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Landscape Benefits: Aesthetics,

Function, and Low Maintenance

If you’re considering a landscaping project, then you’re bound to have many questions including exactly what the best options are and how much things will cost.  My current and new customers often ask me questions around these topics.  Over time, I developed one approach that may help organize your thoughts and approach to deciding what landscaping makes sense for you. This approach assumes you’re going to hire a landscape contractor to handle installation of landscaping.  If you’re considering do-it-yourself, then you’ll also have to consider all the issues of hidden costs for permits, storage, delivery, equipment, trash removal, etc.

Costs ?

A first approach is to consider cost-benefit, but I always suggest that you avoid focusing first on cost.  Why?  Because cost can be confusing before you know what you really want out of your landscaping project.  If you’re unsure about the benefits you want from your landscaping, then the concept of cost will be unsure and confusing.  Start with benefits! A little discussion about cost is useful though.  Remember there are two primary sources of cost from your landscaping: Cost to install: o One time cost (per project) o New landscaping efforts Maintenance cost: o Recurring cost o Maintaining your landscaping

Benefits ?

While you may consider many things beneficial in landscaping, let’s start with Beneficial Objectives to your landscaping.  These are really those high-level motivations that drive you to consider landscaping in the first place.  It’s a good idea to write down what benefits you seek from landscaping.  Why?  Because later on when you have 101 options to consider and you must eliminate some, you can ask yourself “Does this option really contribute to the landscaping objective I want?”  You can also communicate these to your landscape contractor so they know what you want to achieve. Here is a list a of a few beneficial objectives that might be useful in starting to think about landscaping benefits for your project.  You may think of others not listed that are more specific to your situation. Beneficial Objectives: Pleasure o Relaxing o Solitude o Socializing with family and friends o Enjoying the outdoors conveniently Convenience o Easy movement and function within your yard o Keeping your house clean o Storage o Low-maintenance Health o Relaxing o Exercise o Fresh air Financial o Increased property value o More customers arriving and returning to your business o Perceived value influencing a customer to purchase the property o Required by covenants o Reducing landscaping maintenance These benefits continue year-after-year, so consider that costs are really spread over time.  With your objectives made clear, it’s time to add some detail about the actual landscaping benefits you want to consider.   I group them into three categories to simplify the approach. Aesthetics, Function, and Low-maintenance. These are the real benefits that are added to your yard.  When you consider a particular element, consider how it contributes or detracts from these three categories.  Here is a list of Landscaping Benefits in three categories.  You will want to consider others that do not appear in these lists.

Landscaping Benefit: Aesthetics

Aesthetics is one of the first things people think about.  You want your property to look good.  It’s quite easy to make a mistake here.  If you add too much to a yard, you may end up with the “Grizwold Effect” from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  Try not to go overboard! Beauty o Form, shape, color Consider the seasons o Curved lines versus straight and angular lines o Consider different perspectives From the street From your yard From inside your home looking outside o Day-night: Exterior lighting Elegance o Balance between too little and too much o Having each element have multiple landscaping benefits (Aesthetics, Function, and Low-maintenance) Harmony, Unity o Matching existing landscaping o Matching or standing out in neighborhood o Harmony with the architecture of your home o Having elements fit together well o Consider seasonal changes Requirements o Covenant requirements for aesthetics

Landscaping Benefit: Function

Function is another common starting place for those considering landscaping.  I want a covered patio!   While that’s a good start, consider the broader thoughts about use.  Consider aesthetics and low-maintenance as you choose the best functionality and how it is is implemented. Use o Cooking Outdoor kitchens o Electricity access o Entertaining o Exercise o Furniture Built into the landscaping (e.g., benches/banchos) o Gathering areas o Movement Travel throughout your yard between spaces for people, equipment, and maintenance activity. o Pets o Play For kids, for adults o Relaxing, soothing Water features, shade o Solitude Hidden areas Gazebos, Pergolas, Shade structures o Sports Basketball courts, tether-ball, boccie ball, horse-shoe pits, etc. o Storage Barn, shed, place for trash cans o Warmth Fire pits, fireplaces, Kivas o Wildlife Attracting wild birds, animals, etc. Exposure control o Shade, Sun o Views o Wind o Water flow from rain, snow, etc. Avoid erosion, flooding o Effects from neighboring property Runnoff, weeds, noise, activity Safety o Kids, Elderly, Pets o Sharp corners, drop-offs, tripping hazards o Handicap access o Poisonous plants Privacy o From neighbors Fencing Vegetation o From street o Audio / Sound Security o Lighting o Gates - Locking o Ready for security alarm features

Landscaping Benefit: Low-Maintenance

Low-maintenance benefit is the avoidance of undue maintenance by choosing what you want while being mindful of the maintenance in the future.  Balance maintenance with what you can do yourself and what you have time to do.  Balance it with the cost of maintaining landscaping features you install. Also balance this with function and aesthetics.  As an extreme example, paving your entire yard with concrete is relatively low-maintenance but it is not very aesthetic! Consider the future o Have a long-term view of future plant growth in your yard. Don’t over-plant that may create crowding in the future. o Is your ground property prepared to sustain your lawn and plants? o Will pests or animals invade and eat your landscaping? Proper Irrigation o Avoid hand-watering o Consider water usage cost o Automatic watering system (not manual) Upkeep o Edging to prevent rock movement, ease of mowing, etc. o Raking and blowing leaves o Water features Water usage You may not care about low-maintenance options if the benefits you’ve chosen outweigh maintenance costs for you.

Making Your Lists

As you review the items above.  Consider making lists that will help you plan and communicate with your landscape contractor.  Your contractor may have other ideas that can contribute to your planning, including cost of installing and maintaining. Beneficial objectives important to you Landscaping benefits important to you: o Aesthetics, o Function, o Low-maintenance When you obtain quotes for various elements of your yard, you’ll start to obtain installation and maintenance costs that you can weigh with the benefits you’ve listed.  You can then start ordering these with the best cost-benefit at the top.  If you have a limited budget, draw a line where you want to stop for this project and save to start on the next!
Landscape benefits include the enjoyment of your property and the outdoors. Concete Patio, planter, table chairs by Rising Sun Landscaping & Maintenance Balance cost and benefit in lanscape design and construction. New landscaping is a place where familys will gather and spend time together. Retaining wall and walkways are benefits in landscaping. Ideas for enjoyable landscaping by Rising Sun Landscape & Maintenance Family cookouts in a landscaped yard are great ways to enjoy your landscaping. Fire pit and gathering areas are great benefits in landscaping. Kiva and bancos create great gathering areas for family and friends in your landscape design. Landscaping attracts wildlife, another benefit for landscaping. Enjoying back yard landscaping with friends by Rising Sun Landscape & Maintenance. Landscape Benefit Install Cost Maintenance Cost Patio $2000 Low Sod/Lawn $700 Medium Irrigation System $2500 Low Textured Sidewalks $4000 Low Garden $450 High Aesthetics Low Maintenance Function Landscaping Benefits
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Blog:

Landscape Benefits:

Aesthetics, Function, and

Low

Maintenance

If you’re considering a landscaping project, then you’re bound to have many questions including exactly what the best options are and how much things will cost.  My current and new customers often ask me questions around these topics.  Over time, I developed one approach that may help organize your thoughts and approach to deciding what landscaping makes sense for you. This approach assumes you’re going to hire a landscape contractor to handle installation of landscaping.  If you’re considering do-it-yourself, then you’ll also have to consider all the issues of hidden costs for permits, storage, delivery, equipment, trash removal, etc.

Costs ?

A first approach is to consider cost-benefit, but I always suggest that you avoid focusing first on cost.  Why?  Because cost can be confusing before you know what you really want out of your landscaping project.  If you’re unsure about the benefits you want from your landscaping, then the concept of cost will be unsure and confusing.  Start with benefits! A little discussion about cost is useful though.  Remember there are two primary sources of cost from your landscaping: Cost to install: o One time cost (per project) o New landscaping efforts Maintenance cost: o Recurring cost o Maintaining your landscaping

Benefits ?

While you may consider many things beneficial in landscaping, let’s start with Beneficial Objectives to your landscaping.  These are really those high-level motivations that drive you to consider landscaping in the first place.  It’s a good idea to write down what benefits you seek from landscaping.  Why?  Because later on when you have 101 options to consider and you must eliminate some, you can ask yourself “Does this option really contribute to the landscaping objective I want?”  You can also communicate these to your landscape contractor so they know what you want to achieve. Here is a list a of a few beneficial objectives that might be useful in starting to think about landscaping benefits for your project.  You may think of others not listed that are more specific to your situation. Beneficial Objectives: Pleasure o Relaxing o Solitude o Socializing with family and friends o Enjoying the outdoors conveniently Convenience o Easy movement and function within your yard o Keeping your house clean o Storage o Low-maintenance Health o Relaxing o Exercise o Fresh air Financial o Increased property value o More customers arriving and returning to your business o Perceived value influencing a customer to purchase the property o Required by covenants o Reducing landscaping maintenance These benefits continue year-after-year, so consider that costs are really spread over time.  With your objectives made clear, it’s time to add some detail about the actual landscaping benefits you want to consider.   I group them into three categories to simplify the approach. Aesthetics, Function, and Low-maintenance. These are the real benefits that are added to your yard.  When you consider a particular element, consider how it contributes or detracts from these three categories.  Here is a list of Landscaping Benefits in three categories.  You will want to consider others that do not appear in these lists.

Landscaping Benefit: Aesthetics

Aesthetics is one of the first things people think about.  You want your property to look good.  It’s quite easy to make a mistake here.  If you add too much to a yard, you may end up with the “Grizwold Effect” from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  Try not to go overboard! Beauty o Form, shape, color Consider the seasons o Curved lines versus straight and angular lines o Consider different perspectives From the street From your yard From inside your home looking outside o Day-night: Exterior lighting Elegance o Balance between too little and too much o Having each element have multiple landscaping benefits (Aesthetics, Function, and Low-maintenance) Harmony, Unity o Matching existing landscaping o Matching or standing out in neighborhood o Harmony with the architecture of your home o Having elements fit together well o Consider seasonal changes Requirements o Covenant requirements for aesthetics

Landscaping Benefit: Function

Function is another common starting place for those considering landscaping.  I want a covered patio!   While that’s a good start, consider the broader thoughts about use.  Consider aesthetics and low-maintenance as you choose the best functionality and how it is is implemented. Use o Cooking Outdoor kitchens o Electricity access o Entertaining o Exercise o Furniture Built into the landscaping (e.g., benches/banchos) o Gathering areas o Movement Travel throughout your yard between spaces for people, equipment, and maintenance activity. o Pets o Play For kids, for adults o Relaxing, soothing Water features, shade o Solitude Hidden areas Gazebos, Pergolas, Shade structures o Sports Basketball courts, tether-ball, boccie ball, horse- shoe pits, etc. o Storage Barn, shed, place for trash cans o Warmth Fire pits, fireplaces, Kivas o Wildlife Attracting wild birds, animals, etc. Exposure control o Shade, Sun o Views o Wind o Water flow from rain, snow, etc. Avoid erosion, flooding o Effects from neighboring property Runnoff, weeds, noise, activity Safety o Kids, Elderly, Pets o Sharp corners, drop-offs, tripping hazards o Handicap access o Poisonous plants Privacy o From neighbors Fencing Vegetation o From street o Audio / Sound Security o Lighting o Gates - Locking o Ready for security alarm features

Landscaping Benefit: Low-Maintenance

Low-maintenance benefit is the avoidance of undue maintenance by choosing what you want while being mindful of the maintenance in the future.  Balance maintenance with what you can do yourself and what you have time to do.  Balance it with the cost of maintaining landscaping features you install. Also balance this with function and aesthetics.  As an extreme example, paving your entire yard with concrete is relatively low- maintenance but it is not very aesthetic! Consider the future o Have a long-term view of future plant growth in your yard. Don’t over-plant that may create crowding in the future. o Is your ground property prepared to sustain your lawn and plants? o Will pests or animals invade and eat your landscaping? Proper Irrigation o Avoid hand-watering o Consider water usage cost o Automatic watering system (not manual) Upkeep o Edging to prevent rock movement, ease of mowing, etc. o Raking and blowing leaves o Water features Water usage You may not care about low- maintenance options if the benefits you’ve chosen outweigh maintenance costs for you.

Making Your Lists

As you review the items above.  Consider making lists that will help you plan and communicate with your landscape contractor.  Your contractor may have other ideas that can contribute to your planning, including cost of installing and maintaining. Beneficial objectives important to you Landscaping benefits important to you: o Aesthetics, o Function, o Low-maintenance When you obtain quotes for various elements of your yard, you’ll start to obtain installation and maintenance costs that you can weigh with the benefits you’ve listed.  You can then start ordering these with the best cost-benefit at the top.  If you have a limited budget, draw a line where you want to stop for this project and save to start on the next!
Aesthetics Low Maintenance Function Landscaping Benefits Aesthetics Low Maintenance Function Landscaping Benefits Landscape Benefit Install Cost Maintenance Cost Patio $2000 Low Sod/Lawn $700 Medium Irrigation System $2500 Low Textured Sidewalks $4000 Low Garden $450 High
           Contact us for a free estimate! Available everyday 7 am to 8 pm   505-274-1527 
Rio Rancho • Albuquerque • West Mesa • Corrales • Taylor Ranch • East Mountains Bernallilo  • Algodones • Placitas • Cedar Crest • Tijeras • Los Lunas • Belen • Santa Fe