“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” (Renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold’s plea for a “land ethic”). My goal is to improve the beauty and health of the land by creating outdoor places for people that they are proud of and draw them closer to nature.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Every client has a different set of desires and needs. Sometimes a client doesn’t know what they want their landscape to accomplish. So I ask questions to find out what they like and don’t like about the looks of or how they feel in their existing landscape.
I might ask what color flowers they like, if they are allergic to any plants or insects, or if they like to cut flowers and bring them inside to arrange. We talk about style: modern or classic, rectilinear or curvilinear, whether they want an intimate space in which to read or meditate, a large area in which to entertain, or a relaxing place to clear their mind long enough to make up a grocery list. The combinations are endless. The most important part of my job is to find out what my client wants and to find a solution that will fulfill their needs.
Landscape as a work of art
I don’t consider myself an artist, but I do think about designing a landscape the way an artist might think about creating a sculpture or painting. The plants are my pallet. The land is my three-dimensional canvas.
April Algaier is a trained landscape designer. Along with 20-plus years of practical experience, she studied landscape design and horticulture at the University of Nebraska. She is a member of Gamma Sigma Delta Honors Society, and received the Dean’s Certificate Of High Scholarship.