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Landscaping advice from landscape architects on April 27

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In Julie Moir Messervy's new book by Taunton Press titled Landscaping Ideas That Work, the landscape architect offers up several concepts that work to help you achieve the landscape you desire in the simplest way possible, according to Houzz contributor Charlotte Albers on April 27.

One of those concepts is to make your garages and driveways beautiful, not just your lawn. Julie points out that a cracked asphalt driveway is really a distracting eyesore which needs to be addressed if you want to improve your property.

Mary Palmer Dargan of Dargan Landscape Architects totally agrees, providing the general public with many free tools on her social media site in order to help them achieve the landscape of their dreams, new driveway and all, on their own. But she is also available for hire and in attendance at such events as the 2014 Buckhead Garden Show, which culminates today in the Atlanta neighborhood.

Between the two landscape experts, one learns that creating an elaborate large garden or home landscape design is not essential to having a pleasing or productive one, even if you have children. In fact, for the most part, you will see each woman recommending creating rooms within your overall home exterior space instead of designating the entire property for multiple activities.

With Julie Moir Messervy, the goal seems to be giving every family member a little bit of space to do what they like outdoors without taking up the whole lawn. For Mary Palmer Dargan, the goal is more along the lines of creating an oasis and haven that moves seamlessly from one outdoor room to another, meeting the homeowner's sanctuary needs at the same time as addressing the practical needs of the family.

Tips from Julie include creating open-air outdoor rooms so you can entertain friends and family, and putting up a partial fence that borders your property and the neighbors, where you want privacy, like for dining. She also recommends creating fun play area spaces for children, to lure them away from indoors and computer screens. But the space doesn't have to be large; just creative and conducive to age-appropriate physical activities they will want to engage in while outside. And she thinks inviting the children to help with the design process is a good idea, since it will be used partially for their play space.

For a look at some unique design ideas for walkways, driveways and outdoor room spaces from Mary Palmer Dargan, check out the video titled Mountain Landscape Design. Many of the ideas presented are not unique to the mountains, as they can be incorporated into most any residential community. And if you haven't visited the Southeastern Horticultural Society's Buckhead Garden Show yet this year, you have until this afternoon to stop in and see Mary Palmer and all the other vendors showcasing their products and services this year.

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