The quintessential American yard is defined by a carefully manicured lawn. The focus often goes towards ‘kerb appeal’, with low maintenance and evergreen grass getting priority over personality or design. Perhaps the traditional model should be reinvented.

We believe your yard remodelling project should be underpinned by thought-out landscape design. And it’s not just because we like gardens with a little bit of expression. There are a variety of benefits to spending a little bit of time and energy on landscape design, from practical considerations (spoiler: add $$ to your home) to those that benefit the planet and your health. 

Increased Property Value 
If you’re looking to sell or rent out your home in the near future, landscaping represents one of the best bang-for-your-buck investments. The American Society of Landscape Architects points out that it can be one of the most effective investments for your property. In fact, a good landscaping project with professional design can add as much as 15% to your home’s value. We’re talking serious ROI here, with some experts estimating that you can 10x your initial landscaping investment

Of course, if your landscaping is more than just a vehicle for aesthetic satisfaction, you’re going to need to approach the project from a business perspective. You must have a clear strategy in mind. Don’t invest more than 10% of your home’s overall current value on landscaping, for example. You’ll get diminishing returns otherwise; over-improvements just aren’t worth it in terms of ROI.  

It’s Better for the Environment 
The average garden consists of your run-of-the-mill lawn. We’re not saying a lawn isn’t beautiful, but it’s not always the best option. Maintaining it is a true water guzzler. With water in short supply and climate change on the unfortunate up, there’s no conclusion but to say that large lawns are, on the whole, bad for the environment

We prefer gardens that are designed for their environmental surroundings instead. This can definitely include a section for grass, but try and go beyond that. Shrubbery, decking, trees, you get the idea. There are other reasons why you should think about whether you need that much lawn space: 

Lawns can be toxic to pets and humans. The pesticides you use to keep your lawn looking luscious and green are pure poison for both yourself and nature. 
You’re not doing anything for the ecosystem. Lawns are what we call single-species monocultures, which means that your garden won’t be adding any value to local wildlife. 
Lawns that are overwatered damage their surroundings. Lawns need pesticides, fertilizers, watering, weed killers, you name it. This leads to a long-term downturn of soil health, the death of insects that are beneficial to the ecosystem, and the decrease of the drought-tolerance of the grass. 

Creates a Garden That is “Livable” 
The average lawn can look nice, we’ll give you that. Beautiful and manicured, luscious green; it’s not a bad sight. We think, however, that applying a little bit of landscape design to your yard can transform your outdoor space to something that’s inviting and usable. We’re not saying that a lawn can’t be part of the formula, but use it as part of a coherent whole. 

Livable gardens are exactly that, liveable. It encourages the family to spend time outdoors. An outdoor fire pit, for example, can create that perfect environment for cozy nights under the stars. Grab some marshmallows and prepare your favorite ghost story and you’ve got yourself a family evening to remember! 

It’s Good for Your Health
Several studies have shown that landscape design can have real health benefits. For example, did you know that the simple act of staring at trees (yes, even those in the middle of the city) can reduce stress levels? 

Creating that livable garden we talked about in the previous point will also encourage you to spend time outdoors: think playing with your kids, doing some gardening, and maybe even working out! This equals physical activity, burning calories instead of sitting in front of your television set. Not to mention that crucial Vitamin D you’ll get from the sun.