A professional landscape designer spends their life thinking about the subject; they come to your garden filled with knowledge, creative ideas and imagination to develop a custom design that is uniquely suited to your home, lifestyle and personal preferences.
Landscape design is challenging from an artistic, environmental, architectural, engineering and horticultural viewpoint. Unlike other art forms, a garden is not a static creation, but a dynamic, evolving ecosystem that requires continued inputs and energy over time. Its creation requires careful thought on different levels: botanically (which plants to choose), spatially (where to put what), seasonally (how will it look year-round?) and temporally (what will it look like in ten years?). A landscape designer factors all these things in and then adds an element of style that provides the spirit of the garden.
By spending time with a landscape designer to work through the design details during the planning phase, you will save money and time, as it is less costly to consider the alternatives and change your mind on paper than it is during installation or after completion. Landscape design consists of a process that culminates in the creation of a set of documents that become your blueprint and information source for the project. These documents will assist you in obtaining comparable bids from landscape contractors to fully develop your site either in a single project or in phases over time.
A landscape designer will work with you to create this master plan, selecting the most appropriate materials & plants for your site and budget, developing solutions for specific problems on your property (i.e. privacy, noise, etc.), and finding the best people in the landscape industry to help bring the vision for your garden to reality.
Additional benefits of working with a landscape designer include assistance with quality control/site observation during installation, the opportunity to purchase plants at considerable savings from retail prices, and formation of a relationship with someone who can provide ongoing consultation as the garden changes and matures.
- The initial consultation consists of an onsite meeting to hear your ideas/vision for the property.
- Discuss possibilities for the site based upon your wishes and budget. Upon mutual determination that we have a good basis for partnership, I will prepare a design services proposal indicating the scope of work and the estimated fees for the project.
- Client questionnaire review. Assimilation of all input from your completed client questionnaire, review of favorite photos/gardens, budget discussion and determination of a color palette for the garden.
- Site analysis & base map preparation. Includes measuring site, taking photographs, analyzing soil, conducting building code research, observing sun/shade/wind patterns, noting drainage issues/noise problems/privacy issues, and identifying plant material to be retained/removed/relocated.
- Concept sketches & client review. Once I complete the base plan, I will develop one or more ideas for you to review. We may also look at examples from books or photographs to help select a design concept & direction.
- Preliminary plan development & client review. Determine final location & design for all desired site elements, including patios/decking, walkways, fences, arbors, play areas, outdoor kitchens/eating areas, pool/spa/water features, lawn and planting beds, trees and general plant materials. Determine building material specifications for the hardscape elements and develop landscape lighting plan, if desired.
- Planting plan development & client review. Develop plan showing specific location of all plant material, including botanical & common names, quantity and size of each plant selected. Includes picture report of all plants.
- Master plan preparation. Prepare final conceptual plan which may include any or all of the following: demolition plan, hardscape plan with building materials legend, construction notes/details, lighting plan, planting plan & proposed irrigation zoning plan.