Tag Archives: greensboro landscaping

Diana Digs Dirt Landscape Design Process

Every landscape designer works a little differently and my process is thoroughly explained below for Piedmont Triad homeowners and small businesses.

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A wealth of information is obtained during our one hour consultation. When the scope of your project is somewhat larger where a consultation just isn’t enough, we move onto developing a landscape plan or recipe for your property. At this point a signed contract and retainer is required to commence work on design. It is helpful, but not needed if a survey is provided. Measurements of any structures, walkways, decks, trees, etc will be plotted on vellum. Information from the consultation, existing measurements and my design ideas are combined to create the most ideal outdoor space for you, your family or small business.

On the landscape plan/recipe (drawn to scale) lists plant sizes to be installed, location, hardscapes, woodwork, lighting, etc. My plans take anywhere from 2-3 weeks for completion because inspiration does not happen immediately. The landscape plan/recipe will take at least an hour to present, is very thorough and all homeowners should be present if possible. During the presentation you will receive a finished rendered plan (with color). To help with visualization, color copies of suggested plant material, arbor/pergola/trellis design, paint swatches, wood, stone or brick samples, drains and/or water elements from my library are shown. This plan can be used for my company to install or for those who don’t mind getting a little dirty.

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From the time of our initial consultation to the time where we actually break ground could be anywhere from 6-12 weeks depending on if a landscape plan is needed. A shorter time for smaller projects if a consultation will suffice. Phases or steps can also be suggested to span over 2-4 years.

Possible Steps or Phases

  • Landscape Plans- June to September
  • Drainage, grading, plant removal, outdoor electrical, new beds- Sept to Nov
  • Stone, brick, wood (eg. outdoor kitchens, arbors/pergolas/trellises, decks, walks, walls- Dec to Feb
  • Irrigation, plant installation, containers, low-level lighting, grass improvement- March to June (plant installation can be divided between spring and fall with trees and shrubs planted first)

There are various services offered for smaller projects, just click here and don’t forget about all the goodies at Cornerstone Garden 414 State St, open Thursday-Saturday from 11-3:30.

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Purchasing Plants to Function in Greensboro Landscapes

Before you head out to the local plant nurseries to purchase a plant tickling your fancy, think about how it will work for you within your landscapes. Plant material provides  function and purpose in addition to looking pretty. Shrubs, trees, perennials and annuals provide Greensboro landscapes with so much more!!

Let’s take a look at one plant and discover how many ways it can work for you in your landscape or garden. Creeping Thyme or the scientific name Thymus is one we can explore.


Thyme is considered an herb or perennial and usually evergreen in the Greensboro area. It is small in size, compact, loves the sun, provides flowers in the spring, drought tolerate, comes in many varieties, culinary uses and the foliage smells divine.

Professional designers really need to discover how this plant will function and serve a purpose in landscape and planting plans. Because thyme is drought tolerate it will work nicely in pots (cascading over the sides), areas not located close to a water source (drought tolerate), and great for the homeowner sporting a black thumb (easy to grow).

Thyme is a great addition to the sunny slopes. Get rid of the grass and incorporate boulders and other small evergreen plants and you have a beautiful rock garden on that slope you instructed your teenager to mow. Erosion control can be addressed by using these types of plants. Since thyme can take the heat, think about having them cascading down a retaining wall located in the sun.


Another function of thyme would be to hide “not so pretty” low-level lighting fixtures. Because this plant is small in size, uplights for trees could be camouflaged within the plants.

Does anyone have a problem with deer or rabbits? Yes, I thought so. Try thyme. Typically these animals stay clear from plant material with scented sticky leaves and thyme is one of them.

The last note on Thyme is the incredible wonderful aroma they emit when touched. Wow, do I love thyme and all other herby-scented plants


The Thyme above is gorgeous in bloom, Thymus coccineum.

To get more bang for your buck think about how a plant will work for you.

Happy Planting!

Diana Gardner-Williams

Landscape Design and Installation


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