LANDSCAPE DESIGN PLANS – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
WHAT ARE LANDSCAPE DESIGN PLANS?
“Landscape architecture is the art and science of arranging land so as to adapt it most conveniently, economically, functionally, and aesthetically to any of the varied wants of people” – a definition from the International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2001
Landscape Design Plans makes use of elements such as practicality, natural beauty, horticultural variety, indigenous planting, and environmental sustainability to seamlessly meld the landscape into the overall property.
WHY ARE LANDSCAPE DESIGN PLANS REQUIRED?
Landscape Design Plans exist to ensure that your landscape forms a natural part of the property, does not obstruct any part of the development, takes into account the surrounding environmental bio-diversity such as animals, birdlife and vegetation type, and forms a seamless flow with the buildings and structures on the property.
As American architect Frank Lloyd Wright once famously said “a house should not be on the hill but of the hill”.
In estates or complexes, landscape design plans have the further aim of ensuring that the overall aesthetics of the estate or complex are uniform, in relation to their regulated ‘theme’. As an example, a totally exotic garden or a very manicured French garden, will look completely out of place in an eco-estate which only permits indigenous, wild planting. Many estates these days also encourage the infusion of the natural vegetation (plant or grassland) into the site.
The plan also serves to show the management of any irrigation systems and the subsequent runoff to show how this will impact the rest of the estate or complex.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS OF DRAWING UP LANDSCAPE DESIGN PLANS?
Landscape Design Plans are often drawn up in a collaboration between your landscape designer and your architect but can be done with only the landscape designer if the right information is available. As a start, you would need a site map to establish boundary lines, land size and the location of any underground facilities.
Your landscape specialist will undertake a site visit to your new property for an analysis and sit down with you for an evaluation.
You should have at hand the Municipal, Estate or Complex Rules & Guidelines as these would need to be adhered to.
You should also have in mind your own list of wants and needs, taking into consideration family and functionality ideals such as pets, children’s pay areas, a swimming pool and its safety, and any adult entertainment areas like fire pits and outdoor bar areas. Be mindful also of garden maintenance demands : would you be happy with the demands of a high-maintenance garden, or whether you would prefer something simple and low-maintenance. Some homeowners put a “feel” board together to help the landscape designer understand what types of landscape appeals to them.
Landscape designers will collaborate with architects, geo specialists, civil engineers, surveyors, and even botanists to ensure that you’re your outside environment forms a natural part of your home and your chosen lifestyle.
Elements that will be taken into consideration will include size of the land, orientation of the main buildings, pool houses and garden cottages, soil conditions, drainage, micro climate, existing vegetation, permanent features such as pools, perimeter wall and retaining walls.
A Landscape Design Plan will be sketched in colour and drawn to scale indicating plant selection and placement on the plan.
The entire plan will then be costed to carry out the work. It is important to note that the estate will often conduct a landscape audit after building completion to ensure that the landscape design was carried out in strict accordance to the landscape design plan that was submitted.
HIRING THE RIGHT LANDSCAPER FOR YOUR LANDSCAPE DESIGN PLAN
Most estates and some complexes will only allow you to use approved professional landscape designers.
If you are at liberty to choose your own, be cautious in ensuring you choose an accredited professional landscaper, with the relevant experience in your chosen landscape “feel” and in the residential area where the property will be built. Need some help choosing? Read : 5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring A Landscaper.
Alternatively, contact our offices - we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.