1. Let’s Talk!
The Design Process begins when an appointment is set up between the Designer and the Client. We will have discussed several points, including your “Wish List” for the outcome of your yard so we can take maximum advantage of the time. I’ve found that every client is different; the terrain can vary from flat with nothing in it to sharp slopes with rock outcroppings. Together we will create a garden with qualities unique to you and one you can enjoy for years to come.
2. Let’s Meet!
Next is our meeting at your home where we will tour your property to ascertain the potential of your preferences and your “Wish List”. I have a check-off sheet with various items listed and we can add any other objects that may ultimately enhance the outcome. If you have pictures from magazines, gardening books you have collected that is always helpful to give me insight on the theme or final look you wish to achieve. I will show you my photo album of previous projects, samples of other client designs, as well as my Design Portfolio to provide you with some ideas as well. Sometimes seeing what we’ve accomplished for previous clients may give you insight into our capabilities to accomplish your finished project and ultimately give you a yard/garden you can be proud to show and use.
3. Measuring & Photography
At the end of the Consultation, we will make an appointment for myself or a member of my team to return to your home to measure and photograph the property. Since your plan will be done to scale, accuracy is very important. If you have a Plot Plan (which is given to you at the Escrow Closing) which shows the size of your property and placement of the home therein, that is very helpful. In drawing your design I must take into consideration privacy issues, neighbors landscape, views, architecture of your home as well as the surrounding area in order to create a flow from interior to exterior. Of course soil conditions (we test your soil for Ph factors), wind direction, sun exposure, existing plants, natural factors (slopes, rock outcroppings, clay & rocks vs. decomposed granite) all have to be well thought out. In the Greater Sacramento Valley area there are many microclimates and more than one Zone to be considered. All of these details enable me to incorporate features and plantings into your completed Design.
4. Preliminary Design
This Preliminary Plan meeting becomes a work in progress between us to define your desires and preferences. Most people have no idea about costs for landscaping and installation. It can be expensive, depending on your choices. If you have a budget in mind, I can either do your design based on that or if you wish to complete your landscaping in stages, I will do a complete Landscape Design that you can work with over a period of time. If something you wish won’t work…or live in this climate…I will tell you so thus saving time, money and frustration.
A Preliminary Plan is a tissue overlay over the basic layout which has been mapped onto Velum. It is a map on which to build and define how spaces will be used in the project. The general concept will consider the things from our consultation, your “Wish List” and any pictures you may have shown as well as any requirements from Homeowners Associations and/or County Building Codes. Items such as patios, walkways, perhaps a pool, plant beds, water features/ponds, focal points will be laid out. I bring my erasers and “tools of the trade” so I can make any adjustments or changes to the plan you wish. I prefer to hand draw my designs because it gives both the home owner and the contractor a simple, easy to follow plan to visualize without the complications of computer complexities.
5. A Completed Design
Your hand drawn, to scale, completed design includes:
- Placement of all Hardscapes such as patios, decks, walkways, pond/water feature, fences, arbors, patio covers, pool, dog runs, children’s play areas, boulders, lighting placement, etc.
- Placement of all Softscape, i.e. plants, shrubs, trees, lawn areas, vines, etc. allowing for growth. Each plant drawing is shown at mature size.
- A detailed & keyed Planting Plan showing size, quantity, Botanical name and Common Name.
- Specifications for Drainage & Irrigation.
- Specifications for Lighting and Lighting Legend.
- Planting Instructions – including Deep Water Instructions for trees.
- Definition key, i.e. downspouts, electrical outlets, etc.
- Up to 4 black & white copies so you may obtain ARC approvals or bids from contractors. If more copies of the plan are needed there is a slight cost.
- Design completion time: 1 to 4 weeks, depending on size & complexity
Buds 2 Branches – (Kati White) can act as your Project Manager to oversee the entire project installation, work with your landscape contractor or recommend licensed Landscape Contractors I have worked with over several years who’s work I know to be excellent. With the extra copies you have of the Completed Residential Landscape Design, you can obtain proposals from other landscape contractors. In any instance, once you have decided who will do the installation, I have found that my involvement during installation is crucial to the outcome. I will be available to answer questions, check layout of hardscape or planting beds, make changes or adjustment to plants or shrubs (due to availability) in order to maintain proper size, species, etc. Even when another contractor is chosen for the installation, I will facilitate obtaining the plants, their delivery and placement to insure the proper ones are delivered and accounted for.