FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How much do you charge? 

Initial site visits are billed at a flat rate of $75.  Site visit fees are 
waived should you decide to retain Sanctuary Gardens for your
design process.

Design fees are quoted before work begins and encompass all 
aspects of the design process (site analysis, site visits, meeting 
and travel time, research, design development drawings and final 
installation plans).  Fees are based on the scope of each individual 
project and, as a retainer, 15% is due prior to beginning work. 
Subconsultants and outside services are coordinated at a rate 
of cost plus 10%. 

Informational consultations providing design options, plant lists, 
and resources are billed at an hourly rate of $120.  
Garden coaching is provided on a sliding scale.

Each project is unique.  Contact Melissa to discuss yours.

What size properties do you work with? 

Generally, the nature of a project is more important to us than its
size.  Our projects have ranged from small dooryard gardens to
master landscape plans for new home construction.  

Most importantly, we are interested in working with people who seek 
to bring a new level of beauty into their everyday surroundings, and 
who are intrigued by connecting with nature in ways both large and 
small.  

If that sounds like you, please tell us more about yourself. 
We'd love to meet you! 

What is a Sanctuary Garden? or Do you only design Zen Gardens? 

Our Principal established Sanctuary Gardens on the premise that
a beautiful and accommodating space is a sanctuary for both our
physical and mental selves, and provides a place for growth
and exploration.  Establishing that space outside in the landscape,
when possible, provides vital and sometimes forgotten connections
to our broader world and living things that are non-human but not
non-essential.  Whether your sanctuary is designed to nurture quiet,
meditative energy, bright active energy, or a whole spectrum of
experiences, the core element is you.

Our "sanctuaries" have been developed in a variety of styles and
sizes (most with nary a deity in sight), each facilitating a unique
conversation between the surrounding environment and the people
within them.  

How much should I expect to spend on my landscape design? 

It can be difficult to know how much to spend on construction. 
Because attractive and functional landscaping adds to your home's
resale potential, and an efficient garden design can reduce both
water and energy costs, many sources recommend investing 10% 
of your home's present value on landscape improvements.

That said, a good landscape designer can help you achieve significant improvements on even a limited budget. 

The key: take time to determine both your short-and-long-term 
budgets.  With a clear picture of how much you intend to invest 
in your property, Sanctuary Gardens is better equipped to create 
a realistic outdoor design tailored to you and your personal needs. 

Will the garden be ready for an event next month?

The landscape design process can last from two to four months.
Because good landscape contractors may be booked for months
beyond that, we recommend you begin interviewing contractors
as soon as you approve the preliminary design.  You will then be
in the queue and ready to begin installation when the final plans
are complete.  

It is important to note that a garden is a collection of living,
growing things that, when planted respectfully, are provided space
to become established and mature over time.  While plants can
be installed to give the appearance of an established garden
right away, future maintenance will involve culling a percentage
of plants to provide for continued growth

I already know what I want; why do I need a designer?

Having a good sense of what you want from your landscape is
one of the most important things you can offer your landscape
designer. Beyond that, a professional designer's training and
experience helps us understand how your needs can be met
within the specifics of your site -- matching them with your particular
environment, existing architecture, and your property's strengths
and challenges. 

Landscape designers are also familiar with municipal codes that
may affect your plans, and can coordinate other professionals
such as surveyors or contractors as needed. If you are interested
in purchasing new furniture or accessories, designers have great
contacts for special finds and may be able to negotiate pricing.

Sanctuary Gardens serves as an ongoing resource to our clients,
whether helping to determine why fruit on a new citrus is splitting
or advising where to add a tree to mark the arrival of a new child, 
and has maintained relationships with homeowners that last long
after the project is completed. 

Most importantly, though, your landscape designer provides you
with a comprehensive master plan by which to install your landscape,
ensuring that -- whether the project is installed all at once or phased
over time -- the result is a cohesive, seamless, inspiring environment. 
In short, a professional landscape designer's expertise ensures 
that the vision you have in your head actually comes to life and
thrives in your garden.


The Garden Party Blog       |      Home       |      Back to Top

Echeveria
Lemons Aeonium


Echiveria variegata
Lavender with pot
©2003 Melissa Kellogg, Sanctuary Gardens
Site Design: Maja Brugos Design