The well-done landscape adds economic valueto your home and property. The value o yourhome can be increased by as much as 6 to 15 percent as a result o a good landscape. However,the landscape is not the most valuable eature o your property; the house is. The unction o thelandscape is to enhance the beauty and thereorethe economic value o your house.Thoughtul landscaping can also reduce energybills by buering seasonal temperatures. In addition,trees and shrubs can be used to reduce wind speed,making your outdoor living area more comortable.
Landscaping oers a special unctional value,too. Well-placed trees, shrubs, tur, and construc-tion eatures increase your use o the property. Alittle shade in the right place, a little sun in another,a place or the kids to play, a private patio, pool, ordeck—all add to the enjoyment o being outside.Landscaping helps you solve landscape prob-lems and cut down on maintenance. For exam- ple, groundcover used on a steep hill in the yardcan help you avoid lawn maintenance headachesand, on a very steep slope, groundcover may beessential to prevent erosion.
The landscape not only has unctional worth,but it can enhance the environment, too. Throughcareul landscaping, temperatures can be bueredin the summer and winter. Glare and wind can bereduced and water can be used more efciently.In addition, plants in the landscape help clean theair o dust and some pollutants. Your landscapealso provides a habitat or all kinds o wildlie.
Decide On Your Level Of Commitment
A good landscape starts with a landscape plan. The landscape plan puts on paper yourdesigns or your property. Essentially, the designor your landscape is the scheme or increasingthe aesthetic, economic, unctional, and envi-ronmental value o your property. The plan is aguideline or blueprint or using plants to makethat scheme come alive in the land.True landscape design involves ar more than just buying a plant that happens to look nice andsticking it in the ground. Design requires care-ul thought and learning how trees, shrubs, andconstruction materials can be used to develop along range plan or your property. I this soundslike a lot o work, you’re right!Your level o commitment to the task determinesthe approach you decide to take in developing alandscape design or your property. Three approach-es are commonly used to landscape a property. Eachreects a dierent level o commitment, and eachhas clear advantages and disadvantages:1. Some people preer to hire a proessionallandscape designer to prepare a comprehensivelandscape plan and then contract to have it installed.An advantage o this approach is that it takesthe least amount o time and eort on your part.You simply don’t have to go through the thoughtand planning process or designing the landscape.You also don’t have to study the kinds o plantsthat you should use; and you don’t have to do allthe work o hauling and planting the plants. Thisapproach also oers the least risk o plant loss orother problems resulting rom poor design, plantselection, and incorrect plant installation.The most obvious disadvantage o this ap- proach is the cost. You have to pay or the ser-vices o a proessional. But don’t rule out a pro-essional designer based on ear o expense. Thedesign is the least expensive part o landscaping.I you do not have the time, talent, or desire toengage in this type o work, the landscape design proessional can ft the design to your budget,help you avoid mistakes, and provide you witha comprehensive plan that can be installed overtime, as money becomes available.A good designer has the artistic skills to createa landscape that uses and enhances what you al-ready have with plants and construction materialsto create a valuable landscape. The designer shouldalso have knowledge o plants’ aesthetic qualitiesand maintenance needs to provide you with a land-scape that oers year-round beauty and a mainte-nance program that suits your liestyle.A more subtle disadvantage, which is usuallynot a problem or most people but which can causesome annoyance or a ew homeowners, is thatthe personal tastes o the designer can dier rom yours. Most landscape designers go to great eortto develop a design that suits your tastes and meets your landscape needs, but each designer has his orher own unique design preerences.