A: Several factors are in play when developing a landscape budget, of course. A good rule of thumb is 10-15% of a home’s value is in the land itself. For instance a $300,000 home would place the typical budget for landscaping at $30K - $52K.
The allocation of this budget is lifestyle driven and therefore a design professional should be ‘on-deck’.
A: All landscapes and gardens require some level of maintenance. Maintenance levels are subjective at best but, xeriscaping is the lowest maintenance aesthetic. Xeriscaping is the primary design principle in arid regions such as the American Southwest and the Rockies. Heavy on hardscape and very adaptable plantings.
Maintenance levels tend to increase with knowledge, skill, and desire. Once again maintenance levels are subjective.
A: Absolutely! Sweat equity is a beautiful thing. Depending on skill level and desire, a homeowner can be involved physically at several points of a landscape project. Aside from the obvious material selection at the nursery or stone yard, we have known homeowners to build decks, lay paver patios, plant trees, and cultivate seasonal color beds.
Some landscape contractors discourage homeowner involvement in implementation of a project. If you desire sweat equity discuss this desire at your initial consultation with the contractor.
A: Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese geomancy that harmonizes the energy of humans with that of their environment and is commonly practiced in interior design. We prefer to use the term ‘elemental design’ as we are more of an admirer of the system rather than a practitioner.
We especially admire the bagua which we use as an element orientation guide. The placement of elements and focal features utilizing Feng Shui basics does bring a very groovy feel to a landscape and garden. That groove can be called energy. The system may originate in Asia but the aesthetic application is wide open.