Sustainable Landscape Design
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Below you will find a general idea of how we think about the sustainable landscape design process – from function to plant selection and beyond, we are here to help!
Sustainable Landscape Design: Creating Functional and Beautiful Outdoor Spaces
Seattle Sustainable Landscapes can help you create beautiful outdoor spaces to fit your individual needs. The function of a property is an important consideration in landscape design – it helps to determine the overall goals and priorities of the landscape. For example, a property used primarily for entertaining may require a different design than a property used primarily for relaxing or as a playground for children.
Here are some ways in which we consider the function of a property and how it can impact your landscape design:
- Layout: The layout of the landscape should be designed to support the intended use of the property. For example, a property used for entertaining may require a large patio or deck, while a property used for relaxation may benefit from a meandering pathway or a secluded garden.
- Plantings: The plantings in the landscape should be chosen to support the intended use of the property. For example, a property used for entertaining may require low-maintenance plants that can withstand heavy foot traffic, while a property used for relaxation may benefit from plants that provide shade or fragrant flowers.
- Hardscapes: The hardscapes in the landscape, such as patios, decks, retaining walls, and pathways, should be designed to support the intended use of the property. For example, a property used for entertaining may require a large patio or deck, while a property used for relaxation may benefit from a secluded seating area or a water feature.
We can help you determine the best solutions for your individual needs.
What is the design process?
There is a significant trust-building process that needs to happen when developing a successful project plan. Seattle Sustainable Landscapes handles all of the steps of the landscaping process. We will also work with third-party design firms when desired. Here is the typical process when creating a landscape design:
- Consultation: Our designer and/or project lead will meet with the homeowner to discuss their goals, preferences, and budget for the landscape design. We will also assess the site and gather information about the local climate, soil, and existing conditions.
- Concept development: Based on the information gathered in the consultation, we will develop a concept for the landscape design. This may involve sketching out ideas, creating a written proposal, or presenting the homeowner with visual aids such as diagrams or renderings.
- Design development: We will create a more detailed design plan, including specific plant and hardscape selections, as well as any irrigation and lighting plans. The homeowner will be involved in reviewing and approving the design at this stage.
- Implementation: Our landscape team with then implement the design, including ordering materials, preparing the site, and installing plants, hardscapes, and other elements.
- Maintenance: Our team will follow-up and provide guidance on how to care for and maintain the landscape over time, including recommendations for watering, fertilizing, and pruning.
By following this process, Seattle Sustainable Landscapes can work with property owners to create a customized and well-planned landscape design that meets their needs and preferences.
Elements to consider when thinking about your landscape design
Outdoor Lighting for Your Garden
Sustainable Landscape Design can incorporate energy-efficient outdoor lighting for safety and aesthetic purposes. Outdoor lighting can beautify a house in several ways:
- Highlighting architectural features: Outdoor lighting can highlight the architectural features of a house, such as a facade, windows, doors, and roofline, creating a more visually appealing and attractive appearance.
- Creating a warm and inviting atmosphere: Outdoor lighting can create a warm and inviting atmosphere around a house, making it more welcoming and enjoyable to spend time outside.
- Enhancing the overall appearance: Outdoor lighting can enhance the overall appearance of a house by adding visual interest and depth to the landscape. It can also create a cohesive and balanced look by tying together different elements of the landscape.
- Improving curb appeal: Outdoor lighting can improve the curb appeal of a house by making it more visible and attractive from the street. It can also make the house stand out from the surrounding houses and create a positive first impression.
Overall, outdoor lighting can beautify a house by highlighting its architectural features, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere, enhancing the overall appearance, and improving its curb appeal. Learn more about our outdoor lighting services.
Using Raised Planter Beds for Sustainable Gardening in Seattle
There are several factors to consider when deciding whether to use a raised planter bed or plant directly in the ground. Here are a few points to consider:
- Soil quality: If the soil in your yard is not suitable for growing plants, a raised planter bed can be a good option. This allows you to bring in soil from another location or purchase soil specifically for the purpose of growing plants in the raised bed.
- Accessibility: If you have mobility issues or find it difficult to bend down to ground level, a raised planter bed can be a more accessible option for gardening. Raised beds can also be a good choice for people with disabilities or those who use wheelchairs.
- Drainage: If the soil in your yard does not drain well or is prone to standing water, a raised planter bed can help to improve drainage. This can be especially important for plants that do not tolerate wet soil conditions.
- Pest control: Raised planter beds can also provide a physical barrier between plants and pests that may be present in the ground, such as slugs and snails. This can be a useful feature for protecting plants from damage.
Overall, there are pros and cons to both raised planter beds and planting directly in the ground. The best option for you will depend on your specific circumstances and the needs of the plants you are growing. It is a good idea to consider the soil quality, accessibility, drainage, and pest control needs of your plants when deciding whether to use a raised planter bed or plant directly in the ground.
Pollinator-Friendly Landscaping for a Sustainable Seattle Garden
Pollinator plants are plants that provide nectar and pollen for pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. These plants are important for the health and survival of pollinators, which play a critical role in the environment by pollinating a wide variety of plants, including many of the crops that we rely on for food.
There are several reasons why pollinator plants are good for bees and ultimately the environment:
- Food source: Pollinator plants provide a source of nectar and pollen for bees, which they use as a source of energy and nutrition. By planting pollinator plants in your yard or garden, you can help to ensure that bees have access to the food they need to thrive.
- Habitat: Pollinator plants can also provide habitat for bees and other pollinators, including nesting sites and shelter from the elements. By providing a variety of pollinator plants, you can create a hospitable environment for pollinators to live and reproduce.
- Biodiversity: Pollinator plants can help to support biodiversity by providing a food source and habitat for a wide variety of pollinators. By planting a diverse range of pollinator plants, you can help to support the health and diversity of pollinator populations in your area.
- Agricultural benefits: Pollinators play a critical role in agriculture by pollinating a wide variety of crops, including many of the fruits, vegetables, and nuts that we rely on for food. By planting pollinator plants and supporting the health of pollinator populations, you can help to ensure the health and productivity of agricultural systems.
Overall, pollinator plants are important for the health and survival of bees and other pollinators, and ultimately for the health of the environment. By planting pollinator plants and supporting pollinators, you can help to ensure the long-term health and sustainability of our ecosystems.
Increasing Long-Term Property Value in Seattle
Landscaping can have a significant impact on the value of a home or rental property. Here are a few ways in which good landscaping can improve home value and rental value:
- Increased curb appeal: A well-maintained landscape can greatly improve the appearance of a home or rental property, making it more attractive to potential buyers or renters. This can increase the perceived value of the property and make it more appealing on the market.
- Increased property value: A well-landscaped property can also increase the actual value of a home or rental property. According to the National Association of Realtors, good landscaping can increase a property’s value by up to 15%.
- Increased rental value: A well-landscaped property can also be more attractive to potential renters, which can increase the rental value of the property. Renters are often willing to pay more for a property that has attractive outdoor spaces, such as a well-maintained lawn or garden.
- Energy efficiency: Good landscaping can also help to improve the energy efficiency of a home or rental property. Shade trees, for example, can help to reduce cooling costs in the summer, while evergreens can provide wind protection in the winter.
- Attracting a different type of renter or buyer: By providing additional amenities and outdoor living spaces, such as a patio, deck, or outdoor kitchen there is an opportunity to attract different types of home renters and buyers that will consider the property. These features can make a property more desirable and increase its value on the market.
Overall, good landscaping can greatly improve the value of a home or rental property, both in terms of perceived value and actual value. By investing in quality landscaping, homeowners and property owners can increase the appeal and value of their properties, making them more desirable to potential buyers or renters.
Benefits of Using Native Plants in a Seattle Landscape Design
Native plants are an important element to consider in a sustainable landscape design in Seattle. Here are a few reasons why:
- Adaptability: Native plants are well-suited to the local climate and soil conditions in Seattle, making them more resistant to pests and diseases and requiring fewer inputs such as water, fertilizers, and maintenance compared to non-native plants.
- Biodiversity: Incorporating native plants into your landscape can support the local ecosystem and biodiversity by providing food and habitat for native pollinators, birds, and other wildlife.
- Sustainability: Native plants are a more sustainable choice because they do not require synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers, which can have negative impacts on the environment. They also do not need to be transported from faraway locations, reducing the carbon footprint of your landscape.
- Aesthetics: Native plants can bring beauty and interest to your landscape and can be used to create a variety of design styles. This helps to create a visually appealing and harmonious landscape that blends in with the surrounding environment.
- Low-maintenance: Native plants have adapted to the local environment and climate over time, making them better suited to thrive without the need for excessive watering, fertilizing, or pest control. This results in lower maintenance requirements and a more sustainable landscape, making native plants a popular choice for those looking for an easier-to-maintain garden or outdoor space. To outsource your maintenance needs, learn more about our yard care programs here.
By choosing native plants for your Seattle landscape design, you can create a sustainable and attractive outdoor space that supports the local ecosystem and requires minimal inputs to thrive without any of the ‘cides’ (Pesticides, herbicides, etc)!
Uses for a Pergola in an Outdoor Space
A pergola is a structure that is typically made of wood or metal and consists of upright posts or columns that support a framework of rafters or beams. Pergolas can be used in a variety of outdoor spaces, such as yards, gardens, or patios, and can serve several purposes:
- Shade: Pergolas can provide shade by allowing vines or other plants to grow over the top of the structure. This can be especially useful in hot, sunny climates, or for areas that receive a lot of direct sunlight.
- Privacy: Pergolas can also provide privacy by creating a physical barrier between your outdoor space and the surrounding area. This can be especially useful for people who live near their neighbors or who want to create a more private outdoor space.
- Visual appeal: Pergolas can also add visual appeal to an outdoor space by creating an attractive and eye-catching feature. They can be used to frame a view, create a focal point, or add an element of interest to an otherwise plain space.
- Functionality: Pergolas can also serve a functional purpose, such as providing a space to hang lights or plants, or a place to sit and relax.
Overall, pergolas can be a useful and attractive addition to an outdoor space and can serve a variety of purposes depending on the needs and preferences of the homeowner. Learn more about Pergolas.
Is this your private oasis? Is the space primarily for your pets? Your kids? Your grandkids? Or is this the space you use to host guests while sipping a Red Mountain Syrah? (P.S. if you are a wine lover let Nicolette know, her years of throwing dinner events in the Tech space and a few years of living in Woodinville have grown quite the appreciation for delicious wine!)
By considering the function of the property, Seattle Sustainable Landscapes can create a design that meets your needs and priorities.There are so many things to consider in your Landscaping project. We’d be honored to help you walk through that process and earn your trust.
From Our Clients
“This has been my favorite home improvement project. This company literally made me a yard where there previously was overgrowth, concrete, large stumps and rocks. They were able to complete the project on time and their cost was much more reasonable than others I interviewed. The project lead Fernando was hard working and communicative. The owner David (and Jeff previously) as well as the GM Chris all stayed in touch throughout the project. I would definitely use them for other projects in the future”
“The team put in an irrigation system in our front and back yard, cleaned everything up and added many new plants to the sunny and shady areas around our home. The owner was very personable, explained everything well and did exactly what he said he was going to do. He was fantastic to work with. His team was wonderful, super hard workers, and very friendly. They helped create color and beauty in every nook and cranny of our yard. My husband and I are very thankful we used this company.”
“Happy with my choice. I had a very small townhouse backyard that was a bit of a mess (low quality builder-grade plantings) and had somewhat of an idea what to do with it. They provided good advice and the final result turned out very well. Finished ahead of schedule too! One year later and I'm still happy with the result. I definitely won't forget the attention and responsiveness of this company. Thanks a bunch! ”