The Design Process

“Our first concepts are all hand drawn sketches that explore a number of alternate design ideas for the project. We firmly believe a great design requires a thorough study of varied solutions.”

  • Informal interview with the client to discuss their goals, objectives, and budgets 
    • Talk about the client’s long term vision for their space

    • Discuss how the space will be used and by how many people 

    • Explore design style preferences with the client’s personal Pinterest or Houzz accounts

    • Prepare a site base map in cad

    • Note site-specific issues or concerns

    • Review project scheduling expectations 

    • Visit CQ built projects to review our quality of work and discuss project budgets

  • Site survey
    • Measure existing site structures

    • Inventory and rate all existing trees

    • Record spot elevations

    • Prepare a site base map in cad

  • Prepare hand-drawn preliminary concepts and review with client
  • Draw final concept in cad based on client feedback and review with client for signoff
    • Incorporate hand-drawn sketches, basic 3d models, and styling images as supportive design tools when needed

    • Discuss material selections and review samples on site

    • Present preliminary budgets for final concept to analyze the project costs relative to the goal set by client

    • Prepare a site base map in cad

The Construction Package

After approval of the overall design layout, the concepts mature into detailed drawings that show how the garden elements will come together”

  • Prepare construction drawings that may include the following
    • Tree preservation plan

    • Master landscape plan

    • Hardscape plan

    • Grading and drainage plan

    • Construction details

  • Examine the final design in close detail with the client
    • Spray paint site layout and walk client through the overall design

    • Study plant selections and provide options

    • – Focus in on client’s color and textural preferences in the planting design – Ensure the planting design captures the client’s style: formal, naturalistic, etc. – Tour a local nursery, CQ project, Chicago Botanic Garden or Morton Arboretum with the client to provide a visual for different plant characteristics and combinations 

  • Review hardscape patterns and materials to pin down final details

  • Finalize bid documents
    • Typically send bids to three contractors for each specialty

    • Prepare comparative bid excel sheet

    • Provide pricing options to accommodate budgets without sacrificing the overall design

  • Work with client to select final contractors and negotiate the final contract
  • Work with the local municipality to finalize permitting

The Build Stage

“Let the fun begin… Dump trucks, tractors, shovels and the development of a new garden”

  •  Oversee the installation as the client’s representative
    • Be available to the client and contractors to answer important questions that arise during construction

    • Prepare project schedules and monitor weekly y activities/completion dates with client

    • Develop final construction checklists with client and see that contractors complete them fully

    • Manage the overall project budget, contractor invoicing, and change orders

  • Participate in material selections
    • Field tag all trees and ornamentals for project at local nurseries

    • Work alongside local quarries, fabricators, and sales representatives to bring exceptional materials to our sites

Maintenance / Garden Styling

“We style our gardens to celebrate the different seasons and add a further element of design creativity to these spaces”

  • Assist our clients in styling their garden with furniture and accessories
  • Design seasonal annual displays
  • Help our clients secure a landscape maintenance program suitable to their budget and project needs
  • Enjoy being a part of the garden as it matures