|Photo by Connor
Martin, courtesy of Flagstone
landscape begins with a plan.
While the amount
of space is an obvious parameter to any design, three local designers
point to other factors. Peter Kudlata, principal of Flagstone in
Cedarburg, Wendy Wiza, a staff designer at Hartland-based Century
Landscaping, and Steve Brown, president of Outdoor Accents in
Thiensville, emphasize architecture/spatial relationships, function,
focal points and municipal codes over lot size.
architecture of the building as well as the neighborhood, Kudlata says.
Planting a prairie paired with a formal home is a no-no, and natural
landscapes donít work with neighborhoods filled with smaller suburban
"If you have
a smaller lot, look for more upright plants," he says.
"Horizontal plants are more compatible with larger lots."
promotes the idea of creating front porch areas separate from nearby
public spaces. Other spatial considerations, he says, involve views to
and from particular rooms in the home.
||Photo courtesy of
Scale issues also
must be considered, Wiza adds.
"Even if you
have a 2-acre lot, there is no reason to build an overly large patio
because no one wants to sit on a sea of paving," she explains.
"Conversely, trying to squeeze multiple landscape features in a
tiny lot will make it feel crowded and chaotic. Just because you have a
big yard does not mean you have to go big."
landscaping is an option for super-sized spaces, says Wiza.
Our experts say
initial client contact focuses on function.
are just relaxing with a glass of wine and a book or entertaining
friends and family, we want you to function as you would inside your
home," Brown says. He says lighting is important. Lighting can now
be user-friendly, with systems controlled from oneís personal
A broad array of
hard surface objects and plantings can serve as focal points. Emphasis
can be on relaxation, dining or recreation. If the lot is large enough,
natural "rooms" can be created to create multiple focal
"If there is
enough of a natural landscape, you can create destination areas such as
a pond, or a boccie ball or volleyball court," Kudlata says.
A plan first must
adhere to local codes. Wiza says that while some municipalities have
loosened rules to accommodate residential growth, natural areas filled
with trees and many lake properties have restrictions imposed by local
are surprised when they find out they may be taxed on a part of the lot
that they canít develop," Wiza notes. "They need to check
their plat of survey."
Popular items such
as fire pits, she adds, may be required to be set back from the property
and run by gas.
pools may need to be within a masonry foundation," Wiza says.
"That means the foundation would need to be built out to that site.
There is a lot of work in landscaping that no one sees, but is important
to the project. Itís all part of the work." M