Why Do Our Landscape Designs Take So Long?

by Ben Bowen

From our initial landscape consultation to a completed landscape design can take a while. How long is "a while"? It depends.

This fall we did a landscape design for a small courtyard- about 15'x30'. The client wants the space to blend with the rest of their Japanese-inspired landscape. A small water feature, stone path, and screens were requested.

This landscape design took about 8 weeks to finish.

This landscape design took about 8 weeks to finish.

The client's clear preferences and quick decision making made this design process pretty simple and within 3 weeks the design was completed and the project scheduled. Check back in about 2 months and I will have pictures of a great little space to share.

On the other hand, I have had several designs this year that took 10-12 weeks to get to completion. One that I am currently working on is at the 6 week mark and I don't think we are even half way there!

Why would a landscape design take that long?

The size of the property effects the timeline. In general, a one acre lot will take more time than a standard 5000 square foot city lot. This large landscape design project is a good example of that. It took at least 10 weeks to go from first meeting to completed design- and even then we had to revise certain areas as we installed the project!

The complexity of the project comes into play as well. "Complexity" may come from the property itself. Slopes in particular can pose a challenge. Mature landscapes that are being renovated require a careful and deliberate approach.

It takes time to get the simplicity of a modern design just right.

It takes time to get the simplicity of a modern design just right.

Design style matters too. A natural, organic PNW landscape can be designed fairly quickly. The methods, elements, and plant material required are all (for lack of a better word) typical. A Japanese landscape, English garden, or modern space can take longer. Each facet of the design has to be very carefully considered for the landscape to really be "right".

The way we work affects the amount of time needed to complete a design. Ross NW Watergardens is a small company, so our landscape designer wears many hats. Ben can not usually spend 10 hours just designing. Some days he has to craft an amazing blog post, for example.

The client plays a part too. Some clients know exactly what they want and make decisions quickly. Others have only vague goals for the space and need a lot of help deciding on details. Many clients communicate rapidly via email. Others prefer phone calls or face-to-face meetings. Both of these styles are fine with us, but they definitely impact how rapidly the design project flows!

How long will your landscape design take?

Most likely 3-12 weeks. That's a broad range, right? Think about your project, property, and yourself and you can probably narrow that down. Need help figuring it out?

Contact us today and we can set up a consultation. Ben will be happy to discuss all the details of the landscape design process- including how long yours would take.