INITIAL FREE PHONE CONSULTATION
If you are unsure about how to go about your landscape design ideas; if you want to talk to an expert to help you decide on a design plan; if you need help only with how-to suggestions and ideas, I offer a free phone consultation. This can help you decide quickly on your best move forward in your landscape project.
Although I recently moved my office to Dixon, MT, I’ll be available to my clients in Southern California for consultations, plant lists, and in some cases onsite visits and landscape design. With the help of your photos, satellite images and video conferencing (to be announced when available), we’ll review your as-is situation and discuss desirable design options (see below).
For my new gardening friends in Montana, my “eyeball” is still good, and I took with me my passion for design and the experience that brought me awards in Southern California. I look forward to working with you and to helping you articulate your landscape design ideas, to interpreting them and transforming them into reality.
PHONE MEETING AND/OR ONSITE CONSULTATION
Both site visit and/or phone consultation offer valuable opportunities to review many existing site elements, options for their improvement and possible site constraints. Before our consultation I will ask you to prioritize your project elements in an email, send good photos, describe your soil conditions. (Contact me to let you know how to go about determining the drainage of your soil or how to obtain a soil analysis. Also, you can use my Client Questionnaire to help you formulate and define the desired landscape improvements.)
- Review your design wish list and suggest landscape ideas and creative possibilities.
- Give feedback on your property’s character, strengths and potential problem areas that you might not have noticed before;
- Offer a horticultural or artistic assessment of existing plants, micro-climate or other site conditions;
- Discuss your soil, soil drainage, and the existing irrigation system to help you understand design possibilities and potential constraints;
- Review your investment range for your project; recommend a course of action to be implemented in its entirety at once, in part or over time;
- Ask questions as to your lifestyle and interest in gardening to better inform my suggestions; take extensive notes of our conversation and list priorities.
- Lay out my design philosophy, show examples and explain how the process works. That way we can decide whether we’ll be a good fit for each other.
- Help you find a professional San Diego landscaper, Montana landscape contractor or other resources.
Following this meeting I’ll draft a detailed design proposal that outlines our shared objectives, along with the design fees involved and all deliverables defined.
This proposal will also explain the design process and the different steps so you will know exactly what to expect during the design process. Upon your acceptance I will proceed to the first design phase. (Read below for more on the design process.)
Every design starts with an in-depth ‘design study meeting’ in which we
- define the scope of the desired elements and the desired style of your landscape (we could look together at photos from Pinterest or Houzz together to help you articulate your style);
- review the detailed questionnaire that I’ll send you before starting the design process;
- look at the existing architectural style of your home or any clues that are offered by your interior design style;
- discuss possible amenities and review your desired planting scheme;
- define the planting theme that appeals to you;
- review your desired investment and the possible implementation of your project in phases.
Download the Landscape Client Questionnaire to get started today! It’s free, and it can help you “tune in” into the design process and define your project needs.
SITE MAP & SOIL ANALYSIS
The site map is an inventory of the existing site and all pertinent data that informs the design. I always suggest a soil analysis to learn about the composition, percolation rate and special needs of your soil. It will guide in the selection of plants, the preparation of the soil for planting and the long-term maintenance.
PRELIMINARY CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT
After the design study meeting, I create one or more drafts of landscaping ideas for your future yard, including a preliminary plant list. After review with you, I will make all desired revisions and develop the final concept.
FINAL CONCEPT PLAN
The final concept plan is a blueprint that spells out the design ideas and revisions as agreed on in our previous meeting. It shows the conceptual “hardscape” layout (patios, walk ways, outdoor kitchen, pool etc.) and planting plan. It includes the suggested materials and finishes, legends and plant symbols. This is very detailed and allows you to obtain competitive proposals by professional landscape contractors for the execution of the design.
Once the design is ready, the next big piece will be the implementation. This is an exciting time, but it can cause a bit of anxiety. If desired, I’m available for project observation so I can be your advocate during the build-phase. The benefits you will receive are compliance with the design, cost and time efficiencies with the contractor and less anxiety.
Here are some services that I have found to beneficial to clients:
- Introduce you to a licensed landscape contractor.
- introduce the contractor to the project in a first walk-through, if desired by client.
- Assist with bid examination to ensure they cover the design and answer all your questions.
- Other professionals, such as arborist, irrigation specialist, pool builder or geologist/soils engineer may also be brought into the team.
- Site visits (at critical times in the construction and or planting) with any professional as needed.
- Total liaison with client and landscape contractor with problem solving in mind. Other professionals, such as arborist, irrigation specialist, pool builder or geologist/soils engineer may also be brought into the team.
- Site visits (at critical times in the construction and or planting) with the landscape contractor;
- Sourcing of garden art, accessories and furniture;
- Source plants and provide quality control at deliveries to make sure you get the plants that were specified – not some substitute.
- Suggest alternatives for plants or amenities should this become necessary.
- Place plants on the ground according to the design, prior to planting, and and adjust placement if necessary — the landscape design is conceptual and changes can occur during construction which then make adjustments of the planting design desirable.
If desired, I prepare a plant book of all plants used in your design with their photos and descriptions, water & light needs and maintenance instructions. This way you can envision the mature appearance of the plants used in your design even when planted at a young (small) size, identify them when they are in bloom and direct your maintenance and irrigation efforts to their best health.
FOLLOW UP & ON-GOING GARDEN MAINTENANCE
Because gardens are dynamic and forever evolving, I like to follow the maturation of your garden. A poorly maintained garden can become unruly and lose its appeal quickly if not given the proper attention. I offer regular visits to help guide the growth in the intended direction, evaluate its progress and to make recommendations regarding maintenance that will assist you in successfully reaching the full promise of the design. I can also refer you to landscape maintenance professionals.
I now also offer specialty horticultural maintenance. Contact me for details.
Download the Landscape Client Questionnaire to get started today! It’s free, and it can help you “tune in” into the design process and define your project needs. (The information given in it will be strictly confidential.)
CONTACT ME TODAY FOR YOUR FREE PHONE CONSULTATION
Phone me and if I’m with a client please leave a message so I can get back to you quickly: 406-246-6065 (for my Montana clients), and 760-586-6065 (California clients).