Here's some information about the way I work with householders.
Scope of Services
Ecologically sound advice and design services for new builds and retrofits - detached houses, apartment blocks, and associated community facilities. City, town, village and suburban contexts.
Food gardens, forests and orchards using assemblages of native and exotic edibles and support plants.
Ornamental gardens based on a naturalistic aesthetic inspired by the site's nearby, or pre-existing, natural areas.
House and garden integration.
Ongoing garden coaching and mentoring.
I work with you 'where you are at'. Right at the start I gain an understanding of your interests, knowledge, skills, budget and free time. Depending on your needs I can offer initial advice leading to either ongoing mentoring and coaching as your garden develops, or I can provide concept sketches and deliver a detailed concept plan with supporting documents.
Or variations that include both these services. If your vision includes home renovation I can recommend architects and builders, and I do integrated work with these guys too.
I offer a flexible service that is tailored to your needs, as your success is my success.
1. Client's needs and site assessment
Initially, I meet you at your property to understand your vision and needs, and your site. I'll provide you with some initial thoughts and ideas plus answer your questions. And we can explore products and other information online. The following site assessments will be undertaken:
sun and wind exposure analysis
stormwater flows and harvesting potential; existing downpipe locations and tanks.
existing plants identification
possible existing fauna trackways; possible pest issues and solutions.
existing visible services (powerlines, manholes, inspection outlets...)
land slope and aspect; steepness
people access and movement
soil testing of pH, drainage, texture, wettability and 'aliveness'
soil samples for lab analysis to determine heavy metal contaminant levels (a $20 service offered by Macquarie University's Vegesafe program).
I often draw up by hand a conceptual 'bubble' diagram showing how various elements in the garden could relate and function. PLUS I usually write up a 'to do' list for you to follow up on and some ideas for plants. AND I'll go back to the office and send you any relevant links and docs.
I charge an hourly rate plus a transport surcharge (see below), payable in cash or direct deposit at the end of the meeting, and the visit usually takes two to three hours depending on the site.
2. Ongoing advice, coaching and mentoring
From here, I can either leave you to it, or perhaps you will want ongoing advice and coaching as you progress your garden DIY style. I charge an hourly rate for this service.
3. Detailed Concepts
Or you may want a detailed concept that includes a plan, a plant list, schedules and other relevant information. I'll provide a detailed lump sum fee proposal for your approval before starting any design work. (If your site is very steep, the property boundary is not clearly visible, or underground services are difficult to locate we may need to engage the services of a licensed surveyor). There will be enough information in the concept documents for a contractor to provide an accurate quote to implement the work. I partner with experienced and reputable landscape contractors and can ask them for estimates and quotes.
And then there's variations on these themes like providing you with some simple sketches and a plant list just to get you started.
My business strives to be as ecologically sustainable as possible. Where convenient the business employs bicycles and public transport, and uses a car sharing service otherwise. Where a car is required I charge clients directly for this, additional to my standard fees.