with your project. With the stricter regulations and unusual requirements involved, you may be required to have sealed drawings from a landscape architect. Your landscape architect will also be able to come up with solutions that meet your needs — like the open-celled paving grids shown here, which allow stormwater to safely make its way into the ground. Shades of Green Landscape Architecture designed the drought-tolerant landscape.
Landscaping Tricks to Manage Stormwater Runoff
Between the seasonal wildfires in drought-stricken California and East Coast hurricanes, Mother Nature is not always so kind to our human-built gardens and structures. If weather events are a concern where you are, it may be worth hiring a landscape architect to assess your property and help create a plan for a more hardy garden design.
After Hurricane Irma hit northeastern Florida in September 2017, the historic gardens surrounding the Cummer Museum building and art collection in Jacksonville (shown here) were severely damaged. When the Cummer team was ready to get the garden growing again, they partnered with Georgia landscape architecture and historic preservation firm WLA Studio to find a way forward.
The Unique Challenge of Restoring a Hurricane-Hit Historic Garden
If you have a compact lot, close neighbors or both, a landscape architect can work with you to create a garden design that makes the most of your property’s positive features while downplaying or disguising the things you’d like to hide.
Although the home shown here is in the center of Old Town Key West, Florida, a smart design from Craig Reynolds Landscape Architecture means it still manages to feel like a secret garden. With winding footpaths, lush foliage and intimate gathering areas, it feels much larger than its one-tenth of an acre.
We Can Dream: Step Inside a Secluded Retreat in Key West
Wish you had an outdoor fireplace, terraced courtyards and lush private gardens? Working with a landscape architect to design your dream outdoor space is certainly the most fun reason to hire this pro. This Minnesota project is by Windsor Cos.