Friday, February 11, 2011

Pics are coming, the PICS ARE COMING

Soon we will be migrating a slideshow or -shows of images to this blog.  Previous projects, pics from contractors of projects currently underway, native plants "in action", the whole nine.  I'm really digging the new stuff...yes, pun intended.

Request a free quote

How to request a free quote: 1) send us an email requesting a free quote and we will respond with our new client questionnaire; 2) return your completed questionnaire with a few photos of the project site.  Upon reviewing your information we will respond by email with a free quote.  How to proceed: We will next need your survey or plat plan and payment.  1) Online projects: surveys may be submitted via email or "snail mail".  Fees must be paid upfront in-full either by personal check or PayPal.  2)  In-person projects: should you opt to meet with us in-person, please indicate in your questionnaire days and times that are usually most convenient for you.  Typically we meet weekdays at 10am, 1pm or 4pm.  However, we recognize that evenings or weekends are sometimes more convenient for our clients.  We will make every effort to accommodate your scheduling requests.  At the end of this meeting we will collect your survey and a deposit equal to one-half the design fee; the balance will be due upon receipt of the hardcopies of your design.

When to expect your design

Turnaround of your design depends on the time of year.  In peak months (March through June and September through November) you may expect your design within 2-3 weeks.  In off-peak months you may receive your design in 5-7 business days.  We will not commit to "rush jobs" because we believe that to create a truly custom and sustainable landscape design, one must have extensive knowledge of plants and natural processes, be blessed with artistc creativity and the ability to communicate both clearly to clients as well as contractors.  This process takes time, if it is to be done correctly.  Just before your design is completed we will contact you to set up a phone meeting to review your design.  After presenting your design, we will allow you a few days to mull over our suggestions and submit a request for minor modifications.  When the revision (if any) is finished, we will send you a digital copy of your final design before we mail your design package.

Services and Fees 2011

Fees are based on the size and scope of your project, and whether the service is completed online or in-person. Most suburban residential clients may expect: $400-600 for design packages; $225-300 for notes and sketch consultations; $150 for notes only consultations; and $75 for 30-minute site visits. Online fees are discounted by 20-30% (more, in some cases). Quotes for our services are free by email and/or telephone. In-person quotes are considered site visits and are therefore $75. All fees are collected when services are rendered except the in-person design, as will be explained in the "request a free quote" section.

Design packages include one 24x36" master plan (digital only), two 11x17" laminated copies of your design with plants and materials listed on the back, care and maintenance instructions, list of nurseries where you may purchase the plants we recommend, and our invoice for your balance due (in-person projects only).
Notes and sketch consultation packages include one hardcopy of your sketch, a plants and materials list, and a list of nurseries. You will receive these items at the end of the meeting. Clients requesting the notes only consultation or 30-minute site visit will be responsible for taking notes.


Check out our facebook page!  Simply go to and search for  Lots of photos and updated information about how we work.  More updates coming soon!

Monday, February 07, 2011


Our website and blog will get makeovers soon.  They are starting to show their age.  ;-

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Nature's Wintry Gifts

our rig under apx 5" of snow
Despite our best intentions to escape winter, cold weather followed us everywhere during our month-long sojourn through the southeastern United States.  Stalked us, to use a plant metaphor.  Most days we had glorious weather as we wandered along the Gulf Coast from South Padre Island, TX, to Key West, FL.  But then -- snap -- the temperature would drop, and off we would go to points farther south.  By the end of January we had completed our "Border of Blue" tour and were racing back to DFW-Denton to teach a course at the Dallas Arboretum about landscaping to attract and sustain wildlife.  The weather here was spring-like: sunny and 70s with a light breeze...until the day we made the final push across Texas...As we trudged north from Corpus Christi, it seemed like the weather grew more bitter, degree by degree, with every mile.  By the time we reached south Dallas ice had been on the ground for hours but roadways were still slick.  Vehicles spun out all around us.  Some unfortunate motorists became stuck on overpass ramps, and they slipped around on foot after abandoning their cars tethered to the guard rail.  It was a frightful experience.  And a bit annoying; the stow-away known as Old Man Winter had been travelling with us, uninvited, for far too long.  But we did it, we really survived the harrowing drive to reach our destination.  Everybody hunkered down inside our camper for a few days. 
Coralberry, Symphoricarpus orbiculatus

David revised a design or two and continued working on a draft of another.  We talked about improving our presentation for Saturday's class at the Dallas Arboretum.  Brainstormed about improving our website and making our services more efficient, more appealing to audiences of all ages.  Nobody felt "cooped up" because we were making good use of the time.  Our class ultimately was cancelled due to inclement weather; look for an announcement about a rescheduled date and time.  After two days the air warmed, sun smiled, and frozen stuff began to melt.  Outside, finally.  We enjoyed playing in the snow with Sage -- her first interaction with the cold white stuff. 

Coralberry with Wild Rye (Elymus canadensis)
Plentiful plants are putting on a show now.  Possumhaw and coralberry display vibrant berries against the bright white blanket enveloping them.  Native possumhaw (Ilex decidua) berries may be red to orange, sometimes yellow; coralberry (Symphoricarpus orbiculatus) berries are fuschia.  Tiny sprigs of Texas Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis) have emerged and look ready to do their thing soon.  Patience!  Grasses, like Wild Rye (Elymus canadensis), are wearing their tan winter clothes.  Birds peck seed-treats from the melting snow but so far no signs of other wildlife.  When you plant native plants, every season boasts abundant beauty. 

Give us warm weather and high humidity, and we feel comfortable.  Give us arctic blasts of snow and ice, and we still find ways to give thanks for nature's gifts.  Throw another log on the fire.  Celebrate your time is precious.  Bundle up, y'all.  Don't forget to check out our adventure blog for more tales of our mobile lifestyle that allows us to together.  Go to!
Grasses in Dallas' wintry garden

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

An early spring

Mother Nature has lulled us into a feeling of eternal winter with successive storms bringing bitterly cold and snowy or icy conditions.  Even for us optimists, remembering warmer weather is difficult when temps outdoors plummet below school zone speed limits.  Few people are thinking about landscape design this time of year -- usually, that is.  Usually, we get a few stragglers in January and February, then shift into warp-speed design mode March through June and September through November.  This year is different, already.  This year, a lot of new clients have been lining up for meetings in February.  Could this be a sign of big changes ahead?  Let's hope so.  The more opportunities we have to share our message about sustainability, the better.

We still have one appointment left at 4pm on Monday, February 7th, and three appointments on Tuesday the 8th: 10am, 1pm and 4pm.   Monday at 10am and 1pm, and all three appointments on Wednesday have been confirmed!

This Saturday, February 5th, 9-11am, we will be teaching a class about landscaping for and with wildlife at the Dallas Arboretum.  Please visit their website to learn more about the class and to register:

After this class and a few days of meetings, we will head south to Rockport for a few days and then return to DFW-Denton around March 1st.  Exact dates TBA.  Also in March, we will participate once again in City of Allen's Sustainable Landscape Series.  Come hear us Saturday, March 12th, 10am to noon.  Here is their flyer:

Looking forward to helping you restore your slice of Texas, y'all.  Bring on spring!