Anatomy of a Design
Step #1: Contact & Schedule Appointment
Once we speak by phone, we schedule on on-site appointment (no charge). There, we can meet face-to-face and get to know one another better while reviewing the area or areas in question. I listen to your ideas about what exactly you want done, discuss possible options*, and determine the scope of work (size of job) from which I provide an estimate for the design work to be done. If the price is agreeable, we sign a contract and move to Step #2.
Step #2: Plant Palette, Measure & Start Design
Once the estimate has been accepted, we begin to develop a plant palette* and schedule a time for me to measure the yard (you needn't be present)—that will provide the basis for an accurate drawing. A contract will be drawn up and sent by email or text, signed and returned (along with any deposits required collected prior to start of work), and a link to potential plants provided by PlantMaster (the majority of which are low water usage) provided for your consideration in the design.
Step #3: Review First Draft and Make Revisions (if needed)
A "first draft" design for your yard is rendered, based on your plant choices, design preferences, and characteristics of the yard. This will be shared in a sit-down, face-to-face meeting with plant pictures and explanations for design choices made. Any minor changes to the first draft are noted and incorporated into a second or final draft.
This first draft for this yard design has an offset floating walkway leading up to the house from the sidewalk; a smaller footprint for the enclosed patio area; and a specific set of plants meant to compliment the strengths of the layout.
This second draft for this yard design changes the walkway leading up to the house from the sidewalk to an angled approach; has a larger footprint for the enclosed patio area; and requires a changes in the set of plants to compliment the layout and accommodate the owner's interest in particular shapes and textures.
Step #4: Review Final Draft and Receive Completed Prints
A final draft of the design for your yard is rendered, incorporating any changes from the first draft. Included will be 4 blueprint copies of a Planting Detail (to scale) along with an Info Page specifying a plant list (common and botanical names, plant sizes and numbers) for use while ordering; planting notes (with installation guidelines requirements); irrigation details for system type and placement; and after-planting irrigation & care guidelines
Final design: a to-scale rendering of plant and hardscape locations, plant list, existing and remaining plants and/or walkways, etc. This will provide a blueprint for both bids and a contractual guideline between homeowner and installer for the proper completion of project
Often, we are able to suggest installers as well as take care of ordering your plants (plant orders additional brokerage fee)
Info Page: this provides a 'nuts-and-bolts" guideline to proper installation of the plants (and their maintenance); the proper placement of sprinklers (as well as types of heads to use); additional irrigation notes specific to SCVWD guidelines and qualification for available rebates; and an after-installation irrigation schedule to maximize success of landscape project (as well as a basis for a contractual enforcement for "performance requirements" for all contractors/installers should it become necessary later)
Info Page: more recent designs include a plant legend (numbers and sizes of plants) with significantly more irrigation details (including "hydro zones" for each valve, specifics of heads/locations) and planting details; and any special notes for special areas (pathways, fences, fire pits, etc.) to make it easier to work with contractors/installers