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Choosing a Designer

This web site is a good place to start. In our member directory, you’ll see a list of our members, and those who specify design will be able to help you. Some designers list areas of specialty and that may help narrow your search. Give a designer a call or visit their web site. All designers welcome introductory questions over the phone, even if it is just for information about what they do.

You can also ask friends and neighbors about the yards you admire. Nurseries and other landscape retailers often can recommend designers. Local garden publications can help, and visiting garden shows is a great way to meet and talk with landscape designers who have booths.

A landscape designer typically consults for an hourly fee or on a per project basis.

Ask questions of a landscape designer to see if he or she is a good fit. You might ask about:

  • Qualifications or specialization
  • Education and certifications
  • Experience
  • Project types and preferences
  • References
  • Portfolio of completed landscape projects

Tips for your first meeting with a designer.

Before you meet with a landscape designer, think about what you want and expect for your landscape. The more information you can provide the designer at the initial meeting, the better. Research articles in books and magazines and collect pictures of gardens you like or dislike.  Make a list of plants, colors and fragrances you like and/or dislike, and give these to your designer.

To help you clarify your wants and needs, consider the following questions:

  • How do you plan to use your outdoor living space?
  • Who will be using the yard and what will they do there?
  • How long do you plan to live in your home?
  • Do you want someone to consult or to work on trouble spots in your yard?
  • Does your yard need a complete make over?
  • What is your budget for installation?
  • How much time and money do you want to spend on upkeep?
  • Are you a “do-it-yourself” person who needs only a plan to tackle the installation on your own?
  • Do you prefer a landscape designer to take the project all the way through to completion?

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