Designing with a purpose.

March 11, 2018

Yes, we like our outdoor spaces to be pretty. But aesthetic is not the end all and be all when it comes to landscape design. So often I see landscapes designed without a purpose. Paths leading to nowhere. Random plant groupings that serve little purpose beyond providing color or evergreen screen. Plenty of missed opportunities and  existing issues are either ignored or covered up.

There are many layers to consider when planning your garden.

Combine the aesthetic value,  plants’ sun, and water needs, wildlife value, practical purpose (need for drainage, erosion, screen, kids play areas, etc.) and  prioritize from there.

In this example (photo below) there was a need to control soil erosion and water flow, hence the dry creek bed. There was strong desire to provide wildlife-friendly habitat, hence the variety of native and well-adapted ground covers, grasses, perennials, shrubs, and trees. And finally, the plant choice was based not only on aesthetic value, but also whether they will be able to thrive in the native soil, handle the sun exposure and moisture available to them, and their wildlife value.


2017-06-05 10.42.34-2 - Copy BEST


Garden should be an artistic expression of your own individual style. There should be a thought behind it. But it is important that it is also a joyful experience not only for the person giving it life, but also people that will experience it as guests. Landscapes are not meant to be static. They are alive and ever changing. And if the design has a clear structure and purpose, no matter how natural looking it may be, it will be much easier to maintain.


2017-05-17 09.54.38

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