Our Design Process
Landscape Design Process- From Start to Finish
Upon contacting us, we will use a few set processes to ensure a beautiful finished product. Further below is a more in depth look at what happens leading up to your finished product:
1- The First Call/ Phone Interview
2- The Initial Meeting
3- Base and Concept Plans
4- Rough Design Plans
5- Final Design and Completed Cost
To help speed up this process, there are a few things you, as the client, can do:
1- Have a budget for this project- Before any designs start, a budget will NEED to be set.
2- Have a rough idea of what you would like to be completed or what you like style wise- Pictures or articles help a ton!
3- Have a timeframe you would like this project completed by.
4- Get excited!
A deeper look into how your project will go from idea to finished product:
A successful landscape should be described as functional, maintainable, environmentally sound, cost effective and aesthetically pleasing. Functionality, maintainability and an environmentally sound landscape are the most important parts. A functional landscape allows for the easy accomplishment of movement, work, recreation and leisure that will occur in a specific landscape. A maintainable landscape allows for the homeowners or property owner to successfully care for the landscape, lowering labor costs and making maintenance operations easy. It MUST be noted that a sustainable landscape only reduces the amount of input needed; it does not eliminate it. A environmentally sound landscape can be summed up by 2 sayings: “right plant, right place” and “right plant, right purpose”. A shady location will require different plants to be used compared to a sunny location. Think of it this way, when planting a tree or shrub near a driveway, patio or street, you can expect some amount of salt being used in these areas in the winter. The “right plant for the right place” needs to be salt tolerant. Too many times we see a poor plant choice for a certain area or environment. Remember, a plant continually in stress will require more maintenance, which means more labor, water, fertilizer and ultimately cost. After these 3 things are determined, a visually pleasing and cost effective landscape can be started. Using the Principles and Elements of design, individual plants will be chosen to give a visually pleasing planting. If a landscape is determined solely on the cost, most of the time the on-going maintenance of fertilizer, water and replacement costs will out-weight the initial cost which is why cost effectiveness is always taken into consideration but should not be the deciding factor of a choice in plants. These 5 things are the base of any landscape developed by FERTILAWN.
The First Call
Upon contacting FERTILAWN, you will be in contact with our professional who will start the design process by asking some general questions such as location and general wants and needs. A meeting will be scheduled at the homeowners house at this time for an interview with the client and a site survey.
During this first meeting the client will be asked numerous questions ranging from “What will this area be used for?” to more complex questions like types of plants the client like or what may be a problem with the current landscape. To speed things up, the client is asked to fill out the Landscape Questionaire prior to the meeting. After a thorough conversation regarding the wants and needs of the client, a site survey will be done. This is the process where many different bits of information are taken from the property. Things like existing plants and structures, favorable views, soil, drainage and measurments are done at this time. It is strongly advised that the homeowner(s) are in attendance for this.
Our designer will start by making a base plan with all of the information obtained at the initial meeting. The will consists of things like the house layout with dimensions, any hardscapes that are currently in place (such as a pool or patio), any plants that the homeowner would like to keep, known utilities (such as powerlines) and easements/lot restrictions.
Next the needs and ideas discussed from the initial meeting are put in place on the base plan. This is sometimes called a bubble plan as no plants are put in stone yet just the general idea of the landscape. We use this step to construct the usable space (such as turf area, patios, ponds and even sheds) within the landscape and to construct an aesthetically pleasing bedline.
During the rough design process, bedlines are formed to create an aesthically pleasing outline by merging many of the bubble plan lines. This is also the point where certain types of plants, like trees or hedge planting, are decided on. Many times more then one rough design is created, often using aspects from a few designs to create the final design.
After our designer has settled on a rough design, a final design is started. Individual plants are now chosen that best suit the area to be planted into. Using the Principles and Elements of Design, different plants are taken into consideration untill one is selected based on things such as height and width, texture and color. The time it takes to create a completed design is highly dictated by the size of the landscape and amount of technical parts needed (is this a small front planting or a patio needing proper drainage and material?).
After the Final Design is completed, a meeting will be set up where it is presented to the client. During this meeting our designer will walk you through the plans, explaining what can be expected throughout the growing season, what kind of maintenance will be needed and the type of material to be used (for retaining walls and patios/walks). This will also be when a final cost proposal is given for the specified proposal. During this time the client should make clear any changes he/she would like to see, in which case our designer will take notes and redo the plan. It should be noted that in most cases, up to 3 draft revision sessions are included in the initial design fee. 1 complete redo of the landscape is also included in the initial fee. Upon completion of these revisions, a meeting will set-up with the client to go over the revisions.