"Seeing is believing."  I will adapt that adage to say, when it comes to garden design, "seeing is understanding."

I like to give my design clients a choice between different styles for their garden.  Its fun to engage them in the design process and it ensures their ultimate satisfaction.

However, its impossible for most clients to visualize a garden from a two dimensional drawing.  That's why I use a photo program to show how their garden will look with its new design.

I make photo 'mockups' of the proposed garden.  I can "erase" the existing landscape features and substitute how the garden will look with my design. 

I've collected an extensive library of plant and garden feature images from the internet.  Monrovia, Las Pilitas, and San Marcos have great photos of plants in jpg. format that you can download.  Or, an image search usually yields what I need.

Lately, I've been dispensing with drawing and using the photographic image as the design plan.  I can label the mockups with the plant names and the installer can work right off of the printed photo.  And, the client then has a photographic record of exactly what has been planted.

As I said, seeing is understanding.  So here are examples of how the mockup magic works...


1. Existing Landscape

Elliot before  

2.  Design Idea A


3.  Design Idea B

Plan B  This is the design the client chose.


1.  Existing Landscape


2.  Design Idea A

 Backyard A another view

3.  Design Idea B

 Backyard B

You get the idea...!

In addition to the landscape, you can also play with the appearance of the house to suggest ways that the client can integrate it into the new landscape.  For example...

1.  Existing Landscape and House


2.  Proposed Design


Ta Da!