Residential Landscape Designers for Portland, OR

Landscape design is the foundation of most great Portland area gardens. Yours won't happen by accident. You need a serious landscape plan to guide the way.

The landscape design process is simple and enjoyable. Our landscape designer, Ben Bowen, will meet with you during a free consultation. We will walk your property and discuss your landscape. At the end of the consultation you should know if we are right for your project, and we will know if your project is right for us.

Is Ross NW Watergardens the landscape designer for your project? Let's meet and find out.



Featured Landscape Design Review:

Alecia in SW Portland: "Ben was a great listener to our wants, wishes, and needs to transform our yard into a low maintenance, kid friendly space that looks amazing! He was very professional... we have used Ross NW Watergardens for our front and back yard. We constantly get compliments from neighbors." -Houzz


Our Landscape Design Style:

Ross NW Watergardens is comfortable working with many styles. Our portfolio is diverse. We are able to create anything from a traditional front yard to a French/Asian-inspired drought tolerant garden. Many of our best landscapes combine many styles and meet the demands of multiple concerns. But since you asked, here are some specific styles we really enjoy:


Your landscape design will be sustainable, functional, and beautiful- designed to improve with age. The design process keeps the focus on livability, avoiding ideas that will impress on paper and disappoint in real life. 

Simply put, you will get the exact landscape you want, from people you will enjoy working with.


Why Ross NW Watergardens?

What Is The Process?

1) Landscape Design Consultation. During the initial free consultation our landscape designer Ben Bowen will walk your property with you. He will listen, answer your questions about us, and maybe ask a few as well. If we are a good fit for your project then you will receive a...

2) Landscape Design Proposal. Within a day or two Ben will email you a proposal for a design. Our landscape design agreements (see below) are simple, clearly spelling out what you will be getting and what it will cost. (90% of our designs are between $1000 and $2000.)

3) Site Visit. Ben will now get to work on your design. Within a few days he will return to your property to take pictures and measurements. If you have any inspiration pictures, Houzz Ideabooks, or Pinterest boards you can send us links to those.

4) Design Presentation. Ben will meet with you to present the initial version of the landscape design. You will receive a black and white paper copies of the design, a color digital copy, and a "design details" document that explains the key elements. This meeting is usually around an hour long.

5) Feedback & Revisions. You now let us know what changes need to be made to the design. Is there a solution we propose that doesn't seem to fit? Plants that you don't like? Let us know! Based on your feedback Ben will revise the design and send you a digital copy. If needed, a second revision will be done as well. 

6) Completion. You now have a design that meets all your needs and desires- though probably not in exactly the way you imagined at the beginning of the process! If you have given us a budget to work with the design fits that as well. You will have paper and digital copies of your finished landscape design, along with any needed guidance for implementation and maintenance.

Want to see what your landscape can be? So do we.



Landscape Design FAQ's:

  • Do I need a full landscape design?

A full landscape design is often the best way to get your project started. Full scale designs are needed for large or complicated projects or if you know you will have difficulty visualizing your landscape's potential. It is also valuable to have a design when you plan to complete the project in phases.

Simple landscape projects may not require a full design, just a clear description of the work to be performed. We can provide pictures of, and links to information about, all the plants, other materials, and techniques that we will employ. Both approaches have benefits and drawbacks. The key is to choose what makes you comfortable.

  • Who are your landscape designers?

Joe and Ben Bowen are both landscape designers. Ben, though, is our primary designer. We have decades of experience designing and creating landscapes in the Portland area. Find out more about us here.

  • What does a landscape design cost?

Our landscape design fee minimum is $1000.00. Each design proposal is custom, based on your project scope and the demands of your site. A sample landscape design proposal is below.

  • What kind of landscape plans does Ross NW Watergardens produce?

We utilize a CAD-based computer program to produce professional 2D designs. We provide pictures and descriptions that help you envision the design. We do not produce elevations or renderings.

Why not? 3D renderings are cool, but don't add much to the process. They tend to set expectations that can't be met in reality. The boulder delivered to your project will not look like the one in the rendering. Neither will the plants. And don't even get me started on the pitfalls of renderings of water features.

What we do offer is the combined power of a 2D design and written explanation, along with pictures that serve as examples. We do a good job of enabling even the least imaginative client to see what their new landscape will be!

  • How long does a design take to complete?

Depends on the scope and time of year (more on that here). A detailed design, requested during the summer, can take 4-6 weeks to be presented. Additional time is needed to make revisions.

  • How much input do you have into the design?

Tons. The design process is guided by your preferences. Multiple revisions are included in the design agreement, ensuring the final landscape plan is just right for you. I have been on many consultations with clients who had a design from another designer- a design that didn't fit their style. That will not happen with us! We love modern landscape design, but if that is not your style then it won't be the style of your design.

  • When do I need a landscape architect?

Large projects, with a high degree of complexity, benefit from the technical background a landscape architect provides. LA's can tell tradesman how to build something. Landscape designers can not. We are happy to consult on your project and refer you to an excellent landscape architect. We have several that are incredibly talented and wonderful to work with.


Sample Landscape Designs:


Sample Landscape Design Proposal:

Ross NW Watergardens proposes to provide design services for landscaping at the [your home].

The scope proposed is:

Design Area

Front yard design including (but not limited to) general landscaping, main entry, screening from street, and drainage. A budget of $35,000.00 has been provided for the project.

Scope of Work

The tasks to be completed include:

1. Detailed measurement of the design area including all structures & existing plant material locations.

2. Analysis of site conditions and microclimates of the property.

3. CAD based design of the design area showing to scale locations of structures, plant materials, other softscaping, hardscaping, boulders, lighting fixtures, and other key landscape elements.

4. Plant list.

Please note that the scope of work does not include:

1. Detailed construction or working drawings for any site structure.

2. Irrigation system design.

3. Elevations or renderings.


You will receive a to-scale copy of the CAD design at the design presentation, along with a digital copy of the final design. Two rounds of minor design changes are included.

Time Schedule

I will begin work upon receipt of acceptance email and the initial design fee. I will complete the design within four weeks and then contact you to schedule a design presentation meeting. Needed changes will be completed in a timely manner, usually 7-10 days.

Fee & Payment Schedule

I will complete the above described work for a total design fee of $1500.00.

Major revisions involving more than 2 hours of design time will be billed at an hourly rate of $75 per hour.


If this proposal is satisfactory and acceptable to you please or e-mail your acceptance. I will then email an invoice for the design fee. Design work will start upon receipt of the design fee.

Contact Ross NW Watergardens Today For Your Landscape Design