Designs for new and existing gardens and landscapes


Start with the site

A site visit is an essential basis for our design. We sometimes design from photos but even great photographs and to-scale mortgage surveys can be misleading. An on-site assessment of growing conditions and your views gives us what we need to create a successful design.


Prepare a drawing or other record

Once we have seen your garden or property, we can prepare a sketch on-site or compile information to complete a more detailed design in our office. On-site sketches are suitable for planting, buying plants, etc. but we sometimes recommend a more detailed drawing based on your intended use of the design. Scroll down or click for some sample sketches.



On-site design is billed at $100 per hour, with a two-hour minimum.  Cost of sketches and designs ranges from $300 to $2,000 depending on both the size of the area and the level of complexity. It's not possible to predict cost until we see the site and have discussed objectives with you. If you provide us with a copy of the mortgage survey for a property, we can often use that as a basis for our measurements, which can save time in any drawing and measuring we do for you.


We do travel out of State to work...

...and have clients across a wide area. We enjoy gardening in other regions, are confident of our work in most of the Northern U.S. and Canada, and have learned a great deal from work so far in the South and Southwest.

For properties beyond our locality (southeast Michigan) time and mileage expense applies. We are sometimes able to split travel fees, such as between a design client and a group hosting us for a workshop or talk. If your schedule is flexible, ask us about when we might be in your area for other reasons and can offer you a fee sharing arrangement.


Contact us

You can call (248-681-7850) or email to arrange a design appointment. We do not subcontract out work so we have limited openings for designing with you. We are best able to work for those who do not have a pressing deadline for their project.


We can take away information and return with a plan (left) or draw on-site (right):

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Either way, we provide the detail you need to create a fine garden:

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Sometimes that means we develop detailed planting diagrams, other times more basic concept plans:

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We can help you visualize changes in the scene:

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And help you explore options for screening a view and increasing privacy:


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Small or large, immediate or long term, we work all ways:

In this situation, the gardener wanted to plant one garden per year but be able to buy plants as they might be available and hold them for future projects. With this plan the planter was always aware what came next and how it would all come together as an integrated landscape over time.

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