Hiring a landscape architect for your project is the first step in creating a design-centered landscape project, but simply hiring the Landscape Architect does not always insure you will get the garden of your dreams. The design process is a collaborative process involving the client and the rest of the design team. As with any consultant, there are keys to success that can make the process easier, more efficient, and insure that you get the final result you are searching for.
At Matthew Murrey Design, we have seen projects succeed, and unfortunately have also seen projects that have not reached their full potential. Based on our experiences, here are some keys to making sure you are getting the most from your Landscape Architect and insure you are getting the garden and landscape you were searching for.
1. Bring Ideas to the table
There are a multitude of resources for assembling thoughts and ideas for your project. Online resources such as Pinterest and Houzz, are a great way to search for and organize your thoughts and ideas. The beauty of these tools is that they can easily be “shared” and “followed” by your Landscape Architect. There are also more traditional versions such as magazine cutouts, books and personal photographs that can add to the project inspiration.
2. Know Your Starting Point.
Is there a need for a pool, water feature, or fountain? How will you enter the property? How will your guests enter the property? Where will you and your guests park? How will you plan on entertaining? These are all great questions to ask yourself before your Landscape Architect starts designing. Knowing these constraints up front will help reduce excessive revisions.
3. Have a Realistic Budget
Do not be afraid to discuss budget openly with your landscape architect. Clarifying the budget up front will help the Landscape Architect make wise decisions for planting design, garden features and landscape finishes throughout your project.
4. Do not Sacrifice Quality for Quantity
When a budget has to be cut, do not expect to get everything. Be willing to give up, redesign, or phase in parts of the landscape project in order to maintain quality. Staying true to quality will always make for a better project than using inferior products and/or construction methods. Ask and listen to your Landscape Architect about what their recommendations would be in this situation. Look for more tips and info on this in our upcoming blogs.
5. Don’t Give Up!
The design process can sometimes get emotional; both for the client and the landscape architect. Each person is putting their heart and soul into bringing the best design solution to the table. Don’t be afraid to say you do not like something and don’t be afraid to open up to new ideas.