In a crowded city such as Mumbai, it's a luxury to have a small patch of green outside one's home, whether it's a tiny balcony garden or an outdoor space in the entrance to the house. Therefore, space planning gains significance as one needs to optimise the area through design that is functional as well as aesthetically appealing. That's why one should hire a landscape architect who can create a gorgeous garden that provides the perfect environment for relaxing in the middle of the busy city.
Often, people think that the job description of a landscape architect and a landscape designer is the same. While the terms are interchangeable when one talks about landscaping, an architect qualifies with a degree in architecture, after which he specialises in landscape design. On the other hand, a landscape designer's role is the same as that of an interior designer or decorator as he looks after the aesthetic elements of the landscaping and doesn't have the knowledge to undertake structural aspects of the design.
Landscape architects from Mumbai blend aesthetic and functional features into the design of the garden. Additionally, they are trained to look at structural and ecological factors. The range of services that landscape architects provide includes preparing a site plan based on the client's requirements, making the cost estimate for the project, creating 2D/3D graphic images of the design to provide better visualisation of the design, sourcing materials for the landscape project and executing the plan to ensure that it meets expectations.
Since the garden is exposed to natural elements, several factors come into play when designing the area. Landscape architects look at the existing conditions, including the old design (if there is one), the grading of the land, the soil, the climate in the region as well as the homeowner's requirements before they create a landscape design.
For example, an existing terrace garden that needs a makeover may have a fountain that not only cools the space but also improves the view from the living room. After finding out the advantages and disadvantages of the existing design from the homeowner, the landscape architect will try to retain elements that work well within the area.
The gradation of the land makes a difference to the landscape design as it affects the flow of water as well as the placement of plants. Landscape architects also consider the environment and ecology before they recommend the ideal plants for the natural conditions that exist in the garden. For instance, a low-maintenance shrub such as bougainvillea may be suitable for a terrace garden that receives ample sunlight, whereas succulents or ferns may be better suited to a vertical balcony garden that is entirely in the shade.
Usually, the homeowner may have specific requirements such as installing a pergola to create a covered seating area in the terrace or a privacy screen that blocks views of the neighbouring apartment. The landscape architect will include these details into the design to ensure that the homeowner is satisfied with the project once it's executed.
A perfectly-executed landscape design comprises a balance of colour, texture, lighting and proportion. A landscape architect uses the right mix of these elements in the project.
For example, its ability to influence mood makes colour a significant aspect in any design. In outdoor spaces, the use of different shades of green in a vertical wall garden or vibrant hues of flowers in a planter bed or container can create the right ambiance. Landscape architects in Mumbai will choose plants that thrive in the environment so that the garden always looks good.
Similarly, the use of just a single species of plant may bring a one-dimensional look to the area. Instead, the designer will choose foliage with varied textures to break the visual monotony. The design style of the landscape project is another essential aspect to consider as the garden is an extension of the house and should match the overall theme, whether it's colonial or minimalist.
An often-overlooked aspect of landscape design is proportion. The idea is to create a space to unwind. Therefore, the size of the plants that are chosen for the project should set the desired ambiance. Potted plants or shrubs that are too dense and thick can make the balcony or terrace look too cramped. Similarly, a large tree that towers over the roof may draw attention away from the house and diminish its curb appeal.
Unless one hires a professional based on word-of-mouth referrals of friends and family, it's advisable to be cautious and complete all the necessary enquiries before selecting a landscape architect for a project. Firstly, one should verify the credentials of the professional to ensure that he has the education and training to carry out the job. The last thing one expects is to spend a significant sum of money on the landscape design only to find that it is high-maintenance, taking too much time and effort to keep it looking perfect.
Another option is to view the portfolio or visit completed projects of the landscape architect to be sure that his quality of work and design style meets your expectation. On homify, our landscape architect directory for Mumbai features a list of verified architects and designers. Once you click on a professional's profile, you can browse through the images of landscape projects executed by him. After identifying a couple of professionals whom you would like to hire, you can fill up and submit the online contact form to receive free quotes from the landscape architects of your choice.