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BLC1
03-23-2010, 12:48 PM
I have been doing a couple projects about this size each year. I am working on a design now for a customer and always seem to run into the same creativity block. I end up wanting to put similar plants in all the different projects.

I'm looking for someone who has creative designs and would be willing to help me look at these differently. I have a couple design programs but haven't taken the time to learn them yet so I just use good ole graph paper.

I will post some pictures of the current landscaping that I am taking out and replacing.

Any help would be appreciated. Someone who wouldn't mind going back and forth for a little while letting me pick your brain would be perfect.

Thanks.

White Gardens
03-23-2010, 10:24 PM
I love that giant rock. It needs to be moved and stood on end to give it some height. I can't even begin to think of how expensive a rock that size would be in our location.

I can help some. My Design program is on the fritz, but I'm hoping to have that corrected by the weekend.

BLC1
03-23-2010, 10:59 PM
Where do you usually start? I'm looking for tips on a step by step approach to maybe shake up some creativity on my part.

BLC1
03-24-2010, 09:20 PM
Where are all the creative minds at

AGLA
03-24-2010, 10:39 PM
Start by getting rid of the rediculous wall around Plymouth Rock! Then you can try to naturalize the area around the rock instead of making it look like a sacrificial altar. What were these people thinking?

BLC1
03-24-2010, 11:39 PM
They like the little wall. They were actually pretty proud of it. I don't think its going anywhere.

White Gardens
03-25-2010, 12:04 AM
Start by getting rid of the rediculous wall around Plymouth Rock! Then you can try to naturalize the area around the rock instead of making it look like a sacrificial altar. What were these people thinking?

:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

treemover
03-25-2010, 12:13 AM
what he said. bad idea to mix man made rocks and natural rock.

AGLA
03-25-2010, 08:12 AM
They like the little wall. They were actually pretty proud of it. I don't think its going anywhere.

Clearly, these people have no aesthetic taste whatsoever, so you should not waste too much time trying to come up with good design. I do not often say that, but it is what it is.

Dreams To Designs
03-25-2010, 10:19 AM
I have to agree with AGLA. That wall takes away from that great rock and not sure if it's placement and elevation can't be improved. If they are not hiring you to redesign this public space, just give them what they want. To create good design, you need lots of input from your client and the freedom to at least suggest, sustainable and aesthetically pleasing alternatives.

I get paid well for my work, as I'm sure you do, unless you are willing to barter services, designing it for you would be unethical, but I'll condense the design process, in my world, for you.

First; address the soil and drainage issues and test as needed and perform a detailed site analysis, get a copy of the site plan, but verifiy the scale accuracy.
Second; Find out what they want, not specifics unless something is a "must have", but a general idea. What will the space be used for, who will use or enjoy the space, do they have a theme or a look they aspire to. Perform a complete client interview.
Third; Take lots of digital photos to use during the design process, unless you design onsite or like to make frequent site visits. Proceed in a determined pattern when you photograph, so that you may follow your path logically. Left to right from afar, close up, however you choose, but do it the same every time.
Forth; Take all your site information and client input and put your ideas together starting with drainage work, soil remediation, structures and hardscapes, water features, yard art including natural elements and move your way down the plant ladder, trees, shrubs, perennials and seasonal interest. With your plants, look at multi seasons of interest and your specimens to put during a constantly changing display.
Fifth; Present your design with an elaborate display of hand drawn plan and elevations, computer imaging and cad plans, hand drawn on graph paper with sample plants or with a can of spray paint, it only matters to the type and size of a project and the customers needs. Anyway you can get your better ideas across to them is the best way.

WG, that boulder would be big bucks in my neighborhood as well. Nothing bigger than a potato in the ground around here, unless it's a chunk of concrete, asphalt or some block from a foundation. It's gotta come by truck and that cost some good money today.

Kirk

White Gardens
03-25-2010, 12:28 PM
WG, that boulder would be big bucks in my neighborhood as well. Nothing bigger than a potato in the ground around here, unless it's a chunk of concrete, asphalt or some block from a foundation. It's gotta come by truck and that cost some good money today.

Kirk

Overall good post Kirk. I especially like the comments on business ethics and doing work for others without establishing a business relationship first.

Ya, boulders aren't cheap. We do have some small river/creek valleys through the area, but that just means cheap river rock and that's about it. Otherwise no large boulders, or large areas to quarry for flagstone.

Occasionally farmers around here stumble onto what I would call "Erratics" as the are far and few between, but nice small to medium sized boulders.

Dreams To Designs
03-25-2010, 06:26 PM
WG I feel that design is an important aspect of our industry, but not everyone sees the value. I'm always willing to barter my services, but not sure too many on Lawnsite could come and cut mt grass.

Boulders are a great design element, but us coastal flatlanders pay big money for everything but sand. Whenever I travel with my truck, I'm always bringing home the biggest rocks I can get into the truck.

Kirk

White Gardens
03-25-2010, 07:08 PM
WG I feel that design is an important aspect of our industry, but not everyone sees the value. I'm always willing to barter my services, but not sure too many on Lawnsite could come and cut mt grass.

Boulders are a great design element, but us coastal flatlanders pay big money for everything but sand. Whenever I travel with my truck, I'm always bringing home the biggest rocks I can get into the truck.

Kirk

Ya I agree. Proper design and is an under appreciated part of a complete landscape. Even the bartering thing doesn't sit well with me as someone always comes out on the short end of the stick. I like giving and receiving money for services. That way everyone wins.

Funny you mentioned traveling for boulders. About 3 years ago I was back home on the farm to help out with spring tilling. Working in one area I ran into a 3/4 ton semi flat piece of stone. Needless to say we got it out of the field and it's still sitting there waiting for me to pick it up, I've just been waiting on the perfect opportunity to use it.

BLC1
03-27-2010, 12:01 AM
I'm not looking for someone to create designs and send them over to me. Just looking for some input on how you guys work on designing. D2D thanks for your input.

A lot of times with a layout like this house, I will end up putting some kind of weeping tree or something similar on the corner with some perinnials around it. Then it seems like I always end up going across the front with lilacs, boxwoods, barberry, or a burning bush. If I have small space to fill I notice I end up falling back on hostas or daylillies.

One thing I was struggling with on this one was the big space left of the front door. What do you guys like to do to fill wide areas like this.

BLC1
03-27-2010, 12:04 AM
Oh yeah, as far as the rock goes. I think I'm stuck with how it is set up now. I will probably just have to find something low growing to put in there so I don't block the view.

BLC1
03-28-2010, 07:48 PM
Anybody else have some pointers or advice.

andyslawncare
04-03-2010, 01:39 AM
what are they willing to tear out? They need more year round color. Hide the gas meter and that whole corner in general. Tear out the juniper next to the path and extend the bed line of the right side of the path...Install some seasonal color, or something interesting here; maybe a topiary on each side, or seasonal color on each side. Also, something on either side of the steps that will grow to at least the height of the steps. I agree with other posts about taking the wall down and naturalizing things around the huge rock. The rock will look more naturalized if it is buried 6-8 inches in the ground. You could even put grass right up to a buried stone like that, and it would look good. Something tall and slender to soften the corner where the gutter downspout is near the garage.

There's my first thoughts...