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The Secret to Surrounds Landscapes for Outdoor Living

We make outdoor living spaces that inspire you to spend more time outdoors!

Whether you intend to personalize the landscaping you inherited from a previous homeowner, or you’re building a new home and starting from scratch, the easy part is realizing that you have to do something to complete the picture. The hard part is articulating what you want to do and finding the right type of landscape design firm to help you do it.

How do you find that company? That’s the question we intend to answer for you in this eBook.

ebook download offer: The Secret to Surrounds Landscapes for Outdoor Living

Find out what it would be like to work with a landscape architecture firm that cares about your dreams as much as you! FILL OUT THE FORM AND get your copy of the ebook!

The Ideal Landscaping Company

The ideal company would be one that shares your sensibilities, one that has the resources to deliver an inspiring outdoor environment that reveals the untapped potential of your yard and complements the architecture of your house.

And, here is something else you may not be thinking about at this moment: Once you’ve designed and built that spectacular outdoor living environment, who will care for it over the following seasons to ensure it reaches its full potential?

You are about to make a significant emotional and financial investment and should feel confident you’ve got the information you need to select a landscape company that will care as much about your dreams as you do

Getting Started: Landscape Services and Expertise

Depending on the physical characteristics of your property and the elements you want to include in your project, there are four areas of expertise required to complete any landscape project. You may have to work with several companies to get all the services you need.

Landscape Architecture.

Whether you’re designing your landscape from scratch or adding enhancements to an existing design, you’ll need a landscape architect to help you put your ideas into a coherent, buildable plan. As experts on concept development, engineering, construction, horticulture, and landscape systems (irrigation, lighting, audio) landscape architects provide the practical framework for the aesthetic vision you will develop together. A landscape architect is responsible for laying out a master design plan that reflects your aspirations while working skillfully with the intrinsic characteristics of your property.

Landscape Construction.

Once you have perfected the design, you need someone who can interpret that design and build it as drawn. You must have a landscape contractor who is capable of understanding the practical requirements of your landscape plan, accurately price it, and then bring that aesthetic vision to life.

Landscape Construction Management.

The construction manager is responsible for keeping your project schedule on track, maintaining order on the job site, and inspecting the workmanship of the many tradesmen involved. The construction manager keeps you informed throughout the process, ensuring your expectations are met and that there are no misunderstandings or surprises.

Landscape Maintenance.

Once your dream landscape has been realized, it will need to be cared for. During the two seasons after installation, your plants will be acclimating to their new home and establishing the dense root systems that will allow them to thrive. Regular maintenance by knowledgeable landscape technicians during this period is imperative. You may also need specialists to perform periodic maintenance on your irrigation system, water feature pumping equipment, and lighting system.

Consider this: Services alone do not guarantee the success of a landscape project and its continued health in the years following. It is the way landscape services are organized and delivered that makes all the difference.

Success Factors: Characteristics of an Exceptional Landscape Firm

At Surrounds, we define success as being your landscape advocate from the very beginning of the process and for years afterward. We work closely with you in design, continue by your side throughout construction, and continue after installation to care for your gardens and landscape systems.
In fact, planning for the ongoing care of your gardens and landscape systems, even as they are being constructed, is an integral part of our holistic approach to landscape design and construction.

As a landscape design-build-manage firm, Surrounds is structured to provide an all-in-one set of integrated services, solutions, and expertise. We specialize in three distinct areas—all of which are linked together and work together for the success of your landscape today and for years to come.

Who better to take care of your landscape than the company that designed and built it ? 

Landscape Design Build.

At Surrounds, we’ve dedicated ourselves to perfecting a design-build approach to landscape design and construction that integrates architecture, landscape construction, and construction management all into one smoothly running machine. Unique to Surrounds, the landscape architect plays a “hands on” role throughout the construction process.

Holistic Garden Management.

Basic landscape maintenance is important, but Surrounds goes beyond that to offer integrated programs for the care of your lawn and gardens. We assess your entire yard, including all of your landscape features, to provide a comprehensive program that ensures all of your landscape systems (lighting, irrigation, and water features) receive the maintenance they need.

Designer Gardens, Garden Design, Garden Restoration.

Unique to Surrounds, the Designer Gardens team offers concierge services including custom garden enhancements, seasonal displays, vegetable gardens, fruit trees, and perennial gardens.

The Surrounds approach to landscaping results in thoughtfully planned and meticulously crafted outdoor living environments that become personal spaces for play, celebration, and contemplation.

Proof: Inside Every Problem an Elegant Solution Awaits Discovery

The path to the fulfillment of your landscape dreams is rarely without a few twists and turns. Your chosen landscape design partner must be experienced in handling challenging site conditions. For example, you may have a steep slope that makes your yard seem unusable. Or perhaps you have a nearly flat lot that doesn’t drain well. You may have areas of your property that are too sunny and dry, or too shady and moist for healthy plant growth. Don’t let these apparent obstacles discourage you.

Here are a few examples of Surrounds projects that overcame site challenges with master landscape design plans that brought the home into harmony with the home site.

A high-quality landscape design firm can replace challenging site conditions with elegant solutions that embraces the “problem” and turn it to aesthetic advantage.

A Dwelling and Setting in Perfect Harmony Oakton, Virginia

The owners found the perfect double lot to build a home they’d spent nearly ten years dreaming about. Landscape design began from the ground up. To make the indoor and outdoor worlds flow together seamlessly, the landscape architect called for significant regrading and, in collaboration with the residential architect, fine-tuned the positioning of the house on the lot.

A Luxuriously Small Backyard Bethesda, Maryland

This infill home replaced a much smaller home on an average sized lot. The position of the larger replacement home had a generously sized front yard but was set close to the rear lot line and steep slope going up away from the back of the house. There were a lot of elements on the wish list. The challenge was to disguise the spatial limitations and maximize the potential of this shallow rectangular space.

A Steep Slope Becomes a Design Asset Leesburg, Virginia

There was a significant and fairly steep drop off away from the house. To do anything with the yard required a plan that would ease the slope and gracefully transition from the house to the various activity areas in the backyard. Creative use of low steps and terracing turned the backyard into a surprisingly varied and welcoming environment that would not have been possible without that problematic slope!

From Blank Slate to Abundance Vienna, Virginia

This was a new construction home done in the traditional style set on a large featureless lot. The homeowner wanted to fill it with formal gardens and a pool environment for entertaining large groups. His taste leaned heavily toward contemporary design—the opposite architectural vocabulary of the house. We achieved harmony by subtly transitioning the visual style from traditional near house to contemporary at the pool house

Surrounds’ Holistic Approach to Landscape Design, Construction, and Garden Management

Surrounds’ holistic approach to landscape design, construction, and garden management is unique in the landscaping industry in that it places the customer and their desires in the driver’s seat. We see the customer as a member of our creative team and help them to clarify their ideas, develop them further, and put them into a distinct format—all for show-stopping results.

Let’s take a more in depth look at what that means for each area of service and what Surrounds’ clients can expect.

Our Landscape Design Build Services

Surrounds delivers a team-based service. That means you have access to a top expert in each of the core areas from landscape design to construction, and post-construction garden management. Because we work as a team, you never have to worry about lapses in communication stalling your project. The team is in constant contact—working side by side—to get your project done as you expect it to be.

But what exactly does landscape design and construction look like with Surrounds?

Our 5-Step Landscape Design Process

The unique configuration of the Surrounds design group is what enables it to deliver an all-in-one solution that merges artistic impact with practical needs. The six-person team is comprised of four landscape architects and two construction specialists who are dedicated to the design group.

Our Chief Project Estimator

Our chief project estimator reviews all drawings, specifications, and revisions so plans can be accurately priced as they are being developed. He collaborates with the landscape architects, keeping them up to date on the availability of materials as any changes in price. This guarantees the specified materials will be available at the start of construction.

Our pre-construction manager

Our pre-construction manager calculates all of the features on the site to create a base map of each property. A base map (site analysis) is the “canvas” architects must have to begin designing with complete accuracy. Base maps include available square footage, elevation changes, and existing conditions such as the location of large trees that must be protected, location of septic fields or tanks, and the location of buried utility lines.

Our Landscape Design Process

Step One - Listening

We begin by asking lots of questions. Since all of our designers are registered professional landscape architects (PLAs) or seasoned garden designers, we know the right questions to ask.

Step Two - Insights

We’ll walk the site, gather insights, and begin an ongoing dialogue with you.

Step Three - Possible & Practical

Once we know what you want and what’s possible, we’ll develop initial ideas that conform to your budget.

Step Four - Refinements

We’ll gain your feedback on the plan and refine the initial concept until it fits precisely what you want.

Step Five - Perfection

We’ll create a final site plan that supports all of the technical requirements, complete construction documentation, and finalize the project estimate.

If desired, we can phase the implementation of your master landscaping plan, which allows you to choose how much you want to do and when. In this way, design integrity is maintained even with an extended timeframe.

Our Landscape Construction Process

Long before construction begins, we assign you a Job Manager who will support the ongoing involvement of your landscape architect. Although your architect visits the site regularly and is available to you throughout construction, the Job Manager will be your day-to-day point of contact. This individual will be on site every day to communicate and coordinate with you, the crew, any subcontractors, and the architect— ensuring everything goes off without a hitch.

Holistic Landscape Maintenance & Garden Care Services

After your landscape has been designed and built, Surrounds offers a comprehensive and integrated suite of ongoing landscaping services that go far beyond basic landscape maintenance. This is a significant benefit of our integrated all-in-one approach: having the same company that designed your landscape to care for and nurture it. You avoid the issues that come from working with multiple contractors arriving at different times during the month. You have one crew that “learns” your property by coming every week to perform scheduled tasks.

We actively recruit garden managers who have college degrees in either landscape architecture or landscape management and support advanced training for them to obtain credentials as certified horticulturists. This means the person in charge of leading the team that cares for your property has the depth of knowledge to anticipate the needs of your landscape systems and gardens, ensuring that it always looks spectacular.

Our Landscape Maintenance & Garden Care Process

Surrounds’ garden management service follows an in-depth process that takes everything into consideration.

Step One - Walk & Talk

First, a garden management specialist meets with you to walk your property and gain a better understanding of your style. We’ll offer recommendations for long and short term care, then craft a customized program to achieve your goals.

Step Two - Partnership

We’ll assign one point of contact—a Surrounds Garden Manager. This individual is a certified horticulturist with years of experience. Think of them as your advocate. They’ll manage your entire garden team and be directly responsible for keeping up all communication.

Step Three - Constant & Consistent

Your garden manager and crew will be a constant—the same people come to your property every time. This is how they get to know your property well and learn how to manage your garden consistently to keep it exactly as you want.

Step Four - Stewardship

We take a proactive approach to your garden management. Every time the garden manager and crew are on your property to perform scheduled tasks, they are also scanning for signs of potential stress to your garden plants and trees. If we discover a potential problem (signs of infestation, disease, or other stressors), we’ll make suggestions and act before a small problem has the opportunity to get out of control.

Step Five - Planning Ahead

At the end of each growing season, your garden manager will schedule a garden planning meeting to review insights gained over the year, offer recommendations, and ask for your input to ensure we continue to satisfy your expectations and address the needs of your gardens and landscaping systems.

Designer Gardens: Garden Design & Restoration Services

Last, but certainly not least, the Surrounds Designer Gardens team offers boutique design and installation services for garden lovers. If you have a unique idea for your garden, the Surrounds team is ready to help.

The Designer Gardens team was organized specifically to accommodate the needs of customers who are passionate about horticulture, who see gardens as ever-changing and evolving “projects,” and who seek that extra dash of finesse and artistic impact around their homes.

For these customers, the Designer Gardens team offers a range of limited scope hardscaping and landscaping

Working with Surrounds

Gardens are not a “set and forget” affair. Your landscape is a living, ever-changing ecosystem that evolves over time and needs consistent care to achieve its full potential. We’ve organized our company around this idea and have developed and fine-tuned our systems and methods to serve this concept.

We gain tremendous satisfaction from caring for the landscapes we’ve designed and built because we know exactly what they need. It’s gratifying to see them “grow into themselves” as they settle in, take root, mature, and thrive.

If you are ready to take the first step toward designing a new landscape or would like to upgrade your current landscape maintenance program to the next level, please schedule a phone call with one of our landscape architects or garden managers.

Landscape Design Consultation Call

Speak with a registered Professional Landscape Architect (PLA) about your dreams for creating an outdoor environment. Get a sense of the big picture, the steps involved, and the definition of success for that project. As a result of that conversation, you may decide to schedule an onsite review of your home site.

Garden Management Consultation Call

Speak with a Garden Management Specialist who has experience and expertise in horticulture, garden design, and landscape systems management. You’ll talk about challenges you may be experiencing with your plant health and landscape care and your goals for ensuring continued beauty and abundance in your gardens and landscape. After that, we may decide together to schedule an onsite consultation.

ebook offer: The Secret to Surrounds Landscapes for Outdoor Living

Find out what it would be like to work with a landscape architecture firm that cares about your dreams as much as you! Click the linK AND get your copy of the ebook!

What’s the difference between a conventional landscape company and one whose staff understands design, horticulture, and landscape systems? To find out, fill out the form and get your copy of the ebook!