Design and Installation
Our process begins with a consultation to determine the general scope of the project. This is when we discuss the client's need and preferences, potential components of the deisgn, usage patterns of the site, and issues to be addressed. We also assess the feasibility of the project in conjunction with budget and scheduling expectations. This consultation lasts about thirty minutes and is usually free of charge. Having a copy of the site plat is often very helpful.
A good-faith deposit is normally required to initiate the site analysis and proceed with a formal design. During the site analysis we may take detailed measurements, determine slopes, evaluate and map existing plant material, assess issues such as drainage and erosion, take soil samples, determine light conditions, exposure, and screening requirements, and photograph the site. This analysis allows us to proceed efficiently to the preliminary design.
For this phase of the design we take all the information from the initial consultation and site analysis and combine them into two or three concept plants. We produce a base plan and overlay it with concept sketches. We may incorporate design ideas in the form of photos, material samples, and plant information to help visualize the concept. A preliminary design review with the client determines the preferred concept for moving forward and ties down the specific layout and materials to be used so that the project can be completed within budget.
With the concepts, layouts, and materials defined we can produce the final design drawings. These may be hand-drawn or produced on CAD equipment (we prefer to use Vectorworks CAD software) and will be scaled and sized appropriately for the site. Depending on the project, the drawing package may include illustrative plans, layout drawings, construction details, elevation or perspective views, and planting plans. A final client design review verifies that everything is in order prior to installation.
With the design complete we can produce detailed constings for the project. Since our clients all have different priorities, we work with each one individually to ensure the most appropriate implementation of the design. Some clients prefer a mature look instantly after completion; others are happy to wait a few years for plants to grow and fill in. We also work with local stonemasons to obtain quotes for hardscapes and advise on sourcing of additional components such as furniture and planters.
We start to removing any unwanted plants or hardscapes and, if the project has hardscape elements, these will be installed first. We follow this with soil preparation, hand-digging and amending planting beds for best performance. Then plants are installed, beds mulched and everything cleaned up ready to be enjoyed. The process can take from a single day to many weeks depending on the size of the project, but we are careful to respect the site and keep disturbances to a minimum.
Once installed, we support the client in the establishment of their new landscape. We give detailed care instructions and will happily address any concerns. We usually return to the site regularly to check that everything's progressing as expected and to replace any plants which have failed to establish successfully. We want our clients to enjoy their new landscape, appreciate the plant material, and feel confident in caring for their environment.