The Design Process

A landscape designer can provide a wide range of services - ranging from a one hour consultation on the site to a design package of five or more plans and sketches. A complete design can take a month, or several, depending on the scope of the project and the specific location. The DESIGN PROCESS is done in several stages, taking into consideration input from the client , the regional characteristics of the site / climate, and the principles of good design. After the initial site analysis diagram is drawn up, the first stage will be the CONCEPTUAL LAYOUT of the property, showing traffic patterns, family activities, weather patterns, orientation of the house to the site, and roughed out shapes of the planting elements...basically a study of relationships. The FINAL PLANTING PLAN will show locations of specific plants, hardscaping elements such as decks and patios, and a complete plant listing and spec sheet. Perspective sketches and an additional laminated color plan help you visualize the garden

A Base Map is drafted: After measurements and photos are taken, a basemap, showing the existing property conditions is drafted to scale.

A Site Analysis Diagram: The first stage will consist of a tracing paper overlay on the basemap of the property, showing circulation and weather patterns, orientation of the house to the site, and identifying the placement of functional areas within the site, and their relationship to one another. Problem areas are identified, screening and views are shown.

A Concept Sketch: The second stage will be a conceptual layout of the property, further refining circulation with specific pathways, patios or decking drawn in more detail. The shapes of planting areas and hardscape elements are defined to reflect the various activities and the spatial relationships within the site. Emphasis is on developing form and pattern. I use a grid system developed from taking proportions off the house to create a unified design. Suggested plant types are discussed. ( a different design is shown)

A Final Planting Plan: After a meeting with the client, a final planting plan is drafted, identifying the specifics of all the planting and hardscape elements. I also provide a separate planting list, and notes, plus perspective or elevational sketches to aid in visualizing the planview. Implimentation of the installation, phasing, and maintenance is discussed. Three black-line prints and a colored laminated copy, 36" x 24", are given to the client and I keep the original plan in my files (different design from those shown above)

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