Many homeowners enjoy gardening but find themselves overwhelmed by the complexities of designing a garden, selecting appropriate plants, and finding a way for all the desired elements to work together. Barbara can make the task more manageable by explaining how to apply the principles of landscape design to an individual site, and by being available for additional consultation throughout the process.

One of the most common questions asked is, "Where do I start?" For most people it is neither realistic nor affordable to create an ideal garden in a single installation. Barbara offers suggestions for practical approaches to suit individual budgets and timelines, including ideas to ensure that the landscape looks good between phases of development.


site analysis & research

There are many factors that influence the character of a landscape site. Barbara's professional evaluation of a location covers the basics of measurement and notation of soil types, drainage, potential equipment access, climate, and views. Site features, such as large trees or waterways, may inspire design ideas. The architectural style and size of the house and other buildings on the site may provide a framework for designing a garden. The site analysis includes consideration of the effect of community codes and covenants. The appearance and nature of the surrounding neighborhood, yards and landscapes may also influence choices.

An extremely important part of the site analysis and research is determining how a garden is to be used and maintained, both currently and in the future. Sustainability and cost of maintenance must be considered early in the design process. A well-designed garden is a valuable property investment. An ideal landscape should serve many diverse functions, from providing privacy, style and mood to developing space for relaxation, entertainment or play. Barbara can guide homeowners through this challenging process, which involves both identifying uses and needs and prioritizing goals.


homeowner coaching

Barbara enjoys sharing her knowledge with others. She is experienced in providing homeowners with training in the following horticultural activities:

  • Soil Amendment
  • Plan Identification
  • Planting Trees and Shrubs
  • Planting Containers
  • Companion Planting
  • Garden Maintenance Techniques
    • Weeding
    • Watering and Low Water Usage
    • Pruning 
    • Garden Tool Selection


purchasing plants

Gardeners in the Pacific Northwest are blessed with ample rain and a relatively moderate seasonal range of temperatures. Local nurseries offer a vast selection of plant material - so much that the choices are often overwhelming or confusing. As a certified horticulturalist with training specific to plants commonly available here, Barbara can use her expertise to help her clients avoid expensive mistakes.


Design consultations and development, plant selection    $90 per hour

Project management    $90 per hour or 10% of installation cost

The level of design service depends on the needs of the client and the complexity of a site or design. A landscape design for a part of the property, or those involving only plant selection and limited drafting, can cost as little as $2,000. A landscape design that includes a hardscape plan (patios, walls, fences, etc.) and a planting plan will typically cost at least $2,500 to $3,000. Charges for design development that involves permitting start at $4,000.

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