Friday, March 16, 2018


I get asked this question all the time.  How much will it cost to design my garden?  I respond with a range based on the size of the project.  If it's a small size yard then my design could cost anywhere from $1000 to $1500.  I also explain the the potential client that there are 3 factors I consider when bidding a job. 

The first is the size of the project.  Large size project will take longer to measure, design etc. then smaller sized projects.  The second is the scope of work.  If I am designing a project that is planting design only, than that takes less time then if I had to also design hardscape elements, a BBQ or other features.  The third is design time.  I use an excel spread sheet to calculate my design time.  How many hours will it take me to measure the site?  How many hours to I need to create at least two concept drawings and so on. 

In this video I share with you all you need to know about how much to pay a landscape designer and what to expect. 

Friday, March 9, 2018


You may have seen some sites or agencies offering you free designs.  Ones that you can download and use and while you may think that this is a great thing, it is actually not so great.  Whomever created those designs has never been to your house and seen first hand what your property looks like.  Nor have any of these free designs been tailored to your specific needs and site conditions.  They are generic, cookie cutter designs.  I am willing to bet that you don't want a generic, cookie cutter garden. 

The other issue is that when a contractor is bidding a design they are going off of the drawings and if those drawings are not exact to your site conditions then they will have somehow make things work.  This means that they will bid as best as they can and assume that may be extra cost based on what your site is actually like.  In the end you will end up paying more than if you would have hired a professional designer to create a garden that is customized for you.  You also need to consider this rule, that most things that are cheap in price (or free) are probably the same in quality. 

In this video I share with you the top 5 reasons why free designs are useless. 

Friday, March 2, 2018


I get this question a lot (or a variation of it).  I have an Oak tree (or want to plant one) and I don't what to plant underneath it?  I am afraid that nothing will survive and what I have planted is not doing well.  Well when you think of California and the idea of providing habitat for wildlife then you automatically think of Oaks.  They not only provide food for the local wildlife but also shelter for those that use the tree to make nests.  A place to climb and hide if you want to avoid being hunted. 

With over 600 or so different varieties of Oaks, how could you not want one in your garden?  There come in various heights and spreads but the one thing most Oaks have in common is their root system.  They are deep rooted and usually also send out some shallow roots that spread horizontally.  This means that not all plants will grow under them but a good number will. 

In this video I share with you 3 plants to consider planting under Oaks.  As always remember that you are only limited by your imagination. 

Now I am curious to know of anyone has an Oak tree and what you have planted underneath it.  Comment below and share.