The Rose City is known for its lush urban forests and quaint neighborhoods with beautiful mature landscaping. With an estimated 1.2 million park trees and almost 3 million private property trees, Portland is truly a nature lover’s paradise. Whether you’re new to the PNW or have lived here all your life, you know just how much impact landscaping can have on your property’s aesthetic and monetary value.
The best residential landscaping projects always begin with a design phase. At Blessing Landscapes, our incredible landscape designers work with Portland homeowners to create beautiful, balanced plans that take into account each client’s unique property characteristics, budget, timeline, preferences, and needs.
Keep reading to find out how to plan your perfect Portland landscape project and transform your outdoor space!
Balancing Wants and Needs in Portland’s Unique Landscape
Portland is a unique city with an abundance of quaint charm and natural beauty. It’s the ideal backdrop for landscape designs that incorporate a mix of lush greenery and creative elements.
Landscape planning always requires a balance of function and form. What you want doesn’t always translate perfectly to what you need or what the climate will allow. Striking this balance takes patience, creativity, and a splash of compromise. But when you develop a plan that marries these vital elements, you gain a landscape that truly expresses your individuality.
Understanding Your Needs
Addressing functionality in your landscape design may seem like the “boring” part of the process. But these are the qualities that allow your garden to be more than just a nice view. Here are a few examples of features you may truly need in your landscape:
- Fences (especially if you have kids or pets)
- Privacy hedges
- Retaining walls
- Outdoor lighting
Managing Your Wants
You deserve a landscape that looks beautiful and gives you the features you want, as well as those you need. While every feature you include needs to realistically accommodate your budget and other restrictions, there are many ways to adapt your design to satisfy your personal style. Here are some beautiful luxury features to consider including in your design:
- Water features
- Decks and patios
- A pool or hot tub
- An outdoor kitchen
- A fire pit
- A synthetic lawn or putting green
- An edible garden
What Not To Do: Lessons Learned From Starting Without a Plan
At Blessing Landscapes, we follow a structured landscaping design/build process, and there’s a very good reason for this. The worst thing you can do during a major landscaping project is start planting and building without a solid plan. This almost always leads to a poorly designed landscape, excessive and unnecessary costs, and unforeseen delays.
It’s always easier to make changes on paper than in the field. That’s why we always start with an initial consultation and analysis of your property. Here are a few mistakes to avoid:
- Don’t start without a good foundation – Site conditions like soil health, slope, sunlight, and weather conditions are essential components to consider when creating a landscape design.
- Don’t lose sight of your goals – Are you excited about growing your own edible garden? Looking to create a low-maintenance landscape? Planning to sell and hoping to get a good return on your investment? Your specific objectives should help guide the design process.
- Don’t throw money on the ground – Allocate your resources wisely by prioritizing the elements of your landscape that are most important to you. The last thing you want to do is spend your entire budget on a feature that you won’t truly enjoy.
Your Portland Landscaping Journey
Work with what you have.
No one property is exactly like another. The site conditions on your lot should inform the way you approach landscape design and planning. Here are some essential factors to keep in mind when you’re planning out your project:
- The shape, size, and slope of your lot
- Soil health and acidity
- Sunlight and shade
- Moisture levels
- Weather conditions
- Any pets or wildlife that visit your property
Consider your wants and needs.
It’s a good idea to make a list of all your wants and needs and rank them in terms of importance. This will ensure you spend your time, money, and effort as efficiently as possible. Even if you’re working with a large budget, you should always be ready to allocate more resources toward the elements that are truly important to you.
Start with a vision and create a plan.
Gather inspiration before you settle on any one design. It can be helpful to create a physical or digital vision board with photos of landscapes you love! Not only does this help you solidify the features that you want to see in your final result, but it also helps your landscape designer understand your vision before working with you to create a detailed plan!
Work with people you trust.
Any time you have people working on your property, it’s important to do your due diligence and make sure you hire people you can count on. Whether you’re hiring someone to do routine landscape maintenance or you’re planning a large multi-contractor project, it’s worth carefully vetting anyone you choose to work with.
Be ready to adapt.
You can think of your landscape as a living, breathing organism. Inspiration continues through the process of reconstructing your outdoor space. The best plans take into account the possibility of change. Trust your instincts, keep your eye on the prize, and be prepared to adapt if you run into unforeseen roadblocks or need to adjust your plan along the way.
Investing Your Money Wisely
Smart budgeting is an essential part of any project. While you may think that your dream garden is out of reach, with the right approach and proper planning, you can get a gorgeous outdoor space without going over your landscaping budget.
Here are some ways to invest your money wisely during the design phase:
- Start with your foundational needs – You want to make sure you can cover the features that are non-negotiable before incorporating more luxurious elements.
- Think about long-term expenses – Maintenance costs can start to add up overtime. While a patio or winding garden path may seem expensive to install, it won’t require a lot of maintenance and upkeep over time.
- Contemplate your return on investment – A beautiful landscape will undoubtedly increase the value of your home. If you’re planning to sell your property soon, it may be worth investing more in your outdoor space.
- Work with a professional – At Blessing Landscapes, we’ll provide you with an accurate estimate and work with you to create a beautiful design within your budget.
Craft Your Personal Portland Oasis With Blessing Landscapes
Since 1991, Blessing Landscapes has been working with homeowners to create beautiful outdoor spaces in Portland and nearby cities.
Our dedicated and experienced team of landscape designers always take the time to get to know you, understand your vision and goals, and create a design that truly suits your needs and lifestyle. We also provide state-of-the-art integrated installation and landscape maintenance services to make sure you have a streamlined, smooth design/build process.
Contact us today to discuss your project and find out how we can help transform your vision into a reality!