We’re Alive

Spring in July

"The knowledge is Given to the Crane from Above"
"The knowledge is Given to the Crane from Above"

I have actually had a bigger July than May this year from some odd reason. Maybe folks are realizing that things are not as dab as the media would like us to believe.

Or maybe folks just want to spend money, make their place look great. Commercial building work is also hopping along at what seems to be the normal pace-frantic . . . got to have it now.

Having it now

Speaking of which I am about to go look at one of those type of jobs right now. Literally up from the computer desk and out the door(after collecting drawing tools). A 10,000sq. ft. house out in the middle of nowhere Ohio where we are going to come up with most of the plan today.

It’s a draw, stake and paint kind of job.

Now that’s wanting it now. Sort of like driving up for a hmaburger, except in this case it’s quite the whopper!

I’m curious fellow Designers do you get into these kind of jobs, and if you do . . . do you like to do them?

Paid by the hour or flat rate for this type of work? E-mail me and let me know how you work this kind of job where you are

Look at the time, gotta go!

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.


  1. Hi Rick –

    I’m a Landscape Designer in Northfield, Minnesota (just south of the twin cities.)

    I can’t say that I do many of these draw, stake and paint type jobs, but it actually sounds like it would be fun. You may not have as much time to think things through from all angles like you do when drawing, but it sounds like a really dynamic process. There’s lots of creative energy when you do something on the spot.

    I’ll be interested in seeing how other people who have done this kind of work feel about it.

    Your blog is great…keep it up!

  2. Rick,

    I think it depends on the client and the site as to how effective this process can be. I can usually see where I want to go with a general design direction pretty quickly, but the cool details come later, during the pondering, challenging your own ideas when you can’t sleep at night kinds of times. I often go back and review and look at the things I missed the first time, whether through photos or another site visit. But I’m, you know, old….and from Ohio, too.

    I would maintain that you can get 80-90% there with a creative, interactive client, or another design team member, but the excellence of detail comes after some contemplation and percolation of ideas, especially if there are site problems to deal with.

    Thanks for your great questions.


  3. Leslie Scott is the queen of the ‘design on site’ project. She is out of Cleveland Heights, and has a web site lesliescottdesign.net

    I’ve seen her speak on this subject, I believe she is fond of orange spray paint and a lot of flags . . . a lot of flags.

  4. Never! But it does sound like fun.

    I guess most of our work is a bit overblown and overplanned.

    On V11 for a trelliswork feature from last fall… they keep changing their minds and now I hear they consulted with the largest (and most expensive) landscape designer in Toronto.

    I do like the idea…for laying out organic structures… but not so much for woodwork.

    Might be an interesting exercise–but then again… would I do it on my house?


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