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How do you get from here....

Landscape design before picture

To here?

Landscape design after photo

 How does the landscape design process work

and how do you hire a landscape designer?

The purpose of a landscape design is to communicate how your project should look when finished.  A landscape designer is typically less expensive than a landscape architect due to the difference in education, licensing requirements, and in-depth specifications they provide.  I'm a landscape designer and I'm here for the pretty stuff and leave the nuts and bolts to a licensed contractor or a savvy DIYer.   

Here's how I work...

Let's say you need a new landscape for the front or backyard.  You've spoken with a couple of landscape contractors and they ask you if you have a landscape design plan and what your budget is. You say 'no' and 'I don't know'.  They'll want a landscape design plan in order to quote an estimate for your project.   They may not even come out to your site until you have a design. So off you go, hunting down a landscape designer on Google, or maybe they'll give you a name to call.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second design draft should be pretty tight at this time.  We review the updated draft and discuss what we see.  Maybe you've changed your mind on something, or you've since discovered something that you want added.  Now's the time.  We review final plant material selections.  We make our final decisions and I proceed to the final phase of the design - the blueprint.

You call me (awesome first move).  We discuss your project.  Where's your home?  Is the scope of the project the front yard, back yard, or both?  How big is the project? How will you use the new space?  Do you want a pool, pergola, outdoor kitchen, hot tub, a place for the kids, a place for the dogs? Do you need to block the view of your neighbor's school bus parked in his front yard?  (speaking from personal experience).  The answers to these questions help me determine how much time we will need at the initial consulation. We'll schedule an appointment to meet, walk the property and discuss the project. We'll discuss my fee, what the design process looks like, and time frame for completion of the design.  It's also the time to determine if we'll be a good fit.  I book my consultations in such a way that if you like me and I like you, I can start at that moment.  The initial consultation is free.

Depending on the size of the project, it typically takes me about an hour on-site after our dicussion.  I'll take time to measure, photograph, think my thoughts, and get an idea of how to proceed with the design.  We'll agree to meet, typically via Zoom, at a another date/time and I'll share the design concept with you.

Landscape designer on Zoom call

The design concept meeting is an opportunity to share with you what I heard in our initial conversation.  We'll look at a preliminary drawing and I'll go over each aspect such as elements, design flow, function, and materials.  I provide visuals so we can be on the same page (it's tricky getting into someone's head).  At this time it's your turn to tell me how much you love it, or not.  Don't see something in the draft you wanted or see something you want removed?  This is the time.  We'll discuss some preliminary plant material selections.  We continue the conversation until you're satisfied I'm going the right direction.  We schedule another meeting for another day.

Landscape designer

The final draft of the design communicates the layout, planting plan, pictures of plant material, and information about the plants.  There are pictures of retaining wall styles, fence styles, fountains, pergolas, pools, etc., whatever elements are included in the design.  It is drawn to scale so a contractor can accurately estimate material costs.  Here's a sample completed design:

Ta-da!!  It's done!  The final drawing is forwarded to you via email.  The attachment can then be forwarded to your landscape contractor.  You can even upload it to the Office Depot website and have it printed in color for about $6.00.  Now that wasn't so hard, was it?  Something to keep in mind:  No design is set in stone.  It's likely you and your contractor will make changes depending on a variety of issues, such as stone color and availability, plant availability, moving the patio over, lowering the height of the pergola, budget; anything can happen.  The design is dynamic. 

 

Here's a video concept design, which has a separate fee, but helps those of us 'visuals' to imagine what it would look like completed.  Just click on the photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you only need a consultation and no drawings, such as plant selection and placement advice, we can go to Green Acres Nursery and look around and discuss options, or if that's mind-numbing to you (no shame), I can select the plants I feel are most appropriate for your project.  Selling your home?  I can help with curb appeal too.

Landscape design outdoor living space with pool, bocce ball court, firepit

I always encourage my clients to be involved.  See something on Pinterest or Houzz?  Send it to me.  Take a picture of something you like as you're driving around or walking the dog and send it to me.  This is a creative and collaborative undertaking.  It's your landscape. 

I'm ready when you are.

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