(Note: This article was originally published on April 6, 2007)

A professional Landscape Designer has knowledge and expertise in the areas of grading and drainage. An assessment should be made of drainage issues, as water must be guided away from the house and kept from pooling on the property. There are many ways to accomplish this. Some of the common solutions are the creation of swales or the utilization of drains with connecting pipes, leading water to a lower area. Grading is normally looked at in conjunction with drainage considerations. One trained in Landscape Architecture can utilize various techniques to re-form the terrain of the land, if appropriate. The land can simply be re-graded, altering the existing slopes, or retaining walls can be designed into the landscape. Often a combination of both is used, depending on the goals of the Client.

A Landscape Designer can also be skilled in landscape lighting design, which should not only be beautiful, but also functional. Lighting is needed along paths for nighttime use and safety in the landscape. Up lighting or down lighting of trees and accent lighting on special features can create a very enchanting vista. It should, however, be used in moderation to create a subtle atmosphere.

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Expertise in using paving materials in the landscape is another reason to use a Landscape Designer. For example, the positioning and design of a front walkway should create space for a large planting bed along the house foundation, where plants can be layered and trees can be planted at the corners. Walkways should have flowing curves or interesting geometric shapes. The Landscape Designer has knowledge of the various paving materials available, and can guide the Client accordingly. The natural beauty of stone cannot be disputed. However, even concrete with added color and/or interesting geometric scoring could look very nice. Pavers, brick, and loose stone are some of the other materials that can be used. One must understand, however, that the beauty of the design in its entirety is just as important as the many details that make up a good design.

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Planting design is an area where Landscape Designers are well trained, as horticulture is an important element in the landscape. Plants should be used in mass with focal points introduced at strategic points. Balance must always be created. Varying textures should be used so that the prominence of special plants stands out against each other. For example, a hedge of Boxwood, with its small dark green leaves, would serve as an excellent background for Daylilies with their elongated, lighter green leaves and large colorful flowers. At the same time, the design must flow and be unified. Landscape Architecture includes the knowledge of plant requirements, whether they are sun and shade conditions, growth patterns or plant features. Along with the creation of a wonderful design, professional landscape plans can include color in the garden throughout the year, including spectacular fall color and winter interest.

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A Landscape Designer can transform your property into a beautiful landscape with interesting features, balance, scale, color and functionality. The cost for professional services of someone educated in Landscape Architecture is worth the end product and can make all the difference in the world in creating the type of landscape one has dreamed about. To learn more about landscape design ideas and see some projects, visit http://www.landscape-design-advice.com