Right Plant Right Place – Weather Wise

WEATHER CONSIDERATIONS IN LANDSCAPE DESIGN

Outdoor spaces are easy to enjoy when the weather is warm and the sun is shining. Just as much as you enjoy those moderate weather conditions, so do your plants and other outdoor elements. But when the weather is cold, rainy, windy or if there’s snow in the forecast, your outdoor elements don’t get to come inside. Designing with weather in mind can enable you to relax, entertain and enjoy your outdoor living space throughout the seasons without as many worries about plant loss, pavers heaving, drainage issues, etc.

Here are some of the considerations we take into account when designing for outdoor spaces that will endure the elements:

  • Landscaping with weather in mind. Just like the produce in your local grocery store, ornamental plants have seasons. They thrive at certain times of year and they’re vulnerable other times. When designing your outdoor space, we take these vulnerable times into consideration in order to put plants that are particularly susceptible to changing conditions into protected locations. We also try to create sheltered locations with plants that may act as wind blocks or shade producers.
  • Too much water is worse than too little. Like it or not, most of the DC metro area has clay soils. We lose far more plants from poor drainage than lack of watering. For this reason, we pay particular attention in our designs to alleviating drainage problems or choosing plants that can handle wet feet. This also comes into play with our hardscape projects as water can be very destructive if not directed properly.
  • Best practices in preparing for weather extremes in the landscape. Most folks understand the basics for maintaining their outdoor spaces – yearly mulching, leaf removal, summer watering, weed and pest control, pruning, and fertilization. However, there are a great deal more services we provide that prepare your outdoor rooms for extremes in the forecast.       Topdressing dry laid patios with poly-sand, clearing drainage swales and downspout leaders, turning over or covering cast stone planters, pool/fountain/irrigation winterizations, and so many more that are specific to our clients’ spaces.
  • Adding elements to brave the elements. We work very hard to extend the enjoyment you receive from your outdoor living spaces by installing items such as covered pavilions, pergolas, swimming pools, hot-tubs, landscape lighting, fireplaces and fire pits. Whether we’re trying to get you out of the weather, provide some shade, cool you off, brighten the night air or keep things warm – we are always trying to make the outdoor spaces enjoyable for varied weather conditions. The bonus to all of these weather enhancing elements is that they look great too and add to your ability to entertain in your outdoor spaces.
  • Build a place to store it. The feedback we get from our clients on a constant basis is that their previous outdoor environments had no storage. We are always keen to look for opportunities for storage. Some of the best outdoor spaces we’ve created were started with the idea of a need for a weather resistant controlled space where cushions, outdoor media, pool toys, and other fun stuff had a home out of the weather.
  • Did We Already Say Drainage?. One of the very first things we look at in any new landscape design is drainage. If the area doesn’t drain, we’ll have dead plants, stinky grass, BUGS!, shifting hardscapes, heaving soil in winter and possibly wet basements. It’s not the sexiest part of the landscape design process, but believe us, it’s one of the most vital aspects.

By taking weather conditions into account in every facet of your landscape design, we will help you keep your outdoor space beautiful and usable all year-round. If you are considering a new landscape design, fire feature, or pool for the upcoming hot summer, contact State of the Art Landscape to schedule an appointment.

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