Advice about using forum

frida999(7)April 29, 2012

I have been spending a lot of time on the forum and I have become very enthusiastic with books about gardening, xeriscaping, falling in love with different plants and working on my front and backyard designs.

I have very little experience with this and would love some advice about using the forum. It seems that many of you are professional landscapers and I would love to ask your opinions about some ideas I have. I would like to know what the easiest way to provide you with the information to help me. Should I take a picture and upload it and ask a few specific questions? The landscape design programs look very cool, and if you think it would be beneficial I'd be willing to learn (a free, relatively easy one). I don't want anybody to design the whole landscape for me. Maybe just some critiques about plant placement according to my overall goals.

What do you think?


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I agree " that many of you are professional landscapers"
They prefer to add some ideas on pics.Because so doing is clear and easy-----easy read and understand.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 8:31PM
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I have seen some of the pics added on and they look beautiful! The 3d programs look fantastic and I've been looking online for something like that - way out of my price range so looks like I'll be going the graph paper, pencil route. I don't think the free, easy landscape design program will be a possibility.

I guess the main reason I was asking about how to use the forum was I saw a long discussion from February about how people using the forum and I didn't want to be a pain. The people pleaser in me - even on a forum with anonymous people. LOL

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 9:32PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

I think you've got the right attitude to get a lot of helpful advice on this forum. Adding photos and a simple schematic of the area of your design is a good start, and the more info you can give about what you hope to do; such as shade here, block a view there, color preferences, amount of maintenance you're preferring to do/not do, etc. If you have some idea already about the style of garden you prefer(xeriscape/drought tolerant-perhaps mostly with Texas natives?), that will help focus replies. I know. I like responding the most as a professional designer when the OP takes the time to respond to received comments and carry the post along.

I also recall from one visit to the Botanic garden in Dallas, when I was helping design a garden there for my brother-in-law's sister, is a fantastic resource to see plants that do well there. You might also enjoy checking out the Yuccado Nursery's on one web site which specializes in xeriscape style plants and garden design. The publicly accessible display gardens associated with the nursery are also well worth a visit, they aren't too far outside Houston.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 12:17AM
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There are many 3d design software,I used some.Maya is expensive and it is difficult to master it.but it is a great program!Now I use it.
I didn't want to be a pain too.I always avoid to touch some people's posts and comments.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 1:21AM
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I'd recommend also linking to inspiration photos, if you have something you like...

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 1:44PM
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Thanks for the help everyone. All great advice.

Bahia and Reyesuela - You're right about me gathering this information for myself AND for others to help me. This helps me focus. I find that I work some on one aspect of my design, then another. Your advice helps focus my attention that becomes scattered with my different ideas. Then I have a new idea and start all over. Meanwhile, I have a boyfriend who is wanting me to move all this along because we have a ton of work in the backyard to do and I'm taking forever trying to figure the front which is a small area to landscape compared to our backyard.

BTW, Where did you learn to design landscapes? I would love to study this, but have not found any classes in my area. Well, there is one class at a junior college, but it is mostly about how to use the computer program Landscape Pro. I can see the usefulness in learning a design program, but it doesn't seem that the class focuses much on the principles of design and the creativity aspect of it.
Is anybody self-taught?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 8:11AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

A little more about using the forum - especially for plant selection questions.

Where there is simply a matter of taste at stake, don't do it. I've seen those questions go off the rails a million times (OK not a million but you know..). What happens is the person gets ten suggestions, and there are ten reasons why each of them won't work, many of which are just taste related. Then the contributors get annoyed, and no one has gotten any fun from the process.

If the planting will have a purpose, or there are constraints you can't see your way around, then plant selection questions can go well.

The most enthusiasm around here is for design, as distinct from plant selection. Where to put what kind of garden areas, how to set priorities, how to delineate various areas of the property, how to create a certain feel to a space or look to an area; how to achieve a certain objective. Not only that, but the best discussions are the type you sound like you have to propose: asking the forum to support you in solving problems or dilemmas, rather than just asking for ideas.

Karin L

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 11:48AM
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>BTW, Where did you learn to design landscapes?

There are some pro's. I'm not.

In college, I swiped and studied all my landscape design roomie's textbooks. Then a lot of examining other people's designs. Then lots of trial and error.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 10:55PM
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