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Please critique my first design of the season

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by wratke, May 3, 2008.

  1. wratke

    wratke LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    I'm working on the design for my first project of the year using Pro Landscape and I was hoping for some suggestions/criticism before I show it to my client. I know the beds look kind of wonky, it's about as good as I could make it look with the limitations of the software. I plan on using Allen Block Garden Accents for the beds, the one in front will be on a grade, so it'll be two courses in the back and around five in the front. I had a lot of success with a bed I did last summer on a fairly steeply graded lawn, I checked it out this week and it looks as good as the day I installed it. I'm thinking the biggest problem is that I've sized the plants too big and that I'll end up with too much space in the beds when I actually go to plant after the install is done. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Before and After Pictures:

  2. amscapes03

    amscapes03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 398

    I'd center that tall shrub between the two windows. In the raised island bed the tree looks like it's kinda just hangin out there on the edge. The specimen tree should be the highlight of that bed and surrounding shrubs/perennials should complement it. I'd probably move the tree more toward the center of the island (just off center a bit). When i plant smaller shrubs and perennials i like to group them in odd numbers 3,5,7 etc. Seems to look more natural. Use shrubs and perennials that are in the evergreen family. There's lots of variety and color to chose from, and they'll give life and color year round.
  3. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,570

    I would center that tall shrub and maybe move it away from the house a bit... I guess it really doesn't indicate how close to the house it is... It may become a issue in the future.

    before you get to far along fix the low spot and that drainage issue.

    Amscapes has some pretty good ideas too.
  4. wratke

    wratke LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    Thanks for the suggestions so far. Lindblom, about the drainage issue, should I be looking at regrading that whole area so that it drains better? Should I be digging it up and putting in drainage tiles? It doesn't seem like there's an easy fix for it. The only other solution I see is trying to put a little culvert underneath the driveway so that it drains to the other side a bit more, but I doubt that would really solve the issue.

    Thanks again for the advice, I really appreciate it.
  5. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,570

    I would want to see more of the site. Any of the three suggestions to me would OK. Personally I think I was do some grading and not mess with drain tile if at all possible. I see you are north of the 49th my concern would be for a warm spell that melts snow or whatever suddenly and ground frozen and potentally freezing the drain tile.
  6. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,776

    Your design should be in response to something. It does not look like there is any purpose to having a retaining wall in front of that section of the house. Then there is a walled island garden that is just floating out there in the middle of nowhere.

    Quite honestly, it looks like you are just looking for places to put walls rather than trying to make either a functional or aesthetic landscape.

    It is a tough landscape because it is so big and wide open. The house tells me that the budget is not going to be very big either. Rather than trying to landscape the whole property, try to landscape a much tighter area closer to the house. By scattering the trees way out, the house starts to own all that real estate as its landscape. It does not have to. Define a smaller area close to the house. The less the house claims, the less empty it will be. Treat it as a house on asmall lot surrounded by farm land. It will be much easier and much nicer.

    Don't get too caught up in trying to see what the photo imaging program will do. Start with figuring out what these people need to do around their house (walkways, patios, soccer field). Make sure those things relate to the functions of the house that they are near (barbecue near the kitchen). Then make sure those things are sized right for their needs. Use plants and any hardscapes to enhance those uses.

    Obviously, the appearance of the house is one of those functions these people will want to address. You have a pile of lattice on that porch which is screaming for some help. Also, these people will probably want to spend some time on that porch, so it will be important to do things around it that will enhance the experience of being on that porch.

    There is a lot of garage there that is right in your face. You can't hide it because of the driveway, but you can disassociate it by framing in the house. You could extend the planting from in front of the porch to the drive. You would then have a place for a tree that could frame the right side of the porch and hide the pass door (door for people) in the process. You could put a large planting to the left the porch and out extended past the end of the house. I'd frame that side of the porch with a tree as well. The porch and dormer are the nicest feature of that house.

    You should build the look off of that rather than sticking a planting to screen it. You'll also be blocking the view outward from the house if you stuck that island there.

    If you are going to use a bunch of spruce, group them close to each other and just off to the side of the house. The ones on the right should be grouped near the one that you have which is closest to the drive. That helps downplay the RV storage and garage by being so far forward.
  7. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Go ahead and put grass in the pictures too. Go under your draw menu, and go from there. You want to make sure you have a complete design in order to show your customer what the potential is.

    I honestly don't care for the walls, especially in the center of the yard. Curb apeal is everything and the eyes are naturally pulled to the front door.

    Sometimes less is more.

    I just noticed too that your retaining wall on the left doesn't follow the grade. you'll want to address that. If you can get your perspectives down, then you won't be able to translate to your customer exactly what your trying to acheive. One of the things I've figured out with my customers is that most of them can't visualize exactly what they want, that's why they want you to do it for them.
  8. SwihartServices

    SwihartServices LawnSite Member
    Messages: 154

    i think you broke every single landscape design principle there is.
  9. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    I would concentrate more on the foundation plantings. Phase 1 would be foundation plantings. Phase 2 would be trees and island planting.

    I would ditch the block as well. I see no use for it. They would get more bang for there buck getting more plantings. I think the planting would be more profitable anyway.
  10. greenman10

    greenman10 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Doesn't look like Lamdscape Design to me. No design to your idea

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