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Landscaping Tips and Tricks

Local Landscape Architect Shares His Expert Advice on Budgeting, Building and Maintaining New Yard Projects

Article by Livia Hooson

Photography by Illustrations By Gina Dodge

Originally published in Boulder Lifestyle

The Boulder-based design firm Native Edge Landscapes is in the business of creating stunning and sustainable yards for its clients. They execute large construction remodels for both commercial and residential clients with their team of designers, architects and gardeners whose industry knowledge and experience mean they know Boulder’s unique land like the back of their hands. 

We spoke with the head landscaper of Native Edge, Adrian Flynt, who has 10 years of experience leading projects that re-envision and reconstruct people’s yards, from building outdoor living spaces to xeric landscapes. Over the last few years, he has seen a growing interest in creating environmentally-friendly landscapes where his team implements beautiful low-water yards using drought-resistant plants. They also design and execute modern outdoor spaces like patios, pergolas and areas to cook so people can enjoy Colorado’s 300-some days of sunshine a year. 

For those who are looking to start a summer yard project, whether that’s a vegetable garden or re-modeling a backyard space, Adrian’s tips and tricks are your guides to achieving a successful landscape project this season. 

Budget

The single most important thing to consider before starting a landscaping project is to develop a financial budget. Be clear and open about this with your designer so you can stay on track with your proposed budget and manage it with transparency as you progress through the landscape work. 

Understand Your Goals 

Maybe you are looking to reduce your water usage, add more color to your yard or create more outdoor seating. Getting clear on what you are looking for with your yard design is the first step, and then really understanding the reasons why comes next. Large landscaping projects should have a clear intention behind them so your money and energy are going to realistic visions.

Develop a Plan 

It’s very important to work with a designer who is excellent at listening to your ideas, who is aware of your budget and can help you to develop goals for the specific project. When it’s time to begin the work, make sure that the design expert you are working with comes to see your property to map the site and see exactly what they are working with. 

Phasing in Landscape Plans

Focus on one area at a time and then build that area out completely to your vision rather than attempting to take on the entire property design at once. Your budget can be better managed this way and you will be able to see the project come together piece by piece versus scattered work that is less than 100% complete. 

Foundation & Fundamentals

A key to long-lasting and healthy landscaping is the prep work, meaning everything that’s underneath. This includes properly establishing elements like soil prep for planting and having good drainage and irrigation systems, as these are all crucial to having your landscaping last for years to come. 

Maintenance 

For new projects, remember that it is not uncommon to see 5-10% of your new plants die within the first year of planting them because they are being placed in a completely new environment. Native Edge offers a warranty that includes replacing those plants for you. As this is an active investment to care for your plant life, make sure you are doing supplemental planting, hiring experienced gardeners and understanding that your gardens will continue to evolve. 

Keep in mind that hardscaped areas like pergolas, patios and fire pits all require maintenance every two-to-five years. 

NativeEdgeLandscapes.com

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