Landscape design on computer                          Paper and computer landscape plans                          Landscape design installed



Before you start any project it is wise to have a plan. You can have a formal plan with all the details clarified, or you can have a sketch that works as a guideline.


Gates & Croft Horticultural Design offers a consulting service in which we guide you through a specially designed questionnaire to help you develop the design that is right for your lot, exposure, lifestyle, tastes and budget. Our goal is to help you design YOUR garden, not ours!


 We can provide full designs, sketches and/or installations. We also offer a half-day consultation in which we can sketch some quick plan ideas, offer hard-to-come-by gardening information, or help you decide exactly what you want before calling in other professionals .

This service is also helpful for do-it-yourselfers who might have no other way to find guidance or specific information.


Please note: the consultation is a 3 hour opportunity for you to get to know us. You can use the time to learn how to plant, prune, solve problems, learn about softscape or hardscape materials, and to ask all the questions you ever wanted to ask about your garden and gardening. It is also an opportunity for us to get to know your tastes and how you will be using your landscape.The amount of work and/or the extent of a quick-sketch plan will be limited to what can be fit into the time available. Designing is time-consuming when done correctly and thoughtfully.


In the instances when a more detailed, refined or accurate plan is to be continued at our design studio, the remaining time in the consultation will be used for doing the important prep -- photos, notes, possible measurements, etc. A rule of thumb idea for fully rendered design costs is 10% of the cost of the full landscape installation. Prices can be discussed at the initial half-day consultation. We will work with you to come up with the best price possible to get you the most for your budget.


Half-day consultations (usually lasting around 3 hours) are provided at your home and may include any of the following:

* Sketches with plant suggestions for small areas.

* General design quick sketches for larger areas.

* Design information on hardscape (non-living materials and permanent structures), softscape (plant materials), or both.

* Horticultural advice on plants, pruning, pests, tree care, soils, and other garden issues.


* Help with materials and design to create ecological gardens including new, cutting-edge products and systems, recycling, tricks-of-the-trade and more.

* Water usage suggestions to reduce water consumption while providing beauty and productivity for the garden where water availability is an issue.

* Advice on planting and growing edibles: fruit trees, vines, vegetable gardening, organic gardening, composting, etc.

* Creative and decorative problem solving.

* Suggestions for water garden or water feature design, care and related expertise.

* Feng Shui and energy flow principals for those who prefer a spiritual approach.

* Information and ideas on artistic specialties: topiary, murals, statuary, visual effects, fences, arches, gates, pergolas, illusions, rocks, environmental creations, and lots more.

* Suggestions for pest avoidance and planting with future growth impact in mind.

* Advice on safety issues for yourself and property as well as special concerns for child, pet and stock safety, fun and comfort.

* Objective advice with no ulterior motives, product sales, kick-backs, mark-ups or profitability issues to influence recommendations.


* Focused expertise and someone who will actually listen to you and help you express your own ideas in the garden.


* Preparation measurements, sketches and photos for more elaborate designs to be developed off-site.


Half-day consultations are filled with information you will not easily find elsewhere. The fee is $475 for nearby jobs -- within a 15 mile distance. The purpose of these consultations is to save you at least double whatever you spend with us -- by avoiding mistakes and future disasters. In short, we take the time to fill in the important details that are not cost efficient for the nurseries, home stores, contractors and architects to focus upon. Once you are knowledgeable and prepared, you are ready to call in any of these other helpful landscape professionals -- or to safely start the job yourself! If you are interested in detailed plans or illustrations, our fees are $800/day.

If you prefer, we can refer professionals we have worked with or handle the installation for you. We also offer artistic supervision on an hourly basis if you want to have the work done by others of your own choice. Artistic supervision is offered for clients who have used our consulting or design services and are offered at $150/hr.

We highly recommend you retain us for minimal hours of supervision whoever installs the landscape to be sure you receive ALL the benefits we drew into your design. 



                                                             Sample landscape plan

        A full plan of an involved landscape with swimming pool, pond, rose garden, play area and more -- fire resistant and drougnt-tolerant.

                       Plant landscape plan         Hand sketch landscape plan

            Planting plan for a small back yard with drought-tolerant selections.  Hand drawn hardscape of a large pool/grotto hillside construction


                                                                                                                Quick sketch plan


Landscape before imageimaged landscape backyardBefore imaged house designImaged landscape front yard

Before                                                        Imaged                                                     Before                                                                   Imaged