Since going green is a big concern all over the world, Indians too are beginning to realize the immense impact of nature on their lives. Hence the need for landscape designers increases, who use their planning and design skills, creativity, art, science, and natural beauty to create aesthetically appealing and functional spaces like gardens, lawns, parks, walkways and such. Take a look at what they offer.
- A landscape designer essentially has surveying knowledge and can estimate the amount and cost of labor and materials required for different projects. He has knowledge of horticulture, pest control and drainage, ecological conditions, the regulations or codes that need to be followed, and the ability to produce realistic drawings by hand or computer.
- He will first discuss with you the kind of landscape you have in mind, such as a flower garden, rock garden, Zen garden etc. Or maybe some specific ornamental plants, trees, or water features like ponds or fountains that you desire to introduce.
- A designer will then plan the finished result with the help of a detailed drawing, sketched to scale. The drawing may feature both existing and new elements that will be brought together in a harmonious fashion.
- Site analysis is an integral part of the landscape designer’s job. He will assess the soil conditions, nature of plants you already have, the amount of natural light received, the view, and the architecture of your house.
- He will then perform intensive research regarding the type of plants that will be able to survive in that particular area.
- The designer can then effectively communicate his landscaping ideas to you, contractors, supervisors, and other workers. He can also make presentations for the relevant authority if required, especially if the project is commercial. A cost estimate will also be submitted including the details of all materials and services to be rendered as well as the payment terms.
- A landscape designer can also handle proposed changes in the project and take care of all documentations required.
- The entire project is managed at each stage by the designer till the finish and all records, correspondences, and reports are maintained.
The terms landscape designer and landscape architect are often used interchangeably despite some subtle differences. A qualified landscape designer in India should ideally have diplomas or certifications from recognized universities. These professionals have in depth knowledge about plants, pests, fertilizers, soils, water quality and all other components that aid in bringing a green landscape together. They commonly work on small scale residential projects and are not engaged in landscape-related construction projects like building of walls, slopes etc.
Landscape architects on the other hand, have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in the discipline and require three years of working experience before acquiring a license. They tend to work on bigger residential or commercial projects and have expertise in working with steep slopes, retaining walls, drainage or irrigation systems, elevation issues, and outdoor structures. Architects can also make crucial suggestions regarding placement of entries, driveways, parking areas, and service lines.
Lastly, a gardener in our country doesn’t usually have any formal qualifications. His skill, knowledge, creativity, and experience are valued while hiring. But recently, an upsurge of trained gardeners has been noticed owing to some Indian institutes, which are offering certificates or diplomas in gardening or landscape gardening. It is to be noted that while a landscape designer or architect focuses on the planning and designing of a garden, a gardener is more involved in the maintenance and hands on labor that is required for it.
The Internet can be a good place to search for landscape designers in your vicinity. You can check popular listing websites where you can come across the information and contact details of such professionals, too. Homify offers a list of professionals as well. As an alternative, go through the yellow pages or ask a friend or family member who recently had landscaping done at his or her residence. If they were satisfied with the work of the designer or agency, then maybe you can hire them, too.
“A thing of beauty is a joy forever”. But if the landscaped garden or lawn doesn’t come up as per your expectations, then it can be disappointing. Which is why, it is a must to hire a landscape designer who can deliver what he promises. Here are some questions you can ask to test if he is the right one for the project.
Ask to see the designer’s qualifications or certifications, reviews, and testimonials. Check how much experience he has and take a look at the landscape designs he has accomplished in the past. This will help you to figure out if he is reliable, maintains good quality of work, and has innovative ideas.
- Conduct a background check or look up the designer or company on the Internet. Make sure he has never had any legal allegations made against him. Call up some of his references to ascertain his professionalism.
- Enquire if the designer offers insurance and workers’ compensation. This way, you won’t have to shell out any extra charges when something on your property is damaged through their fault or a worker is injured on your premises.
- Clearly state what kind of landscaping you have in mind or what kind of suggestions you want from him. Ask if you will be offered a competent counseling which will clear all your doubts and whether the step by step plans will be discussed with you.
- Will the designer be able to execute any construction work related with the project, such as retaining walls or paving? He might work with a landscape architect, too, for handling these aspects.
- Ask the professional to explain to you in detail about how he is going to use the available space and what factors he will be considering. He will walk through your garden to see how the light and shade falls, the soil type, and maybe if there are any big trees present etc.
- The designer should submit a detailed and conceptual drawing, which will clearly show how the project will finally look like. The space, scale, and form of the result will be clear to you. And if there’s something you don’t like, then request changes at this point. A final drawing will then be provided, along with a cost estimate and tentative timeline. You can compare the price quoted with two or three other landscape designers, to find out if it seems fair or reasonable.
- Find out if the landscape designer is going to hire subcontractors. Enquire about how he plans to manage his timeline if faced with contingencies like bad weather, patches of bad soil, or absent workers.
- Get to know how long it might take for the plants to flourish, since it often depends on their type or size. Generally, big trees or shrubs may take a year to grow fully while grass and succulents can take around 6 months.
- Finally, ask how much maintenance will be required by the plants. While some may thrive with little water and care, some others may have to be pruned and fertilized regularly. Decide if you or your gardener will be able to manage it or not.
The cost can vary depending on the size and complexity of the project, type of plants, and materials being used, any associated water or rock feature to be built and several other factors. For instance, a large patio, natural stone paving, or a big fountain will naturally be pricier to make. But you can keep your costs under control by going for a smaller patio or concrete pavers. Widely-spaced pavers with grass growing between them will also cost less than solid paving.
Don’t forget to ask the designer for a strict estimate before the project starts and enquire if he charges a lump sum amount or on an hourly basis.
If you are planning to decorate small spots in your garden, then try doing it yourself. For example, you can create forms with pebbles, arrange the plants in a certain way, or get some artsy planters. Visit Homify for bright ideas.
A landscape designer may not be the only one you need to give your abode a makeover. Here are some more professionals you can get in touch with on Homify.Interior Landscape Designer in Pune – These professionals can plan, design, arrange, and take care of living plants inside closed environments or inside your house. So bring nature inside to soften or accentuate architectural specialties and create a charming focal point for your guests.
Fencingand Gates Installation Services in Pune – Your beautiful landscaped garden needs to be secured, right? Professionals who offer such services can put up protective gates or fences to keep trespassers and stray animals away.
Pool and Spa Installation Services in Pune – Along with a beautiful garden, you may also wish to get a spa or swimming pool installed for the warm summer months. Relevant professionals or contractors can plan, design, and construct these for you, also with waterfalls or lazy rivers if you desire.
Electricians in Pune – Hire professional and experienced electricians to set up lights in your garden, lawn, porch, driveway, patio or terrace. They can ensure that not only the lights will appear tasteful but be utilitarian, too.