Why hire a landscape designer?
When to hire a designer?
Choosing a designer.
Tips for your first meeting with a designer.

Why hire a landscape designer?

A landscape designer can see the hidden potential in your landscape. We help screen eyesores and accentuate the beautiful.

A landscape designer can organize your outdoor "living room" to make the most of your small or large space – and even find ways to use your space that you may never have dreamed of!

A good design can add to a home’s property value, and enhance overall neighborhood livability. Your planning from the beginning can reduce costly changes later. We can assist you if you have a tight budget by letting you know where your money will best be spent.  Master plans can be created so that you can budget the installation over several years.

We can help you to choose plant material suited to your yard, climate and lifestyle.  A well-planned yard can lower maintenance and provide year-round color and interest.  A landscape designer can work on projects of all sizes, from renovating neglected garden beds to large properties in new developments.

When to hire a designer?

A landscape designer should be called to confer on a landscape project as early as possible. For example, on new construction consider having a meeting with the architect and landscape designer to create a powerful team to make your dreams come true.

Fall and winter are good times to design your landscaping because not as much is going on in the garden, and there is more time to consider and work out a good design. Also, the "backbone" of the garden is more visible then, as many plants will be leafless and neighboring views stand out more. Landscape design can be done at any season, though, as the work is mainly done indoors, often at a desk, computer, or drafting table.

Choosing a Designer.

This web site is a good place to start. In our member directory, you’ll see a list of our members, and those who specify design will be able to help you. Some designers list areas of specialty and that may help narrow your search. Give a designer a call or visit their web site. All designers welcome introductory questions over the phone, even if it is just for information about what they do.

You can also ask friends and neighbors about the yards you admire. Nurseries and other landscape retailers often can recommend designers. Local garden publications can help, and visiting garden shows is a great way to meet and talk with landscape designers who have booths.

A landscape designer typically consults for an hourly fee or on a per project basis.

Ask questions of a landscape designer to see if he or she is a good fit. You might ask about:

  • Qualifications or specialization
  • Education and certifications
  • Experience
  • Project types and preferences
  • References
  • Portfolio of completed landscape projects

Tips for your first meeting with a designer.

Before you meet with a landscape designer, think about what you want and expect for your landscape. The more information you can provide the designer at the initial meeting, the better. Research articles in books and magazines and collect pictures of gardens you like or dislike.  Make a list of plants, colors and fragrances you like and/or dislike, and give these to your designer.

To help you clarify your wants and needs, consider the following questions:

  • How do you plan to use your outdoor living space?
  • Who will be using the yard and what will they do there?
  • How long do you plan to live in your home?
  • Do you want someone to consult or to work on trouble spots in your yard?
  • Does your yard need a complete make over?
  • What is your budget for installation?
  • How much time and money do you want to spend on upkeep?
  • Are you a "do-it-yourself" person who needs only a plan to tackle the installation on your own?
  • Do you prefer a landscape designer to take the project all the way through to completion?