Dwight D. Eisenhower famously said, “Plans are nothing, but planning is everything.”
He said this in the context of winning a war. The point of this statement is that events and circumstances change, and therefore, so does the plan.
A landscape is a work in progress because it is alive and will change. So will you.
People change and their lifestyle has to adapt. What’s important to you and your family today will evolve over time. The challenge is making the most of that journey.
You are growing and evolving and should expect your outdoor environment to do the same. There is no how-to manual to care for it because it’s not static. You have to get out there and experience it.
Periodically, you have to guide it to suit your current and planned needs. That’s what Eisenhower was talking about, and that’s what a professional landscape design consultation can do for you.
Landscape Design Is A Work In Progress
In the classic film The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy receives the following instructions on how to get to the magical land of Oz from Gilda, the good witch of the North. “It’s always best to start at the beginning, and all you do is follow the Yellow Brick Road.”
Like the Yellow Brick Road, your landscape design is a roadmap. It’s a way of getting to your destination, and if there are obstacles it has to change.
This is why it’s wise to start at the beginning every year to examine that plan from its foundation on up. It’s a methodical process that may include some of the following activities.
- Reimagining The Theme
Dorothy also had a guide, the scarecrow, who helped her reach the ultimate destination of returning home.
You too will be better served by having an experienced landscape designer guide your journey to achieve the vision you have for your property.
Plan For Immediate and Future Circumstances and Events
“Why do I need a landscape design consultation if everything is working,” you may ask?
Golfing legend Jack Nicklaus had an annual practice of starting every season with his coach to examine the fundamentals, starting with the grip. He understood that everything falls apart if the fundamentals are not in order.
Soils naturally move over time and this can create landscaping situations that need attention, especially for drainage. You may not have any problems, but isn’t it smart to check? When you take your car in for periodic service doesn’t the technician check the basic systems to make sure you are safe?
Responding to drainage problems will require reworking the original landscape design.
It’s important to take advantage of any rework to improve your landscaping. This may include removing some plants to give others room to grow or refreshing tired plantings with new varieties.
Unlike your home your outdoor spaces are flexible. You can easily make small adjustments when the season is right. This is why many homeowners commit to making one or two landscaping upgrades each season.
This focused progression keeps your outdoor environment in step with your family’s current and future plans, needs, and goals.
Landscape Design Consultation Keeps The Plan Accurate
Management consultant Stephen Covey, the author of the international bestseller The 7 Habits Of Highly Successful People, asked his readers to begin with the end in mind.
This is great advice that clarifies the vision, but you still have to plan all the way to the end. Planning to the end means changing the plan as necessary to get there, as Roosevelt inferred.
When you make a substantial investment in a landscape design protect that plan by updating it for now and forever. It will not only serve you well as a reference but will prove to be an invaluable guide when you sell your home.
An out-of-date landscape plan is useless because there is no way of knowing with certainty what has and hasn’t changed. When combined with notes and copies of earlier versions it can be an invaluable record for solving future problems.
The past will leave clues that will make for better choices today. Most of these clues are underground. This includes plant roots, compacted or inferior soils, buried irrigation, lighting, and other support systems.
If you have drawings and photos of what is buried or what changed in your landscaping, you will save money and eliminate unnecessary rework. At the very least, you will reduce the cost of cutting buried cables or disrupting other systems.
An annual landscape design consultation is an investment that pays dividends as you live with and love your outdoor environment.