Creating a successful landscape that meets all of your needs is much more than simply adding some plant materials and hoping for the best. In fact, professional landscape architects and designers generally use a well-honed process for making sure that your landscaping design turns into the landscape of your dreams. If you are considering having a professional landscape design completed, here are four steps to a successful landscape design that should be a part of your experience.

An initial consultation – During the initial consultation, you should spend time with your landscaper walking through your property. Take the time to tell them what you like and don’t like. This is also the time to let them know what items are on your wish list. Fire pit? Pergola? Hot tub? Talk through those options as well as your budget right from the beginning.

Create concept options – The second step in the process is the one that determines the direction of the final plan. Your landscaper may come back to you with several different ideas sketched out for your review. Look carefully at these options, and choose the one that seems to fit best with your budget and overall goals. Your landscaper should offer you the option to add more amenities over time as your budget allows.

Working drawings – During the working drawing phase, you will be working closely together to fine tune the concept, deciding on architectural features of the landscape, lighting, materials and plants. This is the time when the “nitty-gritty” of the project comes into play. A final budget will also be available at this time as the landscaping team has had a chance to source and cost materials, labor, permits, etc.

Project contracting and management – The final step of the design process is the projecting contracting and management. Once the contract is signed, the design process is over and the project begins! It’s important to know that once the contact is signed any changes can cause project delays and cost more money. Be sure to ask lots of questions during the concept and drawing phases to keep the project on time and within budget.

Drawing up a landscape design is much more than simply putting some new plants in the ground or adding a patio. A true landscape design takes into consideration how you use your outdoor space and your vision for it.