Design my landscape, you ask? This is a high-level summary of how our Step-By-Step Design Process gets that done for you. The pronouns “we”, “us,” and “our” pertain to Songbird Landscape Design. Okay, let’s get started!
After Client expresses an interest in retaining our services, we send out a Questionnaire. The purpose of the Questionnaire is to help us understand the Client’s specific landscaping needs, goals, dreams, and budget, if known. This is crucial to defining the project scope and getting everything started in the right direction.
We meet with the Client to explain how the Landscape Design Process works, review some sample drawings, plus go over the completed Questionnaire. There is no fee for the Initial Consultation.
Agreement Proposal and Acceptance
If, after Initial Consultation, Client wishes to receive an Agreement Proposal, we will prepare it and send to Client. The Agreement Proposal defines the project scope (as spelled out on the Page 2 document called the Project Goal Summary) and specifies how much the design fees will be. If Client accepts, then we continue through remaining steps. If Client has a site survey or other drawings of their property, we’ll need a copy to get started.
Base Map Drawing
We show up at the project location and make lots of observations, take measurements, and snap photos for the purpose of creating a Base Map drawing. The Base Map is an overhead view showing property lines, house, driveway, fences, deck, trees, sheds, utility lines, and other important features.
Inventory & Analysis Drawing
Using the Base Map as the starting point, an Inventory & Analysis Drawing is generated. Inventory is observing the existing site conditions and elements. The Analysis takes into consideration the Inventory to determine the problems and potentials (e.g. good views) that will make up the plan of action, while keeping in mind the boundaries of the project scope.
Concept Plan Drawing
This is when a customized plan begins to take shape. A Concept Plan drawing is drafted to organize the space in the Base Map/Inventory & Analysis Drawing into lawn, planting beds, hardscapes, screens, focal points, work area, play area, and other activities (garden, eating, relaxation, entertainment). It is very informal and generalized and is the framework upon which the detailed design is built.
Preliminary Design Drawing
The Preliminary Design drawing advances the process another step by creating the aesthetic appeal, accomplished through the combination of form, color, and texture. This step takes the Concept Plan drawing and develops a plan with defined area boundaries and plant symbols (but not specific plant species, just yet). At this stage we review with Client to get input before moving on to next step.
Master Plan Drawing
The Master Plan is the final drawing, created after input from the Preliminary Design Drawing review. The Master Plan shows the species, arrangement, and quantities of all woody and herbaceous plant material, as well as the size and location/arrangement of hardscapes (e.g. walkways, driveways, patios, fences, walls, sheds, arbors, etc.) and other specifications. It is possible more revisions to the Master Plan are necessary after presentation to the Client. This is the document needed outside as you work, so multiple copies are provided.
The Master Plan is accompanied by a Bill of Material spreadsheet (i.e. the list of summed quantities of plants and hardscapes), as well as their estimated costs and recommended suppliers (note: we do NOT receive commissions from any suppliers). Additional details and illustrations for plants and hardscapes also provided. The estimates are presented in a way to help Client set a schedule of priorities. A small portion of a Bill of Material is illustrated here:
Using the Master Plan drawing and Bill of Material, the Client oversees implementation of the landscape plan. This involves doing the work himself/herself, contracting it out, or a combination of both. We are not involved in this step, other than possibly answering a few questions or providing advice.
So that’s basically it. Design my landscape, indeed! We’re never in a hurry to move on to the next client. Our goal is to work with you to develop a landscape plan that matches your hopes and dreams, while staying within your budget. As for actual dirt shoveling and planting, that’s on you!