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Existing landscape conditions will guide a landscape design, such as how the flow from these French doors was made to look graceful from the terrace to the pool level.

Control points are certain parts of your existing landscape that are non-negotiable. They are major constraints to design because the designer must meet them both in terms of circulation and grades. Knowing where these points are located and what they mean to your designer helps you better understand her choices. It also helps you become more integrated into the design process.

Here are five constraints encountered in landscape design:

Thresholds: Exterior doorways play a role in the circulation and elevation of your design

Grade Changes: Challenges arise in linking one elevation (such as steps or slopes) to another

Foundations: Footings and construction remnants influence root depth and drainage

Trees: Preserve mature trees by avoiding soil disturbance and changes in grade

Utilities: Underground water and sewer will influence plantings and design

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