The Services
Richard McPherson offers landscape architectural services specializing in residential and commercial landscapes: colorful low maintenance plantings and ornamental grasses, outdoor rooms, arbors, swimming pools, and spas, lawns or lawn substitutes, all uniquely combined and developed for each individual setting. He offers a service devoted to creating gardens and landscapes for outdoor living. Everything from outdoor rooms for relaxing and entertainment areas with BBQ counters or outdoor kitchens, arbors for dining, swimming pools for frolicking and play areas for the youngsters, to perhaps a simple patio and lawn area with planting beds and a vegetable or cutting garden for puttering around after work or on weekends. From gardens for active families to private serene gardens for personal contemplation, whatever the desire, gardens are customized to fit the needs of each owner. Established in 1998 as a business to offer property owners a personalized service, he created a company that works closely with clients in all aspects of the development of a landscape setting. His design process encompasses collaboration with each client to determine their needs and desires and to guide them toward solutions that meet the project requirements while harmonizing with the site and architectural integrity of the house or building. While developing a pleasing aesthetic there is always a concern for budget constraints and cost considerations as well as maintaining an awareness of garden maintenance and water usage. Part of the process is striking a balance between fulfilling the needs of the present owner and considering the desirable uses of future owners as well as enhancing the resale value of a property. He works at all scales and property sizes from small cost-conscious gardens to country estates and can create garden styles from formal to contemporary to naturalistic to wild. Personalized attention is key: Richard believes in prompt and clear communication and works to keep all clients fully apprised of job progression from beginning to end. After completion of the design process he offers services through to completion of the installation and beyond, from bid collection from prospective contractors to observation of the installation to advising on garden maintenance. If requested, Richard can work as a client’s representative through the installation process by observing a contractor’s work and providing quality control oversight to ensure that a project is installed as designed and bid. Design services range from one-time on-site consultations and sketches to full-scale master plans. As a small company, he personally designs all projects and, together with his assistants, offers hand-drawn or computer-generated plans. Further descriptions of Richard’s design philosophy can be read on his Published Work page. See specifically the articles in: ‘Landscape Architecture,’ ‘Fine Gardening,’ and ‘Pacific Horticulture’ magazines.

The following is a typical sequence of phases involved in the project design process for landscape development:
Phase 1 – Schematic Design: Brainstorm with client to develop a masterplan for the entire site, exploring all design concepts under consideration.

Phase 2 - Design Development: Develop design further by defining sizes of spaces, exploring material choices for paving and wall surfaces, create short-lists of favorite and suitable plants and trees, etc.
Phase 3 – Construction Documents: Draft plans as appropriate for contractor bidding or City submissions.
Phase 4 – Bid Negotiations: Interview contractors, collect bids and advise client on contractor proposals and costs.
Phase 5 – Construction Observation: Observe & advise on installation and provide quality control of contractors’ work on client’s behalf.
Phase 6 – Follow-on Phase: Set up ongoing maintenance program to maintain design integrity of garden through time.