On-Site Garden Consultation $75
Welcome, and thank you for your interest in working with Ecoscape With Melanie. Primarily I provide consultations to share ideas for beautifying an existing landscape by adding new plants. An existing landscape is one that already has the hardscape features in place. Hardscape refers to constructed features of a landscape such as planting beds, sidewalks, patios, etc. I also enjoy helping people to get started gardening or to progress in their gardening efforts. My expertise is in beautifying with plants that support birds, butterflies, and beneficial insects in California San Joaquin Valley gardens (generally USDA Zone 9, Sunset Zone 14). Located in Ripon, California. During our visit, we’ll walk through your yard and talk about what you would like to add or change. I’ll share my ideas for beautifying the space, and provide some specific plants for you to consider. If you would like to get started gardening or growing plants as a hobby, we’ll explore ways for doing that and identify which methods might be the best fit for you and your particular space.
A consultation appointment may be used for either the front yard or back yard only, but not both in the same visit. The consultation appointment will be scheduled for ninety minutes, but it may not go that long. In order to be well-prepared four our visit, a telephone conversation may be requested prior to the consultation appointment. This call usually takes less than fifteen minutes.
- Plant List – For each planting bed we work on, I will provide you with a list of plants to consider which will include botanical and common names, as well as size and quantities needed of each variety.
- Plant Profiles Report – Digital File of plant names, descriptions, photos, and plant care information for each plant selected.
- Resource List – Resources to assist you with your project including local sources for plants, plant care products, and bulk materials such as mulch and decorative rock.
- Referral List – List of reputable landscape professionals who can assist you with planting, irrigation, or maintenance of your garden if you don’t wish to do the work yourself.
Need a Drawing for Reference?
Measure and draw your own planting beds (to scale) on paper prior to the consultation appointment, and I will help you place your selected plants into your drawing during our visit. Please Include in your drawing any existing plants, boulders, garden art, etc. that you wish to keep. The placement of these items must be represented accurately on the drawing. It doesn’t have to be exact to the inch. Being off by less than 6 inches probably won’t be a problem, but more than a foot could be. Please do not include any plants or other items you intend to remove or replace.
Please draw your sketch using the scale of 1/4″=1′, and use one sheet of paper per planting bed. Number your planting beds so that you can identify them. Prior to our appointment, please make a photo copy of each planting bed drawing (without any new plants added yet). That way you can explore two options with various combinations of plants without having to re-draw your entire sketch. If you have any questions, please email me through the contact form of this website. Thank you.
Assistance I Typically Provide
- Entryway Beautification: Selecting new plants for the entryway planting beds, and/or adding color with potted arrangements
- Selecting new plants for existing planting beds (planting areas other than the lawn).
- Container Planting Design
- Incorporating plants to attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and other beneficial insects
- Identifying existing plants, and providing care information
- Selecting lower maintenance alternatives to existing high maintenance plants
- Choosing the best methods and locations for growing edibles
- Suggesting ideas for children’s gardening projects and child friendly plants
- Indoor plant selection & placement
- Personal shopping assistance for plants, pots, and other essentials
When to Consult with a Landscape Designer:
- You need a complete landscaping plan that can be used for installation or renovation of the entire yard
The Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) is an international organization dedicated to promoting the highest professional standards for landscape designers. The website of the California chapter (APLDCA.org) provides a wealth of information to educate consumers considering a landscaping project as well as a search feature for locating member designers in your area of California. Members having the APLD designation after their name are considered APLD certified. Certified members have completed a formal peer-review process that evaluate’s a designer’s built work as well as other criteria. Certified members are required to re-certify every three years, and complete 30 Continuing Education Units approved by the APLD. apldca.org
When to Consult with a Landscape Contractor:
- You need a complete renovation or installation of a new landscape. Some landscape contractors provide design services in addition to installation of the project. Some also provide maintenance services as well.
- You want to include features such as a deck, patio, retaining wall, new planter bed borders, sidewalks, water feature, lighting, etc., and you are not adequately skilled to do the work yourself.
- Your project requires grading work such as leveling, grading for proper drainage, creating mounds, terracing, or drainage swales.
- You need irrigation/drainage planning, installation, or renovation.
If your project requires construction or any kind of irrigation work (other than simple repairs), I encourage you to consider hiring a landscape contractor. Even if you prefer to hire the contractor to only complete certain aspects of the project, that decision will potentially save you time, money, and energy and will result in a higher quality installation.
A licensed landscape contractor holds a C-27 license granted by the state of California. The C-27 is specific to landscaping. A “General Contractor” is not a landscape professional. A general contractor may be legally permitted to perform landscaping work in your state, however that is most likely not his or her area of expertise. If you need landscaping work done, it would be best to consult a C-27 landscape contractor.
In California, if your project costs more than $500, the person hired to perform the work must be a contractor licensed by the state. To verify that a contractor has a valid license, contact the California State License Board (CSLB) by calling 800.321.2752 or visiting their website at http://www.cslb.ca.gov/
The California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) provides helpful information for consumers on their website under the Consumer Resources Tab on their website. They provide an excellent contractor search feature which allows you to search for contractors in your area who provide the exact type of work you need. https://www.clca.org/consumer-resources/
Additional Services Available
Shopping Trip $50
- I will shop with you at a nursery to help you choose your plants, pots, and other supplies you might need as well as assist with choosing substitutions for any plants on your list that may not be available.
- Plants will be transported in client’s vehicle, or client will make other arrangements for plant delivery. .
Plant Placement $50
- I will be present at planting time to show you where your new plants should be planted. While the plants are still in their pots, I will show you where to set them on top of the ground in the spot where the planting hole should be dug so that you or your gardener will know exactly where to plant them.
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