As a Portland landscape designer I enjoy helping clients who want modern landscape design plants.
While well crafted hardscape is the key element to a successful modern style landscape, plant selection and how they are used is critical.
Here are a few things I keep in mind. Balanced plant repetition, contrasting textures and overall shapes of plants, full season interest plantings, and low maintenance plants. Keep in mind that the typical plants for modern style are not great for wildlife because they lack diversity. My designs consider the clients many unique interests. A modern style design can have wildlife friendly plants included.
Here are 10 plants that work well for modern landscape design and are fairly easy to find.
Japanese Holly ‘Sky Pencil’ – Ilex crenata (pictured)
Italian Cypress ‘Tiny Towers’ – Cupressus semptervirens
Italian Cypress ‘Swane’s Golden’ – Cupressus sempervirens
Black Mondo grass – Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’
Green Japanese Mondo grass – Ophiopogon japonicus
Hens and Chicks – Sempervivum
Grama Grass ‘ Blonde Ambition‘ – Boutelous gracilis
American Switch Grass ‘ Shenendoah’ – Panicum virgatum
Nandina D. ‘Firepower’ – Nandina domestica (dwarf form)
Hebe (prostrate form) – Hebe Albicans ‘Sussex Carpet’
If you are looking to update your design for a modern landscape, contact Carol and start your perfect outdoor space.
Three years into my career as an independent landscape designer I wanted to create a simpler and more accessible process of affordable landscape design for smaller properties. The result is Landscape Design in a Day, which works like this:
Step 1: Using the Design in a Day kit, you answer a few questions and measure your site, saving time and money.
Step 2: Your designer looks over your work and studies your landscape drawing and photos.
Step 3: Your designer then interviews you over the phone, using email to further prepare for the design day.
Step 4: Together, you and the designer create a design tailored to your needs. Usually the design is created at your kitchen table. At the end of the design day, you have your design and can start working on your dream landscape right away. And you helped make it possible.
Landscape Design in a Days are typically $1495, occasionally $1895. This includes the base drawing kit, flow design, hardscape plan and planting plan for the front or the back of a smaller property. Most of my clients will install or have the new landscape installed in phases so designing just a front or back works well.
When I created Landscape Design In A Day, LDIAD, I expected to be working with people who wanted to keep it all hands-on. It turns out only about 50% of my clients are DIYers. DIYers like LDIAD because they are ready to roll up their sleeves and do the prep for their design process. They save money and become more aware of their properties possibilities and they fine tune their wish list by completing the LDIAD kit. Best of all the design is finished at the end of the day to they are ready to get started.
Not a DIYer? This process works for clients who want a collaborative design process, want to save time and money but want the new landscape installed by professionals. These clients typically do their measuring and pre-design work but once the design is completed, they hire one of my fully vetted and talented landscape professionals to handle the installation.
Don’t want to measure and draw your base map? A few clients hire us to do this step as well. That is an option. The price for preparing the base map ranges from $300 – $700 for a typical LDIAD property.
LDIAD will provide a to scale landscape design drawing with hardscape materials and plantings. A plant list with plant name, quantity and size to purchase is included.
First we focus on creating the perfect property flow and layout. Clients and designer work together and finalize the preferred layout. Next we focus on creating a planting plan.
Once you have your design you can DIY, use my referred professionals or some other professional that you prefer. That is a benefit to using an independent designer rather than a designer who works solely for an installation company where you are stuck in house only. I’m always available to consult, or refer you to services you need if I don’t have the answer myself.
Post design services are flexible: Some clients hire me to handle all the details, some work completely on their own and some bring me in to guide plant placement and coach them on planting techniques so they can be more successful as DIY.
For more information or to schedule an appointment contact me at 503-223-2426 or email me at email@example.com. Please include your address. I’ll look up your property and be better able to tell you about costs and the benefits of my design service.
Carrie is a real estate agent and understands the importance of curb appeal. She wanted some for her own home. She hoped for colorful easy care plants, low water needs and a good winter look as well as the other seasons.
The low rock wall next to the driveway was supposed to add interest to the front entry area, instead it blocked the flow to the front door, it had to go!
Keeping some existing mature plants helped keep costs down and made the new landscape look mature right away. We were able to use them beautifully.
We added a Crape Myrtle, (Lagerstromia ‘Natchez’) which has 4 season beauty; beautiful bark in winter, nice leaves in spring, summer flowers and hot fall color. Ornamental fountain grasses were combined with my favorite Echinacea (Coneflower) ‘Kim’s Knee Hi Red’, Heather, dwarf creeping ferns, and several evergreen ground covers.
We kept the Japanese Maple, weeping blue conifer, two gold Mexican Orange shrubs, Hellebores and Daphne.
“I’ve worked with Carol Lindsay and Landscape Design in a Day before on my back yard and it was a great experience. When it was time to take on my front yard I knew we were in good hands. There was no way I was going to hire someone else. I’m so happy I invested in this plan – the fact that I can divvy up the sections and work on it in pieces makes it perfect for me. I highly recommend working with a professional to get a plan.” Carrie Palmore
Joanne Diehl found her perfect home in Portland. I met her in the early spring. Her new home showed the results of careful attention to color, the interior was full of soft hues, contrasted with a deep red, a favorite color. Mostly Joanne felt there were no problems. She just wanted a colorful landscape. But we designers tend to see things differently. I get very excited about color or plants but I could see many problems that needed to be solved first. As Joanne and I talked, we made a tidy list of issues. Her view out of her kitchen and dining area was not attractive and not private. She was constantly catching AEC “accidental eye contact” from the neighborhood walkers while drinking her morning coffee.
The view out included the cyclone fence, a rough gravel parking area adjacent to the road, the neighbor’s lavender garage doors and the intersection. The house had no door to the back yard and it was dark due to the neighbors overgrown trees. She had a small porch off the kitchen opening to the front yard. She wanted to step out of her kitchen into the perfect summer patio. It would be for her and her new granddaughter so they could enjoy the flowers and each other. Joanne had faith from day one that we would make magic and together with Donna Burdick of D & J Landscape Contracting we did just that.
Joanne is “all gardener” and I confess I had to gently convince her to have some winter bones in the design. This front patio was also her curb appeal. She didn’t want to give up the summer floral explosion that is important to her. She is right to be concerned, doing too many evergreens can rob space for the full billow of summer color and flowers if one is not astute and adequate patio furnishings also. Her front yard was very small and it had a lot of big dreams to fulfill.
So here’s our list: Create private summer patio room. Make room for lots of flowers. Curb Appeal. Attractive from sitting area inside the house. Small, only 15 feet deep. Privacy from street and intersection. So yes we needed magic. And together we found plenty!
We saved one existing plant Seiryu Japanese maple, it created wonderful privacy. All the rest of the plants were new. Joanne and I designed her planting plan together.
We designed Spring of 2014. Her stone patio, new fencing, soil prep and plantings were installed that summer. I drove by the fall of 2015, a full year after her garden was installed. I was delighted to see how mature and colorful her garden looked and I left her a note that I had been there. Here’s her reply: “Sorry I missed you. You came by just before my big fall clean up. I read your last newsletter about pruning lavender in the fall. I got after my lavender which lead to all kinds of cleaning up. My new front garden is a great way to meet my new neighbors as they walk by and stop to chat. I’d like to say the garden is cheaper than therapy, but it is definitely therapeutic for me!”