Tag Archives: landscape plans

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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Landscape Designs, Plans or Recipes Save Money

Many homeowners enjoy outdoor living areas and take pride in doing the work themselves. Within time, it is realized that incorrect plants are used, drainage issues were not addressed or high maintenance plants were installed. Planting your landscapes correctly the first time would save money and hard work.

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Professional landscape designers are well-educated with a great knowledge of plants, drainage and hardscapes. Just like interior design, landscape designers apply design elements and principles in order to create an aesthetic and cohesive landscape. Some of the elements and principal include; unity, focal point, repetition, color, texture, balance and proportion.

The best part of a landscape design or recipe is the suggested phases. Usually homeowners cannot afford to implement the entire plan, so the design would offer affordable phases to be completed within one to two years.

plan2-c Landscape Plans include; plant key, phases (the sequence of implementation), lighting, materials and other notes specific to the project.

Some suggestions from a landscape designer could be installing deciduous trees with height that is proportionate to the home and within the southeast area providing shade during the hot summer days. Tall evergreen plant material could be installed on the northwest side of the home to act as a wind break from cold winter wind. If you plan to sell your home in the near future it is a good idea to install 75% evergreen plant material in the front foundation bed. This ensures your residence will have curb appeal during any month the home goes on the market.

A good landscape design should incorporate family wants and needs, provide year round interest, address existing site conditions and apply design elements and principals for an aesthetic and livable landscape.

Come meet Landscape Designer Diana Digs Dirt at 414-B State Street in Greensboro Thursday-Saturday from 11-3:30 or she can be reached at 392.4031.



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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)


Diana @



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DianaDigsDirt for LIFESPAN

Donations from Landscape Consultations, Master Landscape Plans and Landscape Installation projects will go directly to LIFESPAN’S Horticulture Department between the months of December and March, 2010-2011. Services from DianaDigsDirt includes residential and institutional needs.


LIFESPAN  transforms the lives of children and adults with developmental disabilities by providing education, employment, and enrichment programs that promote inclusion, choice, family supports, and other best practices. Read President/CEO, Leigh Derby’s message.

For 1 hour Landscape Consultations-value-$100, with LIFESPAN receiving 50%

  • General landscape issues- a questionnaire with approximately 25 questions are to be answered and returned prior to appointment. Diana will then gather appropriate color pictures and ideas to present at the meeting. For example; pets, style of home, maintenance, deer, drought, orientation of home


  • Wedding consultations (residential)-  a separate list of questions is to be answered and returned prior to the appointment. These types of hourly consultations are perfect for brides wishing to create  outdoor scenes the day of the wedding within the landscape where wedding party is preparing for the ceremony reflecting heritage, personality, or style. Also for Budget Brides, Green Weddings or Do-It-Yourselfer’s (DIYer’s). Grow your own greenery, bouquets, and outdoor ornamentation


  • Wedding consultations (wedding venues) a separate list of questions would need to answered and returned  prior to appointment. Consultations will include areas needing improvement, creating year round interest of neutral color as a backdrop for any wedding ,underdeveloped areas, increasing the number of wedding bookings and suggesting ideas to compliment the existing structure.


  • Memory garden- a separate list of questions to be answered and returned before consultation, including residential and institutional. Memory gardens don’t necessarily contain ashes of the loved ones, but provides a special place for reflection on one’s property, school, church, etc.

 Master Landscape Plans/Recipes-range from $450 and up with LIFESPAN receiving a percentage

  • Landscape Plans/Recipes are required for large properties where DianaDigsDirt will install the plan
  • Landscape Plans/Recipes are the perfect gift for Do-It-Yourselfer’s (DIYer’s) and will save money in the long run. Most landscape designers are hired after a “Landscaper” installed a property for the “Cheap” several years prior.

Landscape Installation-LIFESPAN will receive a percentage of all phases taking place between the months of December 2010-March 2011, this could include


  • Plantings
  • Hardscape-stone, brick, pea gravel, boulders
  • Woodwork-fences, pergolas, arbors, trelliswork, gazebos, decks
  • Water Features-fountains, ponds, streams, pools

Detail is the 4th D of DianaDigsDirt with a love of Detail

Hope to hear from you


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Landscape Designs and Plans-Saving Money

If you do not have a landscape plan then you have disposable income. Those that do not have extra cash to spend should obtain a landscape design to save time and money. The other night on HGTV the #1 landscape mistake of homeowners was stated not having a landscape design or plan. This is a relatively small investment considering what you could spend on incorrect plants, placement and other issues within your gardens.

Think about how a food recipe works. The recipe calls for certain ingredients, combined in a particular sequence and placed in the appropriate oven setting. Following the instructions will result in a successful and tasty end result. This is basically how a landscape plan or design functions. The property is surveyed for appropriate dimensions, plants are proposed (with the mature size and function in mind), soil and mulch are calculated, stone, wood and other materials are based on the survey and phases are suggested to begin your beautiful landscape plan. Other issues that are addressed are drainage, grading, low-level lighting and irrigation.

Landscape plans and designs are needed to execute installation giving you, the “Do It Yourselfer” or a landscape company a recipe to follow. This landscape plan can be installed over a period of several years. Winter and summer months are a great time to have a plan drawn up by your landscape designer and start the grading, drainage, irrigation, stone or brick patios and decks or pergolas. This is also an appropriate time to bring in composted topsoil and top-dress with mulch, preparing the site for plant installation at a later date. Spring and fall months are perfect for plant installation.

Leave the design of your property to a professional landscape designer. Do you really want to spend time planting the same area over and over again after deer demolished them, the plants grew too large, they werent’ drought tolerate or you didn’t realize your drain pipes were going to flood your flower beds. Not only will a professional plant appropriate plants, but your entire property will have unity connecting each part to the next. A visual work of art upon the very property you come home to each day.

Happy Planting!

Diana Gardner-Williams

Landscape Design and Installation


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