> We live in a house built in 1804. The gardens were designed
> and installed between 1930 and 1980 or so. Things have
> pretty much been let go since then. We bought this house
> two years ago and have been trying to cut back the dead
> stuff, remove the poison ivy and the Boston creeper to find
> what is underneath. We have some wonderful features to work
> with such as a pond, a boxwood circle formal garden, large
> perennial beds and some amazing old trees and shrubs. We
> have one acre.
> We got a quote from a reputable landscape architect who
> would draw us a plan to renovate the garden. The plan would
> include a plant list and suggestions about how to rehab what
> we have and add to it. The two women who were here were
> amazed at what we have and they said they could draw the
> plan so that we would need to buy next to no plant material.
> We could move things around to maximize what we already
> have, so they are not trying to sell me a lot of expensive
> So, is $600 a good deal, too much, or just about right? We
> live in the NY City area and everything here is expensive to
> put it in context.
If you have a large Garden
this sounds reasonable. Is there any utility
work planned like lighting or irrigation? How about drainage? Will there
be any hardscaping like driveways, walks, or retaining walls? The more
complex, the more time that will be required and the more expensive it will
be. Are they going to provide a scale drawing? How may copies?
I would definitely get some references and check out their other projects.
I would not only call some previous customers, I would want to see the
gardens. I would look at some that had been done recently as well as some
that are mature. As a rule of thumb, your landscaping contributes about 20%
to the value of your home. It would be reasonable to spend up to 20% of the
purchase price of your house on landscaping, including the price of the
You might think about what you want to accomplish. Will keeping the
existing plant material achieve that goal? It is important that your
designer know what you like. I would go through some gardening magazines
and books and tear out example of what you like and don't like. The more
you communicate with the designer, the more likely you will get your $600