September 5, 2011 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
For homeowners, Landscaping Network provides the resources for educating themselves in advance of working with a landscape or garden professional of their choice. “Armed with the knowledge from our online resources,” explained Landscaping Network’s Jim Peterson, “both parties can have a better understanding of what they want and expect out of a landscaping or outdoor design project.”
Launched in November 2010, the site offers users product listings, design ideas, a gallery of photos, a database of professionals searchable by state or Canadian province, training opportunities, event listings, and much more. Not sure what to look for in a professional? Check out the site’s How to Hire a Landscape Designer, Architect, or Contractor.
A planter from Grace Design Associates, Santa Barbara, California.
Understanding One’s Objectives
When thinking about a landscaping project, homeowners need to decide what they want from their outdoor space. Is it for cooking, entertaining, swimming, resting/reading, playing sports, working, enjoying pets, gardening, or perhaps growing food? Once homeowners know how they want to use their outdoor space, they can refer to the resources available on Landscaping Network to better clarify their intensions and understand their outdoor living and design choices.
Design Ideas, Products, and How-Tos
Homeowners can browse the site’s design ideas for things like Fire Safe Landscaping, peruse product listings by category for items like modern picnic tables, educate themselves with a myriad of how-tos and find the hardiness of an artichoke on the site’s Edible Plant Chart.
“There are dozens of interesting blogs and web sites that write about the various aspects of landscaping,” said Jim Peterson of Landscaping Network. ”But they don’t tie all the information together, have it organized, and point people to landscape professionals. So we decided to do just that.”
Redwood picnic table from Scout Regalia
Landscaping Network grew out of a sister site, Concrete Network, which, since 1999 has been using the educate-and-connect model for decorative concrete patios, pool decks, driveways, concrete floors, and concrete countertops. Last year Concrete Network served over 12 million visitors. The folks there were also passionate about landscaping and saw the need for a site like Landscaping Network, which did not yet exist.
Finding Your Unique Style
Landscaping Network provides “design sheets” (below) that focus on a particular landscape style, providing a color palette, décor suggestions, list of materials, plant suggestions, and outdoor fabrics swatches. Users can select their favorite garden style then take the design sheet to a professional landscaper. The designer can use the provided design sheets as a point of departure for the design process, while making sure that the design is appropriate to the client’s region and the architecture of their home.
LandscapingNetwork.com offers 19 design style palettes to assist homeowners in selecting the look they are aiming to achieve. These palettes show colors, décor, materials, plant palettes, and suggested fabrics.
With Landscaping Networks’s tools, a homeowner can work with a selected landscape professional to realize their design visions. The designer can make sure that they meet required codes and overcome possible obstacles such as wind, soil, and drainage issues, while on the design side, connect the outside space to the the home’s interior.
Being Informed Before Purchasing
Landscaping Network’s vision is to become the world’s most helpful educational resource for residential landscaping–providing consumers with a wealth of information, then connecting them through their database to a landscape professional with whom they can work to design and build their residential projects. The site’s content is produced with the help of landscape professionals but presented in layman’s terms with provocative photography and informational videos. “We think education is the first step in the purchase decision,” commented Peterson.
All photos: landscapingnetwork.com