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Implementing Landscaping Ideas Successfully  December 02, 2005

From Planning to Planting:
Implementing Landscaping Ideas Successfully

Even the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Sometimes, planning alone doesn't cut it when it comes to translating concrete landscaping ideas from the drawing board to the driveway walk. Why do some landscaping ideas fail to live up to expectations and deliver the promised results, even after you've planned everything right down to the pruner and breathable muck shoes? It all boils down to execution. Nothing kills concrete landscaping ideas faster than shoddy implementation. Proper execution of landscaping ideas requires effective communication with the people you expect to work with and constant monitoring of the process. Moreover, it is important to know how to handle unforeseen situations that may threaten to lay your concrete landscaping ideas to waste. Most importantly, it pays to start your project with landscaping ideas that are viable and resource efficient.

Source your landscape ideas from the experts

It's so easy to fall into the trap of becoming too personal with your landscape ideas. In the same way that not everyone is born to win the lottery, not all your landscape ideas are practicable. Since adopting landscapes is not exactly a cheap or lazy investment, you would be saving yourself a lot of time, money, and trouble if you get objective landscape ideas from people who know their perennials and pergolas. When your plans involve such elements as landscape lighting or desert landscaping, it is beneficial to seek the advise of professionals. Look around and you will find that there is no dearth of accurate, reliable sources of both expensive and cheap landscape ideas, but remember, you are looking for a good landscaping idea for your home. Start with books, magazines and Websites. These resources are chockfull of helpful inexpensive and free landscaping ideas for the eager do-it-yourselfer. There are also authoritative e-books that offer practical landscape tips and ideas guaranteed to interest anyone from the novice to the professional developer. You may also consult a professional designer about your landscape ideas. If you do not want to cough up the dough for the designer's fee, you can try coaxing the local nurseryman to part with a few of his well-kept landscape ideas. Lastly, you may even chat up your neighbor real estate agent for any landscape ideas that would help raise the value of your property.

Strive for low maintenance or free landscaping ideas

In order to test whether your design will successfully make the transition from paper to property, assess the viability of the intended outcome. What good are breathtaking landscapes if they would cost you all of your fortune and free time to maintain them? Make the necessary amendments to your designs once you discover that they are unsustainable. Inquire about water- and energy-efficient ideas from your local environmental protection authorities and environmental organizations. Does your landscape lighting need to be reduced to a more energy-efficient level? Do you need to look into desert landscaping before all your greens die from draught? Your landscape design will have a high chance of success if they are based on a policy of optimal resource use.

Communicate landscaping ideas effectively

When you told the developer that you wanted a cloistered retreat where you could spend some private time away from the noise and pollution, you did not mean to have a densely wooded fortress built in your backyard, did you? Failure to clearly communicate your landscaping ideas to the people who will work with you in your project could cause serious casualties. Too often, homeowners leave the entire execution of their landscaping ideas to the designer or assume that their designer would know what to do with vague, ambiguous ideas. To be executed successfully, landscapes need to be stated in explicit and straightforward terms. Your designs may not come out correctly if you just give them request for concrete blocks landscaping. Be firm about how you want the contractor to dig in your front yard. Express your misgivings about installing a gargoyle fountain in the play area. Remember that as the property owner, you have the most to lose or gain from translating your landscaping ideas into reality. Therefore, do not be coy about conveying your landscaping ideas to the people who will be doing part of the work.

When adapting designs into action, expect the unexpected

Sometimes, implementing landscape ideas is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get. A sudden change in building ordinance, a sharp rise in materials prices, a disagreement with the contractor, or even an accident can easily derail your landscape ideas. While many unforeseen events can be averted with conscientious planning, some things are simply beyond your control. The key to proper execution is knowing how to deal with less-than-fortuitous occurrences. Develop a workable contingency plan in the event that Murphy's law wreaks havoc on your designs. Involve every person responsible for bringing your landscapes to life in the task of crafting solutions to possible quandaries.

Constantly monitor how your designs are being implemented

When you look at your landscape-in-progress, does it resemble the plan you have lovingly cultivated in your mind? Checking in on the work regularly ensures that the final outcome will remain faithful to your landscaping ideas. While you can expect the designer or contractor to recommend ideas that may stray from your original plan, you can be sure that the completed work keeps most of your design intact and achieves the desired effect. Will executing your plans mean taking out another loan or excavating right up to autumn? Keeping an eye on the process will help you determine whether your plans are pushing you over the budget or extending your timetable.

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