Having been a landscape designer and landscape contractor here in Los Angeles since 1995, it wasn’t until recently that I was asked by a potential client, “What, exactly, is it that you do, besides buying and arranging plants and … planting them?”
I was surprised by the question because I assumed anyone interested in hiring a landscape designer and contractor understood what it is that I do. But it’s a valid question and it’s important for clients to understand the range of services Garden Of Eva Landscape Design Group can provide beyond buying, arranging and planting plants. So, here goes!
A point of view or philosophy is essential for exceptional landscape design. I believe that nature is an essential part of the human condition and that in today’s world our gardens are, unfortunately, our primary means of contact.
Whether it’s a simple front yard or a backyard garden, a English perennial garden or a swimming pool landscaping, a dining area, a cutting garden, an atrium, a balcony, a large estate or an urban environment — a garden should be a world unto itself, offering: a place for quiet activities, that delights all who indulge or pass by, a space to learn, an area for entertaining and recreation, a place to escape from everyday stress, a setting to watch the wonders of nature unfold, a place to revisit memories, or a means of eliminating unwanted sights and sounds.
It heals what doctors can’t. It nurtures the soul and dazzles the eye, and in order to make it exceptional … it begins with my client’s dreams.
Landscape design and construction is an expensive and time-consuming proposition and communication is essential for a successful collaboration. One of my most important jobs is to clearly understand what the client is looking to accomplish and to figure out if it’s possible within their allotted budget. This often requires a great deal of research and resource review before a design is ever presented to the client. The following is a condensation of what’s involved.
- Pre-Planning: meet with the client to gather background, priorities, design guidelines and review proposed budget.
- Preliminary Design: review site, usage requirements and environmental conditions and develop a schematic study — present conceptual drawings, plant selection and initial construction costs for client’s review and approval.
- Final Design: make adjustments based on client review — add detail — finalize materials and plant species — execute construction plans and working drawings — secure necessary permits.
- Construction: demolition and/or plant removal, hardscape construction (i.e., all built elements such as patios, walkways, paths, fences, walls, driveways, fountains, pools, ponds, pergolas, arbors, gazebos, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, etc.), irrigation, planting, lighting, garden furniture and decorative accessories.
- Maintenance: see to the health, well being and cultivation of newly planted trees, shrubs and grasses, and maintain the look and natural development of the garden.
Design – Build – Maintain
While many landscape designers focus only on the designing, I wear both hats – designer and contractor. I am there for my clients from concept through installation and will also provide the garden’s essential, on-going maintenance.
By covering all aspects of a garden’s creation or expansion, I offer my clients a budget-conscious, time-sensitive matrix that provides for better communication, accountability and feedback. Like I said, communication is everything in an exceptional landscape design.