Frequently Asked Questions
How do you charge?
I have an hourly fee, and can give you an estimate of my design hours after our first meeting. I can often provide a ballpark estimate during our first phone call.
Do you charge for the the first meeting?
I have two kinds of initial meetings. Most likely it will be a marketing meeting, where I show my portfolio and explain how past projects were completed. There is no charge for that meeting. Occasionally I will come and do a garden consult, where we discuss your particular garden. I do charge for that. Either way we will have a phone conversation before a meeting is scheduled, sort of a pre-interview.
Then what happens?
Once we decide to move ahead I will request a deposit to put your project on the calendar. I will then return to the site for measurements and photos. Next, I'll do some rough concept sketches. We'll meet and go over those concepts. Next step in the design process is a preliminary plan laying out all of the hardscape— placement of beds, paths, patios, etc. That is followed by the plant schedule. If needed, construction details will be provided for contractors.
Do you install the gardens you design?
I am a one-person design shop, with a list of contractors I can highly recommend for any project. I'm proud of my list of artisans that has evolved over the years. With this pool of talent I can offer full service installation including irrigation and lighting. The client contracts
directly with the contractor, and I can supervise the project through
Is that supervision included in the design fee?
No, we contract separately for the construction supervision. That is generally an hourly rate, the amount of time varying with the complexity of the project.
Do your clients ever install their own gardens?
Yes. I'm happy to coach you through that process if you choose. And gardens can also be installed in phases over a period of time to help with the budget.
How sustainable is your design?
I am a long-time recycler, and rarely use chemicals in gardens. I believe an appropriate plant selection has little need for additional fertilizer, with few exceptions. The key is in building soil health. We can also make design and material choices based on environmental impact.
What about plants?
I have a specialty landscape contractor license (VIRGIHD940LN) in order to install plants. I will often collaborate with the hardscape contractor and come in at the end of the project to place plants, while they provide the installation labor.
Do you guarantee your plants?
No. I select quality plants, and make sure they are installed properly. It is then up to the client to keep them irrigated. Right plant, right place means we rarely lose plants.
What about irrigation?
Regular water is needed for at least two years in order for the plant to become established with a healthy root system. We can install an irrigation system, or the client may choose to hand water.