Q. Why Should I Hire a Professional Landscape Architect?
You want to get a jump on gardening and try to do everything possible to create a great outdoor home environment. Why not use all possible information sources, including feng shui? If you're not familiar with feng shui, here's a good link that will give you some quick background. The headline here is that it's an ancient art of placement that will, as outlined in New Zealander Richard Webster's nifty Feng Shui in the Garden book (Llewellyn Publications, 1999), help you set up secret gardens, find the perfect location for fragrant plants, pick a house with a good yard in a new neighborhood, and activate the "prosperity section" of your garden and attract more wealth into your household. Amen to the latter, brother!
We found this feng shui guide to be quite practical when it comes to everything from laying out a courtyard to even planting a simple window box filled with flowers. Here are a few tips:
- Flower beds on each side of the path leading to your front door provide color, fragrance, and good energy. Pots of brightly colored flowers beside the front door increase these benefits and make any visitors feel more welcome.
- These 5 flowers are traditionally the most beneficial to homeowners, according to feng shui principles: peony, chrysanthemum, white magnolias, orchids, and lotus.
- Garages don't have great feng shui and the best possible position for any garage is to have one detached from your house. (Note, apartments above garages are also not well regarded!)
- Your garden should appear to welcome people into your property. (Hey, that's also just good curb appeal philosophy!)
- Square or oblong shaped houses are most ideal, but some houses have additions that jutt out or form odd angles. Use landscaping to symbolically finish off corners to recreate that desired square or oblong shape.
- Plant trees, hedges, walls, or some other type of barrier if your neighbors' homes have "sharp" corners that point directly at your house. These sharp intrusions are considered big no-no's in feng shui practice, but planting natural or manmade barriers in your yard to block them is a "cure."
The American Society of Landscape Architects are people with a big mission: sustainable environments. This month, the ASLA celebrates National Landscape Architecture Month, and here is their description of this observation and the way it will impact you, your family, neighborhood, and community.
Look at your community. How did the parks, residential developments, college campuses, shopping centers, gardens, transportation facilities, and corporate and institutional campuses take shape? And how might they look in the future? Planning, designing, land-use management, and careful applications of sustainable design practices are the work of landscape architects, who, through the American Society of Landscape Architects, have been "Green Since 1899." Interested in the environment and art? Landscape architecture is a profession that blends creativity and science. Interested in contributing to the greening of the planet? That goal lies at the core of all landscape architects do.
It's April, National Landscape Architecture Month, and members of the ASLA are even more visible in their communities across the country, working with their chapters to introduce students and the public to the profession. As a special centerpiece to this year's outreach, ASLA has launched Designing Our Future: Sustainable Landscapes, an interactive resource on the ASLA website developed with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. These web pages present clear and concise case studies that vividly illustrate what landscape architects do and how we all benefit from their work. Visit them, share your comments, and refer the site to anyone who wants to know, "What do landscape architects do?"