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Creating Sustainable, Beautiful Landscapes

Apr 20, 2015 05:00AM ● Published by Family Features

For most homeowners, sunny skies lead to more time spent enjoying nature in your coveted outdoor spaces. If you’ve considered revamping your open-air landscapes, let this be your season to bring the elements of beauty and design to the environment.

Homeowners who want to enhance both the aesthetics and efficiency of their outdoor spaces are not alone. In fact, a recent survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), found that sustainable and low-maintenance designs are top trends among residential landscape projects.

“The good news is that consumers care about designed landscapes that are attractive, easy to take care of and eco-friendly,” said Nancy Somerville, executive vice president and CEO of ASLA. “The survey shows that homeowners increasingly see opportunities to improve the environment right in their own backyard.”

The study, which asked landscape architects to rate the expected popularity of outdoor design elements, points to a great demand for ecologically sensitive projects intended to preserve the environment, conserve water and reduce landscape maintenance.

Here are the top five project types with the expected highest consumer demand:

  • Native plants (85 percent)
  • Native/adapted drought plants (83 percent)
  • Food/vegetable gardens (79 percent)
  • Fire pits/fireplaces (78 percent)
  • Low-maintenance landscapes (78 percent)

Go with a pro
If you’re ready to breathe these top design ideas to life in your outdoor spaces, consider hiring a pro. Here are the top five reasons for hiring a landscape architect for the job:

  • A landscape architect is well equipped to design an outdoor living space that will add value to your home, extend your living space and allow you to enjoy all that nature has to offer in a controlled setting. From arbors to fountains, they can create a space that is both inviting and environmentally sustainable.
  • Hiring a landscape architect is a terrific investment for your home. Research from Virginia Tech shows that landscapes literally grow in value over time, while traditional home additions or remodels start to lose value the minute the dust settles.
  • Landscape architects are licensed professionals who often work with landscaping or other construction companies to install their designs. Think of the fashion designer imagining an outfit while a clothing manufacturer makes the apparel, or an artist designing a wall poster that's printed by another company.
  • Landscape architects are trained to think about landscapes as systems. They will assess your property’s problem areas as well as possibilities and create a solid plan that addresses both the big picture and exact details of how your landscape will look. They will handle all the details, saving you time and stress.
  • Landscape architects will deliver a finished project that you will love and that will comply with regulations and codes. It will be a special place that you and your family and friends will enjoy for years to come.

For more landscape ideas for your home, and to find a professional in your area, visit www.asla.org.

Sponsored by American Society of Landscape Architects

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