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The design of your garden begins with an understanding of what you want to achieve, how you want to use your outdoor space and for me to get a sense of your personal style. At this initial meeting, as I tour your space, we will discuss which features work and which do not, notating problem areas and assets. I can then create a design brief to capture the ideas discussed. Please note that I am not a “landscaper”, I solely design and can project manage your installation, if necessary.


A through survey of your site is required - this involves taking accurate measurements, photographs, soil samples, lighting shifts, changes in levels, microclimates, adjacent conditions, and any ordinances or laws that might affect your property. This entire process may take some time depending on the particular site, but it is invaluable in making sure that the final plan is workable.


A to scale drawing showing the new features and layout of the garden including elements like paths, decks, and planting areas is presented. On this plan, plants are illustrated as spatial elements only; proposed plant material may be discussed separately.
This is an opportunity for you to review the design in detail and ask any questions you may have. You may want to sit with the plan for a week or two if you need some time to reflect.  Once the plan is agreed upon, I can move on to putting together the construction design package.

3D Renderings are occasionally produced for the Preliminary Presentation to help communicate the design intent. The renderings are created to supplement the information on the plan that otherwise cannot be illustrated on a two dimensional drawing. They will often show the design from different angles, highlighting various spatial relationships, particularly level changes. 3D renderings are not included in the final Construction Documentation.


The construction package includes all the final documentation needed to implement your new garden:  everything from planting plans to hard-scape sketches, lighting, irrigation, specifications for furniture and accessories, and an easy to follow plant maintenance schedule. The package is prepared so that you can install the landscape yourself, a licensed contractor can bid and install with it, or a combination of the two. Some clients prefer to do the work themselves but space it over time for budgetary reasons. In this instance, I will include the most efficient way to divide the work so that you gain the most from your garden as quickly as possible. The planting plan will be quoted separately as its cost is dependent on the planting area and the style of planting required. It will be accompanied by a detailed plant schedule listing all proposed plants by type, variety and pot size as well as recommended sources.


The delivered construction package represents the conclusion of my role as designer on your project. However, I remain committed to helping you see the project through to its conclusion. If you are having a contractor install the work, I can help you with bidding. During construction, I can check the progress of the installation for consistency with the design intent while adjusting for any changes that may have occurred in the layout of the hardscape; approve plant substitutions and check for plant health and vigor. If you are installing the garden yourself, I can help you lay out the landscape elements, keeping the design intent intact while helping you with the inevitable adjustments that are often made in the field. I can chose the plants at the nursery, watching out for irregular shape, defects, or ill-health; and suggest suitable substitutions, if needed. 


The initial consultation provides design options, information and resources, this onsite meeting usually last for about two hours and is charged per hour.


For full landscape design services I charge a flat fee that encompasses all aspects of the design process including all research and site analysis, travel and meeting time, preliminary designs and design development, and final implementation plans. 40% of the fee is required prior to starting the design work, and the balance is paid at the following intervals - 40% on completion of the approved preliminary plan and 20% on completion of the construction package. In instances where you have had a serious change of mind, or there are unforeseen circumstances for which I could not plan or were not part of the original brief, then I will charge an hourly design rate for amendments.


Installation assistance and implementation is also offered at the hourly rate.

Presentation Renderings
Below are a few 3D rendering from past projects. Select a thumbnail, and a PDF presentation will open in a separate window.

neal charles
landscape design

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