The Design Process is a collaborative effort between the Client and the Designer, and may include a Building Architect and a Builder on the team. Our job is to work with you to make your vision into reality. Listening, questioning, offering ideas, solutions and feedback are all a part of pulling together the threads that create the finished landscape product.


The steps of the process:

An initial meeting opens the design dialog. We may work from your Building Architect's plans for the dwelling on the site, or our team may record existing landscape features - things that may stay and things that may go - in a scaled plot plan called a BASE PLAN. This document is the jumping off point for the planning that begins now.

Depending on the scope of the planning we do for you, the next phase is usually the HARDSCAPE PLAN, and in this plan we develop the areas of usage for the site, structures, ornament and art, water and fire features, surfaces, materials, finishes, and all the amenities to be included in the final landscape build.

CONSTRUCTION DETAILS follow the Hardscape Plan to spin out the personality and look of the landscape by developing scaled drawings that are used as an additional visual guide to build the outdoor structures.

Next is typically the PLANTING PLAN where we develop the palette of plants that will complement the hardscape and provide the green and living walls and floors of your outdoor living area. Fragrance, movement, auditory delight, color and texture, cooling and warming, not to mention invitations to desirable wildlife visitors, and future maintenance requirements - all these depend on the skillful use of properly selected, environmentally responsible plantings.

Living in Southern California, we have incredible opportunities for living and playing outside both day and night. The LIGHTING PLAN is a key element to evening enjoyment of our lovely landscapes, and planning by a skillful lighting designer ensures you get the most effective lighting portrait to put the final visual touch on your beautiful outdoor space.

The plan pages above are the ‘face’ of the landscape. The pages following are the inner workings that support the success of the entire garden. They are not as visible, but the skillful and experienced designer of these plans knows that they are every bit as important to ensuring the long term success and effectiveness of any landscaped area.

The well-designed IRRIGATION PLAN supports the health, beauty and longevity of the landscape. Municipal regulations, Homeowner Association guidelines, Agency Requirements - we know and are familiar with all these in addition to the innovative irrigation products that conserve and recover water, prevent erosion and waste, and keep the plant material well-tuned but not over-watered.

And when it rains in Southern California, your effectively designed DRAINAGE PLAN guides moisture to the proper drainage channels to maintain the integrity of the structures and plantings, protect your dwelling and can contribute to re-charging the groundwater, reducing water lost to the sewers, and benefitting the environment.

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