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The Process

A Different Kind of Design Process


A Cultivated Art Inc. no longer offers conventional landscape design services. 

What I now offer is guidance as you engage in the process of supporting the land and plants you have to work with in the intention of providing them with what they need to become a healthy system. 
It is a process that starts from the ground up, building soil health, not by replacing what is there but by creating the conditions the plants and soil biology need to make the existing soil healthy. 
The process involves evaluating your own needs, resources and relationship with the space to determine how it can be part of your life and home and what you can provide to it in return. 
I also assist with planning for the future and evaluating how choices and interventions made now will affect the long-term health of the ecosystem. 
The goal is for you to, over time, get to know your space, learning to see what is healthy, what is in transition and what needs your help. 

From a process standpoint, every project is different, but an example of how a project can progress is: 
  • An initial meeting to discuss the site and your needs 
  • Preliminary recommendations, including items to observe and initial soil health restoration/preparation, goals and outcomes to consider and possible options for reaching those goals 
  • A follow up or design preparation meeting to discuss your observations and decisions about goals and priorities 
  • Development of a conceptual / overview plan and / or a planting plan, with meetings and adjustments as needed. 
  • Phase 1 work: Soil preparation and material movement or other disruptive activities, tree and other phase one plantings 
  • Phase 2 work: Care and observation, adding more plant species as soil health improves 
  • Phase 3 work: More care and observation, adjustments as needed 
  • Ongoing support as needed 
I can provide guidance at all of these stages, and the design and planting plan development services. I can also help you to connect with service providers and local producers as the plans are implemented. 
Rather than simply altering the landscape to fit your life, it is a process of moulding your activities and the needs and functions of the space together, allowing the needs of the plants and the land to influence your choices as your choices influence them. 
This process isn’t for everyone. It asks more of you, as the client and the person ultimately responsible for making choices that will affect the wellbeing of the ecosystem on your site, than a conventional design process. 
It will also encourage and assist you in developing a much closer and more reciprocal relationship with the life you share your space with. 
This is a journey that takes time, neither your life nor the life of the landscape will change in a single season.