Services — Your Project Step by Step


The First Step

We meet up and take in your outdoor space together. We discuss how you will use it, and try to hone in, not only on your “wish list,” but also how you want to feel when in the space. Being surrounded by a garden can elicit some archetypal feelings in us, so it is important to get this part right. We also discuss how much of a gardener you really are, and your ideal budget. This is the time for brutal honesty, so your garden is one you can really live with. You are not charged for this consultation.


The Second Step (optional)

Maybe you really don’t know what you like; I can leave books for you to look through. You can flag pictures that draw you in, for whatever reason, and you can note what it is that you like. Your responses to other gardens tell me a lot about what your garden should feel like, even if the details are different. Alternatively, you can share a Houzz idea book with me, or a Pinterest page.


The Third Step

I start to draw. This step usually takes from 5 to 20 hours of design time. You are then presented with a completed drawing, and photographs of the proposed plant and hardscape materials. Some clients stop here, wishing to tackle installation themselves. Sometimes we discover the budget is not realistic, and a project can be divided into cost-effective phases. We can tweak things any way you wish until you feel comfortable moving forward with installation.


The Fourth Step

Installation. We require a down payment of 60% of the estimated total to schedule work. If hardscape is subbed out, that is priced separately. Ideally, hardscape is installed first (paths, patios, wall, decks, pergolas, etc.), then trees, shrubs and perennials, if a project must be phased. If there is a phase that Calafia is not installing directly (such as a pergola), then I oversee construction to assure all goes according to plan. The balance is due upon completion of plantings.


The Fifth Step

You enjoy your wonderful new space, wondering why you didn’t do this years ago. So let’s get started!

Lakeview Courtyard

Katy brought five garden books to our second meeting. She had me put post-it notes on the pages with gardens I admired: my husband did the same. We came up with about twenty total - each was dramatically different from the others. From that, Katy was able to identify the elements that were important to us, and combine them into a garden we love.


Calafia Design
1730 Chancellor Street
Evanston, IL 60201

847 . 217 . 4753