Douglas Flat, California
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Improving Curb Appeal Through Landscape Architecture
Landscape architecture is steadily growing in the United States. Professionally designed gardens were once only for the homes of the wealthy. Today, both residential and commercial landscaping is available and affordable. It is not a well known fact that there is a difference between landscape design and landscape architecture. Most designers are simply skilled gardeners. They improve the appearance of a yard through flowers and foliage alone.
Landscape architecture is so much more than plants. Architects must understand how to combine nature with various outdoor structures. Patios, paved outdoor entertaining areas, are popular because they require almost no upkeep. Decks are also common choices; these raised structures are usually made of wood and attached to the building. Pergolas do not offer additional entertaining space, but these archways allow climbing plants to be grown. Other ideas may also include replacing cracked pavement, repainting the house, and adding a water feature like a pool or pond. For these structural additions, many architects turn to contractors from construction firms.
When planning a yard overhaul, architects try to mesh the climate of the area with the client’s wishes. The plant choice ultimately decides on the average rainfall of the city and the amount of light in that area of the garden. Even with perfect conditions, many homeowners are willing to sacrifice beauty in exchange for low maintenance. Others like the idea of having an outdoor space for entertaining company. It is also important that the appearance of the yard complements that of the house. Contemporary buildings should be surrounded by modern landscaping so the two appear in sync. Through landscape architecture, you can not only improve your yard’s appearance, but also make it more functional.
Landscape architects are professionals who design the landscape of residential areas, community park areas, golf courses, industrial park areas, transportation facilities, shopping centers, open space and other public land projects. The designs of these open spaces must be functional, as well as scenic and compatible with the environment, melding into the natural resources of the area. Landscape architecture involves the planning not only of buildings and roadways, but also the planning and arrangement of flowers, bushes, shrubs and trees. If you are a homeowner looking to hire a landscaper to beautify your yard, ask family and friends for recommendations. A good landscaper is reliable, honest, hard working, competitively priced for your neighborhood, and possesses a good work ethic. Online directories can help you weed through the many landscape architects in your area. Find and compare landscape architects by inputting your zip code, and receive quotes, contacts of licensed architects, information on careers and education, and reviews. Landscape architects, as part of their careers, should have a fair amount of education under their belts, such as a bachelor's or master's degree in landscape architecture. Professional landscape architects must be licensed, so be sure to check on national and international certification, as well as level of education. Drive by some homes or waterfront parks the architect has planned or designed in your community to get ideas. Some landscape architects are self-employed, although many do work for private companies and government agencies. Most landscape architects do not limit themselves to residential areas, but work on large community projects, often incorporating the natural resource of the infrastructure while promoting preservation. This is also called sustainable or “green” design. If preserving the environment is important to you, consider eco-friendly or green architects who have incorporated the environment into their occupation.