landscaping process
landscaping process


Appropriate Design

Each landscape is customized to fit the unique characteristics of the space and maximize your short term and long term desires. We’ll begin by discussing the tones and needs . . . tranquility, entertaining, and comfort are popular. As we incorporate stylistic layers to our base, other goals are considered. . . low maintenance, edible, healthy, and affordable are popular goals.

It’s a great idea to confront financial considerations early in the design process. While it’s easy to get excited about the possibilities for your outdoor spaces, discovering that construction bids exceed your budgetary goals is extremely disappointing and delays results. Periodically discussing the opportunities and constraints around money during the design process will put you in a better position to realize the features you want most when it comes time to build.

Here is a more detailed summary of typical components of large, medium, and small projects, as well as ongoing maintenance:

Construction Scale

For large projects, we’ll begin with conversations about big ideas; the features, comprehensive budget, style, and goals. Once the site is measured, we’ll review concept photos and a scaled illustration of the site that communicates some ideas about how to layout the features we’ve discussed. We can rearrange and test this layout, exploring the options, until we find an arrangement that is to your liking. Early in the design process, the ballpark costs are presented and evaluated for feasibility, phasing, and budgeting. If necessary, the layout and/or materials are adjusted to accommodate financial goals. With a clear idea of the overall layout, features, and phasing, we can begin to incorporate a strategy for special finishing touches, order materials, and schedule the crews. Before long, building has begun and your landscape is taking shape exactly as you imagined it with only minor refinements as unique field conditions are addressed.

Small Projects

Here is a more detailed summary of typical components of large, medium, and small projects, as well as ongoing maintenance:The process for these projects will largely depend on what type of existing features you have and your goals for the space. Typically, the first meeting will explore the project opportunities and constraints including goals, inspirations, measurements, existing features, and financial considerations. With a list of priorities, our next step is to review a scaled site plan and/or a list of features/costs. If there are crucial decisions that will impact the cost and appearance of the finished project, they will be presented at this point in order to develop a strategy to address each. Finally, we’ll discuss sequencing, and schedule the installation for either a time when you are available to offer some additional thoughts, or at a time that is convenient for the crews to access the space.

Garden Spruce Up

Most gardens need at least one spruce up every year; to replace dead or declining plants, to provide structural or invigorating pruning, and to add a thick layer of mulch to both prevent weeds and encourage water to stay in the soil. This service is ideal for gardens that are self-maintained or when the maintenance company is not familiar with the finer techniques of gardening, leaving the space in need of a few days of work by experienced professionals. Often, this requires at least two brief meetings; the first to review the existing conditions and discuss goals/ideas, and the second on the day of installation to review any final adjustments and details. Additional design ideas, material availability and final costs are often communicated via email between the two meetings. At the second meeting you can expect to see Merrill, the crew, and the materials arrive at the scheduled time. By the end of that day, or in a few days time, your garden will look gorgeous!

Ongoing Maintenance

Construction clients have the option of an ongoing maintenance service. Weekly, bi-monthly, and monthly packages that handle predictable garden needs such as trimming, shaping, mowing, weeding, debris removal, and lighting/irrigation adjustments are discussed before a proposal is offered. As a part of the maintenance service, a quarterly proposal will be offered to address additional one-time items (such as the installation of new plants, significant irrigation adjustments or refinements, seeding the lawn, sealing hardscape surfaces, wood staining, painting and mulch). Ongoing maintenance of gardens that were installed by other companies is not offered at this time.