Civil Engineering Background
Since we evolved from a Civil Engineering background and most of our professional experience was in large site development initially, we used to sub-contract our design work out to landscape architects and landscape designers like many other companies. The problem that we found over time in working with them, is that most designers (landscape architects primarily) have little to no field experience which makes it difficult for them to create good designs since they don’t have any real field experience. The only knowledge that they have came from a book.
After many years of learning from some of the greatest minds in the local landscaping associations (primarily growers) and some of the professors from NC State (the most respected Horticultural school on the East Coast) and then gaining the critical field experience of installing and caring for the plants, we learned a lot of the plant names and characteristics and the conditions in which they must be planted in order to prosper. We also began to expand our creative abilities and come up with ideas that our customers really liked better than most of the ideas that the Landscape Architects developed.
Computerized Landscape Design
Once we became confident enough to begin designing our own work, we studied for and successfully passed our NC Landscape License exams and also our Certified Plant Professional exams. Once we became Licensed and Board Certified, we began performing our own landscape designs. Since engineers are trained and groomed to use rulers and straight edges to create engineering drawings, our hand-rendering drawings are rather simple. Since it seems that many of our customers have watched Home & Garden Television and are used to the idea of having a full color computerized drawing, we have made the financial investment to purchase a computerized Landscape Design program to create beautiful landscaping designs that provide a scaled drawing in color that is much more appealing than the old style hand-rendered drawings.
Design – Build Approach
Some of our landscape projects have been constructed using a “Design/Build” approach, in which we install all the hardscaping and then create a design on-the-fly by visualizing different plants that will fit in all the different spaces to create the desired effect. Those types of approaches work best in situations in which the customer is willing to rely solely on our creative abilities and allow us to select and install the plants within the landscape planting budget. The disadvantage is that the customer has no visual idea of what plants we will use and what the layout will look like. The advantage is that some of our most create work has been developed on-the-fly because it allows us to better visualize the space.
Every landscape design should reflect the personal decorating taste of the clients as well as the house architecture. We strive to learn the clients needs and use the design to convey and create the environment that we feel they will truly enjoy. It is also imperative that the landscape design selected match the clients abilities to maintain it. Ideally, the clients should be able to prune all the plants in two days per year. We understand that the best looking landscape designs will not continue to look good if the customer cannot feasibly maintain them. We prefer to select plants that provide interest through different colors, textures, and fragrances throughout the year. We are not big fans of using plain evergreens that do not produce any color or interest. We like plants that have vibrant leaf colors or blooms. We prefer to use every color within the color spectrum and play the colors off of one-another to create vibrant color contrasts. We also like to balance the evergreen plants with the deciduous plants to prevent large sections of the landscaping from looking barren during the winter months. We also try to select plants that draw hummingbirds, butterflies, and butterfly moths close to walkways and patios to draw the beauty of nature close to you.
Custom Landscape Design
Every one of our designs is unique and custom for each of our customers. We do not rubber stamp our design layouts. We love to use unique plants that you don’t see every day. Many of our customers have complimented us by saying that a family member or friend that is a Master Gardener complimented them on their landscaping design that we installed and was intrigued by some of the plants that we used and had not seen some of them before.
Angie’s List Super Service Award Winner for 6 Consecutive Years!