Top Landscape Designer: Brent Knoll

How to choose a top landscape designer in Miami

Landscape design greatly increases both the beauty and the value of your home. Far from an extra, a gorgeous landscape is the FIRST impression visitors, potential buyers, and neighbors get about you and your home. It showcases your style and taste and shows your community the level at which you're concerned with keeping an aesthetically pleasing, nature friendly, and generally inviting neighborhood.  

Landscape design is also an investment, and with every good investment it's important to do your research to make sure you invest soundly and properly. Your decision to design a fresh or new landscape begins with choosing your designer.

Top Landscape Designer: Brent Knoll

Top landscape designer: What should you look for?

So, what should you look out for when seeking a top landscape designer? Here's what we suggest are the 7 most important factors to consider. 

1. Experience 

The first thing you need to look for in a top landscape designer is experience in the area in which you live. Every region and climate has particulars which will come into play in your design. Your designer must understand the soil quality, prevailing environmental conditions, plant materials that work for your zone and location, and many other factors in order to make recommendations which are realistic and which will truly give you the results you're looking for.  

2. Artistic talent 

We all know that categorizing art as 'good' or 'bad' can be a relative thing. Different people enjoy different types of artistic expression. But let's be honest. Two people may carry out the same artistic task, and one may do it in a way which is voted more pleasing by general consensus. We tend to classify those broadly approved of artists as 'talented' or 'good' at what they do.  

When it comes to choosing a top landscape designer, look for a portfolio on their website or ask to see images of their work. Their phtoos will showcase their ability to carry out a truly aesthetically pleasing design. Find a designer whose work resonates with your own artistic taste, and you'll find a match that you should be able to work well with.

Top Landscape Designer: Artistic Talent

3. Broad range of design styles

Many landscape designers specialize in one or two types of design, and while the argument may be made that they're specialists in those areas, they may not offer the artistic flexibility required to give you the particular style you're looking for.  

When it come to style, versatility is essential because each design client is unique, eclectic, or purist in their own way and needs to be fully heard and understood as they express their aspirations for their garden space. Find a top landscape designer who seems 'style flexible' enough for you to comfortably offer all your ideas, knowing they'll all be considered workable for the designer. If you can, view their website and peruse the list of styles offered to get a feel for their adaptability.

4. Reviews and references

Finding a top landscape designer who is professional and easy to work with will be greatly reflected in the reviews available and references offered by the designer. Research web sources such as Google, Yelp, Houzz, and Angi to read reviews which will give you firsthand insights from previous clients regarding the reliability and competence of your potential designer.  

Sources like Houzz also offer colleague reviews so you can see what other professionals think of your designer too. Contact your potential landscape designer and ask for references and samples of their work to get a well-rounded feel for what they offer.

Top Landscape Designer: Happy Clients

5. A designer who offers installation and follow-up services

Knowing how to use AutoCAD or a design program to create a paper design, and truly knowing from hands-on experience how the design will work out in the real world, are very separate things. A design and an installation can be at complete odds in moving from paper to planting.  

Meeting a landscape designer who strongly encourages you to use their company for the installation process shows that you've met a designer who's confident in the full extent of their design abilities. This designer is one who'll go to great lengths to create your design as a personal artistic expression, often going so far as to hand-pick every plant which goes into their design.  

This designer will also offer follow-up visits to track the progress and upkeep of their designs, often suggesting tried-and-true fertilization programs and other amenities. Again, view your landscape designer's website, and check out client reviews to see to what extent your potential designer will walk with you through the landscape design process.

Top Landscape Designer: Landscape Plans

6. Community involvement

We all know community involvement is important. How present we are with our friends, families, neighbors, and communities is a measure of our investment in these areas. All relationships require constant care, and a good landscape designer is also a good member of their neighborhood. Has your designer been known to organize community events, educate by offering workshops or lectures, or participate in community service? Don't be afraid to ask about this important personal aspect of public outreach.  

Top Landscape Designer: Brent Knoll Teaching Kids

7. Communication

Last, but certainly not least, is communication. The landscape design and installation process takes time, thought, and calculated orderly moves to execute. Your landscape design process may take anywhere from 2-4 weeks to several months. During this time, adjustments will be made, and opinions about plant materials and placement may be reevaluated.

You'll need a landscape designer who's available to communicate with you on a multimedia level. A top landscape designer should be available via phone calls, consultations, texts, videos, emails, and even through social media. They'll make every avenue of communication accessible for you, so you can feel comfortable with the entire design process. Why not check their business reviews again and ask their references about their ability to communicate during the design process.

What should you avoid when seeking a top landscape designer?

Now that we've discussed some key pointers in finding the top landscape designer for you, let's go over some important DON'Ts that can be serious roadblocks to having a smooth and painless landscape design process.

DON'T use an inexperienced designer

An inexperienced or beginner designer may seem appealing on several levels. Maybe they're offering you a 'good deal' or you want to help them out, but a smart novice will apprentice under a master designer first in order to give quality service to their clients. You'll be better off finding someone with experience, and the more experience the better.

DON'T use a 'landscape service' over a landscape designer

Landscape service companies are best known for offering landscape maintenance, like lawn care and fertilization, but they may try to offer you design and installation as well. While some of these companies may have a good designer working for them, many of them don't, and you may end up being the recipient of a generic and unsatisfying 'design' and an under par installation.  

Generally, the employees of these companies are not soil experts, plant experts, or designers and therefore know little when it comes to giving you a landscape which is worth your time and money. Leave the maintenance to these companies and the design to the seasoned landscape designers.

DON'T use a designer who doesn't get your style

Again, landscape design is art. Choose an artist who resonates with your personal style and taste. Schedule a consultation with your potential designer and tell them your ideas. See how they resonate and collaborate with you on the project.

Do they understand your personal flair? Do they have experience in what you're looking for? Can they readily make plant and material recommendations that seem to perfectly fit your ideas? For a pain-free way to get some of this info on your designer, look again at their website portfolio and design styles offered to see if you could be a good match in working together. 

DON'T use a designer who has no web presence or references

The internet is the most common way we find what we're looking for. And web presence is more than just having a great website. It's about social media, interacting with your audience, participating on review-based websites like Yelp, Houzz, and Angi, and making your info and references readily available to potential clients.  

Not providing these things to clients may mean shady business, lack of innovation, or laziness. While this isn't always true (many old businesses which are very established in their communities haven't caught up to the available technology), it's certainly an angle to consider.

DON'T look for 'fast-food' service

Let's face it: we live in a fast-paced world. We've learned to want what we want and want it now! And, while that's good for creating efficiency, it can hamper quality. Expect your designer to give you a window of at least 2-4 weeks to complete your design. Remember, a busy designer is a GOOD designer!  

DO expect them to stay in great communication with you throughout the process, but appreciate that a great design takes time. From consultation, to photo-taking, constructing your design, researching plant material, compiling price lists and proposals, giving presentations, agreeing material with you, making plan adjustments, scheduling installation, etc. – there's a lot going on!

Be prepared to set aside the time needed to allow the landscape design process to flow naturally. The beauty that will surround you by the end will give you years and years of enjoyment as a reward for your patience.

Top Landscape Designer: Brent Giving a Garden Tour

It's time to find your top landscape designer!

Knoll Landscape Design is a versatile and sustainability-focused company that's been serving the Miami, South Florida area for over 20 years. Brent knows the soil, the plants, and the climate of South Florida with the deep awareness that comes from continued hands-on experience and personal attention to every aspect of his client's designs.  He knows what works in our rocky, sandy soil, and can guide you into a design that will look fantastic AND thrive.

Brent has the aesthetic eye of an artist and knows a broad range of landscape design styles. He offers installation and all the follow-up you need to make sure your project flourishes. He's an excellent communicator, a fan of social media, and is excited to share his reviews and references with his clients. In his spare time, he's created several community gardens, hosted many workshops and lectures, and participated in many enjoyable community service projects.  

Get in touch and put Miami's top landscape designer to work on your garden today!

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