Our design style is one of partnering. We look to you, the client, to share your likes, preferences and values. Our role is to create a beautiful and functional space that reflects who you are.
Design is the cornerstone of every amazing garden. The difference between spending $20,000 to create a hodge-podge or $20,000 to create a functional and beautiful oasis is design.
Design is the most potent stage in a landscape, determining how easy a garden is to maintain, how much water it takes, how much value it will add to your house, and whether or not the work you do will last or be redone.
We take your design seriously, because a single thought or idea can easily cost or save you $10-30k. Our goal is to create designs that get built and that please our clients. To do this we design to your stated budget and take time to understand as much as we possibly can about you, your family and the garden's role in your life.
Designing has many layers:
Storage and outdoor offices
Satisfying building codes
Adding resale value
Specialized activity areas
Security and privacy
Budget and installing in stages
A garden is three dimensional art that is lived in and enjoyed from all angles throughout the year. The most important choice you will make in your whole
project is picking a designer who is knowledgeable in as many areas of landscaping as possible that you work well with, and who takes the time to understand you. Most of the work that gets redone in Marin (at great expense and environmental cost) is a result of an under-qualified designer or the client skipping design in the hope of saving money. Because we believe so passionately in the importance of good, practical designs, Dane has written two local books that we encourage you to read regardless of who you work with:
"I haven't found one book with a list of deer-resistant, drought-tolerant plants with year-round interest that are available in Marin. Marin Landscape Design has that list and I'm looking forward to saving water by using this list. Thanks, Dane, for producing a useful local book. Couldn't be more thorough!"
"I found this book very useful in planning my landscaping for my home in the Oakland hills. As a home builder I know about building but landscaping is something I know next to nothing about, and this book was perfect in exposing me to all of the various facets I need to consider to get started."
Most designs are made after the designer has spent less than six hours on site. While this is enough time to get the broad strokes of a design, we find that the best projects are the result of an active collaboration between designer, client and contractor throughout the installation process. To make this a reality we are both a design and build company, giving full attention to one job until complete. Since most mistakes occur when a client forgets to mention something important, or if a designer does not ask the right questions at the beginning, we have created a comprehensive questionnaire. By answering this in writing prior to our first design meeting you will typically cut your design costs in half and be sure that everything important to you will be reflected in our design proposal.
"You made sure our job was complete and we were fully satisfied before moving on to your next job, always an asset in a contractor."
Dick and Jan Beal