I tell you what to do and how to do it… You put your back into it... and that’s how your heart gets there, too!

Landscape Design for the Do-It-Yourself Homeowner

Good planning is vital to success!

If you are willing to put in some sweat equity, you can have a gorgeous yard without an outrageous bill. However, choosing the wrong plants for the area or improper construction methods can be disastrous. By creating a landscape plan, you can avoid many common mistakes and frustrations.

When considering hiring a northern Colorado landscape designer, it is very important that you find a designer that you like and with whom you can communicate well. Each designer will do things a little differently. This is the basic protocol at Sundrops & Starflowers.

First, we will tour your property and discuss what you want/don’t want and determine your limits. You’ll get to see some more examples of pervious work so you’ll know what you’ll be getting. This initial meeting is FREE to you. The price for the design work is based on the scope of work as understood  from touring the property. Every property is different (size, shape, existing landscape or lack thereof, etc.); therefore, there isn’t a set price.

Next, we’ll take measurements and establish a base map. Typically, this is a separate visit as it is rather time consuming. Two alternative landscape design concepts are then drawn up.

We’ll have a second meeting where these two drawings will be presented to you, pointing out various features of the design. You can review the two concepts for a week or so, during that time you’re encouraged to stake out some of the features in the yard, walk around the yard and see how it really fits or if it needs to be tweaked. Elements from both plans can be integrated into the final design.

For the final design, you will receive not only a scale drawing of the plan for your property, but also a notebook with all kinds of detailed information – check lists, planting plans, information about the plants, shopping lists, materials estimates and maintenance information. The philosophy at Sundrops & Starflowers is that people who are willing to put in some of the work themselves really learn to love the plants and thereby take better care of them.

Please note that the scope of design work does not include the following:

  • Detailed construction or working drawings for any site structure.
  • Actual construction or installation of the design.

As you can see, this is a collaborative process. We will have many opportunities to discuss the vision for your property – your input into this process is very important. You will feel that you have ownership in the resulting landscape design. Also, design work is a creative process and one that shouldn’t be rushed. You should expect this process to take several weeks at the very least.

I’d love to meet you! You can call or text me at (970) 988-3808 or fill in the contact form below and I will email you back. (Don’t forget, the first meeting is free and there’s no obligation.)


I like doing things myself, but designing my own landscape was a daunting task and beyond my capabilities. Digging holes and putting in sprinklers is one thing, but knowing what plants to choose and how to arrange them requires a professional. Stephanie created a beautiful design for xeriscaping the front yard that regularly draws positive comments from neighbors and passers by. The design included plant selection, layout, retaining walls, watering needs and installation instructions that made the project go smoothly. Also included was a detailed design layout for the neighborhood HOA to review and approve. The end result has wonderful elevation changes and looks great from all viewpoints. I couldn't be happier with Stephanie's work. " " Roger G. Stephanie is such a pleasure to work with; very collaborative. We just put the finishing touches on our front yard and I couldn't be happier! Now...onto the backyard!! " " Kimberly K. Stephanie is a delight to work with! She listened to all my special needs and spent much time to design my front, back and side yard landscape. Plus, she has been so helpful throughout the years it took me to implement the shopping, planting and care of the plants. I highly recommend Stephanie! " " Kara L. I have a small yard with a long planter bed that is connected right to the side of the house. I've been trying for years to get something to grow with no luck at all (which meant having a planer bed with nothing but dirt in the front of my home). Stephanie was able to look at the space and tell me why nothing I was planting grew. With her suggestions I now have green growing! I couldn't be more pleased. " " Amelia H.