Lawnscapes' virtual approach gives homeowners different view of landscaping design, BY PEGGY USSERY
Armstrong turned to Wendy Walker of Lawnscapes Virtual Designs for help.
Walker’s design included the large iron bowl for the fire pit, a rock ground cover, and a couple of Adirondack chairs and the swing for seating. Outdoor pillows and fabrics were used to soften the seating. Pieces of wood from four trees the Armstrongs had cut down in the summer were utilized for end tables and a border. Straw bales were even used for additional seating.
Armstrong couldn’t have been happier with the end result. The fire pit area is now the focal point of the family’s backyard.
Like Armstrong, many people aren’t exactly sure what to do with their outdoor spaces. But on Friday and Saturday, local professionals who can help will be on hand at the 2015 Wiregrass Home & Garden Expo at the Dothan Civic Center. Now in its 10th year, the event is sponsored by the Dothan Eagle. Lawnscapes Virtual Designs will be among the vendors, which will feature lawn care, gardening and home interior businesses.
Armstrong had previously worked with Wendy Walker on creating a design for the family’s entire yard through a 3-D landscape design program. With a young daughter, Armstrong said it was important that the design not feature high-maintenance plantings.
“I need something very low-maintenance,” Armstrong said. “I don’t want to spend my weekends in my yard. I want it to be pretty and appealing and aesthetic and be able to sit outside and enjoy it.”
Walker’s Lawnscapes Virtual Designs started as a part-time endeavor five years ago while Walker was still working as a nurse. Her husband, Hubert Walker, had started a lawn care business after losing his job when Sony closed. Wendy Walker always had a natural green thumb and a knack for creative landscaping.
“I was raised on a Christmas tree farm,” Wendy Walker said. “I started planting when I was very young and nurturing trees and plants.”
In the last year, she quit her job as a nurse and put herself into the virtual landscaping business full time. Clients can pay a fee – which ranges from $89 to $125 − for a virtual design. They can then use the design and do the plantings themselves or they can hire Walker to make the idea a reality.
What is a virtual landscaping design?
Walker basically photographs a client’s home exterior and yard. She then uses a program that creates a 3-D landscape on her computer. The client can see the plant choices as well as how plants will look around their home and even the shadows they will cast as they grow (the program can recreate plant growth for up to four years). Walker can also show homeowners how a new roof color or exterior color would look in the landscape.
“It takes all that guesswork out of what an ‘x’ and an ‘o’ is on typical landscape designs,” Walker said. “… Most people don’t know what different plants look like. If I can take them and not only show them what that plant looks like, but then put it up against their home in a design, it takes all that guesswork out for them. People are very visual and that’s where this comes into play.”
Homeowners often give Walker a budget for what they want the end result to cost as well as if there are any plants they absolutely don’t want in their yard.
“Each home is so different and individual,” she said. “It’s a very custom design for that home.”Lawnscapes' virtual approach gives homeowners different view of landscaping design