What We Talk About When We Talk About Landscaping

The conversations we have about landscaping are different than people expect. That’s because landscaping projects require lots of decisions. Those decision criteria are interconnected. This choice affects that one and probably several others.


Sometimes it’s hard to choose the right entree at a restaurant because there are nearly a dozen and they all sound so delicious!

Consider that there are thousands of plant cultivars on our menu. This means there are potentially millions of plant color, texture, and fragrance combinations.

Now factor into the equation the many hardscape possibilities: Pools, spas, fountains, fire pits, benches, patios, terraces, screened porches, walkways, paths, gates, arbors, trellises, and pergolas. In nearly every situation they are handcrafted especially for your home, which means the possibilities are numberless.

This is why it would be criminal to start the conversation with the budget — although some companies do. That may be appropriate if you are buying an automobile because you are choosing from existing inventory.

That’s not true for landscaping, at least how we do it at Architectural Landscape Design, Inc.

We Know What You Really Want

Many of us cannot always put it into words, but what we really want is an experience. Actually, what we want is how that experience makes us feel.

This is why starting the landscape design process with the budget is almost criminal. It’s like throwing a bucket of ice water on those feelings and emotions. So let’s try a better way.

Let’s start with feelings. What do you want to experience when immersed in your outdoor environment? The answer to that question takes you one giant step forward on the right path.

It may be hard to describe at first, but the extra time it takes to flesh it out is worth it. When you get that right everything else falls into place.

Including the budget.

We want you to think bigger than you dare. It’s the only way to get everything you want. That vision will prove to be invaluable later when we get to talking about budgets.

The reason talking budgets is so difficult in the beginning is that the outcome doesn’t exist yet. That has to be designed, and before that can happen it has to be imagined.

If you are a visual person you need to see it. Sensory people need to feel it. Here’s why this approach works.

Experiences Are Bigger Than Products

The way to stretch the budget is to not limit what’s possible.

Better to create an explosion of ideas to find the best ones.

The right designer will guide you through a collaborative process that examines the possibilities.

For example, may want a lush, green lawn but have a predominantly shady property. Most turfgrasses require at least five hours of full sun every day. If this is the case, the discussion needs to shift back to why you wanted that lawn.

Is entertaining the priority?

What We Talk About When We Talk About Landscaping

You can entertain on a deck, patio, or terrace. Determining which is right may come down to budget.

You’re smart enough to know the size and complexity of the space will affect its cost. However, there is a seemingly endless range of hardscape materials. This gives you some budget control.

Before you make your choice, you will need to understand how the products will perform. Natural stone has a beautiful patina, but it can be slippery when wet. You should know that.

Brick pavers are available in many different sizes, shapes, colors, and finishes. Some say too many, and we cannot disagree.

Different brick shapes and pattern designs contribute to the durability and functionality of the product. All of these decisions have to be thoughtfully considered.

This much we know. Focusing on how you will experience the products leads to smarter choices.

Our landscape design process gives you that confidence and control.

It answers your questions, including the ones you didn’t know to ask.