RSS

Tag Archives: budget landscapes

Why Schedule a Landscape Design Appointment

DianaDigsDirt Landscape Consultation Process

After the client answers a 25 question survey, an appointment is set. Diana prepares for a brief presentation with ideas generated from the questions and may bring color copies of appropriate landscape spaces from analyzing questionnaire.

If after a 1 hour landscape consultation, notes are taken by DianaDigsDirt and given to client. If we feel a design is needed because of the scope of work, the consultation fee is subtracted from the landscape plan.

  

 The landscape plan can start immediately after the consultation by plotting (taking measurements) of your house (if homeowner cannot provide a survey), existing trees and plant material to remain, outdoor structures, driveways, and usually takes another hour.

Diana returns to the office and begins drawing the base map on vellum, for which the design will be drawn from.

The utility companies are called, locating underground lines and marked with various colors of spray paint. She then takes a quick drive by to ensure design stays clear of underground lines.

Design is drawn reflecting mature size of plants, blueprints are made and plan is rendered. Upon presentation, additional color copies are presented giving homeowners a better feel of the final vision. In the general notes section, phases are suggested if the entire project cannot be completed in one season. The general notes section could include wood stain/paint colors, weed prevention plan, bulb planting, etc. These details also help if homeowners will install themselves.

Landscaping companies have their place in our community as do Landscape Designers. Most designers have gone through schooling of plants, design, construction, ecology and history. The plant education alone is very intense, where landscape designers can identify plant material in the winter months, hence designing can begin in late winter.

A one hour consultation by a landscape designer will save money in the long run, as stated by The Home and Garden Television Network. They educate homeowners on selection of plant material appropriate for the space, whether an erosive location, drainage issue, sun or shade, privacy, safety and so on. They also add the factor of aesthetics into the equation. 

Landscape designers look at underground utilities, family life, pets, wildlife problems and determine plant material to be installed conducive to hours per month the family would like to “work” in their landscapes. 

Call for a consultation and save yourself money one can spend elsewhere (consultations are $100)

DianaDigsDirt

Diana @ justacloudaway.com

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Piedmont Triad Commercial Landscaping Projects

Landscaping companies are still installing landscape plans in this down economy. Are commercial and institutional properties taking the time to look at maintenance, mature size of plant material, or what this plant needs to survive? Study the landscape plan now before the $$$ leave your pocketbook. Check out Better Homes and Gardens on this issue.

Many, many projects are re-design. Why, plants have overgrown their spaces because the landscaping company did not know how this particular plant grew or what cultural requirements were needed to thrive (sun, shade, protection from wind, water, water and more water).

It is our job as landscape designers being able to identify plant material in the winter months. This is necessary when there are existing plants on the property and designing with keeping their integrity in tact.

We look at the shape of the buds, size, color, if they are alternate or opposite, like the one above. Also analyze plant form, bark (texture, color, lenticels or exfoliation), branching habit and seed pods, fruit or cones of the plant like the Fig Tree below

The nandina shrubs (planted very close to the sidewalk), will grow to 6 feet tall and spread to 4 feet, with the added nightmare of suckering where plants are not needed. A better selection would have been dwarf nandina, where no shearing or pruning is needed.

Designing the landscapes for commercial and institutional properties are looking at budget. It might look like a good idea to save the money up front, but in the long run, you will pay more. The property below has increased maintenance due to the column and post.

 It will take more time to trim the grass than it would be to turn it into a bed and install no maintenance evergreen groundcover. Remember, 75% of your public landscape should be evergreen. A better selection for this area could have been creeping sedum.

Landscaping companies don’t always consider the aesthetics of the landscape plan.  Below rip rap was used on a slope. This is used to stabilize the slope from erosion. We hope that they come back to install evergreen groundcovers, covering this utility rock.

Wendover Avenue is a highly visible with a large amount of traffic, not to be landscaped properly.

If you think hiring a landscape designer before calling a local landscape company will break the bank, look at all the future maintenance adding to he overall monthly costs. Do it right the first time.

Happy Planting!
DianaDigsDirt
Landscape Design and Installation
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

To Hire a Landscaper or Landscape Designer?

If you want your landscape to work for you (provide a function) and install plants only once, I would highly recommend hiring a landscape designer. Even if you are a do-it-yourself-er, a one hour consultation will save money, your back and you will do it right the first time.

I would say 50% of my projects are re-design. The one below is an example. The grading work has created a ditch for water to collect in the grass and rip rap rock was used to border a plant bed (this is not decorative, it is used for drainage purposes adding no value to the landscape).

IMG_2498

This landscaper for the project below choose to use anchor plants (corner plants) that will exceed 50 feet in height. Not only is this disproportionate for the house, it will pose a safety hazard for those walking to the front door.

IMG_2790

This landscape company installed foundation plants where mature height would completely cover the windows.

IMG_0798

Landscape Designers take into account your lifestyle, your family, existing site conditions, hobbies, and with their professional experience, make appropriate plant recommendations. The initial cost to hire a landscape designer is more than landscaper fees, however, in the long run will save you money on your investment.

There is at least two reasons why I select plants for their location and a great deal of this process is based on location and the homeowner. For example, 8 pink knock rose shrubs were planted to provide an intimate secret garden area, flowers from May until frost and the petals will be used by flower girls.

IMG_0856

Most landscape designers absolutely love their profession and love plants. Combine the two and it is bound to create something spectacular for you to enjoy for years to come!!

Happy Planting!  www.dianadigsdirt.com

Diana Gardner-Williams

Landscape Design and Installation

 
1 Comment

Posted by on July 15, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,