Environmental Insights

Success by Design: Why Good Landscape Design Doesnt Just Happen

Posted by Tim Lake on May 4, 2017 10:05:00 AM

Across these twenty-six years of practicing my craft, I have spent countless hours rescuing clients from disappointing—and sometimes downright atrocious—projects created for them by someone else.  While it is gratifying to play hero and leave the client with a smile, it is also painful, considering the money such a client has already spent on work that ultimately had to be re-done. While some of these botched jobs have involved poor workmanship, all have been cases of poor design, or the lack of design at all.

It’s easy to think of design as simply the act of placing pretty things on the page or in the ground. But it goes far deeper than that. Good design is the act of creating spaces that function for their intended purpose and elevate the mood, well-being, and/or productivity of those who interact within them.  A well-designed site or landscape is carefully planned to result in the optimal well-being and safety of the user or occupant. It’s not something that happens by accident.

In design, the whole is always more important than the parts. Every feature can positively or negatively affect every other, as well as the overall impact of the site. This is why trained and competent landscape architects never simply “place” trees, shrubs, stones, statuary or any other physical elements on a site unless they truly serve a functional purpose or are essential to the creation of the space.  

In landscape design, nothing is arbitrary. In fact, there are immutable elements and principles of design that are universal to the creation of spaces and must be used with knowledge and sensitivity for optimal results. Here is a quick introduction:

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Topics: Landscape Design

The 9 Best Landscape Renovation Ideas For Spring

Posted by Tim Lake on Feb 9, 2017 5:05:00 AM

Chances are if your landscape has been in for 15 or more years it is overdue for renovation. Even if your landscape was well planned and maintained for the long haul, a decade and a half’s worth of growth is almost guaranteed to leave it looking a bit unkempt. Crowded roots, straggly growth, overgrown trees and shrubs, bare spots, ho-hum or dated appearance: these are all signs it’s time for an overhaul.

If you’re reading this and nodding your head in recognition, here are some landscape renovation ideas to consider this spring.

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Topics: Landscape Construction, Landscape Architecture, Landscape Design

The 5 Best Landscaping Companies in Middle Georgia: A T. Lake Shout-Out

Posted by Tim Lake on Oct 22, 2016 8:00:00 AM

The state of Georgia encompases 59,425 total square miles. That’s a lot of landscape. In fact, it’s beyond the scope of any one landscaping company to service all that land. There’s plenty of room for friendly competition!

Which is a good thing, because it’s nice to have freedom of choice when it comes to choosing any company, including your landscape provider.

At T.Lake, we pride ourselves on our ability to get along well with and satisfy just about any customer. However, we recognize that tastes differ and we may not always be the perfect fit for everyone who needs landscape services in central Georgia.

With that in mind, we thought we’d highlight a few of the best landscaping companies in middle GA. These are all solid companies we feel are doing a great job for their Georgia customers:

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Topics: Commercial Landscape Maintenance, Landscape Design

Homeowner Error: 9 Landscape Design Mistakes To Avoid

Posted by Tim Lake on Aug 22, 2016 6:00:00 AM

To prevent headaches and costly problems, avoid these nine residential landscape design mistakes with your next project.

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Topics: Landscape Architecture, Landscape Design

What To Expect: The Residential Landscape Design-Build Process

Posted by Tim Lake on Jun 9, 2016 3:59:30 PM

You’re basically handed a blank canvas when you decide to buy new construction.

While that can be exciting, it can also feel a bit overwhelming. Beyond the house, you also have to think about the outdoor living space.

What does your new home’s landscape need? What will look best in your outdoor space? How do you combine all of your design ideas with the space you have? And of course, who can answer all of these questions?

Instead of getting frustrated with the whole process, work with a professional to design and build the outdoor space of your dreams.

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Topics: Landscape Construction, Landscape Design

How To Find the Best Landscapers in Warner Robins, GA

Posted by Tim Lake on May 17, 2016 10:04:44 AM

Finding the best local landscaping company in Warner Robins, GA isn’t rocket science — but it does take some time and effort on your part.

Before you can decide who is going to give you the yard of your dreams, you have to find some solid candidates.

These are a few ways you can find and learn more about potential landscapers in Warner Robins, GA:

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Topics: Landscape Design

Safe And Sound? 6 Common Retaining Wall Design Mistakes

Posted by Tim Lake on Feb 4, 2016 10:40:26 AM

When it comes landscape devices, few are as versatile or as likely to add value as the retaining wall. Retaining walls have been used for thousands of years in the construction of patios, gardens, and terraces. They can improve access, turn a property into a visual showpiece, and even transform otherwise unusable properties into valuable real estate.

A well-built retaining wall is well worth the price of installation. However, if you are considering installing one you should know that retaining walls also are one of the most frequently-botched types of projects out there.

From design to installation, I highly recommend educating yourself about the most common retaining wall mistakes.

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Topics: Landscape Construction, Landscape Design

Landscape Construction: 4 Red Flags Your Pavers Were Installed Poorly

Posted by Tim Lake on Jan 21, 2016 10:58:27 AM

It’s a property manager’s worst nightmare: You thought you hired a competent contractor for your paving job, but...

Right after he was done, it looked gorgeous! After a few weeks or months, however, you get a sinking feeling when you look at the job. Pavers look crooked or out of place. The surface is no longer level. It looks terrible, and could even be dangerous, trip-hazard in the making.

What happened? Can it be fixed? And how can you be sure it won’t happen again?

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Topics: Landscape Design

Gas Vs. Wood-Burning Fire Pit — What's Best For My Outdoor Living Space?

Posted by Tim Lake on Oct 30, 2015 4:17:02 PM

Whether your idea of outdoor fun is s’mores and hot dogs with your kids and the family dog, or an elegantly catered event for a crowd, a nice fire pit will enhance the experience for everyone.

Fire pits are a versatile backyard feature that can come in a variety of sizes and styles to suit your home and lifestyle. There are two types of fire pits, distinguished by the type of fuel they are designed to burn: wood burning and gas burning.

A wood burning fire pit is basically a campfire ring taken to the next level; it is meant for burning standard split firewood logs. Most gas burning fire pits run on liquid propane, but they can also be set up to burn natural gas.

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Topics: Landscape Construction, Landscape Design

How Much Does An Outdoor Kitchen Cost To Build?

Posted by Tim Lake on Aug 28, 2015 6:30:00 PM

Are you the kind of person who can’t wait to get outside? Do you love to cook? Do you enjoy entertaining in your backyard? Then an outdoor kitchen might just be the perfect thing for you!

Outdoor kitchens have taken the landscaping scene by storm in the last decade, and for good reason. For many people, having that extra entertainment space just out their backdoor opens up a whole new world of leisure — so much so that it’s not uncommon for them to forego elaborate vacations away in order to enjoy the comforts of home!

Outdoor kitchens can also raise your home value by up to 130%, according to the National Association of Home Builders. There is also evidence that homes with outdoor kitchens sell faster than those without.

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Topics: Landscape Construction, Landscape Design