Are you able to visualize? I mean formulating a plan in your mind and transfer it to paper so it becomes a three-dimensional, real-life backyard scene. If you are not…be forewarned that most landscape designers dread the client who are not able to visualize. If you can afford it, a landscape designer can give you a well laid out plan for your backyard, but it may cost you big bucks.
After encountering my so-called “non-visual” clients, I’ve found that they tend to withhold approval of a design until after it has been completed. Only then does their skepticism fade and they finally are able to feel comfortable with the plan. The more expensive a project, such as outdoor living spaces with pavers, a fireplace or the works, the less confidant the client tends to be. From the start, the only way the designer and yourself are able to find a comfort-zone, is to actually lay out some lines, usually in spray-paint, a garden house or even flour as markers, in your yard. This may be the only way to transform the ideas and design the landscaper has drawn out on paper to the ground out back. Only then will some of the bridges be crossed in this visualization gap.
The boundaries of the yard can be laid out with a few general measurements taken from key vantage points in your yard, such as a tree, bush or even the backside of your house. A long garden house is an excellent tool to use since the hose can be situated in virtually any type of shape…..let your imagination flow! Once you have all your boundaries laid out, take a step back to overview your yard. Don’t be afraid to perch up in a tree house or up on top of the house roof to gather the design all in.
Another alternative tool to use comes from the idea of the chalk lines on a football field. Instead of chalk, however, ordinary white kitchen flour provides a great contrast against the green of the lawn and really stands out in dirt. For concrete or other light-colored surfaces, it’s best to revert back to the garden hose. If a change needs to be made, flour is easily brushed, hosed or rained away, allowing you to form a new design.
Flour is also earth-friendly and allows you to visualize the locations of a patio, spa or swimming pool. Even planters or flowerbeds can be laid out in flour so you are able to capture the full impact of your intended location. Once you are satisfied with the layout, make sure you observe the design at different parts of the day to get a real feel for your new oasis.
There is something else to consider when working on the size of your space. An outdoor living space that is very large, doesn’t have too many issues, however a small space can become a financial or frustrating disaster if not planned properly. Bottom line—make sure your furniture fits.
I am sure you have already formed an idea of the look and size of a particular table or chaise lounge chair you’ve had your eye on. Carry out some furniture of similar size to the ones you had in mind, and place them within the confines of your garden hose or flour borders. If you want two chairs and a small side table placed in a certain area, make sure the hose or flour method is outlined correctly. If it feels too cramped, adjust the outline accordingly.
This is but a small excerpt from my new ebook: Holistic Herbs ~ A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening. If you would like to learn more about landscape and garden design, Click Here to grab your copy today!
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Kali S. Winters
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