How Do You Make Good Decisions About Landscaping?

How do you make good decisions about landscaping? When it comes to designing a beautiful landscape, don't let your budget limit your creativity. You can create the lighting you want with less expensive fixtures, and there are many other ways to scale back your landscaping costs without scaling back your.

You have to know what your budget is. Your budget can change, but you have to have a starting point. I like to use analogies from everyday life. You go shopping and buy groceries. There are the things people do everyday and they make decisions on. Am I going to go to this restaurant or is it too expensive? The same is true with landscape. You can start out with a concept. And whether you want to spend $5,000 or $500,000 on landscaping, your budget should not drive your design. It may drive components that you use in your design.

If, for example, you want to do a front walk-in and you want lighting, well, you cannot buy fixtures that are $300 apiece that are copper and brass if you are on a budget. But you can buy decent fixtures and maybe you will have to replace them in five years, maybe they would not hold up as well, maybe they would not be as exciting, but there are a lot of things that you can do that can create good design. Maybe your front walk is going to be bricks set in a mortar bed. Maybe it is going to be crushed gravel, but whether you use white gravel or a buff colored stone might be a critical decision. White gravel stands out and becomes a focal point and a buff colored stone is going to blend in. You need to think about your overall concepts -- what you would like to do, what you want to accomplish or want to have. There should be a list of things and there may just be two things. It may be nothing. You may not know. You just know that you want the place to look good. Okay, that's enough, but what is "looking good"? Start a conservation. Be open to change, look at things, look at examples. Drive down the street and you are going to see things that may look good, but may not really be exciting. Ask yourself these questions. Is it exciting? Does it make me feel good? What does it do? I see people all the time that have never even considered looking at other stuff or they think they have looked at other stuff, but then when you point things out, they go back and have a totally different light that they look at it in. So, I think the biggest thing is to look beyond the box and be open to the fact that landscaping can be way more than you think it can at this very moment. It has been my experience that most people that I meet - intelligent, articulate, educated people -- they make decisions every day of their lives all day along, but landscaping may not be their expertise.

Consider all your options. Just because you have not seen it before, it does not mean it would not work. Don't be afraid to ask for help or advice. There are a lot of people who are going to be willing to give you landscaping advice and you are going to have to decide if it's good advice or not. It's like raising kids. Plenty of people tell you how to do it, but what works for them is not necessarily right for you. And just like raising children, if you make a mistake, you can fix it. Besides, you don't just keep doing the same thing till the kid is 21 and leaves the house. The same thing goes for landscapes.

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