Winter Landscape Design sounds like something you would do in Antarctica but it’s actually the way the smarter folks plan their spring projects  A $50k plus landscape design and installation can take months to complete, and several weeks to months to plan and stage.

If you have landscape design and installation work that you would like plan for the upcoming season, believe it or not, winter is the best time to get the design and planning accomplished.  Using satellite imagery, survey data from your mortgage, design software, and a little ingenuity, we can estimate, plan, and fully design and stage your entire project while there is snow on the ground.

By working on the creative side of the project in the winter, your landscaper can hit the ground running in the spring so you can enjoy your new landscaping this summer and fall.

3D Landscape Design

I’m sure everyone has seen all of the DIY shows with twin brothers turning torn-up houses into open concept beauties and husbands and wives flipping houses.  They use sophisticated 3D software that allows their clients to see what their houses will look like after the renovations before they raise the first hammer.

We use the exact same type of software to show our clients exactly what their properties will look like after the new landscaping is installed in gorgeous 3D.



Quick Video Overview of this summer 2016 project from Salient Landscaping

2016 Landscape Renovation Before

Mr and Mrs O hired us to completely renovate their fixer upper in June of 2016.  They renovated the entire inside of the house with everything from custom built-ins to heated floors to high end appliances and everything in between.  They were ready to move to the outside after finalizing everything on the inside last spring.


  • Driveway Paver borders
  • Demolish the “sunken garden” either filling it in and landscaping/paving over it, building a lower paver with walls and stairs along with a fire pit and seat wall, lighting and planting features, or lower entire landscape and rebuild a low elevation landscape.
  • Remove side patio, construct a new side patio and install electrical throughout.  Bring in a 6 person hot tub along with lighting, and potentially a heated pathway so one could walk barefoot outside even in the winter to your outdoor oasis.  Add planting beds, plants, trees, irrigation and electrical outlets.

  • Demolish and dispose of old rotted deck, install either a Trex, composite, or cedar deck replacement OR build a raised paver patio, and/or a lower patio, or a decorative concrete patio of whatever elevation makes sense.  In a project like this, a lot of determinations will be made after demolition begins.
  • Spade out two twin side pear trees and move them to the center of the new, expanded landscape feature.  Install a full, outdoor kitchen with granite counter-tops, gas, electric, and water as well as a custom made, 10′ x 4′ 1000 LBS chunky white oak dining table with heavy communal benches. Build a huge pergola.

Fifth Revision Design Rendering – 1 Dimensional Drawing

After several redesigns, and one napkin drawing from Mrs. O, we settled on this as the concept we were going to execute on.  We would fill in the sunken garden, and build a small raised patio to transition the higher elevation of the current kitchen.

Once we all settled on the 1-dimensional version of the project, we had our designer bring it into the 3D world using Google Sketch-up.  This is done to make sure the client is going to really like the project.  In this case we were looking at a $140k project after all of the upgrades and changes.  The worst thing in the world would be to complete the whole project and have an unhappy client!

2016 Finished Product


Winter Design Process

If you or someone you know is hoping to make major changes to their landscape or has a new construction landscape project they would like to get completed this spring, have them contact Salient Landscaping at 734-337-3261 or text 734-260-4340.  You can also contact us at office@

Some items to have ready to speed the process up:

  1. Plot plan/mortgage survey – either a scaled copy or a digital file you can email
  2. Any photos, pins, screenshots, or brochures with things you like and hate
  3. Budget numbers if possible
  4. Time to meet in person to tour the property and discuss details and projections

Budget Study After the first meeting, we will come up with a Budget Study that gives a broad range of costs in order to establish the budget.  Budget studies are helpful because we can determine a comfortable budget for the customer and discuss any unforeseen potential contingencies.

Design Contract, Detailed Proposal, and First Design will be delivered shortly after the budget study process – usually within a week or two depending on how involved the project.  At this time the design contract is signed and paid in full.  These can rage between $400 – $4000 depending on the size of the project and will be discussed at the time of the budget study.

Revisions, 3D Design Delivery, and approval occur next assuming minor changes need to be made.  The project deposit occurs now with usually a small 10% deposit to start the 3D process.  After this, the project is scheduled.

Oversight and Supervision Weekly and/or daily updates are made to the client via phone, text, email, or whatever means is most appreciated.  As contingencies – unforeseen problems, customer upgrades, and midstream changes come up. (as they always do during large projects) Salient will check in with the client at each opportunity to keep them up to speed with changes in the project as they come up or are discovered.

At the end of the project, the updates will be more frequent and may require meeting onsite a few times as the finishes are completed.  At the end of the project, we will walk the property with you and make sure everything is up to par with your expectations.  At this point, we will deliver the final invoice, and the plant maintenance manual.

Happy designing and planning!