Q&A: Expert answers to landscape design questions

By Judy Nauseef, APLD, ICNP

 Q: How do you create a landscape that both fits in and stands out?

A: First and foremost the needs and desires of the clients must be met. The special skills of a landscape designer enable her do this through meetings with the clients during the design process. She and the homeowners will want the landscape to be remarkable, causing neighbors and those driving by to take a second or third look. But, at the same time, the landscape must appear as though it has always been there, and was meant to exist in that location. These photos show landscapes in a variety of neighborhoods. Photo 1 includes a boulder wall that repeats the lines of the neighbor’s walls, but in a more creative way. The boulder wall provides a space where the homeowner can add her favorite plants. Photo 2 shows a front yard with views of a public walkway and other homes. Photo 3 depicts a private space in the backyard where a privet hedge ornamented with perennials screens those views. Photo 4 is of prairie-style house and landscape with meadow and forest beyond. The shapes, form and hues of the beds and plants reflect those in the distance. Try these design tools.

Study the views from the site of neighboring yards, and decide which must be screened and which can be borrowed.
Find out if residents of the neighborhood stroll between yards or keep strictly to their own.
Find out if there are children in the neighborhood who your clients welcome or, conversely, wish to keep out of their yard.
Create public and private spaces within the landscape design.
Link the natural landscape within view to the project to enhance the designed landscape and create a larger sense of place.

Judy Nauseef, APLD, ICNP, of Judy Nauseef Landscape Design, is past president of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD). She is an Iowa Nursery and Landscape Association (INLA) Certified Nursery Professional (ICNP) and a Certified Member of the APLD. For more information, visit www.judynauseeflandscapedesign.com

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