Jurgens Designed Landscapes
H. Richard Jurgens
Professional Site Architect
BS degree in Landscape Architecture, Rutgers University 1971


The Process For a Balanced Landscape by Design 

                                 Land Design Guide written by Richard Jurgens

1.    The Search - Taking along a notepad on a special walking tour of the property, we look at the existing landscape as if you were on vacation studying the grounds for the first time.  We are really looking at the property, the house and the distant views.  Notes are made of the good and poor impressions. Study the front of the house, the driveways use and size, the main entry walk for both function and beauty, pretending to be a guest. Is the home appreciated form its best angle? Looking at the existing trees and plantings, do they achieve good shade and visual framing purposes or do some overgrown plants detract from the landscape beauty. From the information on a property survey often on file, property lines can be marked by indicating who owns what is seen.
                            [From this discovery, a general concept direction can be outlined]

2. The Inventory - Measuring the location and size of the major existing landscape elements will be critical to developing a scaled base plan. Video/Pictorial tours can record the scene from an eye perspective. This tape or pictures can record the scene from an eye perspective. The tape or pictures can be changed into simulated finished landscape images to better visualize the design concept. Location of North on the survey will remind us of the cold winter northwest wind that could be blocked or the southwestern breezes that cool in the summer. The arc of the sun can be traced with its seasonal changes.  This inventory should also note car or tire noise,  the condition of the grass, plants and even the drainage of the land. Does the water puddle in places or flow toward the house foundation?
                            [This detailed procedure is critical in determining current asset and new possibilities]

3. The Check List - From the inventory, new thoughts for your landscape can evolve. Adding your desires possibly staged for some future schedule should be recorded and evaluated. Are thoughts of a pool considered? Might herbs, vegetables be fun for dinner? Is there a permanent meditation bench or swing in the relaxation section of the check list? Be it just a lawn or a cricket practice yard, active patio area, consider the ideas now noting that actual construction timetable vary. With a plan, the final result will still interrelate even if it takes a while to see your dreams come true.
                            [Preliminary ideas often result from our initial meeting]

4. The Concept Area Identification - Next we will look at which sections of the property will best serve which needs. Noted as approximate shapes with a scaled size illustrated, these area locations will be plotted on the base plan so that their positions works and looks well. Experimenting with location determination to provide good integration and fit is a very important part of the design process.
   [This general area description will enable envisioning how the design might work by family and guests]

5. The Shaping - This is the key to determining the character of a space. Will it be flowing and restful, angular and exciting, or geometric to compliment the architectural lines of the house of other structures? Since this is a 3-D artwork, height for screening or definition is an important concern whether it tends to be a stiff or a more informal character. Shape this sculpture. Note the important view points from which it will be observed.

6, Material Selection - Choosing the paving materials, plant material for color and texture, accent lighting where the landscape is seen without glare, artistic features which personalize the garden, and the types of ground covers and perennials will identify your home with you and your family where everything tends to work together and blend!