Due to the recent interests in native plants and nature-based landscaping,  I’m full booked for 2022, and have full wait list for 2023. I am no longer taking new design requests for 2023.   My apologies – Denise, owner & designerGNL is a design only company. This gives you the flexibility to do the installation yourself,  work with the excellent installation and maintenance contractors we use, or use your own landscape contractor.  This also allows Denise to focus on her passion: awe-inspiring, environmentally-friendly design.

Denise can create a detailed design plan for a section of your yard or the entire yard. A nature-based design can also include simple patios, walkways, vegetable gardens, compost areas, and other structures. Three hundred square feet is the minimum area for a design. Our “ABOUT” page summarizes our nature-based design goals. Below is our design process.

Due to the recent interests in native plants and nature-based landscaping,  I’m full booked for 2022 and have a wait list for 2023. I will also be transitioning to part time temporarily in 2023, so I am no longer accepting design requests for 2023.  My apologies.-Denise, owner & designer

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1. Initial Inquiry

Through phone call/email, determine if we’re a good match for you.  If so, we’ll add you to our wait list for an initial meeting and contact you to schedule this meeting.  SERVICE AREA MAP here.

2. Initial Meeting

We walk your property together to discuss your project and ideas. Reviewing your photos / videos of seasonal problems may be helpful. if problems not apparent during visit. (1-2 hours).

3. Generate a Design Estimate

Email a design planning estimate and project summary. Payment required at end of initial meeting: $100. This is deducted from the design planning costs if you hire us.

4. Schedule Your Design

Upon your acceptance of our estimate, we schedule your design plan. We work on design plans on a first in, first out queue. 

5. Design Planning

Revisit your property to collect additional data Develop your base plan, then your high level plan and review together. Complete your detailed, final design plan and supporting documents.

6. Final Design plan delivered

Review your final design plan together. Final payment required upon delivery. We’ll also discuss the installation and stewardship options below.

Due to the recent interests in native plants and nature-based landscaping,  I have a full wait list for 2023. I am no longer taking new design request for 2023.   My apologies – Denise, owner & designer

2014 Chicago Wilderness Conservation and Native Landscape Award

We'd love to help you create a beautiful, functional, kind to the Earth landscape!

A detailed, professional design plan will also save you time and money in the long run.


With design plan in hand, you have the flexibility to install yourself, hire one of the independent landscape contractors we work with, or use your own contractor, when you’re ready.  Our installation assistance service is highly recommended to ensure a successful installation, saving money and time. This service includes any or all of the following: overseeing the quoting process, review plant and materials with contractor, and being onsite during the installation as needed to ensure design intent is followed. We also share our eco-friendly installation techniques for the do-it-yourselfer.  Hourly charge

GARDEN COACHING / STEWARDSHIP (for design clients only)

Stewardship is environmentally friendly maintenance. This is not traditional maintenance. Stewardship is especially important the first 3-5 years to successfully establish your landscape, and then periodically on an ongoing basis. If you need help getting started, we can schedule a visit and work together with you as a garden coach. If you’d need ongoing stewardship help, we have a native plant stewardship contractor.  Hourly charge. We also share stewardship tips on  our Notebook blog and Facebook pages.


These educational programs are available November through March to garden clubs, nurseries, environmental organizations such as The Green Earth Institute, Wild Ones ,Wild Things Conference, College of DuPage, The Conservation Foundation etc. Call for fees,  descriptions & available dates. Topics:

  • Rain Gardens – Tips and Common Mistakes (1.25 hour) – We must treat rain water as a precious resource instead of a waste product to be removed from our properties. A rain garden infiltrates some of your run-off from your property, reducing flooding downstream and pollution entering local waterways. Learn tips for creating a rain garden and other ways to infiltrate run-off, common mistakes to avoid when creating a rain garden and plant suggestions.
  • Gardening with Native Plants through the Seasons (1 1/2 hour) – With over 17 years of designing and 20 years gardening with native plants, Denise shares which native plants grow well and look good in most small-medium landscapes. She also shares design tips, and wildlife-plant dependencies  to foster in your garden.

We'd love to help you and we know you'd love to help the environment!

Please contact us if you are interested in our services or have questions. Thank you.

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