What to Look For in Your Landscape Designer
The five traits that are sure to lead to a great design
Like other design disciplines, the philosophy of landscape design is rooted in the art of combining form and function by following a set of universal principles. The result? A stunning outdoor space that reflects the needs and wants of its owner (you!)
The best landscape designers are experts in horticulture (the art and science of garden cultivation and management) and architectural design (including building methods and materials).
Nowadays, most reputable landscape firms charge for design services the way a homebuilder does — and for good reason. Without design, it’s impossible to accurately estimate the cost of construction — resulting in inevitable cost overruns, missed deadlines and awful surprises. Even worse, you could end up with a landscape that doesn’t fit your vision.
It doesn’t help that many landscape companies offer some form of design for free. Not all design is the same. That’s why, when clients ask me about the cost of landscape design, I like to explain what they get by paying for our design services — and why it’s worth it. Here are five reasons why.
Landscapes can be hard to visualize. When you work with a designer, they’ll have listened to your ideas for your outdoor space. And as they listen, they do the visualizing for you.
Then, they bring your vision to life in a 3D rendering, which (unlike 2D drawings) is easy for everyone to understand. That means no disconnect between what you think your landscape will look like and what it turns out to be (which is often the result of a "free" design process!)
A key value at Vandenberg is “Starting With Why” — it’s the basis of our purpose-driven design process. We always start by asking a simple but profound question: “Why?” This question is the most important one because it’s the foundation for an award-winning landscape and a refreshing experience.
You can also opt to design a complete landscape but have it constructed in phases over a period of years. We can come up with the final vision and then determine how to split up the project efficiently so that everything has been considered from the start. That way, you won’t find yourself saying "Oh, I wish we would have thought of this back then!"
If you choose to design your landscape with us, you’re choosing to get it designed in-house by professionals. “In-house” is the key phrase here, as our team will work together to give you an accurate estimated cost for your project. This is possible because we have a detailed design to price off of.
Nobody wants to pay for something they don’t understand. Our quotes will clearly explain everything that’s included (or excluded) in your price.
Since our design happens in-house, if you choose to work with us, the construction is done by us, too. We’re involved from start to finish, meaning the plan will be executed to perfection.
Designers will frequently check in on the construction of a landscape, so no details are missed. When you pay for professional landscape design, you pay for quality!
Often, the capacity or ability of a designer — and their designs — is based on the education they’ve received and the experience they have.
As Vandenberg’s lead designer, I have a Horticulture degree from Kwantlen Polytechnic University in the Landscape Design program and am continuously learning through part-time schooling in Design at Thompson Rivers University. I also have over a decade of experience.
To get a better idea of my portfolio, take a look at Vandenberg’s featured projects, all of which I designed.
The major benefit of paying for professional landscape design — and then following through on construction with the same company that designed it — is having someone involved from the start of the project to the very end. They understand your "why" behind your project and keep that in mind throughout the entire process.
When you partner with Vandenberg, our design team will work with you to finalize everything and make sure you have the right permits in place.
We believe that when it comes to landscaping — and doing business, in general — transparency is key. At Vandenberg, our goal is to make as much information as possible available to you before you agree to anything.
While the cost of the design and construction of a landscape can vary, ultimately landscaping is an investment — and paying for careful planning and professional design helps secure a good return.