A potential client recently asked me this very important question. Not only did it bring up the “why a landscape designer” question but it also made me think, “why hire me” specifically?
If clients are looking for general designer information, The Association of Professional Landscape Designers, also known as APLD, is a great place to start. They sum it up nicely with these points:
A professional landscape designer:

analyzes the property from architectural, environmental, horticultural and artistic viewpoints and uses these findings to create a customized Master Plan for the site.
develops site-specific solutions to the problems and opportunities of the site using education, experience, imagination, talent and creativity.
provides an artistic eye and gives the outdoor space a form and a sense of style that will be the heart of the design.
helps choose the most appropriate design elements, materials, and plants for the site.
works within a budget and provides advice on how the landscape plan might be installed in stages if needed.
helps avoid costly mistakes by providing a clear direction in which to proceed.
brings a network of industry professionals to help ensure the immediate and ongoing success of the project.
acts as an independent advocate for the client throughout the process.

Hiring  Julie Orr Design:

  1. I work exclusively in Computer Aided Design (CAD). Although I was formally trained during my 5-year interior design program to draft and draw by hand, I much prefer the ease and flexibility that CAD offers my clients.  Changes are an easy click away. Also, my clients love the fact that I can email them their plan on a PDF which not only saves paper, but it keeps their plans safe and easy to locate or email to other trade professionals like architects and contractors.
  2. Being both an Interior Designer and Landscape Designer has this advantage: Clients love that I maintain an element of their lifestyle when designing their “outdoor rooms.”
  3. Professional  solutions. I do this full-time, everyday. The secrets I learn about what to do in and landscape and especially things to avoid, are  intellectual property that I can pass on to you!
  4. Advise on resources. I have wonderful talented people that I work with and sources for your landscaping needs. I give a lot of advice on my website under “Design Ideas”, and I can give personal recommendations during project during the design phase, installation and the ongoing care. Once a client, always a client- that’s my ultimate goal.
  5. Talent! Visit my portfolio and noticed that each project is a custom reflection of that particular client. Since each client is unique, no two projects are the same. Why settle for a look that has already been done before? Your ‘custom theme’ is inspired by your wants and desires, not mine.
  6. My design company is insured and the contractor(s) that I recommend are licensed, insured and bonded.

When hiring a landscape designer, read and call their references. Check out places like: Angie’s List, Yelp and Linked In. Also, has your designer got unique examples of gardens to share, published any articles or books, and what professional affiliations does she or he belong to? If these attributes and references match up with your core values and goals, you have a winner.