Although I am still juggling a few horticultural consultancy and landscape architect projects at the moment I have put on my time management cap and set aside a few moments a day to begin my landscape architecture blog. For those who’d like to discuss their own landscape design needs be assured I am a fully qualified landscape architect (MA Hons) with over 20 years in the horticultural industry, and even a little experience of the construction industry. If it’s landscape, I’ve been there, which is why I was surprised to read the headline “Emphasis on high-quality landscaping is giving housing developers an edge and netting a range of economic benefits” in last week’s Horticulture Week.
I was surprised because I assumed anyone considering improving their private or commercial land and property must have realised what a landscape architect can bring to their project. Obviously I was wrong, it seems the public perception of a landscape architect is muddled to say the least. Many homeowners know that their garden can represent a percentage of their property value, with extensive land even more so, but few realise by how much. In 1999 a survey was carried out in Virginia USA which marked the percentage at a whopping 15%. A sizeable commodity, worth as much if not more than most new extensions, and at a fraction of the cost to radically improve.
However when one breaks down the figures it makes for even more fascinating reading, the added value of a landscaped garden is most reliant on the sophistication of planting as opposed to plant diversity and design value. I myself have over 20 years experience in horticulture, my father twice as long in the same industry, helping him to run a successful horticultural nursery in Kent. I was fortunate enough to learn everything I know about horticulture from a master, which means when it came to studying as a landscape architect I was one step ahead of my contemporaries, I knew planting inside out. It really does make a difference.
Understanding the life cycle of plants, their vulnerabilities and strengths, and special requirements, I have always been able to provide a far more fully rounded landscape architecture design service for my clients. This has meant than rather than merely designing a garden, I can provide alternatives which most garden designers would never consider. A landscape architect is a technically trained professional, much like an architect, with a deep understanding of a wide range of environments from rural to suburban to urban. They understand the technicalities of building requirements, ecologically sensitive enhancements to ease planning quibbles, and a broader outlook on the industry than a garden designer.
The more experience a landscape architect gathers, the more prestigious their career, the more value is added to their clients’ properties. People in Britain pay more for a landscape architect’s home, few would say the same about an interior designer’s house. Asides professional qualifications, the first is trained to assess the property in all its aspects, including inherent value, the latter focuses more on the clients’ tastes. Hence all the beige walls in Britain, no one dare take a risk in case their choices aren’t for everyone.
If you’re lost in a quagmire of landscapers and landscape designers and would like a free consultation with a fully qualified professional landscape architect then give me a call or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Although I am based in the South East of Britain I can work online almost anywhere, no matter your location, I can discuss and create digital draft designs which can be printed anywhere. It would be lovely to test my theory out!