Our nature based, sustainable landscape designs go beyond human appeal and function, as described on our ABOUT page. The long term benefits and value of this type of landscape to humans and the Earth, outweigh the short term costs. A professional design plan also saves time and money from mistakes made when landscaping without a plan. Design Process Overview:

  1. Contact us with questions, your location and a high level description of you current yard and/or needs or wants. Please check our Service Area (click here for map).  Spring is our busiest season, so we advise you to contact us at least 3-6 months ahead if you need a spring design.  If you want an installation in spring, a fall or winter design is best. 
  2. If we’re a good match for your project, we’ll set up a free Introductory meeting to discuss together your project goals, problems and ideas while walking your property (1.5-2 hours).
  3. If you want to move forward with a design, we’ll develop a design plan estimate and project description for $80 (2 hours). 
  4. Upon acceptance of your estimate and project description, we’ll schedule your design plan on a first come, first serve basis. The $80 estimate cost will deducted from your final design plan costs. This add up to 4 hours of free service, plus we give an additional hour of free design service by artistically hand coloring your design and emailing electronic copies of your final design.
  5. We visit your property again to analyze your site in detail. This analysis is combined with notes from the introductory meeting, your plat of survey, and other pertinent data. We then develop a base plan incorporating all this data.
  6. From the base plan, we develop one or two high level design plan(s) showing shapes, sizes and locations of designed areas drawn to scale, but no plants or hardscape details. We may schedule a review of the high level design plan with you and collect payment for completed design hours.
  7. After completing the high level design, we develop your final detailed custom design plan, as well as other supporting documents.
  8.  We present your final design plan, answer questions, discuss installation options, and collect final payment. Additional installation, stewardship and education services are described below.
    Please note: many larger companies offer free or discounted designs because their design costs are folded into other services. We cannot, since we are a smaller company focused mainly on design planning. Our hourly design costs are low compared to others with similar expertise and experience, and we are one of the few to offer environmental design and native plant expertise to small-medium residential properties. We charge by the hour, and our hourly design fee also covers our business expenses such as insurance, software, supplies and other costs.
 Detailed landscape design plan image

Example of detailed landscape plan

(See Portfolio for more examples)


We provide on site plant suggestions for an existing area and possibly a quick hand sketch for smaller areas about 100 sq. feet (10x10′) or less. Rate: $100/hr, minimum 2 hours. It’s difficult to do design consultations for larger areas because there are many things to analyze and incorporate in an environmentally friendly design. If you’re not sure whether a design consultation or design plan is needed before we visit, please send us a photo of the area and measurements.



When the final design plan is delivered, we will discuss together options for implementing your plan. You have the option to install yourself, hire an independent landscape contractor we’ve worked with, or use your own contractor. We can help you make a successful transition with our installation assistance services. This includes reviewing plans with contractors,  ensuring correct plants are ordered, and being onsite during the installation for layout. Hourly charge, minimum 2 hours


GARDEN COACHING SERVICE (for design clients)

Sustainable gardens and native plants are not maintenance free but their maintenance differs from traditional landscapes in some ways. There are also maintenance tasks we recommend to minimize harm to the environment and benefit nature. We call this “stewardship”. We can help you become a landscape steward by working side by side with you or find someone skilled and compassionate about the environment to steward your landscape.  Hourly charge, minimum 2 hours. 

Our Installation Assistance and Garden Coaching services save you time and money!  Working as a team resolves questions, misunderstandings, and unforeseen problems. We also ensure sustainable practices and design goals are met throughout the process.


Denise has given educational programs to garden clubs, nurseries, environmental organizations such as The Center for Green Technology, The Green Earth Institute, The Natural Garden nursery, Wild Ones National ConferenceWild Things Conference, College of DuPage,  The Conservation Foundation etc. Call for fees,class descriptions & available dates. Topics:

  • Rain Gardens – Tips and Common Mistakes
  • Favorite native plants through the gardening seasons – From spring-fall, learn which plants can can take clay soils,  range of moisture and sun conditions, design tips, and the wildlife they attract.

We'd love to help you and the environment!

Please contact us if you are interested in a landscape plan or design consultation. Thank you.

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