“It has a lot to do with what the individual client wants, because every project is so drastically different, which is one of the nice parts about my job because it's not the same thing over and over again.
I’ve been to some houses where people are like, ‘I want my beds flowy and colorful and I want something blooming all year round.’ And then the next person I talk to says, ‘I want straight lines, no flowers – only grasses.’ On a normal project, I chat with the clients first about what their goals are, whether they want things for butterflies or just want color, something blooming year-round to have that interest. Then we start talking about colors – do they lean more towards cool colors or warm colors, what colors do they not like?
What people don’t like is almost more important than what they do.
Nine times out of ten people say, ‘Don’t put orange in the front of my house.’ Then you get the occasional person who says, ‘I love orange’ and I get excited because there is a whole grouping of plants I can actually use.
Once I narrow down what the client is looking for, then I pull out my plant books and start my list. If people want more warm colors, I use things like Ninebark, Bee Balm, Rudbeckia, and those bolder colors. If they want cool colors, I like to use Nepeta, Geranium, and Salvia. I usually have my long list and then work on the design with heights and bloom time, narrowing it down to a shorter list."