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The Grand Design An Insider's Guide to Landscape Design

 Whether you live in a towering mid-block high-rise or a sprawling suburban  development, landscaping not only helps a co-op, condo or HOA increase and  retain property values, but has a positive impact on residents themselves—beautiful, functional green spaces and plantings increase pride of ownership,  influence morale, and just generally make a place more pleasant to be in for  owners and visitors alike. And unless there happens to be a master gardener or  landscape architect on a building board or grounds committee, chances are that  the community's administrators will have to call upon a professional landscape  specialist to help make the most of their building's potential.  

 Before You Make the Call

 So you’ve decided to get the help of a landscape professional….what now? There are some things that you can get in order before you make that call for  help, things that will make the process much easier and more likely to yield  the desired result.  

 It really helps if the board or committee has an idea of what they are wanting  to attain, says Jeff Molizon of The Brickman Group Ltd. in Langhorne,  Pennsylvania. For example, he says, determining “the scope of services. Take a clubhouse project, for example…will they be wanting to concentrate on the pool area, or enhancing the front  plantings. There are many ways to approach a new landscape design project, and  having those goals in mind ahead of time is very helpful.”  

 “Considering the budget parameters and time line for completion is also important  to us,” says Teresa Carleo, the president and CEO of PFI, Inc. (Plant Fantasies, Inc.),  a full-service landscape contractor and landscape designer based in New York  City.  

 Early Considerations

 “My first consideration when starting any project is to understand the client and  what the usage will be,” says Carleo. “What is the intent of this property? Does the owner have a vision? For example,  if the owner wants the area to create a sense of calm for reflection, would  there a water feature? A lawn? A flowerbed?”  

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