Most clients will not mention a budget initially. It is usually a subtle discussion they eventually approach after weighing whether they want to work with you. I received a phone call recently. The initial question was, “Can I get a landscape design and install it within my price range budget?” The existing foundation planting had reached its peak and was becoming a maintenance nightmare. She wanted to add her style with less maintenance. I explained to her that I could work within her specified budget. I suggested it be done in phases and with a little ‘sweat equity.’
The Garden Appointment and Intake
I made an appointment and visited with her, asking her favorite plants and colors she liked. She chose a lot of deciduous plants and perennials that she liked. Some selections were those that evoked memories from another place and time. I took pictures, measured and used my design software to offer her suggestions on a plan for her front foundation.
The Landscape Presentation
All of her desires were incorporated within the landscape design successfully. A Pinterest board was assembled to show her the plant material. I prepared an ensemble of pictures and close-up of leaves, flowers, berries and bark interest for each specimen. The front picture of her house was used to show a before and after of the foundation. In this design, it showed the ultimate growth.
The presentation was simple to guide through each plant with the visuals in front of me to show close-up versions. The homeowner could see the overall image of how it would appear from a distance. Each explanation of the plants and how they behaved in the landscape gave her excitement. She began to see the finished product unfolding. I explained to her that each garden needs “the bones” or the evergreens to hold the structure of it together. It is also the winter garden when all else has gone into dormancy. Each step of the presentation, the particulars about the plants and its needs (mostly self-sustaining with water and fertilizer) were explained.
Summary and Costs
After presenting the landscape design with the images, I prepared a summary of the cost of the plant material, deliveries, and soil amendments. Because of the client’s budget, she opted for Phase 1 and will initiate Phase 2 in the spring. After the installation was complete (and she helped plant by the way), she was very satisfied and delighted with the results. I prepared a Garden Calendar to help her understand what would need to be done each month for maintenance.
Educate your Clients
She stated that initially, she did not have any confidence in her abilities as a gardener. But with this experience that she had ‘grown a green thumb.’
I believe part of the relationship with a design client is to initiate enthusiasm for the result. I do this by educating them on the plant material they are purchasing. Giving them information on its maintenance and the expectation will give them more confidence in the selections made for their garden.
If you need to prepare a design presentation for your landscape design clients or need one of your own, let’s talk! I provide full-scale blueprints along with images, a Pinterest board and Maintenance Calendars at a reasonable investment.