Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

I spend most of my days here in Casper finding ways to help poorly planned landscapes. We come in after the fact and retro-fit five-year-old irrigation systems watering capabilities to the maximum because the builder never thought of watering the trees outside of the lawn, and now those trees are struggling to live without much water.

We come into a landscape and remove 20 tons of dirt from off the mature trees root systems (using the high-pressure Air Spade) because 3 years ago someone decided to build a garden on top of those tender roots. Obviously, they didn’t realize that those roots are too delicate to be buried under 2 feet of soil.

Additionally, many times over the years I have been called to remedy the 15 foot tall bush that is now blocking the doorway because nobody realized that it would grow so large. Apparently, they weren’t familiar with the mature growth specifications of that species when they purchased it at the nursery. Typically the poor bush in this situation must be apologized to profusely before being cut down and replaced with a more properly sized plant.

The stories go on, but all of them could have been prevented IF someone would’ve taken some time to plan and design a bit before landscaping. You see, landscape design is the most critical part of every landscape. If you are intending to landscape your new home, build a garden, plant a tree, or modify your irrigation system then you need to start by planning to consult a Landscape Designer. Here are a few examples:

1. Planting trees: Trees vary widely in their space and water requirements. A Landscape Designer will start by helping you find the right species. There will likely be more tree species options than you previously thought existed since horticulture brings new breeds to the “market” regularly. The Landscape Designer will site the tree so that it can live its full life in the space provided while providing optimum goals of privacy, color, or shade. Then, the Landscape Designer will ensure that the water requirements are met as some trees tolerate more or less water than others. Properly matching space and water requirements will enable your tree to thrive for decades.

2. Planting a garden: The Landscape Designer will help you decide where to put the garden based on sun and shade available at your site. Functional vegetable gardens can often be placed out of sight and protected from pillaging rodents, whereas flower gardens can be placed for optimal views from windows, the street, and outdoor living spaces. The Landscape Designer will know the latest and greatest plants to use for your garden, as well as their highly technical water and light requirements.

3. Enhancing curb appeal: Many of us did not have the opportunity to design the home or landscape that we live in. A Landscape Designer will start by talking with you about your likes and dislikes regarding your home’s curb appeal. Those ideas will be completed by drawing some 3-D renderings of your home with the ideal landscaped curb appeal. You will be able to see exactly what your home should have looked like before you spend one penny making it look that way. You will be able to start landscaping confidently, knowing that your curb appeal will look amazing.

4. Renovating your landscape: When you want to change the entire landscape it is critical to get a Landscape Designer on board. They will guide you through the design process as you explore the endless options of a complete renovation. They will know how to renovate without destroying the valuable elements like mature trees or hardscaping. You could experiment with water features, Japanese gardens, fire features, landscape lighting and all of this will be done on a computer screen because there is no end to what can be dreamed up in 3-D CAD renderings. While all this dreaming happens, the Landscape Designer will assign a budget to each item so you know exactly what your costs will be. Of course, you will dream bigger than your budget, but the Landscape Designer can break up the cost over a couple seasons so you can do the renovation in a series of well-planned projects, thereby making it affordable over time. Once you’ve settled on a project and price, then you will be confident of how your landscape will look. You’ll be relieved to begin even the smallest renovation because all of the thinking was completed in the beginning and you have 3-D renderings to ensure that there are no surprises once the project is underway.

5. Building Outdoor Living Spaces: Many people call us asking to install a paver patio and a pergola out in that unusable corner of their backyard. The Landscape Designer will meet with these well-meaning people and help them realize that the unusable corner of their backyard is, in fact, unusable, but there is instead a much better spot to install that outdoor living space that they have been dreaming of. Sitting this type of space is very critical in Wyoming because the outdoor season is so short that we need this space to function perfectly during the months that it can be enjoyed. The Landscape Designer will work through that process until the site, size, and materials to build the outdoor living space are absolutely perfect.

6. New Construction: Many newly built homes are over budget, and the owners are feeling the financial pinch before the landscape is ever conceptualized. Many people just install a basic sprinkler system and roll out some sod hoping to come in and complete their ideal landscape later when they have more money, but often it ends up being a waste because installing their ideal landscape will end up ruining all of the sod as well as the sprinkler system. This is like installing the carpet in your home before you hang the sheet rock, texture, and paint. Instead, you should call a Landscape Designer as soon as the exterior of your home is finished because they will save you a ton of money. The Landscape Designer will plan out the landscape carefully so that you can achieve your dream over the course of time that best fits your budget. After your home is built you can get the infrastructure in place before you lay sod so that each year you can finish a different component until the ideal landscape is finished.

Wyoming is a tough place to keep a landscape thriving so you need to make sure that it is well designed, to begin with. We are so committed to proper design that we send our Landscape Designer to every single project we touch (no matter how large or small) to make sure that it is designed to perfection.

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