The Grand Design An Insiders Guide to Landscape Design

 Whether you live in a towering mid-block high-rise or a sprawling suburban  development, landscaping not only helps a co-op, condo or HOA increase and  retain property values, but has a positive impact on residents themselves—beautiful, functional green spaces and plantings increase pride of ownership,  influence morale, and just generally make a place more pleasant to be in for  owners and visitors alike. And unless there happens to be a master gardener or  landscape architect on a building board or grounds committee, chances are that  the community's administrators will have to call upon a professional landscape  specialist to help make the most of their building's potential.  

 Before You Make The Call

 So you’ve decided to get the help of a landscape professional….what now? There are some things that you can get in order before you make that call for  help, things that will make the process much easier and more likely to yield  the desired result.  

 One thing I always ask clients to think about is developing a collection of  images of landscapes, says Lauren Barry, owner and principal designer with  Project Plant in Brooklyn. “A set of photos or clippings of what the client likes or doesn’t like. It’s extremely helpful to know what kind of style the client prefers or would  rather avoid, and it can save a lot of time up front in the process.”  

 Committees can save time by having several questions answered in advance, says  Joe Costanzo, president of C & C Landscape Contractors, also based in Brooklyn: “A list of goals, what the space is gonna be used for, whether security is an  issue, aesthetics, and the type of plant material they community would like to  use.”  

 Doing some basic research about local landscapes will also be helpful to  everyone involved, continues Costanzo. “The more knowledgeable the committee is, the easier the process will be. Also, having a general budget number in mind is extremely important.”  

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