Update on the Terrace

The drawings of the terrace I had been showing over the past couple of days took a final turn yesterday. After e-mailing the client that I had posted the rendering of his deck idea, I received a quick reply . . . “Oh we are going with extending the concrete and round off the end. We’re talking to the contractor about the cost”.

Luckily I’ve reached the point in my career where I take none of this personally. That this is a slam on my work or ideas. In this case this is a client who can’t make up his mind, and my guess is he will change again. Which way-not sure.

If you go back to my original drawings for this terrace I had extended the concrete (tiled it over) and put the steps at this end. Look back to July 28th and 25th to see those drawings. It was my intention to limit the amount of surfaces in this small backyard-so; in a way, the client is working with me here.

So where does this leave us? We are back to one surface for the porch/landing, we have only one set of stairs, we have a good amount of space to create a dynamic terrace, and we still have room to install enough plant material to soften, enhance, and improve the space.

I still don’t like where the steps are going but this is part of the art of compromise that good designers must go through. This level of dialogue and give and take is something that designers must learn as they improve the level at which the work. The more complicated the project, the higher the dollar, and the level of sophistication requires more than knowing right plant-right place . This is where the real juice comes in and for me I enjoy this, a lot.

The final analysis is simply this . . . if you want to become a really good Landscape Designer you need to remember what that really means—problem solving. It’s this problem solving where Landscape Designers really earn their money. After all how many calls do you get when homeowners are happy and satisfied.

By Rick Anderson

The Whispering Crane Institute was originally formed to act as the umbrella organization for the Philosophy of Design Symposium, and other seminars and workshops given by Rick Anderson and Richard L. Dube’. In the year 2000 WCI became a sole proprietorship owned by Rick Anderson. Today the WCI provides design and consultation services for Landscape Contractors, acts as a Green Industry think tank, and provides training for others in the form of workshops, seminars, and individual consulting. The WCI also provides written material, opinions, case-studies and how-to articles for industry trade magazines.

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