Jan 29, 2019

3 Landscape Design Elements to Enhance Your Property’s Beauty

This summer, many discerning homeowners will begin to think about creating a fresh look for their landscape, and will enlist the services of a professional contractor to reevaluate their property and make suggestions for improvement and reinvention.

And while the sky is virtually the limit when it comes to upgrading your property, there are three distinct landscape design elements everyone should keep in mind:

1) FIT

According to landscape designer Hans Bleinberger, a horticulturist and plant specialist who has been with McHale Landscape Design for more than 15 years, many decisions can be boiled down to one simple mantra:

“Choose the right plant for the right spot.”

This mission statement, he says, involves selecting the best flower, plant, shrub, or tree to ensure its compatibility with your property’s entire environment.

Landscape designers must take every aspect into consideration when choosing the right plants for your home, including:

  • Growth rate
  • Shade
  • Sun
  • Soil
  • Drainage
  • Scale/size

Deer and pest resistance, too, is a huge factor. All of these components directly relate to whether or not the chosen plants will perform in a given setting.

The plants you choose, Bleinberger says, should feel like they belong, harmonizing with the architecture of your home. Traditional settings, for example, are conducive for boxwoods and more classic flowering shrubs such as viburnum, lilac, and azaleas.

Modern architecture, on the other hand, can benefit from ornamental grasses and drought tolerant plants like yucca, or plants and grasses that exhibit a looser, less manicured feel, such as holly, laurel, and Abelia.


Moving on from plant selection, hardscaping is perhaps the biggest consideration for homeowners.

“It’s probably the most important,” says Bleinberger. Along with large, strategically placed trees, he notes, “it forms the bones of the garden.”

Again, there are multiple options available, all of varying size and complexity.  A professional landscape designer will be able to pinpoint solutions that would best compliment your home.

  • Front walkway
  • Portico
  • Rear terrace
  • Patio
  • Retaining wall

When adding hardscaped creations to your landscape, stone selection – like plant selection – is of the utmost importance. Traditional architecture blends well with brick and/or bluestone. (In the U.S., notes Bleinberger, bluestone refers to a variety of sandstone quarried on the East Coast. It is frequently used for paving in gardens, due to its blue-gray color.)

Contemporary homes are often outfitted with pavers, decorative concrete, granite, and more.


The third, and perhaps most essential, landscape design element? Choosing a trustworthy and dedicated landscaping partner who puts a client’s needs first.

At McHale Landscape Design, when a call comes in, the team immediately begins trying to ascertain what it is that the client is striving to achieve. Is it a matter of aesthetics? Aesthetics and function?

Is your driveway not big enough? Is a grade too steep? Is it too shady? Too sunny?

An initial consultation is built around one question, Bleinberger says. “What can we do to meet your needs?”

The beauty of McHale Landscape Design’s design-build process is that, from start to finish, a homeowner communicates with one, single contact regarding quality, cost, and schedule management. Because there are no middle men, there is ultimately little to no confusion.

“It’s all about problem-solving,” Bleinberger says.