What Experiences With Clients Have Influenced Your Landscape Design Approach?


    What Experiences With Clients Have Influenced Your Landscape Design Approach?

    Landscape design is not just about aesthetics; it's about shaping experiences that resonate with both the designer and the client. From an Arborist's perspective on creating therapeutic garden sanctuaries to a broad range of additional insights, including the appreciation for minimalist design, our contributors reflect on memorable client interactions that have profoundly influenced their design philosophies. These stories highlight the evolution of landscape design practices and the diverse factors that inspire them.

    • Creating Therapeutic Garden Sanctuaries
    • Matching Design to Client Lifestyles
    • Embracing Simplicity and Sustainability
    • Prioritizing Inclusive Outdoor Spaces
    • Incorporating Smart Irrigation Technology
    • Fostering Urban Food Security
    • Appreciating Minimalist Landscape Design

    Creating Therapeutic Garden Sanctuaries

    As an arborist, a memorable project that reshaped my approach involved creating a therapeutic garden for a client with a stress-relief sanctuary in mind. They sought a space that could offer solace and a deep connection with nature. I focused on selecting trees that not only provided shade and privacy but also featured calming, rustling sounds from their leaves, such as quaking aspens and bamboo. The inclusion of a small, murmuring brook added a serene auditory experience, enhancing the peaceful atmosphere. This project underscored the significance of incorporating elements that cater to mental well-being into my designs. It has since inspired me to always consider the emotional impact of my work, aiming to create spaces that serve as a refuge and offer a sense of tranquility and connection to the natural world.

    Dylan Heath
    Dylan HeathArborist, Apex Arborists

    Matching Design to Client Lifestyles

    A memorable experience that comes to mind is when I was still learning about the industry, and I was about a year into my landscape architecture career. I had the opportunity to work with the firm's principal on a residential design project for a private homeowner, who was the client.

    At our meeting, the client enthusiastically talked about wanting a large Zen garden with beautiful landscaping throughout his backyard. My principal smiled and asked politely if this was truly something he would enjoy because a well-kept Zen garden would require a lot of maintenance.

    The principal also asked what his current lifestyle was and if he actually went into his backyard on a regular basis. The client thought about this and, deep down, realized it was mainly his parent, who also lives on the property, who liked to take long walks around the backyard.

    The client eventually came to the conclusion that he wanted an outdoor kitchen with a stove that would have a high enough BTU to accommodate his wok cooking. He also wanted a large lawn that would allow him to park his additional cars in the backyard.

    The project is currently built, and the client couldn't be happier with an outdoor space that fits his lifestyle. In lieu of the grand Zen garden, a custom, recirculating fountain with a small water spout was built that provided a sense of tranquility, which was the atmosphere the client actually wanted in his backyard. Also, a more defined path and walking loop was created for the elder parent.

    This was a memorable experience because it taught me to look deeper into the client's needs that would match their current lifestyle. An outdoor space with new amenities doesn't mean a client will change their habits to suit the new space. The outdoor space can enhance or improve what the client is already doing or loves doing.

    It's not always about the grand things, but the little things that can make a huge difference. Since then, I have learned to apply this idea of ensuring proposed features meet the client's needs as much as possible. A good design is one that can be used often, and this is a principle I have stuck by in almost a decade of being a landscape designer.

    Ting Li
    Ting LiLandscape Designer

    Embracing Simplicity and Sustainability

    The trend toward simplicity and lower maintenance has reshaped modern landscape architecture. Time and resources are valuable, so incorporating sustainable native plantings that thrive in their local environments is a key focus. Not only does this reduce the need for watering and upkeep, but it also supports local wildlife and enhances the natural beauty of the area.

    This approach reduces the ecological footprint and encourages a harmony between the built and natural environments. Consider implementing such eco-friendly strategies in your own garden to foster sustainability.

    Prioritizing Inclusive Outdoor Spaces

    Designing inclusive outdoor spaces has become increasingly important in our diverse society. A significant shift has occurred towards making gardens and landscapes fully accessible to individuals with a wide range of physical abilities. Placing an emphasis on creating paths that accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, and strollers ensures that everyone can enjoy the beauty of outdoor spaces.

    Features like raised garden beds and gently sloping walkways can also be integrated to enhance accessibility. Explore how accessible design can be incorporated into your outdoor spaces to welcome people of all abilities.

    Incorporating Smart Irrigation Technology

    In the era of smart homes and cities, the integration of technology into landscape design has taken a front seat. Innovative systems for irrigation have been developed that save water and time through automation and precise water delivery. Smart irrigation systems can be controlled via smartphones or programmed to adjust to weather conditions, ensuring that plants are watered efficiently and only when necessary.

    These technological advancements lead to greener practices and more control over garden maintenance. Look into smart irrigation solutions to keep your garden thriving with minimal effort and environmental impact.

    Fostering Urban Food Security

    Food security and sustainability have become increasingly important in our urban ecosystems. Landscape designs now often incorporate spaces for growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs. This trend not only promotes local food production but also provides educational opportunities and community engagement.

    By transforming even the smallest of urban areas into productive gardens, we can contribute to reducing food miles and creating resilient communities. Start growing your own urban garden and be a part of the movement towards food independence.

    Appreciating Minimalist Landscape Design

    The philosophy that 'less is more' has found its way into the realm of landscape design, bringing with it the benefits of a minimalist approach. By adopting a stripped-down aesthetic, outdoor spaces become serene and tranquil, providing a respite from the busy world. Lines are clean, colors are muted, and designs focus on creating calm environments where the mind can relax.

    Such simplicity can act as a counterbalance to the sensory overload experienced in everyday life. Take a moment to appreciate the tranquility of minimalist design and consider how it could bring peace into your own outdoor area.