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Best Spring Gardens

How landscape designers can help you create your dream backyard

Article by Taylor Van Arsdale

Photography by Taylor Van Arsdale

Originally published in Boise Lifestyle

Spring is here, and everyone is eager to get working on their backyard projects. But before you begin, you may want to check out some landscape designer tips that can help you make the best use of your time, and get the most out of your garden.


Idaho is classified as Zone 6b-7a. However, here in Ada County, we are technically in Zone 7a; which loosely means our winters reach freezing and can be a bit longer and our spring season sometimes gets off to a rocky start. Translation: there’s typically a rush to the garden centers when Spring rolls around. You will want to know your specific hardiness zone so you can optimize what plants you purchase.

Taylor’s Tip: Find your hardiness zone with this USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map Just type in your zip code. It’s interesting to note that most areas are 4 degrees warmer than they were just 10 years ago. 

New Ideas/A Vision

Having a consultation with a designer may show you things about your yard that you never imagined. Maybe you wanted a vegetable garden but didn’t think you’d have enough room, or perhaps there are varieties of plants that you didn’t realize might work for your space. A designer can bring new ideas to the table and help you realize the full potential of your yard, back or front. 

Computer Aided Designs

A good landscape designer will be able to show you your vision with the help of a computer aided design program. The design may be a three-dimensional drawing or an overhead or both. Some designers will sketch out a design by hand as well. This can really help you imagine how your outdoor space will look once it’s completed. And if you don’t like certain elements, it’s much easier to change a design before you install. 

Taylor’s Tip: Do expect to pay an additional fee for any design-related work.

Designer’s Skill Set

How many times have you thought, I’d like a tree here or some bushes there, then gone to the garden store and either been overwhelmed by choices or not found what you initially wanted? Purchasing the right plants for your home is a process that a good landscape designer can quickly and easily accomplish. Knowing what plants will do well in shade vs. sun, or in certain types of soil, and how they will look at various times of the year is a valuable skill set that can save you time and energy when determining what plants to choose.

Increase Your Home’s Value

Enhancing your landscaping doesn't just boost your home's curb appeal; it can significantly increase its overall value. Beyond the aesthetic appeal, studies indicate that landscaping efforts can lead to a 7% increase in your home's value. The National Association of Realtors supports this notion, revealing that the average return on investment for landscaping projects is an impressive 104%.

To capitalize on this potential value addition, consider a mix of strategies. Start by maintaining a well-manicured lawn, ensuring that grass is healthy and any weeds are promptly addressed. Planting flowers and shrubs strategically can add vibrant colors and texture to your outdoor space. Additionally, well-placed trees not only contribute to visual appeal but also provide shade, potentially increasing energy efficiency.

Investing in hardscaping elements such as walkways, patios, or a well-designed front entrance can elevate your home's exterior charm. These improvements not only create an inviting atmosphere but also add functionality and aesthetic value.

By dedicating some effort and resources to landscaping, you not only enhance your living experience but also make a smart investment in the long-term value of your property.

I hope this article or can help you with your design decisions! See you in the garden.

Top 5 reasons you may wish to consider working with a landscape designer:

  • More Effective Use of Your Time
  • Your Vision Can be Accurately Realized
  • A Designer Provides a Unique Skill Set
  • Computer Aided Designs Make it Easy to Imagine the finished product
  • Can Increase You Home Value
  • Landscape Design Before
  • Computer aided design
  • Shade Plants for a North Facing Garden
  • Overhead Landscape Design
  • Right Side Backyard BEFORE
  • Left Side AFTER
  • Right Side AFTER
  • Left Side of Backyard Before