Details Landscape Art, based in Petaluma, California, has been a premier landscape contractor since 1991, designing and building some of Sonoma County’s finest gardens. Our tag line has evolved over the years, from ‘Do It Once-Do It Right’, to ‘Love Began in a Garden’, to ‘We Take Pride in Our Work”, to the current “Gardens for Life”, which actually has two meanings. The first meaning, which is the subject of this missive, is gardens tailored to a homeowner’s lifestyle.
No two of our gardens are the same, because no two of our clients are the same. Of course we look at the style of the house, the neighborhood, the topography of the yard, and the local climate. Before we even start the design process, we carefully interview each customer or family to learn about their likes, dislikes, needs, issues, budgetary limitations, and their thoughts about gardening, entertaining, etc.
The answers to these interview questions will steer the garden design in certain directions, so that we can deliver a custom landscape that is truly a garden for their life.
In no particular order, we try to discuss:
-How large is the family and how many people might they entertain? This will help us design the appropriate size patio or entertaining area.
– Do they like gardening or is it a chore? If they enjoy getting dirty and deadheading perennials, we may build a little higher maintenance garden for them. Do they mind mowing a small lawn? If gardening is a chore, then we will stick to low maintenance plants with color in the foliage.
– Are there privacy issues? Are the neighbor’s windows looking down into the yard? Maybe some tall screening shrubs are appropriate.
– Do they have dogs? Perhaps we need to create an area for them to relieve themselves without damaging the lawn or plantings.
-Do they prefer a natural woodsy Asian style garden? A more formal English garden? A Mediterranean garden with pastels and soft elements?
-Does an outdoor fire pit appeal to them? If so, are they willing to go out and buy firewood and stack it?We try to encourage homeowners to go out there and be IN their gardens – participate rather than just look at it.
-Are they patient enough for us to install smaller plants and wait for them to grow, or would they rather pay more for an instantly larger specimen?
-Do they care about having birds and butterflies visit the garden?
-Are there small children who need a lawn area to play ball or maybe require a separate area for a play structure?
We have our own ideas about how we like to see a landscape designed, how to put together the various elements, how to make the garden flow, so that there is access from the doors and entrances to the patio or the driveway to the side gates and from one area to the next. But we always consult with the homeowner so that we include the elements that make it truly a Garden for Life.