Staff Writer

Adding Curb Appeal to your Inland Empire Area Home

Image of a front yard - Curb appeal - Landscape designEvery realtor in the Inland Empire (or anywhere else for that matter) will tell you that there are 3 key things that are necessary for every home to have: Curb appeal, a great looking and functional bathroom and kitchen. With these you can set the tone for the entire house as well as the price.

When thinking of that first impression you should look to the curb appeal. The front yard layout, colors and how it complements the home will have a huge impact on your property’s curb appeal; after all, it is the first thing a visitor sees when pulling in to your driveway. Having a great curb appeal can also help the homeowner have that “sigh of appreciation” every time you come home from the daily grind!

The extra perk: Neighbors will admire and appreciate a great curb appeal because this not only brings up your property value… but theirs as well.

The Cascading effects

You don’t have to be the belle of the ball of your street but a clean yard layout is a little contagious. We find that when our landscape design clients improve the appearance of their front yards, many neighbors quickly follow suit. This cascading effect can, in many cases, bring a sense of pride in one’s neighborhood and can even get people talking across the fence.

With A few simple elements introduced to our yards and gardens you can instantly have that much needed wow factor.

Entry Ways

Walking in between vehicles on our driveways or even worse, walking on our lawns to get to the front door are big no no’s. A simple walkway gives our home a functional entry access way and immediate curb appeal. When company arrives entering the front door becomes a much more overall enjoyable experience.

The style and feel of the home will help determine material and color selections. Concrete, pea gravel, flagstone and pavers are a few options to choose from. While the sidewalk or path does not necessarily need to be expensive to look great, it can be that little thing that really says that you care about the look of your Inland Empire Home.

Planter beds

Annuals and perennials added throughout our front yard bring instant amazing pop of color. Whether flanking the entry way or under windows, planter beds help soften the appearance of the home. As with entry walk ways, the overall style of the home and garden design will dictate plant options.

Organic shapes and mounded planter beds are very easy to create and add texture and elevation play to our yards.

Call Bella Terra Landscape Designs Today – (855) YARD-PLANS

Image of a water feature - Curb appeal - Landscape designWater Features

A wow factor element that can be added to our front yards is a water feature. Whether it is a prefab unit or something custom built, having the sight and sound of cascading water adds an instant focal item to our gardens. The design experts at Bella Terra always recommend a pondless water feature. Something like a bubbling urn or a natural boulder water fall, for example, over an underground catch basin. With a pondless water feature it will help eliminate stagnant water which, in turn, greatly reduces algae, unpleasant odors and most importantly mosquitos.

NOTE: Don’t get a water feature just to have one. Because a water feature can be a focal point of a nice landscaped yard it should be well throughout and placed properly. Just “sticking one in the yard” just to say you have one can actually make the yard look cluttered. Carefully think about the location and style before adding.


Some of the showcase homes found in the landscaping magazines of an Inland Empire area home have a beautiful vista orchestrated by properly laid out trees. Trees are a very underused and under rated elements in our front yards with some landscapers pulling them out however, most don’t realize that large trees not only look fantastic when placed in focal areas; but also add property value to our home. Trees can help scale the house to our yards, provide shade, assist in privacy and help secure the lawn when those heavy rains come. Now we are not talking about planting a forest in the front yard, but by adding a few focal trees it will certainly will bring much curb appeal.

From a Blank Canvas to a Masterpiece

At Bella Terra Landscape Design, we hope that these few elements discussed will help shed light on what can be implemented into your front yards and gardens to help improve your home’s curb appeal.

We utilize our years of design experience to produce a landscape design plan that exceeds your expectations. Beginning with a tour and discussion of the Inland Empire area yard we can create, in detail, a landscape design that will transform your backyard into an extension of your Inland Empire home. When choosing to have professional landscape services done, be sure to start with a competent design by a design team that has a methodical mindset. We take a blank canvas and enter in the individual desires of our clients to create a masterpiece.

Useful Links

Check out some of our Testimonials – Click Here

To learn more about our Bella Terra Landscape Design – Click Here

Should I act as my own landscape Contractor?

Design Plans are the first step - Landscape design in the Inland Empire  areaA great divide exists in the home improvement industry between service professionals and the DIY (do it yourself) community. Home-improvement box stores such as Home Depot and Lowe’s spent a large amount of advertising dollars empowering the weekend warrior that they can do a job just as good as the professionals… and this may be true!

As a professional landscape design firm we often get asked by our customers:

“Can I build what your designs layout?”

Our answer: “Absolutely yes, well no, kinda, sure… maybe?”

When dealing with a professional landscape project you should treat it as you would any other home-improvement project for your Inland Empire area home. Determine what you can… and can’t do. Below is some useful information to help you determine if you should act as your own landscape contractor

“I can save a ton of money if I do it myself”, right?…

This age old question is one we, at Bella Terra Landscape Design, come across frequently as a landscape design firm when it comes to the installation of our clients projects. Once landscape design plans for your Inland Empire area home are in hand, with everything detailed and outlined; so it should be a piece of cake to implement what’s on paper, right? Well… yes and no.

One of the main reasons for having landscape design plans professionally drafted is to save money by clearly identifying what goes where and in what order. So YES.. The Inland Empire area homeowner can be their own landscape contractor and put into production what is set forth in their landscape design. However, the skill set of the homeowner will determine how much of the project can be completed without professional assistance.

What should typical DIYer’s attempt to install on their own when attacking their landscape projects?

Again, much of this depends on the skill level of the Inland Empire area homeowner (or if they invite uncle Bob to come over and help) but there are certainly elements of landscape construction that most everyday Jane and John Doe’s can do… and some they should consider having a licensed contractor install. However, here are a few things to the average DIY’er can usually do:

Demolition of existing yard items, running irrigation lines, mulching, softscape planting and low voltage lighting installation are examples of much more manageable landscape installation elements. Projects like removing old cracked concrete, outdated pavers or small trees and shrubs that have seen better days are a great way to get more involved in your project and save money doing so.  Installing drip irrigation, running low voltage wiring throughout the yard and placing bark mulch or decorative rock around plants and open areas are laborious, but not difficult.

Call Bella Terra Landscape Designs Today – (855) YARD-PLANS

Some things are best left to the pros - Landscape design in the Inland Empire  areaWhat landscape projects should be left to the professional contractors?

While we recommend that the entire project be done be a local Inland Empire area professional landscape contractor to ensure the perfect look according to the design plans, there are some items that should be left to the professionals. Pools, large retaining walls, drainage, building structures, large tree installation, paver patio’s, deck construction, brick and stone work, waterscapes and finished concrete work may not be some of the ideal projects for a weekend warrior to attempt to install on their own.

Construction elements like these require years of experience, tools and techniques to make sure they are done correctly. Professional Inland Empire area contractors have knowledge of local City and/or County codes, which will be invaluable as these elements will often require several inspections and possible even engineering details and stamped plans.

Weigh the costs… now and long term!

When everything is said and done; yes, a typical Inland Empire area DIY’er can attempt to install many of these aforementioned portions of typical landscape construction. However, if elements outlined in your professional landscape design plans are not installed properly it can often end up costing the you more in the long run. Improper or incorrect installation or preparation for elements to be done at a later phase can often come back to bite you. Regret is a difficult pill to swallow when spending countless hours and dollars only to be disappointed with the final outcome of your hard work that was not done right the first time.

Here’s some unsolicited advice…

My advice, as the owner of a landscape design firm for nearly 15 years in the Inland Empire area now, is to take a step back and create a list of the elements to be installed that are realistically achievable; taking into account your available time and knowledge. Choose carefully those projects that you can confidently do vs. those that will need the skills of a professional to install. At the end of the day I feel you will be much more satisfied knowing you did the right thing with your time and money… and of course will have a beautiful yard to enjoy for years to come to show for it.

A Path to Perfection

At Bella Terra Landscape Design, we work hard to produce a landscape design plan that exceeds the customers expectations. Beginning with a tour and discussion of the Inland Empire area yard we can design, in detail, a landscape design that will transform your backyard into an extension of your home. When choosing to have professional landscape services done, be sure to start with a competent plan that will provide the path to perfection that you desire for your Inland Empire area home.

Useful Links

Check out some of our Testimonials – Click Here

To learn more – Click Here

How to save valuable resources with your landscaping

Let us help you design the yard of your dreams - Landscape design in Chino Hills CA,In today’s global mindset of saving for the next generation it’s vital we all do our part to conserve our valuable water, air and electrical resources. When everyone plays their part to conserve around their Inland Empire area home, it can add up to huge saving for everyone! Here at Bella Terra Landscape Design we know a few things about conservation. All of our landscape designs tie in the needs of the customer with an earth friendly approach.

Listed below are some clever and easy to do conservation methods when looking to the landscapes around your Inland Empire area home.

Choosing the Right Plants

When looking at the cheapest and easiest conservation method… look to how nature does it. Drought tolerant plants are a great way to make an immediate difference in the water consumption needed to keep your landscape looking green and vibrant; as well as giving your Inland Empire area home a great looking curb appeal. Now when you think about drought tolerant plants you mind might think of desert scape landscaping… but it does not have to be. There are several plants available that have beautiful, vibrant colors and textures that are certain to please the senses; while saving on water resources.

Water… Smarter

Along with using plants that require less water, changing over to a drip water system instead of sprinklers is a great way to save on the utility bill, as well as conserving water resources for your Inland Empire area home. There is a major difference in how much water is needed to keep your plants and turf areas healthy between traditional sprinklers and a quality drip system. We recommend a drip system with inline check valves which ensure that all areas receive equal amounts of water slowly and efficiently. The days of over spray, runoff and uneven watering distribution should be a thing of the past with a quality drip water system.

Utilizing Technology

Smart water controllers are also a fantastic way to make sure watering is only done when needed for your Inland Empire area home. What makes these new controllers smart is the fact that they sync up with Weather Channel satellites through your Wi-Fi connection! This information will adjust the watering times of your irrigation zones based on your local weather. For example: when it is over cast and cool the watering times will automatically lower. When it is a hot summer day with 90 plus degrees, the system will increase its watering schedule. Naturally when it is raining, the system will automatically shut off. Now that’s smart!

Call Bella Terra Landscape Designs Today – (855) YARD-PLANS

Synthetic Turf can be a easy solution to an amazing yard- Landscape design in Chino Hills CA,How do you keep your yard so nice all the time?

Using synthetic turf is an ingenious way to conserve water PLUS saving you maintenance time and money for your Inland Empire area home. The days of fake looking green carpets laid over front yards that give the appearance of grass are long gone. There are new options for synthetic turf offering low cut, longer with varied blade heights and even some with brown thatching to give the turf an appearance of being a bit thirsty are readily available. This might sound cheesy and the install cost might be a little high; but consider not needing to water, mow or trim your yard! Plus the bonus of the neighbors always wondering… How do you keep your yard so nice all the time?

Less Power Means More Savings

Saving water is great but what about power? Having good outdoor landscape lighting is a necessity to help transform the outdoor landscape to an extension of your Inland Empire area home. Security, curb appeal and safety are often thought of as primary reasons for lighting and should be carefully planned out for both the need and the esthetic. In the past using low voltage halogen lights was the only to go; today much better options are available. LED based lighting fixture pricing has significantly dropped recently making available low energy lighting options for your Inland Empire area home. These fixtures are typically powered by a transformer that can be purchased with an option to turn the lights on and off on a timer or at a set program. This flexibility will not only bring functionality to the LED outdoor lighting but also save on the electric bill as well.

Adding Conservation to Creativity.

At Bella Terra Landscape Design we strive to produce a design plan that exceeds the customers wants and needs. Conservation of our valuable resources is a fundamental part of the design and materials recommendations offered to the contractor as part of the development process. Beginning with a tour and discussion of the Inland Empire area yard we can design, in detail, a landscape design that best suits your family’s needs, wants and desire towards conservation.

Selection of all the right plant materials that best introduces the vibrancy, color and texture to the property with an eye toward conservation is a trademark aspect of our design. We take into account the plants, irrigation, layout and lighting to provide a complete format to transform your yard into an extension of your Inland Empire area home.

Useful Links

Check out some of our Testimonials – Click Here

To learn more – Click Here

Why do I need landscape design plans?

Let Us help you paln your next project - Landscape design in the Inland Empire  areaWhen considering professional landscaping for your Inland Empire area home you might have called a few landscape and hardscape companies only for them to ask if you have had a landscape design plan created yet? Then you started thinking… “Why do I need landscape design plans? I mean… I know what I like and I know what I want; so why bother putting it into an elaborate plan?”

Like most things in life, implementing something with a plan makes the process simpler. Whether planning a wedding, remodeling a kitchen or building a house addition, having a design to follow helps in many ways.

The Bella Terra Team consists of Hardscape designers, horticulturists, irrigation, drainage and lighting experts assuring a professional process which will expertly guide you through the proper steps to achieve the landscape of your dreams.

This article we will identify some of the reasons why you should consider having a professionally landscaped design plan created.

Getting everyone on the same page

You have a vision; a vision that you may have been crafted from a beautiful place you visited, magazine article or from the neighbor across the street. No matter the inspiration it’s important to make sure that you are expressing your vision correctly to the company that will be crafting your vision. By creating a landscape design plan for your Inland Empire area home it will eliminate doubt and uncertainty regarding the landscaper’s interpretation of your vision. By laying out a comprehensive landscape design plan you avoid missing or forgetting something in your projects installation that may end up costing more later or even regretting the end result… THAT is a tough pill to swallow.

There is no better way to assure you, your family and the landscape company are on the same page, literally, without having something drawn out for approval. Plus by giving contractors in the Inland Empire area a plan to properly bid off of is immeasurable. The only way to receive a true “apples to apples” comparison is to make sure they are all looking at the same information.

As a matter of scope, if it is a large scale project or simply a matter of budgetary restraints, being able to attack a project in sections or phases is only really possible if you have a scaled plan to section and work off.

Call Bella Terra Landscape Designs Today – (855) YARD-PLANS

Having a plan ensures that your project turns out like you pictured it - Landscape design in the Inland Empire areaLocation, location, location

The Hardscape designers, horticulturists, irrigation, drainage and lighting experts at Bella Terra will help you focus your landscape design based upon some thought provoking questions that are steeped in experience, such as:

  • Where is the best place to locate my pool?
  • Should I use a Fire pit or fireplace?
  • What direction does the wind blow across my yard and how will it affect my BBQ placement?
  • What direction does the sun set in relationship to my deck?
  • What trees will not make a mess or give me root issues over the years?
  • What materials are best to walk barefoot around my pool?
  • Will the water properly drain when it rains?
  • Is there proper lighting?
  • Does the budget match the vision?

These are some of the practical questions and issues that having a proper landscape design will answer and address.

Price vs. Reality

Let’s face it, we’ve all seen the gorgeous magazine picture of landscaped home and want the same for our Inland Empire home. However, reality is many of those landscape designs were made with an unlimited budget, something that is usually… unavailable. Naturally budgeting is a huge factor in the design process. Running preliminary construction costs through planning is vital. This will ensure the project is realistically obtainable or determine if phase work is necessary. In the end having a proper landscape design plan should spare you from any unnecessary headaches as well as providing you with piece of mind that the project will be installed in the correct sequence with the best possible combination of materials, colors and functionality. 

The Final Product: Perfection.

At Bella Terra Landscape Design we strive to produce a design plan that serves all of these purposes. We begin with creating a layout of the Inland Empire area yard that best suits your family’s needs. Proper space planning is followed by strategically choosing materials and finishes that best compliment your home’s colors and style. Next we select all of the plant material that best introduce vibrancy with color and texture to the property. Irrigation, drainage and lighting schematics follow suit meticulously detailing what materials are needed and where they are to be placed.

Useful Links

Check out some of our Testimonials – Click Here

To learn more – Click Here