Design Elements


Great residential landscapes, of any size, are created by integrating the existing site and home with the clients' vision in a detailed and artistic manner. This is the crux of the collaborative effort between client & designer.

Some projects are simple, and straight-forward. Others are, by nature more complex, multi-faceted and demanding. The experience that 26 years yields to you as a customer, gives us the resources to do either straight-forward or complex without worry or hassle.

We’ve designed and built over 1000 projects, each with varying complexity. We are unintimidated and ready for large, multi-layered scopes and also find the shorter, simplistic projects very rewarding.

Your vision is what ultimately matters the most. And we have the experience and resources to design to your specifications, comfort and budget.

Terra Design offers landscape design in conjunction with project management of the installation. Specific design elements could include:

*Permitting may be needed in the project management phase if the installation - and city codes- require it. This is largely dependent on the structures and complexities of the completed vision.

Design Philosophy
-from Leanne-
Seattle Landscaping

Personally, I get the biggest thrill from working closely with my clients to create landscapes that are 100% them: that integrate the way they live, entertain, play, their design sense, the architecture of the home and their budget.

The possibilities are endless and it is my role as a designer to listen, elicit, translate, edit and bring into three dimensions, spaces that match their personalities - that suit them to a ‘T’.

Sustainable long term connection
Gardens are by nature a long-term enterprise and my philosophy is equally long term. My goal is long-term connections with clients, be it just a quick question, or an additional phase of landscape renovation.

Equally, my aim is sustainable, responsible landscapes, installed with integrity, quality, and forward-looking technology and techniques.

Choices abound
Landscape installation, like all construction, is a process fraught with…well variables. The successful shepherding of a project from concept to completion calls on proactive communication of all parties, keeping in mind both the big picture... and the bottom line.

And the process should be, start to finish, positive and enjoyable.

That and nothing less is my goal.

Landscapes are like music and art “Landscapes are like music and art: there are countless styles and moods, but when you arrive at one that is simpatico, you know it.”
Leanne Goulding, Terra Design

Jumping into design

Some clients have a clear vision or idea of what they want their space to look and feel like, and some clients don’t.

We can begin either with or without a vision.

“Design” as a process may seem intimidating or even baffling. Let us assure you, you don’t have to have a clear picture, or even an idea, to get started in developing a design direction. We’ll develop it together and arrive, collaboratively. That is why you hire a designer/That is our role, as your designer, to shepherd/walk you through the process. And these few questions will help get us started.

TIP: The trick with these topics is not to over-think them:

  • What’s currently working? / What’s definitely not working?
  • What’s missing?
  • How would you love to use the space? (e.g. Entertaining? Meditation? For kids & pets to romp in?)
  • What need will the space fill? (An extension of a living room? Or even an outdoor kitchen? Increase curb appeal?)
  • How will this space feel when it’s completed?
It is just this simple to get started.

The results were simply stunning "The results were simply stunning. We had very high expectations for the exterior scope of our project, but Leanne exceeded those to a level we didn't think was possible. Every single detail of her design - plant selection, hardscaping, stain selection, and even a small planter for our little daughter was thought through to perfection. It was also incredibly in sync with the house remodel." Giri & Sapna, Capitol Hill

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