It’s finally time to prepare your outdoor living space! Planning remains the key to avoiding costly mistakes and ensuring all your outdoor space wishes are realized. A professional landscaper is an important part of the design process to consider. With the help of a professional, landscaping transforms your outdoor living environment. A professional landscaper knows how to create dynamic and sustainable spaces that will enhance your quality of life, increase the value of your home and provide you with great satisfaction for a long time. Before contacting a professional landscaper, we advise you to plan your project by following the following steps.
Step 1: Set your goals
- Are you interested in developing a single area on your property or do you want to transform several spaces? If the plan concerns several areas, which are the priorities?
- Apart from the aesthetic aspect, how important is the functionality of the space? Are you aiming for maximum use of the premises?
- Do you want your new garden to provide more security, more privacy, or greater ease of access?
- Which style do you prefer: natural, urban, formal, informal, etc.?
- What elements already exist in the places you want to keep, such as trees, rocks, streams, landscaping, etc.?
- Is there a view you would like to keep, improve or hide?
- Do you want to develop a plan or do you already have one? What are your design preferences, such as colours, types of materials, choice of plants, etc.?
- What are your expectations for maintenance? Do you expect to spend a lot of time there, or do you prefer a low-maintenance layout?
Step 2: Identify the elements you want to be a part of your space
- Cooking, dining, entertainment and relaxation areas
- Barbecues, firepits, and outdoor fireplaces and heaters
- Pools, spas, or other water features, such as waterfalls or ponds
- Trails and walking areas, and shaded and sunny spaces
- Garden pavilions, gazebos, pergolas, fences or trellises
- Patios, terraces, playgrounds and lawn areas
- Trees, shrubbery and plants, including ground cover, vines, vegetables, etc.
- Lighting (both aesthetic and functional)
- Irrigation, rainwater harvesting systems
- Storage sheds or areas
Step 3: List the factors that could influence your design
- Location and zone of your property
- Climate (snow, wind, temperature)
- Topography of the site (characteristics of the land surface)
- Areas of sun and shade already present
- Soil condition (e.g., clay soil, wet, swamp, sand, etc.)
- Drainage and irrigation
- Existing landscaping and permanent elements already in place
- Municipal regulations, such as height restrictions on structures or construction distances to be respected; please check your municipality’s website for more information
- Underground infrastructure, such as pipes, aqueducts, cables, etc.
- Any restrictions on the schedule of work; keep in mind that it is best to do most landscaping work between the months of April and November
Step 4: Have a plan drawn upA professionally designed plan is an essential step in any landscaping project. Since it reflects your choices, a master plan helps you keep control of your project and avoid unpleasant surprises, because it gives you an overview of the final result. To help you visualize how the components of your plan will work with existing property aspects and structures, your plan will identify plant elements (trees, plants, flowers, grass), inert elements (stones, patios, structures), as well as water and lighting features. This overview will be an important reference tool to explore the possibilities available to you, and will allow you to develop the design according to your needs and budget, as well as according to the stages of development. A professional plan will help you achieve your goals and maximize the potential of your property. It can also save you money. Landscaping is often a significant investment – mistakes and misunderstandings can be expensive. A professional can help you avoid making costly mistakes.
Step 5: Look for a Certified LandscaperCertified landscapers are recognized for their commitment to the highest standards of quality. Take the time to fully research the professional association in your area and find the right landscaper for you.
Source: Association of Professional Landscapers of Quebec (appq.org)