Areas of Specialty
- Perennial-based planting designs
- Traditional and Contemporary designs
- Integrating outdoor spaces with the home’s architectural style
Designer Q&A with Allison
Q: What is your design philosophy?
To create gardens and outdoor spaces that inspire my clients to spend more time outdoors; spaces that ultimately function as an extension of the home.
Q: What led you to this career?
I first became fascinated with this creative field while studying at the University of Maryland. I’ve always been interested in interior design and I find that this career gives me the opportunity to apply those same fundamentals to the outdoors.
Q: What has been your favorite project and why?
My favorite project was enhancing the Floyd residence (photo gallery images 6-8) . I designed a small backyard patio and front yard renovation that opened up the property and really updated the look of the house. This was a fun project because I had loved this house for a few years before ever having the chance to work with the clients. The Floyds were very open to my suggestions, so I got to incorporate my personal style and many of the features I would want if it were my home, I feel like I lived vicariously through this design.
Q: Tell us about your most challenging project.
To date, my most challenging projects always include drainage issues. In Virginia, drainage concerns are caused by the heavy clay soils. At some sites, solving these run-off problems can unfortunately end up compromising the overall design because of the expense associated with installing underground drainage systems.
Q: What is your design process?
1. After my initial meeting with new clients, I try to gain as much information about their needs and wants for their property. I pay attention to the style of their interiors and keep it in mind when designing.
2. When I return for the site analysis, I take note of all the existing site conditions, garden features, and the architecture of the home.
3. At this point, I brainstorm design options using the prominent features and lines of the home. I put all of this information in CAD and continue to work on the plan. Hard surfaces drive the general layout of the garden.
4. Once established, I can begin with layout of the plant material. I present this concept to the clients along with a general budget and my inspiration sketches and photos.
5. With their feedback, we can move into more detailed drawings and plant information.
6. Finally, a proposal is created and the job can move into production.