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 takes about an hour and I charge $60 for the visit. 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. Should you decide to go forward with the design, the $60 will be applied to the price.

Next, I’ll take measurements and establish a base map. Typically, this is a separate visit as it is rather time consuming. A concept sketch or two are then drawn to scale.

We’ll have a second meeting where the concept drawing(s) will be presented to you, pointing out various features of the design. This is typically done via video conference. You can review the 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. Refinement of the design includes careful plant selection and placement, and guidance in choosing materials such as mulch and rocks.

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.
  • Elevation markings for drainage, retaining walls, or other structures.
  • Engineering of any type.
  • Actual construction or installation of the design.

Of course, you don’t have to do all the work yourself. In fact, I recommend contracting to lay pavers, pour concrete, and build retaining walls. I have several contractors whom I can recommend for this work.

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.