Landscape Trends – Design Planning Starts Now! Volume 1

Your trees, shrubs and perennials are still sleeping but your landscape plans for the coming season should be in full swing. The reason? Plans take time and if you want to see them realized and enjoyed this season than now is the time to start. People are often surprised how long it takes for a plan to go from concept to implementation. In reality a landscape plan may require several meetings and renditions before a final plan is agreed upon.

To help you along, here’s my top 5 steps to driving home a landscape plan:

  1.  Meet now! getting an early start allows for more creative and detailed plans to be established. Don’t put yourself into a position where you feel rushed and then have to make rash decisions.
  2. Establish a budget – Planning with a budget will keep expectations in line with what is actually possible.  There’s nothing worse than realizing that the plan you’ve been working on for months can’t be realized because the scope of the project is more than you can afford.
  3. Be guided by a common purpose – When you as the decision makers come together make sure one of the first things you answer is ‘Why are we doing this”. Establishing a common purpose early in the planning process will keep everyone on the same page and save precious time.
  4. Invite a pro to the table – Now that you’ve met, have a budget and have established a common purpose its time to invite a landscape pro to the table. A Landscape Professional will ask you to consider critical things that you haven’t thought of. Things like…

    • Are the hardscape and garden areas properly connected? Different areas of space need to transition properly and work together so that the area feels right.
    • Will the plants that you want to put in your garden provide balance and symmetry? In order for a garden to work the plant material needs to work well together with an appropriate amount of repetition and variety of shapes, sizes and texture.
    • Has there been thought given to the variety within the landscape. Is the landscape area interesting throughout the seasons, what is there to look at in the winter, are their displays of colour in Spring, Summer and Fall?
  5. Build it! – You have an excellent plan but now you need to execute it with excellence.   Here’s a couple important things to discuss and consider with your contractor before you start.

    • Timing expectations – Establish a starting and finishing date but leave a buffer for what can’t be controlled…..the weather, delayed material delivery and the unexpected (“didn’t expect to find that under the ground”) can all work to compromise your ideal project finish line.
    • Local By-laws – are their permits you need to apply for, or trees in the area you need to protect, neighbours that need to be notified or safety requirements that need to be planned for?  All good things to discuss with your contractor

Joel Smith

Written by Joel Smith

Joel Smith is a Client Care (Enhancements) Manager at Garden Grove Landscaping. Garden Grove provides Commercial Landscape Management Services across the Golden Horseshoe, GTA and Southwestern Ontario. Joel may be contacted at or 1-866-996-1099.