To have effective garden design you should coordinate the plan with your home design. If a homeowner ignores garden design and just landscapes the front yard, the homeowner will feel less satisfied with the garden design experience.

Sarah Susanka, architect and author of the book, “Outside the Not So Big House,” recommends thinking about how garden design and home design can work together.

“There’s a give and take, actually, between the house design and the garden design, and it’s something so that you have to allow that interplay or you miss a lot of opportunities.” She tells her clients to think about the views from the windows in the house when considering garden design. Good garden design will incorporate vignettes for pleasant views out of the windows of the home.

A large part of garden design is looking at the raw material before making any changes. Are there any trees on the property with beautiful leaves that would add to the garden design? Is there a place where a nice path could be built into the garden design? Susanka has her clients walk through their property to see what garden areas appeal to them. She says, “The ideas come to you as you engage that landscape.”

For garden design, Susanka also suggests trying to envision how the outdoor spaces will evolve as plants grow. If you plant a new tree in front of a window, remember that in ten years, it might block the view from the upstairs window. Garden design constantly changes with the seasons, and a good design will keep engaging the homeowner, year after year.

Susanka says, “You need a basic form ¦but then to take cues from what’s there and then to let yourself play, I mean, it’s like an incredible canvas, if you give yourself that opportunity.”

Garden design can be an influential selling point in a house. Real estate agents often talk about "curb appeal." Nothing creates great curb appeal better than a good garden design. If the garden design works, everyone who walks into the house will already have a positive impression in his or her mind.

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June 27, 2008.