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"Creative mind" to design Landscape?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by KINGjosh, May 7, 2005.

  1. KINGjosh

    KINGjosh LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 531

    Does it take a creative mind to design landscape?
    I would like to get into landscaping. Not anything big, that would require dozer and stuff, but I just cant sit down and design something that looks good. Maybe because the lack of knowledge in landscaping.

    My questions: How many people buy designs, if any? How is the price of the design determined?

    For the people who dont buy designs, were you always creative, or did you become more creative when you gained more knowledge in plants, soil,etc...?
  2. SOMM

    SOMM LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 426

    Give them a free initial consultation, more for you to determine if they are tire-kickers or bona fide, qualified buyers - however Always make them BUY $$$.00 your design & consultation BEFORE SUBMITTING ANY documents to them detailing prices and design layout options - How the heck you supposed to feel when they take your "free estimate" of a few great options, your intellectual property.... and then call 3 other companies to play your documents off of while they're picking your licensed professional brains for free advice that even the local nursery are paid hourly to answer their further questions, give them all their compatibility options in relation to shade, watering, sunlight exposure and maintenence frequencies, and the care and feeding of their plant specimens in transit for a DELIVERY FEE. And they install your design themselves or someone else does or the local nursery's crew does it !

    Free estimates are just a few short phone calls to discuss what they've seen on your website that they like, or even some pictures emailed back and forth they like, and especially for you to qualify them and decide if it's feasable for you.
  3. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    I would have to say I become more creative with every job I do.Every site is different
    (besides some I have done exactly the same areas in Manufactured home park lots)
    These make me even more creative because they start out with the same dimensions and same fronts on homes,well if you've already done 5 or 6 on the street and they all are different,you start running out of ideas.So that makes me more creative. also
    It's very hard to be creative on paper drawing up a plan.
    So what I do is take pics of the site from all angles including from inside looking out,then put them up on the computer and actually draw on them and try different things on the screen then when I do one that I like I print it out and show the client to see what they think.This is how I learn also.
    You have to do it several times to get what both you and the client envision for the site.All of that kind of work makes you more creative.
  4. JRAZ

    JRAZ LawnSite Member
    from NW
    Posts: 143

    I charge 65.00 for an initial consultation with our designers and 65.00 per hour thereafter for any design time. We bill design out strictly by the hour and that works for us. I have sold a lot of design time this year. For many things we do it is necessary. I would say yes, you have to be creative. Design is an art form. You also have to know your plants very well as well as many other issues like drainage, exposure, clients wants/needs, neighborhood characteristics, house style on and on. Design requires you to be very well versed in all areas landscaping.
  5. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,742

    Design is problem solving whether it is for aesthetics or practicality. The more you know about the things you are dealing with, the better you are at solving the problems. Creativity is useless if you do not understand what you are trying to do with it.

    I think that understanding gives birth to creativity, or at least makes creativity focus. A whacked out eccentric artist is alledgedly full of creativity, but just what the heck is the use of their results?

    Don't worry about creativity. Worry about understanding your craft. Knowledge gives you options with predictable results. The more options you have, the more ways there are to accomplish something. Having the ability to accomplish things in several different ways will make you innovative. Inovative is often confused as creative, or maybe they are one in the same.
  6. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    Correct,almost every site has a few problems that you must solve in order to install a good landscape,be it drainage,covering up an ugly view of something,privacy needs,dogs,kids,slopes,hills,grades,a bad landscaping job that needs to be removed,wind breaks,low maintenance requests,low water usage,Fire resistent plants,deer,rabbits,gofer problems in the area.
    the list goes on and on.In California you can't sell a landscape design unless you are a licenced landscape architect,So I give it to them if they hire me only and otherwize I will charge them by the hour to draw one up to do it legaly.

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