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Design Process

We view our projects as a collaborative engagement with our clients, providing them with a clear direction to achieve their visions.  Projects vary from simple pollinator planting plans to complex municipal developments involving stormwater management.  

A. Project Exploration

We  meet and walk with you through your property while discussing  features, views to highlight or screen, drainage issues and unique physical characteristics that would have an impact on the potential design.  Our discussions include how you envision your outdoor space, its use, your budget, and potential phasing of the project. We will begin gathering and reviewing relevant regulations from town and state sources and public websites that pertain to your property and your intended uses.

Several items facilitate productive meeting:

  • Provide images from web sites, magazines or books to help us to understand your styles and material preferences.

  • A recent A2 survey use helps keep costs down and provides a more accurate design.  A survey with topography might be needed if significant grading changes are required.

  • If you lack a survey, we will take measurements to create a base map for the design. 

  • Your budget. Great design does not have to be expensive. And parts of a project that are most meaningful to you can be highlighted with more expensive materials, while other areas can be equally well designed with less expensive materials.

B. Concept Design

Typically, we create two concepts developed from our conversations with you. Upon their completion, we meet with you to  discuss your likes and  dislikes about each  We then create a single comprehensive  Schematic design, or Masterplan, with ideas from both concepts, for your approval.  We will inform you if municipal approvals are needed and the approximate time frames. Once you approve the final Schematic Design or Masterplan, we can provide an Opinion of Probable Cost.

Smaller projects may not require a Master Plan, but simply a concept design with a planting plan.

C.  Design Development and Construction Documents

  • If you choose , we further refine the Masterplan by developing the materials  and detailed project plans through discussions with you and suppliers to create your vision.

  •  We can prepare and submit required applications on your behalf to regulatory agencies.

  • We prepare a set of technical or construction documents that are utilized for bidding, and permitting. These construction drawings instruct contractors exactly how to build the design. A typical set of construction drawings may include the following plans:  site, layout, materials, grading and drainage, details, planting, lighting, utility  and construction specifications.

D. Bidding

  • Upon your request, we will develop sets of drawings and bidding instructions for submittal to reputable contractors and meet with them onsite as needed.

  • We will assist you in gathering bids from three or more contractors and will perform a detailed analysis of all bids received for your review.  We will recommend contractors upon our evaluation of the bids for the particular project tasks.


E. Construction Observation

  • During construction observation we visit the site on a regular basis to ensure that the design is being built as specified.  We will help you in selecting materials through visits to product showrooms and nurseries and facilitate your interaction with the contractor for change orders and substitution requests.

  • As your representative, we will check plant placements  in the design and plant health.

  •  If required we can provide a letter of substantial completion that may be needed to close permits

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