How do you go about designing a landscape for a customer?
An appointment is set up where the client and Kim or Dave will meet to discuss the needs and wants for the project and a complete site evaluation will be conducted. Attention will be given to the style of the neighborhood, the client’s desires and ultimate functionality of the area, lifestyle of the homeowner, the architecture and placement of the property, drainage issues and finally planting issues such as such sightlines, scale, lighting conditions, color, texture and form. Once this is complete depending on the scope of the project a small fee may be required for the design process to be performed. Rest assured any nominal fee that is charged, to cover some of the time involved in a comprehensive plan, will be deducted from the final invoice after the work is completed. After taking a digital photo of your property, the picture will be downloaded on our computer and through digital imagery a photographic design will be created. You will actually be able to visually see what the project will look like at completion. A second meeting will be scheduled or the design and plant listing will be sent to you. A second meeting is preferred so that any alterations the client wants to make can be done right on site via a laptop and the process can be complete. Once the final project is decided on an initial deposit is required and the work will be scheduled.
How does your design process save me money?
When you visually have a design that incorporates all facets of your landscape, hard and softscape, that you completely agree on with your designer you have the key for success. Ultimately, you have saved yourself time, money and aggravation of not knowing what you are really going to get. Say you were to hire someone that just described a few plants they were going to install but you could not see it and upon completion you hated the project. How would you feel? Now, you have to live with something you hate or you have just wasted your money and you have to start all over again. Wouldn’t you agree it will save you in the long run to visually know what you are going to get and have the incomparable service of someone ensuring that what you see on paper is what you are going to get?
Also, our process will save you from the “cookie cutter look” that most landscapers install. What we call the cookie cutter look is a look that is undistinguishable from your neighbors. The same bland contractor special that you see all over the place. A lot of companies do not go to the extent that we do to ensure you are getting the unique plants that are in your design plan. They only use 1 nursery to buy product and will install only what the nursery has in stock at that time. This generally would be your typical contractor special of Rhody’s, Azaleas, Arborvitaes and maybe a Holly Shrub.
How do I know I will be getting the plants that are listed in my design and quote and not something else?
Kim Gravel personally hand selects all the plants that are installed to her clients landscapes. You are guaranteed the best possible plants at the size and species stated in your plans. Great length is gone to, sometimes traveling to 4 or 5 different locations, to ensure that the exact species of plants that are stated in the design are installed. Also, Kim will place the plants on site to ensure exact location. If for some reason, after all options are exhausted in the Northeast, if a substitution on a plant has to be made, the client will be notified first and they will make the final decision on a new species! This very rarely happens. Also, tags are generally left on plants after planting. So, the client will have detailed information on the species of plants to keep in a file, if they so choose.
Do you give FREE Estimates?
Absolutely! The only time a fee is charged is when a large design plan is required to cover the time involved to create the “Work Of Art”. Even then, if Decorative Landscapes is hired for the work the fee will be returned via a deduction from the final invoice. Project success comes from thorough planning. It is the project design that separates a mediocre project from an exceptional one. So, don’t you want to make sure you are getting it done right the 1st time? “WHY SETTLE FOR THE ORDINARY WHEN YOU CAN HAVE THE EXTRAORDINARY!”
What type of drainage work do you do?
If it involves dirt we do it all from french drains, regrading to change water run off on the property, drainage trenches, underground leaching chambers, etc..etc.. We also do work for both commercial and residential properties.
Can your work be done during the winter?
Yes, generally excavating and hardscape work is done up until the ground freezes below 6”. Sometimes, even after that depending on the workload or deadline for a project to be completed. We generally like to stop planting in November and lawns are finished up by mid October.
The cold winter months are the best time to plan for spring projects. Get your design and proposal done in the winter and be enjoying your project by the summer!
What if I need an engineered plan or an As Built for my project?
We work with some very reputable and well respected engineers in the area and we will be happy to give you a referral or we can work with them on your behalf acting like a General Contractor.
How often and how much water should I give my newly installed plants?
|Size of Plant||How Often to Water||How Much|
|Shrubs & trees with main trunk being less than 2” in diameter.||Water daily for 2 weeks.
Every other day for 2 months.
Weekly until plant is established.
|Apply one gallon of water for each inch of trunk diameter each time you water.|
|Shrubs & trees with main trunk being 2”-4” in diameter.||Water daily for 1 month.
Every other day for 3 months.
Weekly until plant is established.
|Apply 2-4 gallons of water depending on the trunk diameter each time you water.|
|Shrubs & trees with main trunk being more than 4” in diameter.||Water daily for 6 weeks.
Every other day for 5 months.
Weekly until plant is established.
|Apply 4 or more gallons of water each time you water.|
ALSO KEEP THESE FACTORS IN MIND!
Check soil conditions before watering
Always check the soil to determine if water is needed. If the soil is dry at 4 to 7 inches deep, you should apply water. Generally, sandy soils will need moisture more often then any other type of soil, but always check before watering.
Water thoroughly so water penetrates the soil
Plant roots will seek out moisture below the surface. Deeper roots enable plants to absorb moisture from farther below the surface, even when top soil dries out. With deeper root systems you get stronger, healthier plants.
Avoid frequent, light watering
Roots go where the water is. Frequent, light watering keeps the moisture near the surface and causes shallow root systems that are more vulnerable to weather conditions, especially heat and heavy rain.