August 3, 2015

Residential Landscaping in Westchester

What do you need to know before you complete residential landscaping in Westchester County? Even if you can decorate a living area or bedeck a bedroom with the best of them, landscape design has a unique set of challenges that may leave you stumped.

Not only does it require a totally different skill set from interior design, but it also changes and evolves over time — flowers wither, trees mature, shrubs grow and spread. And that’s where a Westchester residential landscaping pro, such as the knowledgeable folks at Friendly Lawn Care, can prove to be invaluable.

Follow our tips for finding, hiring and working with landscapers to make your yard the envy of the neighborhood:

First, determine which type of Westchester residential landscaping pro suits your needs. Before you get started, you’ll need to determine the skill set that best matches the scope of work you have in mind.

Westchester residential landscaping architects, who typically hold advanced degrees in their field, are trained to develop comprehensive structural plans that include plants, hardscaping, water use, drainage and more.

Westchester residential landscaping designers, by contrast, specialize in the aesthetic and horticultural, rather than structural, side of yard and garden planning. They may or may not have advanced training.

Westchester residential landscaping contractors implement the plans laid out by a landscape architect or designer. In some cases, a landscape contractor also provides design services. Depending on your vision for your yard, you may want to use any or all of these types of professionals. And, of course, Friendly Lawn Care can provide all of this type of residential landscaping in Westchester.

Set a budget. Just as with interior design and remodeling projects, have a firm idea of what you want to spend before you contact a pro. Not only will this give the landscaper a starting point and a helpful set of parameters, it will save both of you frustration down the road. You don’t want to fall in love with sketches of lavish flowers and stately trees, only to find out they’re beyond reach, and a pro doesn’t want to waste time drawing up detailed plans that will later have to be scratched.

With a target cost in hand, we can also suggest creative solutions that may never have come into play otherwise, helping you stretch your budget to get the most mileage out of each dollar.

Check licensing and references. Hiring an unlicensed landscape architect or contractor is risky at best, disastrous at worst. This is especially true when it comes to elements with safety ramifications, such as decks and retaining walls. Our past clients are pleased, we are thrilled to report.

Provide helpful documents. Although our staff will conduct an initial site visit and walk-through at the outset of the job we will most likely need a copy of your property plan in order to start work on your design, especially if there are building permits involved. You may also be asked to fill out a questionnaire or other information sheet to help us understand your needs and requests as thoroughly as possible.

Know the look you want. It helps to have at least a basic idea of your preferred style and maintenance level. Do you prefer formal gardens or a wilder, more free-form look? Do you want plants that thrive under benign neglect, or are you willing to take on specimens that need a lot of care and attention? Will you need paths, pavers or other hardscaping? How do you prefer to water? A little direction will help your pro fine-tune your options.

At the same time, allow room for creativity — our landscaper’s imagination and expertise are the reason you hired us!

Establish a maintenance plan. Once our Westchester residential landscaping crew has packed up their spades and shovels, you’re responsible for keeping your yard in tiptop shape (with our help of course!). If you’ll be handling the upkeep of your garden once it’s installed, we will provide an outline of what tasks to prepare for, as well as when and how often to do them. If you’d rather hire a gardener to do the maintenance work, we will happily work with them to ensure your residential landscaping in Westchester is well cared for at all times! Call us at: 914-737-0862 to get started