Having a garden is beautiful—therapeutic even. And for some who have the luxury of space, a sprawling garden is a nice addition. But did you know that you can also call a professional to help create the garden of your dreams, in the same way that you can call an architect to design your dream home? This is the task of a landscape architect. Erick Yambao, a landscape architect and the founder of landscape architectural group Plöntur, explains what a landscape architect does:
1. What exactly does a landscape architect do?
"Landscape architects do careful and calculated planning and designing of outdoor spaces. At the surface, it might look like it's all greens and aesthetics but we consider a lot of things before we design a space. We consider the users, the surrounding elements, the weather in the area, local planting, sustainability, eco systems, and a lot of things in between. We work closely with the client, architect, interior designer, and other consultants from the onset of the project until the end of construction to achieve the vision they have in mind."
2. Can you explain the difference between a landscape architect and a gardener?
"Gardening focuses mostly on just plants while landscape architecture takes on the planning, design, technicalities, and things underneath the surface. Landscape architecture is a lot bigger than it seems to be, but gardening plays a big part of what we do. We can do a small, private residential garden and we can also design and plan a whole subdivision or even a city. Our profession can be broad and intimate at the same time. If you have an architect and interior designer on board, it is best to get a landscape architect to help you out with [the planning of the outdoor space]."
3. How important is it to make outdoor spaces connect with the interiors?
"It is extremely important for our design to connect with the rest of the house. We want the landscape to look like it belongs to the rest of the house. What we do in Plöntur is that we try to get a vibe and feel of the whole house before we design anything. We take a look at the architecture and interior design and then try to get some of the details from the inside and try [to] put it in the fence, gate design, garden, or any part of the landscape area. This can be tricky especially when you get on board at the latter part of the project, but this is where creativity and ingenuity can thrive."
4. What should I do before setting up a meeting with a landscape architect? Do I need to bring a sketch of my house?
"Sketches, drawings, and pegs really help in developing an overall concept of the landscape. You should have an idea on how you want your outdoor space to look like and what you want to do in your garden. Otherwise, a landscape architect can help open your eyes to the possibilities that you can do with the outdoor space. Always treat the landscape as part and as an extension of the actual house, not just see it as plants and greens but an area where the family can stay and do activities together. The effects of a well-designed outdoor space is huge."
5. Where can I go or call to find a landscape architect?
"You can visit the Philippine Association of Landscape Architects (PALA) website. You can also check out our website, Facebook, and Instagram pages for Plöntur's contact details."