Originally Posted by JimLewis
Oh, My bad. I thought that was Alex who said that.
And I'm sorry, but I disagree. You can't do a really nice well thought out design in just a couple hours. Not for a full property. No way. Doing a major landscape job without getting it professionally designed by someone who at least has had some major schooling in the art of design is like letting your painting contractor choose your paint, rather than hiring an interior designer. Sure, the painting guy might have a few ideas of what looks okay - but his recommendations aren't going to compare with someone whose been through interior design school. It's just not that simple. The painting job picked out by the painting contract will probably look pretty nice. But if you had hired a really good interior designer, the same job would have turned out 2x as nice. Same thing with landscaping. If you really want it to turn out amazing, you really need to have it designed by someone with an eye for creativity and specialty training in landscape design.
If you weren't impressed with the L.A.'s design in the past, then maybe use a different L.A. Take a look at some of their past work first. Because there are some weird quirky ones out there and there are some who just plain rock! The best jobs I've done (including the one where we were featured on the cover of a major landscaping magazine) were all done by a landscape designer with a degree in landscape design or a L.A.
The jobs we do are not really this big. Not that we couldn't.....but it isn't every day people call for this kind of job(at least not me). So when I say I design them it is typically like we want a patio out back with a walkway and we want to rip out the shrubs in the front and re-do the front of the house....or just a walkway or a patio. I am not doing a real complex plan for them. On a job like the O.P. is talking about I would not attempt to design it. I do the patios on the computer because a lot of times they have trouble picking colors so I show them a few samples of their patio against their house with a couple different colors. I usually show them a contrasting soldier course because a lot of times people cant grasp that when I suggest it. Once you draw up the patio changing colors is the click of a mouse. Believe it or not people seem more impressed with this than plans because they can visualize it.