The design process begins with your ideas and plans for your landscape.
Ideally, the home and garden become natural extensions of each other and the interests of the homeowner. The better you understand your needs and dreams the better we can design solutions for your property. Ask yourself: What do you want to see when you look out the back window or walk out your front door? How do you imagine spending time outside? Are there problems you need to solve involving views, privacy, drainage, traffic patterns, or plant conditions? What kind of experience(s) are you looking for in your garden?

Every design solution begins with a series of questions:
How can you maximize the use and pleasure from your space? What is the scope of your project? What kind of challenges do you face: space, accessibility, sun\shade, soil, drainage and budget? These questions will help you develop your own ideas and give direction to your designer. Is there a favorite tree or plant you have in mind for your yard? What colors and styles appeal to you? How does the architecture of your home relate to the existing or potential landscape? What kind of time do you have to maintain a garden? Take pictures and note the addresses of gardens you like. A good designer will listen to your goals and preferences and help you make the best decisions about your investment. We can suggest options you may not have considered and will recommend solutions that are appropriate for the site and your budget.

The initial design meeting gives us a chance to introduce ourselves and see if we would like to work together.
We review the property and find out what ideas and goals you have in mind for the project. We will discuss possibilities for site and can review a portfolio of past projects that relate to your garden and showcase our work. It is always best that all interested parties be at this first meeting, which usually last 1-2 hours. There is no charge for this meeting. If, however, we decide to move forward with a design and proposal, we will assess a design retainer at this time. This design retainer initiates the design process that leads to a proposal for the client property. This retainer is non refundable and the amount depends upon the scope of the project. A proposal will include a description of all work proposed for the property and material for installation. This proposal will not include drawings. If drawings are required, additional arrangements can be made and design fees incurred.

What should I expect to spend on my project?
There is no simple answer to this question. A well designed and installed landscape project is often no less complicated than remodeling a kitchen or bathroom. There is a range of material choices, quality and costs. Because the footprint of urban gardens is usually quite limited, each element must coordinate with each other and justify its place in your garden. A well built landscape is an investment in the value of your home and pleasure you take in it. A good designer can work within your budget and help you set priorities. Often a landscape project can be installed in stages. In such cases, having a good plan is the foundation of a successful garden. If you are in the planning stages for a home remodeling project, don’t wait to contact a landscape professional until the end of your (re)building project. An experienced designer will help you maximize your investment and integrate the interior and exterior spaces. A well designed home and landscape saves money, preserves resources, and protects your investment.

What are the advantages of working with Voltaire’s Gardener?
There are many different variables involved in a successful design build project: proper site analysis; conceptual and finished design work; soil prep, grading and drainage; selection and installation of material; follow up and on going maintenance. We work with our clients to develop functional spaces that showcase natural beauty yet minimize long term maintenance costs. We have years of experience navigating the logistical challenges of urban projects and coordinating our work with other contractors. We maintain long term relationships with clients who desire seasonal visits to keep their gardens at their best.

Urban gardens serve multiple purposes: serve as a bridge or buffer between the public and private spheres; present the face of your home; offer a space for company, children, pets and refuge, or even the perfect spot to grow your own tomatoes. Developing a garden, whether in your yard or rooftop, allows you to take advantage of every square foot of your property and soften the hard edges of city life. Gardens put you back in touch with nature.

Voltaire’s Gardener understands the value of this resource. We work with our clients to develop projects that meet their needs and the demands of our region. We are committed to being an advocate for them and the environment with our approach. How? We protect soil health, encourage biodiversity, use local and sustainable materials, minimize and eliminate chemical applications, choose reliable, drought tolerant plants with lower maintenance demands. We have years of experience working in this region and we are committed to sustainable practices

We respect your property (and your neighbors) and understand that it is a privilege to take a space and transform it with materials, experience and imagination.