Landscape planning falls under the auspices of landscape architecture, a more specialized field of study in the landscaping arena. Unlike landscape designers or installers, landscape architects have tackled additional schooling and must also be licensed by their state to claim the title. They specialize in the planning phase of of the landscaping process and bring a deep knowledge of landscaping and related fields to the table to make sure the projects they spearhead turn out perfect and meet the needs of the property owners. A landscape plan is the product provided by a landscape architect, a detailed design document created to guide the installation of a landscape by the actual landscape installer.
Why Do I Need A Landscape Plan?
At first glance, the duties of the landscaper and the architect might seem similar. The primary difference, however, is that the landscape architect, by creating a detailed landscape plan, is able to ensure that a landscape is cohesive across different uses of land, and also that natural and cultural resources are protected.
The landscape architect is better able to analyze and plan around complex issues. Say, for example, that your city wants a park system built: While a standard landscaper will be able install a landscape, they are not likely to have sufficient knowledge to ensure that the results will be what the city expects or needs. On the other hand, a landscape architect can create a plan that insures a good result and integrates seamlessly into the surrounding environment, that can then be followed and installed by the regular landscaper.
Landscape Plans for Projects of Different Sizes
If your landscape project is very small, its possible you could get away with just hiring a regular landscaper and not starting with a landscape plan. That being said, if your project is located in the greater Augusta, GA area, you might be interested in our Origin Express service, where we create landscape plan for small projects in a single day. This is a highly valuable service that only a small number of landscape architecture firms offer, so you’ll have to ask around if you’re located elsewhere. This planning process, even for tiny projects, can vastly decrease the cost of the actual landscape installation as well as insure a better result.
With projects that cover large areas however, or have specific environmental or cultural issues to consider, you will almost certainly have to acquire a full landscape plan for the project before spending any money or time on actual landscaping. This is not only to insure a good result, but is often required by local governments in order to receive a permit for the project.
For example, a newly completed office complex would be too large a landscape project to tackle without proper planning. Add to the size the fact that maybe the complex is built near a natural wetland area or an area with a fragile ecological balance, and you will definitely need an expert landscape architect to develop the right approach. You want to ensure that your gardens or parkways match perfectly with this natural space and insure that the design is sustainable. You also want to make sure the landscape plan accounts for maintenance and won’t negatively affect the surrounding ecosystems.
The Value of a Good Landscape Plan
When you call in a landscape architect, they’ll create a landscape plan that provides a look that matches surrounding buildings and environment, one that won’t damage nearby ecosystems. They keep an eye on the sustainability of the landscape as a whole, and they’ll ensure that it’s as low-maintenance as possible. They’ll consider a lot more than just what looks good. They also have no vested interest in maintaining the property afterward, so they’re going to try to cut down on maintenance for you when a regular landscape company may want to maximize future work required.