Of particular importance, when planning your property landscaping, there are basics to keep in mind. Firstly, have a Landscape Master Plan completed, for your entire landscape and gardens. This serves as your blueprint. Later, following it, makes going wrong, less likely and more difficult.
Landscape Master Plan | Critically Important
Secondly, be sure to follow the rules and regulations that apply in municipality and city, as well. The experience could turn into a frustrating fiasco otherwise. Many considerations must be given to the overall landscape master plan. Most noteworthy, unifying and marrying softscapes with hardscapes is paramount. For functionality, circulation and overall beauty.
Contrasting wood with stone, and water with fire takes a talent. Such skills cannot be mastered overnight. As the name suggests, it must serve as the ‘master’ plan for your outdoor living spaces. Equally noteworthy, is the veteran Team of Professionals at Universal Residential Builders & Real Estate Group International Inc. (URBREG International Inc.) They have been doing landscape master plans and building, since 1971. If you can dream it up, we can unveil the astonishing, for you.
Alternatively, if you’d like to go it alone, that’s great. Nonetheless, we’re going to outline some guidelines and extend some free expert advice that will help. However, before you can begin to bring your landscaping ideas to life, be sure to consider some important factors.
Gardens, Landscapes and Outdoor Living Spaces Take Hundreds of Factors Into Account
Bland landscapes, or ones where everything is the same and blended together, won’t draw people’s attention. Also, a landscape where there are too many different plants and elements lacks unity and balance. Sometimes, they look cluttered. Or, random and confusing.
Similarly, frontal areas with virtually nothing but lawn and concrete, are not attention-grabbers. Thus, come sale time, those properties almost always sell for considerably less than they should. Avoiding these problems, cannot be done effectively, in the absence of a landscape master plan.
Gardens the world over are created for healing the body, the mind and the soul. For instance, Japanese gardens. Beautifully landscaped gardens remove stress and offer a sensation of well-being. Thus, jot down landscape ideas. Use them as a guideline to keep your landscape unique, individual and personalized.
Important Role of Plant Materials in the Landscape Plan
- Remember, plants play a critical role in garden design.
- A comprehensive plant materials takeoff with planting plan must be included as a component of the overall landscape master plan.
- Of particular importance, plants soften. Their beauty enhances. Moreover, they beautify. Plant materials detoxify. In addition, plants provide habitat. A place for bees, butterflies and birds to live. Also, plants provide nutrients.
- Equally important, they are as varied, as the stars in the night sky. Thus, choosing the right ones, is no small task.
- That’s where a reputable Landscape Designer can guide you.
- A comprehensive garden layout with Planting Plan is a must, for part of your landscape master plan.
- Hence, more helpful garden tips, secrets and rules are available at landscaping styles, or garden design rules and landscape tips. We feel these will be helpful to you.
- Don’t forget to use your plan throughout the process. The better prepared you are, the more impressive your landscaping will be.
- Private gardens should be designed and built exclusively for you. The landscape master plan must take all your personal life factors into consideration.
Necessary Considerations for the Master Plan Process
A permit may be required before you start landscaping your yard. Thus, typically, within the cartridge of the landscape master plan, there will be a full checklist. Its’ intent; is to act as a reminder of all to come, as well as, all to be done. Hence, if you are planning something unpretentious, you may get away with simply asking your neighbors indulgence. Or maybe, by simply checking the municipal or city website.
However, if you are planning a larger project, you’ll need to contact the Planning Office. They’ll give you all the conditions and regulations. And, for sure, you’ll need to present them with a landscape master plan.
In fact, in many cities, the parts of your yard that touch the sidewalk or curb, belong to the city. You are simply granted easement. In other cases, it may belong to you. But, the city may still have rights-of-way on it.
Role of Trees In Master Planning the Landscape
If trees are there, they probably belong to the city. Thus, you can be charged a steep fine for cutting them. Or, even for pruning them, for that matter. Again, all these items are notated on your landscape master plan. That way, nothing gets overlooked or violated.
For example, when a tree that belonging to the city is sick and needs to be removed, it must be reported as such. In most cases, city employees will come and take it down. On the other hand, trees belonging to you, probably still require a tree-cutting or pruning permit, before you can do any cutting.
Also note, that it may be forbidden to plant certain types of trees altogether. It would be unfortunate to plant a tree, and then having to remove it later. Another point, favoring a comprehensive landscape master plan.
In most cases, it needs to be drawn by a landscape design firm, that knows what they are doing. For help, contact our veteran Team of landscape master plan professionals. For advice, or to book a consultation, use the handy button below.
Other Important Aspects of the Landscape Plan Process
There are usually strict regulations regarding fences and hedges in front of buildings too. For example, any fence or hedge that blocks the view on a corner, is almost always forbidden.
Usually, you can drop by City Hall and ask for their ‘Landscaping Handbook’. Sometimes, you can find the applicable information online at their website. Whatever way it’s available, be sure to get it, in advance. That way, you’ll avoid the stress and expense of a ‘Stop Work Order’, and/or, possible harsh fines.
Also, be sure to get the proper permit before you commence any work. Failing to do so, could result in you facing a ‘Stop Work Order’. And, possible fines from municipal bylaw enforcement.
Parking spaces and driveways are often vigorously regulated. Enlarging an existing driveway or creating a new one, can sometimes be forbidden. At the very least, there will be restrictions on what you can and cannot do. It would be sad (and costly) paying to have your driveway redone, only to have to pay again later, to have it put back the way it was, because you didn’t check into the regulations and bylaws in advance.
Front yard landscaping is the personal presentation of your home, to the public. Therefore, the importance of a landscape master plan design for softscapes harmonized with hardscapes cannot be underestimated.
When in Doubt in Master Planning, Always “Measure Twice, Cut Once”
- If there’s doubt about a given issue, check your city’s website or go to your city hall. Brochures outlining the applicable rules of landscaping your yard are often available. Thus, if you are using a quality, experienced and reputable landscape designer, he/she will already know all this.
- Furthermore, he/she will attend to it for you in most cases. Unless, not retained to do so. Or, if it is not within the Terms of Engagement of their contract with you.
- It’s a fact, the old adage applies. “Measure twice, cut once.” Meaning, double check in advance of making a move. Doing so can save a lot in the end.
- A quality, veteran landscape general contractor is also worth his weight in gold to you. They know the ropes, because they do this work day in and day out.
- Alternatively, if you are planning to go it alone with family and friends, for example, most landscape contractors will be glad to give you some advice. Generally, you simply book an appointment to stop in, at their Office.
- URBREG Landscapers Customer Relations personnel are only too happy to assist you, when you need help, or if you get stumped. Doing a landscape master plan, or otherwise.
Well, enough about municipal rules and restrictions. At least for now.
Let’s now consider a few factors, that may change the shape of your landscaping ideas.
For instance, attracting birds and butterflies. As accredited landscape designers, we are forever mindful of any number of critical factors. Factors, helpful in developing a landscape master plan design, or otherwise.
These factors and elements must all integrate, as we create a little piece of heaven, in your own yard.
The Landscape Plan Must Showcase Your Property
As the landscape master plan is being developed, you will review it regularly with your landscape master plan designer. Or, whoever you are using.
Remember, gardens should be a place of peace. Likewise, a place of solace and relaxation. Furthermore, they need to offer somewhere to reflect, while enjoying the beauty of your home and property. Similarly, they could be a place to putter. Maybe, a place to seek refuge from the hectic outside world. Gardens should offer asylum. A place to heal mentally, spiritually and physically.
Garden design is as vast domain. Every garden needs a reason for being. Hence, they’re as varied as the universe above us. You must define yours, within the landscape master plan, as it is being developed.
Browse our websites, to get a host of invaluable information. Included, you’ll discover more about the necessity of a landscape master plan. And, many other residential topics as well.
Remember, your URBREG landscape designer will prepare a plant materials takeoff, as one component of the overall landscape master plan.
Likewise, this will be done in accordance with the color, texture and form of the plants you either ‘love or hate’. In the foregoing, one is as important as the other, to avoid future disappointments.
Why the Landscape Master Plan is a Must
Following, are a few wise words about landscape design and the landscape master plan. Although, developing one, is not for the untrained. But, it does not have to be a complicated domain for the homeowner. Landscape design can be as simple as converting an old stump, into a feature garden.
The effectiveness of a garden’s design in the overall landscape master plan, comes not from complexity or simplicity, but from knowledge and vision. Any garden design dream can be fulfilled. With the proper know-how, it is often desirable and advantageous, to use on-site elements and materials. A properly completed landscape master plan, will outline and map-out all these choices.
For instance, we as a company have been preparing landscape master plans and garden layout plans around the world, since 1971. Thus, we are useful in illustrating how things are done in other countries, as well.
Four Words That Should Most Influence Your Landscape Plan Ideas – Unity, Proportion, Balance & Variety
- Unity means that there should be a sort of binding theme to your landscaping. Different parts of your yard should not look like they are at odds with each other. For example, if you choose more of an English-style, then rethink your front yard landscaping ideas around that style. Themes vary from French to West Coast, from Mediterranean to Californian and from Japanese to English garden styles.
- Proportion refers to how shapes and sizes blend together. This in no way means that all the shapes and sizes should be the same or similar. But, it does mean that you should think and see things like an architect. Thus, assembling blocks of different shapes and sizes.
- Balance means that you should try to balance the overall picture. Should the picture be blended, soft and harmonized? Or, should it be aggressive and rugged? That’s your choice. However, you should try to see your landscaping, as a picture or painting. The necessity of a landscape master plan illustrates all this in advance. Hence, you don’t get part way through construction and realize you should have done things differently.
- Variety doesn’t suggest that you should have a bit of everything, everywhere. It means that you should have enough different plants to create a complex, yet unified landscape. The old cliche, “Variety is the Spice of Life”, certainly holds water. But, only if the variety harmony and synergism with the overall theme. Your landscape master plan will assure this happens.
- Lastly, the landscape master plan is not just a drawing. It needs to contain all information relevant to your landscape makeover. Often, it is more than just a single document.
Additional Important Points the Master Plan Defines
By the way, it is rarely a good idea to plant a tree too close to a house. By doing so, you may eventually be forced to cut off some branches, which may make the whole tree start to look bad. Likewise, planting large numbers of trees or bushes so close to one another, isn’t a good practice either. Later, you may be forced to cut half of them down.
Thus, it is not good planning or an efficient usage to finances. Trees that will grow very tall, that might reach electric cables should be kept away from utility rights-of way. Similarly, trees that have very fibrous roots that can damage the foundations of your house. Hence, those should be planted far away from the home foundation.
Includes a Detailed Plant Materials Takeoff and a Planting Layout Plan, so Tree and Plant Mistakes are Avoided
Additionally, trees that will grow very big and block the sun completely should be kept clear of windows, doors and skylights. Unless, of course, you do want to block the sun. In that case, maybe consider planting trees that lose their leaves in the winter. Doing so, will enable getting sunshine during the shortened days of winter at least, when the weather is cold. The whole point being, be especially careful about those trees that you want to plant close to your house.
Everybody understands that a new landscaping has to ‘grow in’, in order for it to look full. Aggressive plants will end up covering half your yard in a few years. In the process, they could choke every other plant. For instance, if you like your car to be always spotless and have a frontal driveway, maybe you should refrain from planting trees that will shoot branches above your car.
With a comprehensive landscape master plan, this sort of thing is avoided. Hence, trees won’t become an issue. Moreover, all plant, trees and shrubs are pinpointed on the plan. Consideration is given to their size, spread and growth patterns. Aggressiveness is also taken into consideration, in advance.
Front Yard Landscape ~ Window to the Soul of your Home
Also, critical, is creating a front yard that is warm, inviting and visually appealing. Even though it may be largely psychological, the front yard landscape tells a lot about the home’s occupants. And, the condition of the home – especially at sale time.
Therefore, the number one goal of your front yard landscaping ideas, should be to make your property look great. Accordingly, the front yard component of the landscape master plan assures this. Even the best-looking houses appear much better, when well landscaped. The reason they are well landscaped in the first place, is a result of the landscape master plan, which eliminated possibility for error.
Similarly, properties that don’t look so good overall, benefit even more from a good-looking landscaping. Passersby and possible buyers consider the whole picture when they look at a property. An average looking house, with a blend of shabby landscaping, will score very low with most people. Meanwhile, the same house with a good landscaping, will score much higher.
To help find interesting front yard landscaping ideas, you might want to look for a good home staging book. It must include a solid section on exterior home staging. Some real estate agents like to say that the three most important factors when evaluating a property are location, location and location. However, that may be inaccurate.
Tips for A Killer Frontal Landscape
First of all, remain objective. Secondly, don’t be defensive. Third, hire and bring in a professional landscape designer, for some unbiased advice. Typically, they are not paid on a commission-basis like a Realtor, so the opinions you get, will more likely have greater validity. And, objectivity. Fourth, taking care of your front yard will make your location look better, Fifth, if your neighbors see you doing something, often, they will pick up the ball and spruce up their own landscaping too. Then, who knows what may happen to your neighborhood.
Last but not least, once it is completed, take your landscape master plan around and show it to all your neighbors. That way, they can see the professional approach you are taking to the enhancement of your home. This approach affects and enhances the neighborhood overall. They will surely appreciate it. And, they just might follow suit, which in turn increases the value of your home too.
The Overall Landscape Plan Design
Generally, creating a frontal landscape that is at odds with the general appearance of your neighborhood may not be a good idea. Your front Gardens are designed to complement the home’s architecture. They add pleasing aesthetics, curb-appeal and warmth. Moreover, they’re inviting. Hence, when planning, you should maintain or enhance the general appearance and landscape of your locale. A proper landscape master plan design can be dramatically enhanced by a landscape designer.
On the other hand, the 3 words applicable to the backyard landscape garden design are form, function and style. Each has a purpose, and each has a place. Therefore, these 3, combined with the previous 4, make up the 7 most important, underpinning, landscape design, and master plan words. Not only, for your general landscape, but also, for outdoor living spaces, gardens and overall yard layout.
Gardens, structured from a well-thought-out landscape master plan will include structures and an organized planting plan. Hence, they are the key to giving your property maximum enhancement, aesthetically and financially.
Typically, the center of attention in front yard landscaping should be the house itself. Everything else, should be used to draw attention to its strong points. And, to distract attention from its weak points. The landscape master plan takes all this into consideration, in advance, with the drawings.
A Few Landscape Master Planning Points to Remember
- Backyard gardens are exclusively yours.
- They are only shared with those you invite.
- These spaces should display your personality. A reflection, of how you live and interact with your land.
- Accordingly, these areas need to be echoed in your landscape master plan, in advance of construction.
- The landscape designer you hire has to be experienced in many domains. One, must include plant materials.
- When the landscape master plan is being created, your landscape designer must know in advance, what the mature plants will look like as they grow in.
- More of this, is illustrated beautifully, through our various website sections, covering those topics.
- Remember, your backyard gardens are a totally different story than the front ones. Those are private. Gardens where you can let your creative juices loose.
- Why? Because, they have a totally different purpose. Unlike the frontal gardens, your backyard garden design is for you. And, only those others, you choose to privately invite.
- Whereas, your front yard garden and landscape is public.
Getting a Detailed Landscape Master Plan is a MUST. In its Absence, Stress, Disappointment, Regret & Mistakes WILL Result
In the end, your own landscaping should show your home. You must own it. The way that you want it to be seen. People who are very outgoing, or ones who, want to show their wealth, for example, will tend to make their house very visible. Sometimes, overdoing it with such things as accent lighting.
Footpaths, stepping stones, bridges, ponds and streams are incorporated. But, more so, in a secondary capacity. Thus, the home is illustrated in more detail, as the only focal point. The grounds and gardens are simply ‘punctuation points’ on the landscape master plan. And, in the completed product, these simply add aesthetic appeal and a manicured, well-groomed appearance.
Landscape Garden Design, Layout, Materials & Structures in the Plan
Gardens of your choice can be many. Flower, water, ornamental or Japanese rock-gardens, for instance. In addition, water features with plants, Coy fish or a waterfall add a special touch to any backyard garden. Unique elements of beauty, tranquility and peace to soothe mind, body and spirit through sight, smell and sound.
URBREG’s award-winning designers Team provide an environment of peace and beauty. Architectural designers and technicians at the URBREG International Group of professionals can draw it all up for you. A landscape master plan as original and unique as your genetics. And, in advance of a shovel ever hitting the ground.
- Landscape master plans, properly done, will include many 3D conceptual renderings. Those will be ‘visual simulations’ of the overall landscape. Likewise, they’ll illustrate how the finished project will appear, before a shovel ever breaks ground.
Inspired by your desires, the elements that URBREG will use in your gardens, enhance the beauty and solace of it. They enrich your life on many levels. People who are more private, or who are nature lovers, will tend to prefer front yard landscaping plans that perhaps will almost hide the house completely.
Whereas, someone of considerable financial competence, might opt to the contrary. Thus, they might have a front yard landscape that is subtler, yet beautifully groomed. Choices are many. Ultimately, the final decision rests in your palms.
Landscape Designers Are Experienced Experts in their Field. Worth Every Penny They Charge for their Ideas, Expertise, Skills and Master Planning.
Metro Vancouver and BC Lower Mainland enjoy a more temperate climate. Less cold and snow, allows a wider array of plants, trees, shrubs, water-plants and flowers. Even ornamental grasses flourish. All the foregoing, add to the raw beauty of a focused and well-planned landscape.
People are often surprised to discover that exotic plants can also survive and thrive in metro Vancouver. The landscape master plan illustrates that marriage of the natural, and the built environments, including the flora. That’s where is all begins. As we’ve often been quoted, “conceptualization to completion.”
The north, Alberta and the Prairies on the other hand, requires some special landscape design and plant skills. The ‘URBREG Team of Experts’ knows the differences. And, how to ensure you can have a stunning landscape, no matter where you live. Coaching clients and helping them plan according to Climate Zone Maps.
Water and flowering plants can still be incorporated into colder climate gardens with astounding success. But, the techniques in construction are as different as night and day. Therefore, substantial garden knowledge is required. Have a look at some of our reviews, from past customers.
At the end of the day, all it takes is knowledge and technology to create the landscape and garden design of your dreams. Without a landscape master plan, failure of one sort or another is inevitable.
- Landscape master plans include a collection of color concept renderings for illustration. On them, will be information notations. Some relate to elements to be demolished or removed. While others, refer to objects to be relocated, together with the new built environment. Thus, the landscape master plan, will be a group of documents that tell you the whole story of what the landscape designers propose for your home’s landscape makeover.
First off, we’ll want to meet with you for a consultation. Doing so, facilitates a better understanding of your goals. That result, will be obtained at the meeting. URBREG’s Landscape Designers Team will then design a landscape master plan, incorporating all the types of garden structure you desire.
Landscape Element Examples
Examples could include, pergolas, archways, trellis’s, arbors or seating benches. Or, even lawn Chess. Whatever they might be, all will be designed to compliment and highlight the Gardens.
Additionally, as part of the landscape master plan, the landscape design team will put together a collection of 2-D and 3-D hand-sketched and CAD generated drawings. Those, together with extensive notes and Scope of Work documentation, will be presented to you for review and approval, or modification(s). Some of these will also be needed for permitting and construction.
Others, including video walk-throughs, will be for your benefit only. They’ll enable you to actually see and understand the concept visually, before it ever leaves the design studio. Finally, a finished landscape master plan design is developed. Then, permit-ready drawings are also done. Combined, these are the ‘blueprints’, for everyone, for all of it, to be built and installed.
Landscape Master Plans Will Include the ‘Built Elements’ You Want to Have in Your Finished Landscape
In addition to your own ideas, our landscape designers are loaded with them. A gorgeous, private ‘pergola garden’ setting, for instance. We’ll provide custom designed, conceptual and construction drawings, for gazebos, sheds, pergolas and trellis’s. In addition, sun-rooms, arbors, railings and planters. Also, bridges, retaining walls, patios and fences, just to mention a few.
Custom designed buildings and structures from our architectural design technicians are also built by URBREG. Done so, utilizing our skilled master journeyman landscape craftsmen, carpenters, tradesmen and installers. And, supervised by our experienced, veteran project managers.
Whether simple, or complex; small or large, URBREG International’s integrated teams will create the perfect finished product. All of it, derived from the landscape master plan design, created exclusively for you. In it, incorporating all the elements you envision, and dreamed of, for your gardens. We’re there with you, every step of the way, from “conceptualization through to completion.”
At our firm, we prepare our clients a full video Walk-through for their new landscape. It’s just one component of the landscape master plan. Historically, we’ve found these are helpful for the Client to envision the finished product. To view a more comprehensive landscape master plan design portfolio, visit our landscape Facebook Page. For an original, unique landscape master plan design, get in touch today!
Book Your Landscape Master Plans To Be Done
Check out our Frequently Asked Questions section too. Get answers. See our main design and construction Facebook Page too. And, of course, don’t forget to Follow Us on Twitter, on Instagram, and on Pinterest. Then, you’ll get all the most recent information of what’s trending. Because we publish to our social media, first.
An International Landscape Design & Custom Home Design Network
Most noteworthy, Universal Residential Builders & Real Estate Group Inc., (URBREG Inc.) has staff, colleagues & associates for custom home design, specialty landscape design, general contractor and landscaping-related services. All of them combined, are ready to work on your landscape master plan & much more, in these countries:
Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Mexico, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Czech Republic, Finland, Romania, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, Greece, India, Maldives, China, Singapore, Philippines, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Costa Rica, Cayman Islands, St. Lucia, Belize, Aruba, The Bahamas, Jamaica, Panama, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Barbados, Cook Islands, Bonaire and Grenada.
Get Needed Help With Your Landscape Design, House Plans, or Anything Residential
URBREG’s Team of home & landscape master plan designers and contractors are experienced veterans. In the past, we’ve completed work in the following places:
- British Columbia, Yukon, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.
- Most of our work has occurred in Calgary, Bearspaw, Springbank, Valley Ridge, Millarville, Bragg Creek, Turner Valley, Black Diamond and Okotoks. Also, High River, Longview, Alderside, Blackie, De Winton, Sibbald Flats, Canmore, Banff, Cochrane, Cremona and Sundre.
- Additionally, Olds, Pincher Creek, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, Sylvan Lake and Rocky Mountain House. Likewise, Drayton Valley, Edson, Valleyview, Whitecourt, Edmonton and Grande Prairie. Lloydminster and Bonnyville.
- Furthermore, of course, from the west coast, White Rock, South Surrey, Delta, Ladner, Tsawwassen, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby and New Westminster.
- In, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Fort Langley, Surrey, Langley, Aldergrove, Abbotsford, Mission, and Chilliwack.
- Then, also in, Kamloops, Kelowna, Penticton, Salmon Arm, Shuswap Lake, Vernon, Creston, Castlegar and Nelson. And, in Osoyoos, Cranbrook, Invermere, Revelstoke, Interior lakes of BC, the Kootenays, and the Okanagan.
More URBREG Work Locations
- Similarly, in the USA, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, California and Florida.
- Heading south, to Bahamas, Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Belize, Bonaire, Aruba, Cayman Islands and Costa Rica.
- Mexico, from Cabo San Lucas, Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco, Cancun to Cook Islands.
- Likewise, in many other surrounding areas of Canada, the USA, Mexico and Latin America.
This LANDSCAPE MASTER PLAN article was LAST UPDATED: 17 February 2019