Landscaping design forums?


Staff member
I need to do a lot of landscaping this year, and really could use some help with designing something. Are there any forums dedicated to this topic, or is anyone here a professional designer?
Gardenweb has a whole host of topics revolving around landscaping and garden information. We went out there to figure out the right types of stuff to put in the landscaping based on our zone since its so darn cold in the winter here.

Link to Landscape Specific forum

You may want to visit a couple of their other forums as well as you figure out what information you're specifically looking for.
electron said:
I need to do a lot of landscaping this year, and really could use some help with designing something. Are there any forums dedicated to this topic, or is anyone here a professional designer?
Have you tried going to a really good local nursery and asking if they hire out for landscape design? Many do. They often know a great deal about what will grow in your area, more than some so called designers. They will also usually work out a discount for you since they know you will need a lot of plants, supplies, etc...

I did exactly what your planning to do six years ago. I hired a "pro" and had him put together a design for our yard. Then a contractor installed it all. Three years later we had problems with sick plants, some growing well, others not at all.

On a tip from a friend we went to an upscale local nursery and hired a consultant for one hour that came out to our house, inspected our plants, the soils conditions, etc. He pointed out exactly why the original designers arrangement didn't work ( for the plants that is). We ended up swapping out two trees and maybe 50/60 plants (plus treating the soil in two areas) and now everything is growing well.

Sorry, I don't really know of any forums on the subject.
I would agree with Dublin. When we built our house 3 years ago, I had no clue about landscaping (among other things). We went to a local nursery and paid $75 dollars for them to develop a plan/design for the whole yard and work with you on selecting the type of plants/scrubs/trees. Once the plan was completed, I went about doing the work myself. It was the best $75.00 I spent.

Just my 2 cents.

- Mike
Be careful about the zone designations. They are very general and not always accurate. The big plant catalog companies always try to lump us into the same zone as Syracuse when in reality we line up with the next most Northern zone due to the elevation difference.

Best to get some local input if possible.
I wanted to put a nice walkway in, redo the entrance area as well, and plant more bushes etc, so I can't really spend much money on the design phase. I don't mind doing the work myself, but I am not too happy with my creativity ;) Thanks for the input so far.
Have you considered any design software like Punch Pro, or Better Homes & Gardens 6.0 for the project?

elcano: yes, we finally got some sunshine! (eventho it snowed last weekend).

Vaugh; I am technically capable of doing the designing, it is just the creativity part that is the problem here.
Right. My thinking was if you put the layout into a landscaping package, then other designers could work from that base, return the file with their input, etc. Not that you need the tool to suppliment your skills or anything ;-)

Plus, I just wish everyone had their house & property in design packages so they could use the views for HA screens, but I am already obvious about that, eh? heh

(I have a glass-house view in my new demo, impossible without using design software. I have not been pimping the video because of some audio problems, but it is up...)
I will second the opinion that you should get a local professional landscape designer. Considering how much you'll end up spending on plants, it's a drop in the bucket. And only a local pro will know which plants will do well in your soil conditions, climate, etc.
E, there is a local landscaping/nursery business that did a free landscape plan on my house last fall. The person that came out was at my house for about 2 hours. I'm going to try to find the name of the company right now.
E, it was Deyneka's Nurseries in Elbridge. I actually got a flyer in the mail from them shortly after moving into our house offering a full *free* complementary landscaping plan, including drawings, etc. I am just following up with them this week to get a copy of the landscape plan. The person that came out was very knowledgeable about every plant on my property. He gave me care instructions, advice and when each plant would hit peak colors, etc.

Not sure if you have to receive the flyer for the free landscape plan, but it might be worth looking into.