Landscape design is a marriage of my two loves: drawing and horticulture. First, I explore your functional and aesthetic desires for the design site. Then, I create an imaginative, formally cohesive design. My goal is always to plan beautiful, comfortable outdoor spaces filled with plant life that is water-wise, gorgeous and beneficial for local pollinators.
Why Invest in Landscape Design?
According to Home and Garden, landscaping can increase the value of your home by 5% - 12%, not to mention help a property feel unique, which can increase buyers' interest. A good designer will focus on the elements that will enhance resale value: curb appeal, privacy enhancement, low maintenance and drought tolerant plant choices, beautiful trees and a real focus on cohesive formal composition.
If this is your forever home, there's even more reason to invest in a beautiful outdoor area. According to the American Psychological Association, spending time in green environments makes people happier, nicer, and has even been shown to reduce the risk of psychological disorders later in life in children who grew up with access to greenery.
Landscape Designer vs. Landscape Contractor
A landscape designer is responsible for the plan. A landscape contractor is responsible for physically implementing the plan. The designer creates a plan and then hands it off to a contractor to handle all of the hardscaping, earth moving, planting, and any other things that require labor. The final deliverables that you receive from a landscape designer are listed below.
Client Interview - a meeting where we discuss your goals for and concerns about the landscape, aesthetic preferences, favorite plants, ideas, and any specific elements that should be included.
Site Analyses - an in-depth assessment of the site, including measurements, existing plant identification, terrain assessment and areas of concern to be mitigated (like erosion or a high wind area).
Design Program - a document outlining all the elements that need to be added and removed in order to achieve the design in a step by step list.
Diagrams - initial bubble diagrams outlining the overarching form and composition of the design
Preliminary Design - detailed design in pencil or digital painting with recommended design and labels
Master Plan - ink drawing by hand to scale with a complete plant list and updated design program, ready to hand off to the landscape contractor.
I am fascinated by desert ecology and strive to help my clients support our local ecosystem with my designs. I prioritize native plant choices to benefit our pollinators (which will also benefit your vegetable garden if you have one). I am always working to choose plants that require low maintenance and low water to thrive in their designated area. I am a huge fan of the permaculture approach of "stacking functions", which means that I try to select plant materials that serve as many functions as possible. For example, if I am choosing a shade tree, I would ideally choose one that was beautiful, provided shade, supported local pollinators, and maybe could act as a wind break. Three native trees serve all of those functions (Mesquite, Desert Willow, Palos Verde). I would choose the tree based on any additional function I could find. This leads me to either the Palos Verde or the Mesquite - as legumes, they help to fix nitrogen, which builds the soil around their roots (free fertilizer for your other plants nearby!). They both also have edible bean pods. So you see, in addition to asking which plants will thrive where on your property, I also select based on how many functions they serve. If the plant can feed you that is always one of the most important functions to me!
Nicole G, Salon Owner
“Nisha was wonderful to work with - she really understood my concerns and desires for my home landscaping and came up with beautiful creative solutions which is going to give my property lush jungle vibes while still being waterwise. I’m especially excited about the banana and palm lined walkway and the contemplation herb spiral. I highly recommend Nisha as a designer.”
I'll design a multifunctional, beautiful sanctuary for you and your loved ones to play and relax in.
For the ecologically obsessed, permaculture is an approach to landscape design that optimizes sustainability. All designs I create are influenced by these ideas, but a personalized permaculture design goes further, with rain catchment systems, lots of edible plant choices, grey water systems, wilderness habitat, food forests, compost and sometimes chickens. The result is more on the homestead side of things. You can learn more about permaculture design here.
Pollinator Garden Design
Pollinator gardens consist of native flowering plants that support native pollinators. I help design these in a beautiful way and can also coach you through the process of getting your garden certified as a wildlife habitat.
Let's add curb appeal and calming greenery for your employees and customers to enjoy.
Vegetable Garden Design
Growing vegetables in the desert is a huge challenge. I help clients choose the optimal location for garden beds, materials for construction and least harmful pest management barrier methods. Most importantly, I help select the most appropriate vegetable varieties for our desert climate and provide some of those from my nursery as well! I can help with vegetable beds, but we can also get more creative with food forests, edible hedges, edible landscaping and more. In my opinion the more things growing on your property that you can eat, the better!
Specialized Garden Design
I design specialized gardens for a variety of needs. This could be any specific need that you have, like cocktail gardens, kitchen herb gardens, herbal tea gardens, salsa gardens, meditation gardens, shoot & baby lettuce growing beds and more.