1. What is landscape design?

Landscape design is the thoughtful planning of outdoor environments, with a focus on proper use of space, typically including a mix of both softscapes (plants, lawn, etc.) and hardscapes (patios, walls, etc.) to create functional outdoor spaces. These environments are carefully designed around numerous considerations such as family enjoyment, aesthetics, privacy, safety, and even various maintenance options. It also considers the unique features of an existing site and the desires and needs of the property owner, along with their budget to create a custom-tailored landscape.

2. How do I choose a landscape design/build company?

Choosing a landscape design/build company is a personal decision, but there are a few key questions you’ll need to answer:

Is this person/company licensed to work in my state?

All landscaping professionals in Oregon must be licensed. You can ask your landscapers or view the license number on the website—ours is listed in the footer.

Oregon license: LCB #5009
Washington license: DENNISD167N1

What are their reviews like online?

Established and reliable companies should have a long and diverse history of reviews available online via Google and other review sites. Do these reviews make you want to work with them?

What is their portfolio like? Have they designed work similar to what I’m looking for?

Explore the landscape company’s online portfolio thoroughly to ensure they’ve done the style of work you’re interested in while maintaining high quality.

What is their process like?

Look for landscape designers that take the time to understand your desires and the unique needs of your property. They should be asking lots of questions and even provide a questionnaire for gathering more specific details. You should be able to revise the initial plan and clearly understand your budget throughout the entire process, too.

Does a landscape designer need to install my new landscape design?

It’s not necessary, but there are tremendous advantages to using a design/build company like us. At Dennis’ 7 Dees, your project transitions seamlessly to our purchasing and installation teams. We work fluidly to ensure your design comes to life, just as you imagined with no surprises. It’s a turnkey one-stop-shop.

3. What is the process like to design and landscape my yard with Dennis’ 7 Dees?

We’re delighted that you’re interested! The first step of redoing your landscape is to submit a request for a free consultation. A landscape designer will contact you, understand your basic needs, and come visit your property for a free on-site consultation. Here, you’ll share what you’re thinking, any features you’d like to include, favorite plants, unique challenges, and so on.

You’ll receive a basic proposal and budget for a design, and our team will create a design with a careful analysis and measurement of your property. With that initial design in hand, you’re welcome to make any changes, and once your contract is signed, you’ll be given an installation window.

During installation, your designer works closely with the installation crew and project managers, ensuring the project goes smoothly. Once complete, sit back, relax, and enjoy your beautiful new space!

4. What should I look for in a landscape designer?

A good landscape designer is generally someone with experience who understands your needs and the unique aspects of your landscape and can offer creative solutions that match your aesthetic and budget.

Our team of experienced designers specialize in understanding the needs of your project, however big or small, and creating a landscape that will delight you. We have decades of experience transforming yards into extensions of the home that inspire you and your family, friends, and community to come alive outside.

5. What’s the difference between a landscape architect and a landscape designer?

Both landscape designers and landscape architects design outdoor spaces for human use. However, landscape architects focus more on projects that involve engineering knowledge and often work on large commercial properties or public spaces. Landscape designers specialize in residential projects, often having a more diverse knowledge of plants and the vast material options necessary to create residential outdoor living spaces. 

6. What is hardscaping?

Hardscaping refers to the “hard” elements in a landscape such as a patio, pavers, steps, firepits, retaining walls, and even fences and benches. In contrast to the organic and earthen nature of pure landscaping, hardscaping uses rigid materials to define areas, create flat areas for ease of use, and provide an organized look to an outdoor space.

Dennis’ 7 Dees landscaping teams are experts in hardscaping, frequently winning national awards for our design and precision. We work with the highest quality materials, crafting custom spaces that are uniquely you.

7. What are some common backyard landscaping ideas?

Backyard landscaping ideas vary hugely depending on the size, terrain, exposure and position of the property. One of the first questions to ask is “how do you want to use the space the majority of the time?” Are you planning on entertaining guests in your yard, and if so, in what manner? Are you more focused on entertaining kids and prefer kid-safe landscaping, a space for pets, or even a more activity-based space with a sport court, putting green, pool, or bocce ball court, to name a few?

Depending on your answers and your design preferences (think modern versus cottage garden), our designers have worked with all manner of clients and will present a design catered to your needs.

Browse our landscaping portfolio for inspiration or request a free quote.

8. What are some front yard landscaping ideas?

Front yard landscaping can depend on two main questions: “What do you want to do in this space?” and “How do you enhance the features and style of your home with the right landscaping?”

This may even be about increasing curb appeal just to look better in the neighborhood or to sell your home. A front yard is an important element used to enhance the beauty and style of your home.

9. I have a small backyard. What are some landscaping ideas for my space?

We have many ideas for landscaping a small backyard! Check out our blog: Big Landscaping Ideas for Small Backyards

10. How do I design a landscape for curb appeal??

Curb appeal in landscaping refers to the initial impression of a property from the street and can do a lot to increase the value of a home and create a welcoming approach. As with all landscaping, it’s important to decide what your curb appeal goal is before you start. Do you want more privacy? Do you want to accentuate the style of your home? Are you improving for you or maybe to sell? Here are some common tricks to increase your landscape curb appeal:

  • Add container plantings by the door to bring color and life to a potentially bland part of your home. It’s more welcoming, too!
  • Make sure your lawn and visible shrubs are green and healthy. Do you need an irrigation system or weekly maintenance services?
  • If you don’t have any plantings for curb appeal, focus on texture to add depth and interest to the front of your house. Consider keeping plants in pots, including small trees, to take them with you if you are selling the house and budgets are tight.
  • Power wash or clean hardscaping, like pathways and driveways. Getting rid of small weeds or moss can instantly make a landscape look tidy and inviting.
  • Be sure to make it clear how people are supposed to approach your front door. If the path is not clear, consider adding lights or small shrubs to help guide them.

Have questions? Reach out to us! Our designers can handle all types of homes and landscapes and can help you reach your goals.

11. What is the difference between a garden and a landscape?

Gardens are often smaller, intimate spaces focusing on more intense planting, with a greater degree of control than you would find in a landscape. Gardens often focus on lots of annuals, perennials, herbs, and edibles. Landscapes, on the other hand, tend to be larger and more structural spaces. These areas often contain expansive plantings (including trees), more hardscape elements like patios, paths, and walls, and even designated outdoor living areas or focal elements such as a water feature.

12. My property is on a slope. What are my landscape design options?

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, especially in newer construction areas, then slopes are probably part of your landscape. Slopes can provide all sorts of challenges, but most common are properly managing uphill drainage issues and creating more useable space with walls and terraces. It’s important to understand what can and can’t be done on your property when considering drainage and walls. There are lots of “dos and don’ts” and even engineering or permits that may be required. We can help you navigate these issues to help you determine what makes the most sense for your unique situation.

13. What are some backyard fire pit ideas?

Our teams at Dennis’ 7 Dees are experts in the creation of custom landscaping features that enhance and accent the rest of your landscape design. Depending on your lifestyle, how you plan on using your landscape, and what you specifically want, we can design a landscape with all or just one of the classic landscaping features.

Firepits are wonderful focal points in any outdoor space, offering a natural gathering place any time of the year. There are two main types of firepits: portable, above-ground pits or bowls and built-in firepits that are a permanent part of the landscape. Either of these have the option of being wood burning or plumbed for natural gas.

We are experts in firepits and can adapt the firepit design to suit your backyard and general aesthetics. View our portfolio for firepit inspiration and contact us to start creating your dream landscape!

14. What are some backyard water feature ideas?

Backyard water features can be small like bubblers and fountains or large where they’re integrated into the landscape in the form of waterfalls, streams, and ponds. Water features are often desired as major focal points, but also for their sound, especially if looking to help relieve street noise. There are a few limiting factors when it comes to choosing a water feature for your backyard or landscape: the slope of your property, its size, access for large equipment, and your budget.

Waterfalls are striking features that are usually done in a natural style to mimic nature. They’re best suited when your existing property has a slope or elevation change that can be utilized to achieve a variety of waterfall heights. These produce the most robust sound, as well. Often, there are streams that link between waterfalls that all eventually find their way to a pond.

15. What are some side yard landscaping ideas?

Side yards are often overlooked areas of a property, but can become delightful, surprising spaces with a little creativity. They’re also utility goldmines for storage and allow for better access to the backyard.

Consider making a side yard a beautiful pathway with ground cover and other appropriate plantings to better connect your front and back landscaping. Side yards are often unused, but are valuable real estate that can become great places for a garden shed, firewood storage, extra space for a variety of storage needs, or even a great option for building an enclosure for garbage and recycling cans.

16. I’m hosting a backyard wedding. What should I do to prepare my yard?

Weddings are a wonderful chance to show off your yard and landscaping, and we’d love to help you get your property looking perfect for the special day. If the wedding is just around the corner, we might recommend booking a one-time landscape cleanup. If the date is further out, a maintenance contract to keep your landscape looking great until the big day could be the best option.

17. Do you offer free consultations?

Yes! After you contact us, one of our designers will reach out and schedule a time to come visit your property, learn about your property and budget, and get a feel for the specific design features you’re looking for (and if you are looking for inspiration, they’ll make some quick suggestions, too).

If your project is relatively straight forward, you’ll receive a basic quote for your project, and from there, you decide if you’d like to move forward. If your project is more complex and it’s decided that a landscape plan is the best option, then you’ll receive a contract to create a landscape plan. From there, our design process in CAD is started. This usually takes one to three weeks depending on size, and a full quote based on the design will be included. Finally, you decide if you’d like to proceed with installation.

18. Do I have to pay for a design if I want to change it or don’t like it?

You are more than welcome to change any aspect of the design when your landscape designer presents it to you for review. Your design contract will include a single revision at no additional charge. Many designs get tweaked here and there, and we’re committed to creating a landscape that you love. You’ll work with your designer to make sure the design is exactly how you want it, and we won’t start the landscape installation until you’re sure.

If you decide to change aspects of the design while the installation is underway, you will only be charged if the changes require plants or materials that cost more than the original design—you will not be penalized for making these changes. However, due to the very busy schedule of our crews, we strongly suggest that changes made during the installation process are kept to a minimum or else we may not be able to make them until the next open spot on our calendar.

19. How long will my landscaping project take?

The short answer is that it will depend on the nature and scale of your landscaping project. We perform projects that take one day and projects that can take over a year. Certain features like water features or major hardscaping will take longer. Your designer can answer your questions and give you an accurate estimate.

20. When will you start on my landscaping project?

Your landscape designer will give you a tentative start date for your project. This may vary by one to two weeks, depending on the weather, product availability, site access, etc.

We have recently been quite busy and booked out, but we work year-round and there’s no bad season to start a landscaping project! In fact, fall and winter are great times to install a new landscape while plants are dormant, ready to fill in during spring for the outdoor entertaining season! Plus, why not plan the construction when you’re not using your yard and have it ready for when you are?

21. Can I give a landscaping project as a gift?

Giving a landscape design certificate is probably the best option, and this functions like a gift certificate for all or some of the cost of a complete landscape design.

22. Do you offer any financing options?

We do not offer financing, but will work with customers on some basic terms depending on the type and size of the project when coupled with our backlog.

23. Is there a guarantee or warranty on the plants or landscaping you install?

Yes! Our plants are all under warranty for one year after your installation is complete. Hardscaping and other features are under warranty for two years after completion. If a plant doesn’t survive a full year, just let us know and we will replace it, free of charge. Although unlikely, if issues arise with hardscaping and other features, we’ll come and repair or replace materials, as needed.

We encourage you to follow the plant care guides we provide at the end of your installation. If you’d rather keep your landscape hassle-free, we have an excellent landscape maintenance team that knows how to care for your entire landscape, year-round!

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