Design Philosophy

Since 1991, I have had the privilege of entering homes, getting to know the owners, assessing the site, identifying the challenges, and providing a plan of attack. Often, I am able to leave a client with a detailed plan after just an hour or two on site. Larger projects involve estimates and overseeing the implementation of the work which can take weeks or months. I design not only the landscaping but the entire exterior… I look at the property as a whole, visualizing the relationship between the structures and the grounds. Developing a master plan is the key to a timeless, fully functional property and it allows the owners the option of implementing the plan in manageable stages.

What are distinguishing features of my work?

I listen carefully to a client’s needs and wants. My interviewing process provides me with the information necessary to customize a master plan for their particular setting and tailored specifically for them.

I am the master of reducing maintenance!!! Our lives and resources are much different than those in our parent’s generation. It is very difficult to find workers who are willing to or capable of weeding and proper pruning. I repeat often, “it is not how much you have, it is how well-maintained what you have is kept. Nothing is more beautiful than a well-maintained property and nothing worse than an un-kept one, large or small!

I abhor needless “beds”! I constantly tell people that when you create a “bed”, you have to fill it whether it be shrubs, flowers or groundcover which means $$$, you have to mulch it; you have to weed it and maintain it. If it is a messy area, eliminate the bed and grass or sod it. How easy is that??
A landscape is viewed 365 day a year. Winter months with bare branches and empty beds are to be factored in when creating a design and choosing plant material. I am a big fan of evergreens for this exact reason and feel strongly that your entrances should look just as pleasing at Christmas as the 4th of July.

Color… everyone loves it! However, most flowering shrubs and perennials generally bloom for just a few weeks. Incorporating color with evergreens and annuals and the placement of it are part of the strategy.

Olmsted was masterful with his placement of shade trees and how he used them to compliment the contours on the ground. In my opinion, trees are the single most important element of a landscape. I determine the variety based on the function it will serve: shade, ornamental, to screen a view, to anchor a house, to frame a vista. The placement of a tree must be done on site and considered from every angle.

Dividing the property into exterior rooms is very much like designing the interior spaces. The canopy of a tree or a pergola can resemble a ceiling, hedges and fences serve as walls, lighting can be natural or artificial, and flooring can take form as grass, brick, stone or pebbles. (Concrete is NOT on my list of options) Hallways on the exterior have far more flexibility in that paths can be wide, narrow, straight, winding, a connector or a destination. Accessorizing the outdoor spaces is very personal much like choosing art for your walls. I encourage these personal touches with during the selection of flowers, furniture and garden ornaments.