Your Project, Step by Step


empty yard space with rakeThe First Step -We meet up and take in your outdoor space together. We discuss how you will use it, and try to hone in, not only on your “wish list,” but also how you want to feel when in the space. Being surrounded by a garden can elicit some archetypal feelings in us, so it is important to get this part right. We also discuss how much of a gardener you really are, and your ideal budget. This is the time for brutal honesty, so your garden is one you can really live with. You are not charged for this consultation.
pile of reference books
The Second Step (optional) - Maybe you really don’t know what you like; I can leave books for you to look through. You can flag pictures that draw you in, for whatever reason, and you can note what it is that you like. Your responses to other gardens tell me a lot about what your garden should feel like, even if the details are different.

The Third Step – I start to draw. This step usually takes from 5 to 20 hours of design time. You are then presented with a completed drawing (with a bid), and photographs of the proposed plant and hardscape materials. Some clients stop here, wishing to tackle installation themselves. Sometimes we discover the budget is not realistic, and a project can be divided into cost-effective phases. We can tweak things any way you wish until you feel comfortable moving forward with installation.

The Fourth Step – Installation. We require a payment of half the total planting budget to schedule work. If hardscape is subbed out, that is priced separately. Ideally, hardscape is installed first (paths, patios, wall, decks, pergolas, etc.), then trees, shrubs and perennials, if a project must be phased. If there is a phase that Calafia is not installing directly (such as a pergola), then I oversee construction to assure all goes according to plan. The balance is due upon completion of plantings.

plantingsThe Fifth Step – You enjoy your wonderful new space, wondering why you didn’t do this years ago. So let’s get started!
Creating a garden is like falling in love: the heart rules the head, and the best decisions are emotional, not intellectual. In my experience, emotion is the secret ingredient of every good garden. -A Pattern Garden, forward by Suzy Bales