I received the landscape plan from the landscape designer yesterday! We met yesterday afternoon and went over the plan that he came up with for our one-acre lot, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. He included a ton of color (at my request, obviously 😀 ), evergreens, and drought-resistant plants. I never knew that there were so many colorful grasses!
Here’s an overview of the whole plan that I received, which includes a layout showing our lot and where he suggests putting everything, a legend that lists what all of those plants on the drawing actually are, and pictures of most of the plants.
The whole goal with this was to give me a visual of something to work towards over the span of a few years. In other words, we’re not going to sign off on a plan and then have them come in and totally transform our whole property. This is going to be a very slow process that will evolve over the course of many years, and a lot of it will have to wait until we have our driveway in, the addition built on the back of the house, and my workshop built in the back yard.
But I can certainly start implementing some of the ideas for the front yard very soon. And this plan is so pretty that I just might have it framed and hang it on the wall of my studio just so that I can be motivated and inspired by it often. Here’s a view of just the lot layout without the legend and the photos of the plants.
There’s a whole lot to take in! I think I spent about two hours last night just pouring over the plan, looking at all of the little symbols, finding the symbols on the legend, finding the actual photos of those plants, and trying to envision everything in place.
Here’s a closer view of the legend, which is divided into annuals/perennials, ground cover, shrubs, and trees. He said that he generally doesn’t add annuals to a landscape design because those can always be added throughout the year as I see things in the stores/nurseries that I’d like to plant. So he just focuses on more permanent plants and features.
I spent a while last night looking up pictures of all of those things, some of which I had never even heard of (whirling butterflies? 😀 ), so here’s a glimpse of all of those things, in all of their colorful beauty…
I can’t even tell you how much I love all of that color!! He did such a good job at listening to what I said I wanted, and bringing together a beautiful mix of plants and trees to bring my vision to life. It makes me what to go out today and start digging in some dirt and making planting beds. 😀
Here are a few close-up details, beginning with the front yard.
There were a couple of things that I was very excited about. First, he said that he got some preliminary estimates for a concrete driveway, and he thinks that we can get it done for much less than what we were expecting since we don’t have a current driveway that needs to be broken up and hauled off. Since it’s just dirt and a bit of leftover gravel right now, that brings the cost down. I was thrilled to hear that!! And then he did tie in some walkways (my walking track that will go around the whole property) using gravel and probably those plastic grids for gravel that I shared a couple of weeks ago.
In the picture above, you can see that he added planting beds all along the front of the property at the street, and he suggested (*drum roll please*)…a white picket fence with an arbor across the sidewalk.
YES!! I think I wrote a post a while back (maybe a couple of years ago now) about wanting a white picket fence, but I was talked out of it. But he said that when he saw our house, he thought the style of it would be perfect with a white picket fence with planting beds all along the front, as well as some plants behind the fence, all across the front of our property.
And then lining the sidewalk, all the way down on either side, he put Purple Heart (also called Wandering Jew), which is one of my absolute favorite plants.
It’s a gorgeous deep purple color, and there’s a house in town that I drive by several times a week that has it lining their sidewalk and the front edge of their property along the street, and I absolutely LOVE it. Every time I pass, I slow down to admire it as I drive by.
For our front yard, he recommended Zoysia grass, which I had never heard of before. Evidently, it’s more drought-tolerant than St. Augustine (which is the favorite around here, but requires quite a bit of water), so it’s lower maintenance.
He included so much detail, including my water feature that I wanted in front of the breakfast room windows, planting pots in the flower beds, large decorative rocks, etc.
And then here are some details of the back yard, starting with the area at the back of the house…
Off the back of the house (or what will eventually be the back of the house once we build the addition), he added a curvy deck, and then a path that leads to a firepit area. There are also walkways that go to the area between the carport and my future workshop, as well as one that goes to the front door of the workshop. Outside the workshop, there’s a little seating area, and flower beds all along the walkways and the front of the workshop. He also suggested a water feature to the right of the deck (the red circle with the blue in the middle is a water feature, so you can search for that “Where’s Waldo” style).
And then on the far side of the workshop, he made an area for planting beds for veggies, and then added some fruit trees at Matt’s request.
And then here’s the very back of the property…
On the bottom left area, you can see an area for a large daybed swing hung underneath a pergola. And then towards the top left area, there’s a seating area off of the walking track. That shaded gray area that you see coming from the top left corner is where he suggested creating what looks like a dry river bed with planting beds around it.
And then on the top right area, he put another little bench along the walking track, with a reflecting pool opposite the bench on the other side of the walking track.
As far as all of the green in the back yard that looks like grass, he basically suggested just keeping whatever is there right now. Our back yard stays green throughout the summer, and I’ve never once watered it. It’s a mixture of grass, probably some green weeds, and it’s all very natural, drought-tolerant, and low maintenance. I was happy to hear that because the idea of planting grass in that huge area, and then having to water it enough to keep it alive during our scorching hot summers, did not appeal to me in the least.
Here’s a closer look of the left half of that image above…
And here’s a closer look at the right half…
So that’s the plan! I love it so much that I don’t even think I have any changes to suggest. At least not yet. I just want to take a while and take it all in, and probably make a trip (or several) to some local nurseries and see these plants and trees in person, with my landscape plan in hand, to really get a visual of what I’ll be working with and working towards.
And because I know some of you are wondering, the cost to have a local landscape designer do this plan for me was $1550.00. He charges $100/hour, and he spent 15.5 hours meeting with me, taking all of the measurements, taking pictures, and putting together the entire plan. So that will give you an idea of what to expect if you’re wanting your own landscape design plan. Of course, the $100/hour is a general idea of the cost, and could be far less or far more than that depending on where you live. And then on top of that, the actual time that a designer would put into your design would be dependent on the size of your lot and the features you want to add. If they have to include things like a pool and all of the hardscaping and other features that goes into a pool area, that could take a lot longer.
But I definitely think a landscape designer (and especially one who’s local to you and who knows the local climate and what plants work well in that climate) is well worth the cost. I felt completely paralyzed with indecision before because I simply don’t know plants, and I don’t even know the first think about designing a landscape. But now, I have a “roadmap” in hand, and I feel like I could confidently go to a nursery today, pick up some plants, and know exactly where they need to go. That “roadmap” is going to save me a lot of time and money in the long run, so I feel like the upfront cost is well worth it.
Addicted 2 Decorating is where I share my DIY and decorating journey as I remodel and decorate the 1948 fixer upper that my husband, Matt, and I bought in 2013. Matt has M.S. and is unable to do physical work, so I do the majority of the work on the house by myself. You can learn more about me here.
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