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Transforming Your Outdoor Space: The Ideal Season to Plan Your Landscape Design.

Most may not think of winter as the time to think about their landscape. It’s cold, dreary and we’re usually too caught up with the holidays to even think about our landscapes and gardens. However, it is logically the best time for planning. If you’re a vegetable gardener you’re often perusing those seed catalogs, planning seed starts and garden layout in the fall and winter to be ready for planting by spring. The same timeline for your landscape plans applies as well. 

It takes time to create a landscape plan. Think of the process as the same as building a home but outdoors. There are many details and parts to a landscape plan that take time to research and develop. The design process can take at the very minimum a month up to several months based on the scope of your project. I’ve heard from many people over the years that they can’t even get a call back from a landscaper in spring or summer. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but by spring most landscapers, if they're any good, have had their schedules filled by the end of fall of the previous year. We’re often inundated in spring and summer and there are just not enough hours in the day. 

Sunflower image with Benjamín Franklin quote "if you fail to plan, you're planning to fail"
"If you fail to plan, you're planning to fail" Benjamin Franklin

If you’re thinking of installing a new landscape, start early! Give yourself a minimum of 2 months for the planning process. The first part of that process is finding the right landscape professional to work with you. Longer if you have a complex or large project that includes patios, pergolas, outdoor kitchens, water features, etc. Having a good plan is the key to a successful landscape so don’t shortcut this process and reach out early or expect to be added to a wait list in spring.

You should also consider the time it would take to install your project. It takes a minimum of 6 months to a year, or longer, from initially contacting a contractor to installation. So if you’re hoping for a spring installation, start reaching out to landscapers in spring, or at the latest, early summer the year before you want to enjoy that landscape. And if you have a big event such as a graduation or wedding, be sure to get an earlier start.

Another benefit of planning in the colder months is getting more undivided attention from a landscape designer. Landscape designers are not only overburdened with new design projects in spring and summer but they are often dividing time between project sites to manage installations. We have more time to give you the undistracted attention that you deserve and that we want to provide, if we work with you later in fall and winter. This is especially true for design/build companies and is a reason I limit the amount of projects I take on at any given time. 

That said, when you are ready to get started on your landscape, reach out to your landscape company when it works for you. Just expect a longer wait if you’re contacting us in spring or summer. And if you’re ready in the fall and winter, that’s great because so are we!


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