Why do our landscapes look so great?
We are a design-build firm - we build the gardens we design. It's not the easiest way to go about it - it takes an especially talented team with a wide diversity of skills - but that's the only sure-fire way to get extraordinary results. Think about it … design and construction actually happen on a continuum … there IS no distinct "design phase" followed by a distinct "construction phase". When you work with a designer (who doesn't build) and a builder (who doesn't design), an artificial separation is created in something that is naturally integrated. We believe the "building" of the garden begins with the design - and the "design" of the garden continues throughout its construction. That allows us to tailor the landscape to fit the land, oversee every aspect of the work, hand select materials, accessories, lighting, furnishings - right down to transitioning to your maintenance gardener. And that level of care shows in our final product. Because the process is integrated, the finished garden is too.
The Right Fit
We've noticed that our best projects have a number of things in common. When all of these things are present - when the "fit" is right - the results are truly amazing:
- A unique or special site. (That doesn't mean big and fancy - though that can be mighty nice. It just means that the site needs to bring something to the party - something to celebrate. A spectacular view, specimen trees, fantastic outcrops, etc. - these are no-brainers. But a beautiful tree, pleasing architecture, adjacent wilds, or even something as subtle as the way the afternoon light plays on the land - any of these can be the springboard for a stunning design.)
- A shared vision or "creative alignment". (This one's kinda obvious. If we're not heading to the same place, it stands to reason that we won't be traveling the same road.)
- Collaboration. A great landscape is the result of great collaboration - a give and take of ideas. We need your partnership to create your garden. We like to know a little about you - who you are, how you live, what you value - to better enable us to deliver your garden at your house (vs. our garden at your house). Open communication and good rapport are what's required. (And we're not adverse to a little light-hearted repartee …)
- Sufficient budget for the proposed scope of work. When we first meet, we'll walk your site, go over your "wish list" and discuss your general budget. There are two main reasons it's critical to discuss budget in our first meeting. 1) Your proposed budget is key to designing a garden that you are then actually able to build. Of course we can't know the "hard" cost of the project at this point - it hasn't been designed yet! But, if there is a fixed budget, we need to know what it is so that we can make appropriate decisions - during the development of the landscape design. And, 2) We need to make sure what you'd like to build and your "ball park" budget live somewhere in the same neighborhood. If there's a great big gap between what you want and what it costs to do it, we'll discuss ways to bring the wish list and budget into alignment.
- Flexibility. Be open enough to allow us to do our best work. We must be able to guide you and you must be able to trust our guidance. This is vital to the outcome, as the creation of a truly extraordinary landscape requires the perfect marriage of vision, design, technical skill, practical experience and - in no small measure - artistry. (After all, that's why you hired us!)
If there are other professionals working on your project - say an architect, interior designer, general contractor, engineer, etc. - you'll want to get everyone working together as a team. And, in order to maximize the project's potential - that is, to get the very most out of the site and the budget - we recommend that the whole project team be brought together as early as possible to form one cohesive unit. The team should possess the same qualities outlined above. Namely:
- Collaboration. You're looking for skilled collaborators… make sure that each member of the team plays well with others in the sandbox… it will show in the finished results (and you'll have more fun in the process!)
- A shared vision. Everyone's gotta have that shared vision…
- A shared commitment. Each member of the team must be committed to and focused on creating the best project possible - for you!
- Mutual respect. Everyone on the team needs to listen to, respect and value what the other players bring to the mix. This is vital if everyone is to bring their "A" game.