What's the first thing that people see when they pass by your home? No, it is not your brand new washroom or freshly painted bedroom; the first thing that they see is your lawn, your trees, your bushes, your flowers - whatever you have on your front lawn is what they see and make judgments on.

How many times have you shaken your head at a lawn that is unkempt: the grass is not mowed, there are dandelions cropping up every where, and there is junk and trash scattered across it? Most people do not allow their landscaping to become so poor, but some times every home owner needs to update their landscaping details to give their home that extra "boost".

Of all home designers, landscaping designers may be the most popular. This is both a good and bad thing; it is good, since you have many different options to choose from, with many different qualities of work and at least one landscaping designer will meet your budget. It is a bad thing, however, since with such a large group to choose from, you will be making a lot of phone calls and doing a lot of research!

Here are some things to look for in a good quality landscaping designer:

  • They LISTEN. Your vision becomes his or her vision. They may make some suggestions to further enhance your look, but they will not attempt to "bully" you into their own ideas.
  • The tips that they offer up are doable with your budget; no landscaper is going to suggest that you include a waterfall and pond when you are on the market looking for just new shrubs for under $500.
  • They show up at the correct time
  • They will test and understand the PH level of your soil; they will talk to you about any drainage issues and mention any other issues that they may foresee
  • They will work with native plants as much as possible
  • They will acknowledge the particular needs of the home owner. For instance, if there are children in the home, or pets, they will help build and design landscaping that is appropriate.

Landscaper designers should, above all other designers, practice environmentally safe (otherwise known as "green") habits. This includes using organic products, such as mulch and soil; watering that is not automatic but is rather supplied "on demand"; solar lighting options; utilize plants and other greenery to block wind from perhaps entering the home; and select trees that hold soil to help reduce the amount of erosion that can occur.

Some home owners prefer more simple designs and hire on a designer to simply choose the shrubs and trees to line their yard, whereas other home owners will ask for intricate, winding stone paths with multiple flowers and shrubs with certain color combinations and textures. Remember, the design that you choose for landscaping should match your home's design, your lifestyle needs, and your budget. For instance, if you are in no way interested in gardening and do not want to hire on a gardener, go for a simple design. Otherwise, your gorgeous landscape will be overtaken by weeds because you haven't a desire to weed on your weekends.