Although hiring a Landscape Designer or Architect for your landscape may seem expensive, it’s truly the only way to get a perfect end result and one that will continue to grow more beautiful long after you’ve forgotten the cost. A Landscape Designer brings intelligent solutions, creative insight and technical design skills that take years of training to accomplish. Keep reading to discover some of their secrets. 

Designers are skilled at Transforming Problem Yards into Functional Landscapes

Every backyard has its challenges and problematic areas, but a truly talented Landscape Architect thrives on adversity when creating a landscape design. He or she has the training, experience and skills to apply an appropriate solution depending on the situation. A wet, marshy area can be quickly remedied by correcting the grade and adding drainage. A dark, barren area can be transformed into an enchanting space under the trees complete with a bench, stone patio and cascading water.  A good designer knows that if there is a problem, it is there to be solved, and the more challenging it is the better! Most times, the answer for an unattractive or unusable backyard can be either decorative where unpromising situations become a positive asset, furnished with features such as pots or statuary, or common sense, such as the use of appropriate planting that will take root in difficult places. While ornamentation depends on personal choice, usually reflecting themes inside the house, the planting option is purely horticultural, which many people find difficult. Landscape designers have spent years learning the native botanicals that will thrive in the area. They have the skill and knowledge to correctly choose plants that will grow in the most dire conditions – hot, cold, wet or dry, sunny or shady.


Designers know how to Create Strategically Placed Lighting for Night Time Magic

Back in the day, landscape lighting either consisted of one big bright floodlight or was extensive enough to be compared with illuminated holiday decorations. We’ve come along way, and residential exterior lighting is now much more sophisticated and beautiful. Outdoor landscape lighting essentially falls into two categories: practical and decorative. This is no problem for larger outdoor living areas, but with a small yard and little space the two have to be combined. This is when thoughtful installation is important for a beautiful end result. 

In practical terms, landscape lighting needs to be planned and placed not only to achieve a beautiful effect, but also to ensure homeowners are able to see around the yard after dark.  Garden gateways, paths, steps and sitting areas all need proper illumination. The level of brightness is an important question here but a professional is experienced in what voltage to use. Designers know that a low light value is often far more effective and certainly more attractive than a searchlight. A designer will effectively plan and place fixtures where they work best; softly glowing lights set into the sides of steps or at a low level alongside a path will be far better than a bright light  illuminating the top of your head. 

Landscape Designers know when and where to add Water

Of all the elements in a garden, water is perhaps the most enchanting. It can be versatile, subtle, bold, reflective, expansive, or just perfectly simple. It provides sound and movement, a habitat for fish, plants, and wildlife, and it very often becomes an enticing focal point for the whole yard. The eye-catching position of a water feature in a backyard landscape is important and should be considered during the initial part of creating the design. It could be modern or traditional, but above all else, it will bring the place alive. It will almost certainly be small, since the available space in a yard is not likely to be great. 


With the restriction of space, many people automatically reject an open pool or pond of water in favor of a wall-mounted or smaller feature.  However, a relatively large decorative pool in small yard can look fantastic. It all depends on what you want from your backyard space, and if you are prepared to sacrifice lawn area, the results can be spectacular. Designers know that a great advantage of a decorative pool is reflection, which can bring a whole new dimension of echoed images to your outdoor living space. A reflecting pool can increase available light with its mirror-like quality, produce rippling shadow patterns on adjoining walls and offer space for all kinds of aquatic plants and beautiful water lily blooms. 


A backyard water garden can be perfectly still and serene, subtly rippled with a bubble jet or full of life with a fabulous splashing fountain. There is no other garden feature with so many moods, which will change throughout the day and over the entire year with the turning of the seasons. If you have space and a sloping yard, one pool can tumble or spill into another. For smaller back yards a wall-mounted spout could fall to a larger pool below. The choice of shapes, too, are endless, from a perfect circle or rectangle to a complex geometric pattern. A good landscape designer is careful to keep in mind the relationship of any such shape and size to the overall yard design for a pleasing end result.

Landscape Designers know how to use Mystery and Surprise

The manipulation of space in your outdoor living area can provide endless interest in your yard. Outdoor living spaces can be compared to the rooms inside the house. Open-plan homes become more attractive when you are able to easily move from room to room or area to area. Professionals know that the particular division material used to create an outdoor room is not important in spatial terms; the appeal is in the act of discovery. Every great designer knows the secret to an enticing landscape is the creation of interest; if you enter a yard where everything is visible at a glance, the end result is pretty boring. If, on the other hand, you view your yard, however small it may be, and are confronted by a series of individual sections or screens, there is a whole new experience in store with each turn.  A fabulous landscape design will incorporate the classic ingredients of tension, mystery and surprise. 


If you’d like to transform your backyard into a fun functional space our landscape designers would love to help. Call Coogan’s Design Build at 704-889-1500. We make Landscape Design easy!