Monday, July 16th, 2018

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Good home design at this time of year requires landscape experti

Good home design at this time of year requires landscape expertise

By Lauri Gross

By Lauri Gross

Many experts say that professional, attractive landscaping can add 10, 15, even 25 percent to the value of your home. But that’s not what’s most important, according to Dennis Barriball, owner and president of Hemlock Landscapes, Inc. of Chagrin Falls. “More important than the financial value is how you feel when you come home,” he said.
He added, “People want to come home, relax and enjoy their yard, their family and their time. They don’t have time to mess around in the yard. Now more than ever, it’s important. People are busier and working harder.”
For many people, enjoying their yard means not having to mow it. Others might decide to add a patio or garden area. Whether you choose a landscape company for routine maintenance like lawn cutting or for custom-designed and installed landscape features, your decision should begin with an assessment.
Mr. Barriball advises clients to begin their assessment by thinking about their goals and vision for their yard. Next, he says, choose a landscape company that will analyze your property and its attributes and develop a plan for making your vision a reality. “Without a plan,” warned Mr. Barriball, “your garden space may look like clown pants: a spot of this and a spot of that among things that clash.” Instead, your landscaper should create a perfect jigsaw puzzle. “When that last plant goes in the ground, the picture should look perfect,” he said.
Joe Drake, President of J.F.D. Landscapes of Auburn Township, agreed. “Good design is paramount to having a good landscape. Without a plan, you might spend more money to correct things than if you had done it right the first time.” A plan is just as important for a garden with walkways, benches or a trellis as it is for a casual wetland or woodland garden. “You have to understand the site and work with its natural elements,” offered Mr. Barriball.
Alex Holocker, owner of Kingsview Landscaping of Sagamore Hills, advised how to choose the right landscaper. “Find out how long they’ve been in business, check references and professional affiliations, see actual work they’ve done and make sure you’re comfortable with their style,” he said.
As outdoor living spaces continue to grow in popularity, many people opt for a “staycation” where the family takes a vacation by staying home. You might consider enlisting a landscaper’s help in making your yard feel like a vacation spot.
Tom McHenry, owner of McHenry Landscaping in Chesterland, added, “A professional can help you determine if you need a landscape architect or if a landscape designer is appropriate for your project. You need an architect for plans and permits and large upscale projects. If you are landscaping a partial area of your yard or updating your landscaping, a designer is just fine.”
Homeowners must also consider maintenance requirements. “The days of clipped hedges and formal rose gardens are long gone,” said Mr. Barriball. But still, he said, every garden requires some level of maintenance. “We try to offer designs that fit the client’s commitment to maintenance.” Choosing native plants that require less watering and maintenance is a good idea for the environment as well as for the homeowner.
Bill Dysert, owner of Exscape Designs in Chardon, offered additional eco-friendly landscape ideas. “Utilize native materials already on site,” he said. “Also, stick to natural elements like real stone versus concrete pavers. We sometimes move trees and shrubs that are already on a homeowner’s property, and, rather than replace soil, we would rather amend the native soil on site. Planting in the right space helps keep gardens low maintenance and sustainable by ensuring that plants don’t overgrow their space.”
Alex Holocker added, “With professional landscaping, homeowners will get many, many years of enjoyment out of their homes.”

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