Landscape Architectures and Design Services

Site Planning

Intelligent Landscape Planning

"The more you pre-plan a landscape before design and construction the better the design. It also minimizes the chances of being misinformed by some landscapers, who market with other goals, and who care little about actual design. Accurate information is the key! We care about design and meeting the goals of the client.

Design Doctor 

Diagnosis Aid: View a sample Landscape Design Diagnostic Intro and Report
We have simple design rules to visually unify a landscape from an existing chaos, to a landscape which reaches it's full potential for a given budget. The concept is so simple you can see after reading this, that it's not just money that separates a "rich" neighborhood like Beverly Hills from the mass neighborhoods, it's actually attention to 3 specific details which unify a design visually. The difference is most high end residences were developed by designers who know this principle.

  • Clear Edge Definition in the Landscape.
    This creates the same effect as arranging a cluttered room, it provides visual clarity to a landscape.
    1. Minimize obstructions, define the edges, plan the implementation, do it.
    2. Helping define edges is also aided by the following heading: Simplified Color Palette
  • Logical or Simplified Color/Texture Palette
    This minimizes one of the clearest obstacles to defining edges and spaces: Color and texture chaos. Once again, as a designer I stress simplifying the confusion this causes visually, it encompasses color and surfacings. The principle can also be applied to architecture and the furnishings used on a site.
  • Framing and Extension Cohesion: Landscape framing and architectural extension continue elements of the main architecture into the landscape utilizing the same materials. This ties the two together, and is the finishing touch present in high end and well designed landscapes, and missing in many others. It adds a visual appeal of unity and a finished look regardless of the economics of the property.
    Once again, many landscapes suffer from no framing and cohesion extensions into the landscape. The residence seems to float alone in the landscape and/or elements used in the landscape do not related visually or in style to the main architecture. Drive through many hig end neighborhoods, and you will see various architecturally related elements placed in the landscape, edging the landscape or surfacing the landscape. These include elements such as low walls, headers, columns and walkway paving and edging.

By following the above diagnostic outline, and just looking at a landscape, even a novice can begin identifying the principle violations of good* visual design. In a more extensive analysis, of course other elements can come into play such as a geometric shapes and angles, but even these, if they adhere to the simplified 3 point design principles above, are not as visually obtrusive as line, color, texture and elemental chaos.

Important Information for Homeowners

I can evaluate a landscape and generate a pre-design plan report and recommendation of design principle accidents and property areas which can be improved and how to do it. This aids in subsequent planning because you can see how to phase it, how you can do it, what to approach a contractor with, where to avoid rip-offs, what costs to expect, and the current state of the landscape before approaching the next levels. I believe this information, in many cases, can educate homeowners on their own property, and aid them to avoid rip-offs which are not designers with a concept other than plopping plants, dg, and irrigation around, getting paid and leaving. I've been in this business for over 30 years and can tell you landscape contracting is possibly the most rip-off laden construction category I have experienced. I've seen it personally. I note also, it has many loyal and great people who truly love landscape design working within it. We know we love it! We also love educating people on principles and potentials within design to optimize a property in many ways. Thanks!

*The "good" is subjective to a type of design, as in some cases designers and clients intend to create chaos. I am now targeting the common landscape which has become accidentally, unintentionally, a chaotic mystery or mess. The more elements in the chaos, the more the solution seems to vanish. The three principles above are the diagnostic aid, and the solution set of design principles to refine. If you need a designers help, please call us for further explanation and/or a landscape to evaluate. 520-971-2234


Master Diagnostics List

1. Line

2.Color/Texture/Geometry: Shape and Angles

3. Architectural Extensions - The Landscape Architectures


Our Service

What we offer is diagnostics, planning, design/implementation planning and construction management as single services or in combination.

  1. Diagnostics: Existing Landscape Analysis Report and Recommendations
    This informs a homeowner or business as to what the current state of the landscape is at in terms of visual design, identifying problems which detract from the overall design. It also will touch on other elements in the landscape which can be improved, and/or are exhibiting a sub-optimal condition. It is presented in a report hardcopy and a web resource if applicable and desired. It is a checklist of what's wrong, and what to do to fix it.
  2. Planning: What, where and how to implement design improvements
    This is part of the diagnostic stage which identifies the problems. After review with the owner, a target list will be developed further as to exactly what can be done to improve the conditions. This is a further analysis of the initial diagnostics.
  3. Design/Implementation Planning: A further development of the planning/pre-design stage into working drawings
    If desired, but not a required part of our service, we can design the desired improvements to working drawings with cost estimates, detailing, and all information needed for construction by a contractor the owner or both. You will have the construction drawings, and pertinent cost information to bid the project to as many contractors as you wish. If you desire more support from us: Bid management, quality control, coaching
  4. Construction Management and Planning: How to implement the recommendations yourself, with another contactor,  with us, or a phased/planned combination.

    This is a management plan and effort to get the work done, in whatever form the owner desires.

Call for a free consultation, information, recommendation or advice!

Call 520-471-4327 to get more information

More Information and Articles

Landscape Design: Adding Intelligence