LandPatterns has been creating outdoor architectural landscaping designs since 2000. Under Marc Funderburk’s leadership, the Oak Cliff team takes on 20 to 30 projects a year. The company’s philosophy marries luxury with an appreciation of nature, and focuses not only on the enhancement of property value, but also on the well-being of the client.
What one thing should people be aware of before they begin a landscaping project?
MF: One thing clients never seem to appreciate is that plants are growing, living dynamic organisms. Landscapes need to be changed every seven to 10 years, because the plants will outgrow the environment. So everything needs to be designed with that in mind.
Your environment needs to be able to thrive. Exotic flowers don’t do well in Dallas. Perennials like butterfly bush, lantana bush, and coronation gold yarrow do well. They attract hummingbirds and different birds and butterflies. We’ll use those quite a bit.
How do you create a space that will psychologically benefit your client?
MF: I’ve spent a lot of time observing how people use the environment.
We analyze how our clients are going to use the outdoors, how they want to use their space. And we allow them to experience it the way they want it.
Being a part of what Mother Nature has to offer gives you a sense of calm and allows you to go out into the day ready for whatever happens. It’s that interaction through the senses with the environment, with the outdoors, that gives you a respite from the office.
There are schools of thought about harmonizing your environment – feng shui, for instance. Do you follow any guidelines, or is your approach more personalized?
MF: It’s based upon personality, and what the architecture is. What we design has to be based on architecture. It’s also based on how the clients interact, how they dress, how they are in their home.
I don’t subscribe to feng shui, although I appreciate what it does. There are a lot of different schools of thought, but to me it’s all about the individual.
Do you have a project that exemplifies your approach?
MF: A client in the Park Cities had a pool in a heavily treed lot and they never used it. We took out the pool and introduced an outdoor entertainment center with a kitchen and fireplace. So now that space is being used. We kept elements of the pool by putting in a water feature to keep the sounds of water.
Then we planted a variety of textures and seasonal colors: sweet olive, banana shrub, azaleas, ferns, dwarf mondo grass. Now they’re invited to be outside rather than inside, because it feels better.
I get a sense of satisfaction from getting a client to see the beauty that is out there. And I form great relationships with the client because it’s an ongoing interaction. You don’t just walk away, the relationship grows just like the landscape.