The Initial Meeting - Exchanging Ideas
    During our first meeting, we often begin by talking about what you imagine for your garden and landscape. As we walk around your property, we discuss what you like and don't like, what works and what doesn't work. We also walk around the inside of the house, looking out windows, then in and out of various doors to get a sense of how you live in the space and move through it from day to day. This first meeting is an opportunity to exchange ideas, I encourage clients to talk about what they would like to see, as well as gardens they have seen and liked, or express particular desires - perhaps a cutting or herb garden or favorite plants or shrubs. As we talk and walk around or perhaps look through books or magazines the client has selected, I begin to conceptualize a design concept and offer initial ideas and approaches.

 


The second Visit - Measuring and Analyzing the site
During this site visit I measure and photograph the site, in the event archetectural site drawings are unavailable or incomplete. At this stage I observe more closely the various areas of a landscape - how they flow (or don't) from one to the next and how areas might be enhanced or perhaps dramatically changed. As I develop a "feel" for a property, I begin to expand on the initial conceptual approach and visualize how to frame views (or perhaps hide views of neighbors), enhance the relationship between house and garden and develop the garden's framework. We can then discuss in greater detail how to proceed with these initial design concepts. From this point, I draw draw up preliminary ideas with some different approaches, suggesting various plantings incorporating trees, shrubs and perennials.

 


Plans & Drawings: for Garden Planting and Landscaping

Plans consist of scale drawings of designated areas, showing the placement of features such as terraces, steps, paths, architectural features, and trees or shrubs, and herbaceous plants. Where it is appropriate or helpful in visualizing the design, elevations in the form of outline sketches can be drawn. These quick sketches will help create a three dimensional picture of the proposed garden.

In some areas of a garden or landscape, that are large or on rough ground, detailed plans may not be necessary or appropriate. In a woodland, for example, "outline plans" drawn roughly to scale, might feature the approximate placement of feature trees or shrubs and shrub groupings and sweeps of flowering ground covers. Where "outline sketches" are used, I approximate the numbers of plants and finalize the design while working on the site with a planting crew.

 

 


Client Meeting to Review Plans

This is an opportunity to discuss the ideas presented, ask questions and make changes. This will be your garden, so your ideas are important. Part of my job is to help you articulate what it is you want and what you imagine. Using trace paper and colored markers, we work together to refine these preliminary plans; change the shape of a terrace or the placement of a wall or trees and shrubs or perhaps add various trees, shrubs and perennials.

Outside in the landscape, we will walk around the property, stand beneath imaginary arbors, visualize sweeps of spring bulbs and imagine the colors, textures and fragrances of the various seasons.

This meeting can take anywhere from one to two or three hours - at the end of which, plans are often given first approval. After this "review", any changes in plans requiring additional design or consultation time are billed at my regular hourly rate.

 

 


Developing a Garden in Stages
It is often appropriate (sometimes necessary) to develop a property in phases, beginning with the areas nearest the house. Developing a garden in phases, allows you time to get a feel for your garden and how you would like to see it evolve. When appropriate, I can create a garden or landscape Master Plan in phases of five, ten, or fifteen years - whichever seems most appropriate to the needs of the clients and those of the property. I can also assist clients in developing a regular and ongoing maintenace program to nurture and sustain their garden and landscape.

 

 


Estimates
Estimates for garden installations are provided after the plan(s) and any changes (by client or designer) are finalized. The actual cost of plants (trees, shrubs, vines, ground covers and perennials) may vary depending upon availability of varieties, and sizes. Delivery fees for trees and shrubs are approximate and will vary depending upon the nursery. Because garden making, revolves around the variables of weather, soil conditions, etc., it is impossible to predict ahead of time exactly what the cost will be. So on projects where I am organizing the planting and co-ordinating sub-contracted labor for the planting of trees and shrubs, I can provide an estimated cost of labor and services.

 

 


Installation and Services

Sometimes clients wish to plant their gardens themselves. But more often, I am asked to supervise and organize the preparation of the site and work with and coordinate various sub-contractors for the garden's basic structures.

If requested by clients, I can personally select and order trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials. I can also organize and supervise sub-contracted work such as planting perennials, bulbs, trees and shrubs.

It is not possible to plant a garden and walk away from it and expect it to thrive - newly planted trees, shrubs and perennials must be weeded, watered and fertilized and carefully monitered to assure that they become successfully established. For this reason, follow-up is extremely important. Once a garden (or specific area) is installed, I continue to visit the site at periodic intervals and provide horticultural consultations when required.

Because I am a gardener, as well as a designer, and have grown many of the plants I include in my designs, I am able to provide my clients with practial advise on plant care and maintence and help develop an ongoing maintence program.