Landscaping enhances any property and increases curb appeal. A beautifully landscaped backyard becomes your personal resort. Designing the right landscape and hardscape for any project is the part you don’t see until the preliminary and master plans are completed. There are many pages of designs that are analyzed and discarded because they are “not quite right.”

Landscape design today will focus on adding beauty to the surroundings using sustainable materials and natural resources. Indigenous trees, grasses and flowers are used whenever possible.

Deciding how to prepare the grounds for construction is a major step in the design process that results in the perfect landscape. This includes hardscape design decisions using the right paving materials and other products necessary to complete the job.

Environmental impact

Extensive exterior construction often requires environmental impact studies. Neave Group Outdoor Solutions files permit requests after careful studies and considerations for projects in New York’s Hudson Valley and Connecticut.

This includes proposals for complete commercial and residential landscape construction projects from swimming pools to sports courts. The grounds are carefully studied before a master plan is finalized.

Environmental considerations include:

  • Geographic topography
  • Water drainage
  • Elevations
  • Soil type
  • Property lines and exposure

Irrigation and drainage

Water runoff is a major factor in most areas of the northeast. Water retention in the soil determines the plantings. Professional landscapers know where to place plantings to prevent irrigation damage to the building.

Plantings must include adequate drainage. Too much damp soil will suffocate many root systems on young plants. Irrigation systems may be required in some areas while extensive drainage pipes may be necessary for other locations.

Water features such as waterfalls, ponds, fountains, spa tubs and swimming pools must be placed at the proper elevation for underground plumbing. The ground must be strong enough to support water features and pools.

Soil condition is important for plant and hardscape support. A landscape architect will survey the land and test the soil for alkalinity. New construction sites may have soil that is contaminated from oil spills, bits of plaster and other debris. Topsoil may be necessary to sustain healthy plantings.


An established landscape company will know the correct masonry products to use for any project. This comes from an extensive knowledge of the best paving materials for patios, decks, retaining walls and terraces.

The right design improves outdoor living space with a combination of masonry and plants. Fire pits, outdoor ovens and seating areas are constructed from stone, concrete, brick, wood and other materials with different colors and textures. The proposed designs must complement the architecture of the home or commercial building.

Raised plant beds may be recommended based on the topography. Raised beds often work with retaining walls. Terraces work well on sloping grounds. Masonry work can surround islands of plants or line walkways.

Paths and driveways are also part of the masonry work designed long before the start of construction. The right materials must be used to remain consistent with the design.


Lighting enhances any landscape at night. It is also necessary for safety. Path and driveway illumination will showcase a home or commercial building at night. Lighting adds beauty to any water element while assuring safety.

Gardens take on a different look with illumination. Part of the planning process involves where to place lighting for the best effect. Landscape architects often work with electricians to find the best locations for lights during ground preparation.

Landscape design is more than just plantings. It incorporates all of the elements needed for curb appeal for any home or commercial building. The best landscape designers are also contractors for hardscape construction and installation.

Find the landscape and construction company to create and build the perfect design for your property.