Many homeowners are excited and overwhelmed with the prospects of creating a garden that is uniquely one’s own. If your goal is to build a space that is comfortable, easy to maintenance, beautiful and useful — a landscape plan plays an important role.

Proper landscaping reduces soil erosion, improves air quality and conserves natural resources by sheltering homes from the elements and summer heat. Recent studies indicate an attractive landscape increases a property’s market value by almost 10 percent and reduces a home’s time on the market by over a month. Our gardens reflect the region where we live and our own individual needs and personalities.


Landscaping is an integral part of our culture and plays an essential role in the quality of our environment, affecting our physical and psychological health. Through our gardens and landscapes, we acquire a personal awareness for the environment while we relieve the tensions of everyday life.

Leff front July 2009

Our gardens reflect the region where we live and our own individual needs and personalities. A plan is an important tool for any project, whether your preference is for foundation or island beds, revitalize an existing landscaped area, create or enlarge a patio area, introduce border beds or container gardens.


My primary service is landscape design and consultation. You’ll find I listen. Each final design is influenced by incorporating your wants and needs, considering the property and surrounding landscape, type of soil and available light. Once the landscape design process is completed, I can recommend reliable suppliers for a variety of landscape services.


Evans textures 2008 092Over a decade of design expertise enables me to artfully resolve many of your property concerns.

My client’s (photo right) need to channel water down a steep slope was addressed with the construction a dry stream bed. The bed is composed of assorted sizes of River Jack rock and bordered with hydrangea, fern, leatherleaf mahonia and other shade and water tolerant plants.

Montreal Quebec Gardens July 2006 115

If you have a green thumb and strong back, a landscape consultation may be all you need. If your time is limited and your interests are other than landscaping, I’m available to design a custom hand-drawn landscape plan. My problem-solving experience and plant knowledge gets you the garden you want faster and generally with less expense in the end.

During our meeting, I may ask:

  • How do you use the space?
  • What are the views of the space from inside your home and other areas of the property?
  • How long do you plan to live in the house?
  • How much time do you have for maintenance?
  • What is your budget?
  • Do you have photographs of landscapes you like?
  • Do you have specific needs: play sets, access for people with disabilities, or an area for grilling and outdoor entertainment?
  • Are you planning a renovation?

Malfitano Landscape Plan May 2009Once these questions are addressed, I’ll develop a preliminary landscape plan. The plan is a drawing of your property. I use information taken from your plat, site measurements and photographs. It may include location and quantity of plants, step stones, paths, patio or a deck, indicate areas needed to be graded to improve drainage, storage needs for garden tools and furniture.

leaf Overview of Client/Landscape Designer Relationship

  • Initial client and designer meeting — we will discuss your needs. Allow about an hour for this meeting.
  • Client signs an Agreement and provides payment deposit for design work. I’ll need a plat of the property.
  • I’ll measure your house exterior, property and related areas to create a landscape plan with the dimensions of the site. Photographs area taken to facilitate my work.
  • I research appropriate plants, stone and paving options and other concerns specific to your project.
  • If appropriate, we’ll meet to review a preliminary design. Second design payment deposit requested.
  • Then I’ll finalize the design, prepare plant and material lists which includes plant quantity and cultivars.
  • At our final meeting, we review the landscape design, plant and material list. You retain a copy of the landscape plan.

Final design payment due. Then,I’ll facilitate the next phase of project – make recommendations for the installation of landscaping and other services, as needed.

leaf Design Fees

France 5.04 089Landscape design and consultation fees are based on an hourly rate. Design fees generally include consultations, measuring property, photography and photocopy expenses and other administrative expenses, design preparation, research and presentation of final plan, plant and material list. Design fees are separate from fees for landscape installation services and materials.

During the installation of your patio, garden beds or retaining wall – I am available to be on-site, as needed, to ensure your landscaping is just as discussed during the design process! This on-site service is based on an hourly rate.


Landscape crew June 2005 001Landscape installation can include the selection of plant and hardscape materials, scheduling deliveries, preparation of the soil and supervision of the crew – and more – depending on the complexity of the project.

Moak Steps install November 2007 001

Installations are like every other project – each one offers its own set of challenges. Once the crew gets started, there are always unexpected challenges – the unforgiving tree roots, inclement weather, underground rocks or springs. In these cases, adjustments are made to the initial design to accommodate unexpected circumstances.

Once the I approve the plant placement, they are installed by trained and supervised crews.


Click here to see more photos from my design portfolio.