Shape and Texture: A variety of flower shapes and foliage textures provides interest

Consultation is the first step taken in creating any design. Whether the project is a blank slate offered by the construction of a new house, the rehabilitation of an existing landscape overgrown through time, or simply advice on solving a vexing problem, walking the property and gaining information is essential.

Initial Consultation

A consultation is sometimes the only service needed. Clients may request a one or two hour consultation to provide answers to landscape questions which they can then work on themselves. The designer walks the property with the owner, giving suggestions for problem areas, including ideas for gardens or hardscaping. It is not a formal design session with a drawn plan, but often provides enough information for clients to go forward on their own. A consultation can also be an informational visit to identify plants, or to suggest a structure, or trees to block a view.

First Step to Garden Design

Assessing a property for its strengths and weaknesses is essential before starting a design. Whether designing a master plan or simply a small garden, it is essential to know as much about the property as possible. Its natural site and plants, and its orientation to the sun, wind, street, utilities, structures, etc. are fundamental pieces. But it is also important to understand the client’s preferences, style and activities in order to fit the landscape to the lifestyle of the owners. For instance, children, dogs, outdoor activities, vegetable gardening and meditation need different kinds of spaces. The amount of time available for gardening determines the complexity or style of flower beds. The more information gathered, the better the design will reflect the client’s wishes.