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© 2017 by Garden Stories LLC. Proudly created with Wix.com

Portland, OR 97211 

Tel 503.334.3536 

Cell 415.328.2751

Email: james@gardenstories.com

LCB# 9161

The Design Process

Our goal is to make the design process as clear, coherent, and relevant to your needs as possible. Good garden design involves harmonizing hard surfaces, structures, and plants in pleasing proportions. A sophisticated design is the foundation of a successful landscape.


We spend as much time necessary with you and your landscape to assist us in making well-informed design decisions. This a great time for you to share your ideas, photos, and mood boards, because we love talking about design just as much as anyone. This is also a good time to discuss budget and costs.


In order to create a first phase of the design we will need to survey your yard to make an accurate site map. This is also an opportunity to capture photos of the site, assess soil and light conditions and glean any information we deem important to the plan.


In this  phase we begin to put together the main ideas of the yard and the over-arching theme of the space. Before we fill in all the details it's important to set down a good foundation. From here we create more concrete plans that we can accurately estimate pricing and get a better understanding of the overall plan. Specific plans are detailed below.

Landscape Plans

Conceptual Plans

The conceptual plan, or "master plan" is typically the first phase of the design process. This plan lays down all the essentials, and its purpose is to organize the space in a clean and easily readable format. This plan is often used as the hardscape plan, and is useful for contractors for bidding.

Planting Plans

The Planting Plan is ostensibly the first phase of the plan with plant selection overlayed. But the idea of the planting plan allows there to be a phase of the design where the plants take center stage. Without a planting plan, the finished product will probably look like a lot of new landscapes. Bark mulch, boulders and a couple weeping conifers. We are not fans of this cookie-cutter approach to design, so we put a lot of time into our planting plans, and we feel the results speak for themselves. We often find ourselves at a crossroads with realistic budgets. Shall we put the money into hardscaping and custom features, or into a rich planting design? We tend to choose the latter because we think the plants should be the main show, not an afterthought.

Sections or Perspective Plans

If you want to have a part of the plan shown from a section or viewing perspective we are happy to provide that for you. This may be a good way to demonstrate different heights and elevations, but either way it's not an essential element just another tool to help visualize the final product.

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