I'm Officially A Professional Landscape Designer Today!!!

Woohoo! I delivered my first paid design, and got paid for it (assuming the cheque clears, of course). It’s an exhilarating and scary feeling - someone actually paid me for sitting around my office and doodling on a sheet of paper. I put in my time learning about plants, learning about design theory and drafting, and learning how to not make too big a mess of someone’s yard, but it still feels kinda weird that someone would pay me (quite well) for doing something that was basically pretty darned easy.

Just as a mostly-relevant aside, what a landscape designer does is - you know those beautiful scenes you see in magazines, of lush, gorgeously-flowered, amazing yards? I know how to make a yard look like that. :smiley:



Congratulations!! Oh, and don’t sell yourself short. Might be easy for you, but it’s definitely not easy for everyone.


That’s what I have to keep telling myself - I’ve studied plants, gardening, and designing - the people who will pay me for this skill and knowledge haven’t. What is easy for me now was virtually impossible for me before I learned these things, too. That should help me to value my time and expertise (and also stay realistic about my designs - they might not be as fancy as I’d like yet, but they’re still miles ahead of what untrained people can do).

Thanks, all.

People do landscaping in Calgary in February? This global warming thing is coming on faster than I thought.

um… featherlou… what a landscape designer does is dream it, invent it and figure a way to get it onto paper… oh, and convince the buyers to go for it. The landscapers make it look like the magazine pictures!


-Fetch, a landscape horticulturalist.

:stuck_out_tongue: :smiley:
Okay, I know how to PLAN a yard like that!

Gorsnak, we probably could landscape in winter this year - it’s been frighteningly warm. Winter is a great time to do landscape designing, however - a properly trained landscape designer can identify plants in the middle of winter without a leaf on them, and there’s really no reason to not design in winter. We can design all winter so that all those landscape horticulturalists have something to keep them out of trouble in summer.

Congratulations, featherlou. Best of luck in your new career.

And hey, you might want to check out all the billboards and ads that are reputedly up in Calgary now about moving to Saskatchewan. :slight_smile:

Absolutely, I know it would be impossible for me! All I know about plants is that they often but not always involve green parts :smiley:

Congratulations on having a job you love!

I sell landscape products … I love it when landscape designers choose our products and I love to look at the drawings people bring in.

It’s a fun job.

So when do you get your own show on HGTV? Cool job! I could use you at Kasa Kalhoun, where the trees are many, the soil is rocky and the shade is abundant.

And I could user her at the Again residence, where the soil is reclaimed phosphate mine, the trees are practically none-existent, and the homeowners are lazy.

And I could use you at Casa lieu, where the oaks have matured to the point where they’re overshading all my foundation hedges and beds, despite my best attempts to prune properly (thin and raise canopy).

Congrats, I’d love to do the same. Sounds like a great job.

I’ve been working with somebody who does both landscape design and landscaping to design and landscape the grounds around a new church building. Well, me and some others. My input consists mostly of saying, “oooh… pretty!” :smiley:

Congrats featherlou for your first paid design and for getting to do something you apparently really like doing. Like I always say, if ya gotta work, it might as well be something you can stand most of the time.

Wow - landscape challenges! I’m designing in Zone Three, with clay soil, a short growing season and chinooks that desiccate the plants every winter - I’m sure your local designers could (and do) work with all of your issues.

Sure - I’ll have my own show next year. It’ll be renovating an entire yard and having it full of mature plants in two days. :smiley:


Ooh, ooh, ooh. . . Would you consider taking questions here? I’d offer to hire you, but it’d be a loooong commute to Los Angeles for you.

Hey Featherlou - do you think you could design something for the 12" pot I have on my balconey? :smiley:

Just teasing - congratulations!

Sure - with the disclaimer that my plant knowledge is for Calgary/Alberta. Junipers and pines, I know.

Yes. Yes it would. Would you pay mileage? :smiley:

Okay, alice, let’s see - dracaena in the middle, with a nice bright geranium, some pansies around the edge, and trailing lobelia. How’s that?

Hmmm, well, I’m sure junipers and pines do grow out here, but they’d completely overwhelm my teeny, tiny back yard. The total square footage is only about 275sf!

We’ve got the beginnings of my landscape plan started, but I’ve gotten to the point where I need a professional to come in and finish things off, and perhaps make some suggestions I haven’t thought of. In anticipation of hiring a landscape design company, I started a web page I could direct prospective contractors to so they could see the size and scope of my project before even having to come out in person, though it’s still a work in progress and doesn’t include any of the side yard (where we want to remove a row of while oleander, put up a trellis and arbor and possibly plant zinfandel grapes), or the front yard, which isn’t really a yard so much as a couple of small planting beds that front the house, and that strip of land between the sidewalk and street, but I digress.

Anyway, what I’m most interested in are answers to the areas marked as #1 and #7. We love having a yard that has at least some grass, but the original landscaper installed a completely inappropriate kind of grass for our needs. We asked for something low-maintenance and slow-growing, since it’s so small and in such an odd configuration for the purposes of mowing. What we got was Marathon II, which grows like crazy, almost necessitating twice-weekly mowing and edging throughout the spring and summer. Ugh! So I found this “stepable” ground cover that looks very much like grass, and gets these pretty little flowers on it during the spring (link on the above page).

At first glance, it seems like it would be the perfect solution, as our yard has the perfect conditions for it, and except for getting to the rock garden to pull weeds, etc., we really wouldn’t be walking on it as most lawns usually get walked on. However the info page on it says it’s not recommended for lawns. I just wonder if that’s because they assume a much larger area than we are working with, and much higher traffic than what ours would get? The pictures on that site sure make it look awfully lawn-like. Is it at all within the realm of possibility that that particular plant would work in our space? And if so, how much of it would we need to plant in order to cover what’ll probably only come to about 175sf, more or less?

And is there anything we can do about our gorgeous red fountain grass having gotten so lush and full that it completely overpowers the space we put it in?

That all depends – are we talking U.S. currency, Canadian currency, or, maybe, Danish Kroner? :wink:

Thanks in advance for any light you can shed on either of these two plants!