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How It Works
1. Consultation – $50 Consultation Fee that Goes Towards the Cost of your Final Project– Jennifer will meet with you directly to discuss ideas, walk you through previous projects to find likes and dislikes, and go over future maintenance and budget. It is important to have all relevant people present so that we can get a full understanding of your future landscape goals.
2. Design Review – A few days later, we meet right there at your kitchen table, we review a colorful 3-d rendering of the space fully landscaped to match your style request and budget requirements as well as fit in with their maintenance plan. This is part of our proposal process to show what we are able to achieve with your budget. At that point, the client decides if we are moving forward to schedule the installation.
3. We Get Started! We carry out the design to reflect the 3-D rendering we provided to the client.
4. After The Installation, we provide a complete care guide on each and every plant installed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a minimum amount that you have to spend on our services?
Although we wish we could work with everyone but we do have a minimum project budget of $8500 min. With that minimum, we offer all the services listed on the website. The consultation fee is $50 as is the computerized three-dimensional imaging of the prospective landscape. I offer all my clients the option to work in phases. This way we are able to create a master plan, working in sections throughout the year, in accordance with your budgets and goals.
What is the difference between a Landscape Designer and a Landscape Architect?
A Landscape Designer is someone who generally works with plants and small structures only in theory while designing a landscape. A designer can provide you with a quite complex landscape plan although structural analyses and engineering specifications are generally not included. A Landscape Architect is more inclined to provide very detailed information on the hardscaping, specifying details about the structure of any hardscape as well as foundation planning & improvements. A Landscape Architect will provide a highly detailed plan drawn to scale including detailed specifications.
Can your company help if my homeowner’s association demands landscape drawings and such?
Yes. During our initial meeting, I will generate a color rendering of the space to be landscaped with descriptions & measurements. This allows your board to see exactly what the new planting area will look like before the first tree is to be planted. There is no charge for this service – it is done with all of our clients in order to take out the guesswork & narrow in on the final layout.
Small garden ideas: I have a very small space enclosed by three walls that I think could make a nice courtyard, maybe by creating a seating section surrounded by tropical plants. Do you design & work with small spaces?
Well, small spaces seem to be abundant in Florida & I have come to enjoy the personal attention these areas need. In my experience when working with partially enclosed spaces the thing to keep in mind is what can be done to enlarge this area. So we always start with the outer layer, and that means handling the tall plants first. We make sure they are to the back of the planter or along the wall, with tall light-colored grasses or a soft texture plant. This allows us to leave the more colorful planting to the lower tiers, and create depth in any small area. Add curves if possible, giving the look of extended space whether it’s a walkway or planting bed. You also may consider raised beds, because creating different levels adds a lot of interest. Or consider adding a climbing fig along one wall & blend light-colored accents among it or possibly a wall fountain. Small spaces do not mean a small landscape, because there are so many options to work with.
Tuscan Landscape: My husband & I went to Italy last year & fell in love with the Tuscan Style landscape, can you design a Mediterranean/Tuscan landscape for our yard?
Yes, the Tuscan theme planting is one of my favorites, because it consists of so many elements. Obviously, key plants are one of the main factors in really creating the atmosphere. From there your options are open to Old Terra Cotta planters & mix of stone & wrought Iron statuary & fountains. The list goes on and on. Do a little homework & see if you like the formal Tuscan layouts or old-world courtyard – gardens.
I want to spruce up my old landscape. It needs help – it’s very boring and the theme seems to repeat itself over & over again using the same plant material. Can you keep the base feel but add a few focal points? It needs some pop and color.
Yes, after seeing the landscape I can determine the style & feel for what you & the original landscaper were going for. Since you like the base layout & as you mentioned it repeats itself in which I hear the word “matchy-match” from people. It means that the landscaper designed in a very symmetrical style, making balance & consistency more important than interest. We can add an asymmetrical look to your current planting which will give it some abstract or free-form style while still creating unity & balance. We can mix textures & bring in new elements that are pleasing to the eye but are not repetitious, creating more of a natural transition.
I’ve browsed your website and I’m impressed! Although I have a small space to work with & need a well-thought-out plan in order to maximize the space, do you have a minimum job size?
We work with all types of projects from small courtyard plantings to full yard overhauls. We do have a minimum project budget of $8500 min. With that minimum, we offer all the services listed on the website. Consultation is free as is the computerized three-dimensional imaging of the prospective landscape. I offer all my clients the option to work in phases. This way we are able to create a master plan, working in sections throughout the year, in accordance with your budgets and goals.
I want a tropical landscape design for my pool area, but more of a Mediterranean design for the front of the house to match the architecture. Will these two themes work together?
My Landscape design styles include English, Tuscan, Mediterranean, Modern design, Cottage garden, Asian & Tropical landscapes. I have had a lot of experience with these styles as well as overlapping them to accommodate many different spaces.
Can you give me a few helpful hints on laying out my garden design?
When planning out your garden these are a few guidelines I like to follow: As for planting for an entranceway make sure to funnel the planting towards the front door although make sure that nothing obstructs the actual view of the doorway.
Start with bright flowers around the walkway & entrance followed by deeper colors leading away from the house. This will give your planting depth as it leads into the outer spaces of the yard. Make sure to plant in groups that follow a theme, but remember to mix the textures of plants. For example, some vertical groups mixed with some controlled compact plantings. As for color, you can mix it up. I love to use colors in the loops or curves of the planting bed as well as the corners.
Landscaping is a very rewarding task, and it is possible to create a very attractive garden without planning it out first. However, it is much more efficient in terms of costs & time to make a plan for what your new space should achieve.
Can you help me create a Japanese garden in phases? I have a small boring backyard & want to add a calming presence & privacy.
Yes, Japanese gardens are becoming more & more popular because they seem to create a very soft & peaceful space. And since there is no singular design of Japanese gardens it can be interpreted in many different ways. One of the first principles of a Japanese garden is recreating nature. This includes a natural water feature, large canopy trees, rounded beds, and curved paths. The next step is incorporating wood structures, trellises & gates. Just as a natural space is needed so is an enclosed feel, Japanese gardens are known for their enclosures that keep in the symbolic sense of seclusion. Then add your ornamentals. It is important to work in detail with your designer or gardener to determine the look of your garden. Whether it’s big sweeping canopy trees or mainly ornamentals & exotic flowers or a fine mix of everything. With my computer program, I can help with some examples of transforming your backyard. So we can come up with a master plan & then work out the phases according to your budgets.
I want a Zen garden although everybody translates that into a Japanese garden & Bonsai trees, can you create a Zen garden?
Sure! Traditionally Zen gardens are composed of sand, rocks, different non-showy types of ground cover such as moss & different varieties of grasses. Although it sounds simple, just like any garden style, and sometimes more difficult than most, constructing a Zen garden can be tricky. This is a very serene and simple type of planting. The focus point is usually situated around some type of seating section surrounded by symbols of water, sand & rock & repeated patterns of those natural elements.
Shade plants are needed! My house is surrounded by big oak tree canopies and although I love them, nothing grows well.
Well, oak tree canopies can be tricky since the acid produced by falling leaves can be hard on a great variety of plants. That said, there are many that will work & even many blooming plants that actually like the acidic soil they produce. It’s best for me to see the space & how much shade is overlapping it. In the meantime, I can speak with your maintenance company about blowing the leaves out of the beds & blowing them into the yard prior to mowing. As long as they have a mulcher on the mower then that will help keep your beds clean, without constantly taking them out. As for shade, there are so many possibilities once the leaves are under control.
I have a small backyard (practically a postage stamp!) but have always wanted a country garden. I have been told that design is based on large open spaces. Would it look messy if introduced to a small space?
Well, in part that’s true, creating a country garden includes gravel pathways that follow strong straight lines with wildflowers & a wide expanse of perennials & simply a sea of colors. Although good design can incorporate that by dividing spaces with natural borders. For instance, you can use formal elements as your backdrop. Utilize upright and very controlled plantings mixed with groups of perennials to create layers. It’s very important to mix dwarf material in certain areas of the garden to have as a second or third-tier-climbing those tall controlled plantings. Bring in a wood structure or two, like an Arbor, just large enough to possibly use over a small seating section. You can even add hanging baskets to the arbor. If you couple that with a small stone seating area, you have a formal country setting. You can even pair that with a wooden swing. Mix it up a bit.
I live in a villa with a very small side yard that’s just wasted space. Is it possible to give it a small courtyard feel for outside entertaining?
Creating a design for a villa is a little difficult & takes planning for each space. So making just the right selections for every corner is vital. I usually start with mixing hardscapes. For instance, a rock or gravel base to show off the soon-to-be seating area & then encompass three sides with tall greenery. Maybe one side of the area makes a two-tier retaining wall creating tall grasses as the top backing layer because this really softens the space and nestles the seating area, creating that courtyard feel. There are many ways to achieve this look even with the smallest space & with my computer imaging I can show you the proposed space in full.
I am landscaping a courtyard, and it’s incredibly overgrown with a hodgepodge effect. I like many varieties of plants, but not sure if it’s the placement or the choices that are off. Can you help?
Yes, in my experience with a small courtyard, the best approach is to use just a few plant options. In some cases, three or four groups are enough, although you have to use each plant in quantity. Start with your top layer first & go from there. Use one or two accent points and reuse them throughout the other areas of the courtyard. So even if the space is not symmetrical the planting will flow nicely. You can also use containers for additional accents.
What are some low-maintenance trees I can plant in my garden that will attract birds and wildlife, and are somewhat small to medium height?
Dahoon & American Holly, Japanese Blueberry trees, Little gem Magnolia and wax myrtle are just a few.
When should I trim my Crape myrtle?
It is best to trim Crape myrtles in Late Winter or Early spring while the tree is dormant.
What’s the most valuable information you would relay to one of your clients?
I would have to say the best tip I would give a soon-to-be gardener is to do your homework, learn your favorite styles, and walk through a nursery. Then search websites to find out what inspires you & makes you want to sit & relax in that space. Then it’s just about applying that feeling to your home. Once a plan is in place, learn from your landscaper about what to expect from your new space, and learn the best way to care for it. Make sure the landscape you have invested in works for you. This will ensure your short & long-term happiness.
I live in Vero Beach, FL. When is the best time to plant?
Living in Florida, we are blessed. Usually, any month of the year is a great time to plant, although due to the recent frosts, the best time to install your new landscaping is Late March to early July. The intense heat of August tends to make the plants & trees shock a bit & of course, we are always on the lookout for those bad storms. Best not to subject a newly rooted tree to any heavy winds & rain.
When do I prune my plants? I hate to trim my plants back but if I don’t they get all woody at the base and overgrown.
I get this from a lot of my clients when I tell them to trim once per month they say well it was growing so good and blooming so heavy I didn’t want to cut it back. Although that’s exactly the time to prune. Depending on the plant whether it is set to be trimmed once per month or more often. Pruning and deadheading help promote new growth & lushness. If you do not trim often enough, that beautiful green canopy will become a stalk at the base because the sun is no longer penetrating the center. I know it feels like a step backward when the plant has grown in & you’re cutting it back, but set a schedule & stick to it. I promise you will appreciate the benefits.
Is it true that mulch can help to keep plants from freezing during the winter?
Somewhat, yes. Mulch will preserve some additional heat to the root base & will help during a freeze although covering your plants is always the best measure. I do suggest that in the first month of winter add an additional layer of mulch as just another preventative measure.
I want a very colorful tropical garden but what I don’t want is a mix of colors that look messy and not well thought-out. What should I do?
When I am designing a landscape garden it is important that we maintain and preserve a balanced palette of colors. After meeting and discussing your likes and dislikes to help me determine your style, it is important that the layout fits your personality for you to truly enjoy the space. Yes, I love the layered tropical look & there are many blooming plant varieties that harmonize well together. And if textures are mixed to separate each grouping then it is easy to create mixed colors and combine every hue from the rainbow. There are actually endless possibilities.
Do I need weed matting fabric for my new planting beds?
Yes, weed matting provides a strong defense against weeds while helping to promote healthy plants and shrubs. This rugged fabric is a quick, simple way to keep weeds from getting a foothold while allowing air, moisture, and nutrients to permeate it. It’s also durable and easy to install.
My Canary Island Date Palm fronds are turning yellow. Why?
It sounds like you have a magnesium deficiency. Fertilize four times per year with 14-14-14 & the problem will correct itself.
All the fronds on my Palm tree are brown from the freeze. What should I do?
Leave the fronds on the tree until the end of winter. If we get another cold front the damaged fronds will help protect the center of the tree. Spray the bud (center of the tree) with a copper fungicide & respray 10 days after the first application.
I have such a problem with slugs and snails. How do I keep them off my plants?
Slugs & snails love new plantings; before the plant is established the pests attack. There are a few remedies on the market, although I find that spreading spent coffee grounds at the base of the new plants being attacked usually solves that problem. Slugs & snails hate caffeine, it dries them out so they will be deterred from the plants if coffee grounds are among the new crop.