Answers to Your Inquiries
What makes Parick Design, LLC different from its competitors?
At Parick Design, LLC, we pride ourselves on applying our extensive plant knowledge to every design we create. We listen closely to the desires of our customers and work with them to create a refined, cohesive space that becomes more beautiful over time.
We are passionate about the process from the overarching design down to the finest details. Providing memorable spaces that engage and connect people is the core of our design philosophy, and the primary reason we truly love what we do.
What is your company's education and background?
Scott Taft, chief designer and founder of Parick Design, LLC, graduated from Cornell University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture and a concentration in both Horticulture and Urban Planning. Since graduating, and prior to founding Parick Design, LLC, Scott had worked in small boutique landscape design firms in Ridgefield, Connecticut, Georgetown in Washington, D.C. and a large scale civil engineering firm in Lanham, Maryland.
Scott's area of specialization is in single family residential design-build work with a focus on visually dynamic, sustainable landscapes, outdoor environments, interior plantings and seasonal decor.
His love of plants started as a toddler when he helped his grandfather in his garden. As a child his room was filled with plants and adding to his collection was always his gift request for Birthdays and Holidays. He was actively involved in garden clubs throughout his adolescent years.
How do I get started?
By sending a message to email@example.com! Provided you are within the DC metropolitan area, free at-home consultations can be scheduled at your convenience. If you prefer, free virtual video consultations can also be provided.
Tell me about the design process. What can I expect as I go from concept to reality?
The process begins with a complimentary consultation. Here design objectives are discussed. Site photos and preliminary site measurements of the space are also taken at this time.
Client provided images of desired design styles are helpful to guide the discussion. A survey plat of the property, if available, is also beneficial.
Following the initial consultation, a proposal is provided for client review. This outlines the scope of services and pricing.
Sometimes clients ask us for a design plan only that can then be given to a contractor to implement. If desired, our involvement with the project can continue by coordinating and subcontracting the work. We are always happy to attend and supervise the installation if requested.
For small scale planting installations, Parick Design, LLC is able to do the install in-house without subcontracting.
Every landscape installation proposal that Parick Design, LLC implements in-house also comes with one complimentary follow up site visit within one month of the installation to check on everything and to ensure the new plants are in optimal health.
We also offer design services outside of the DC metropolitan area if provided with high resolution images and site measurements of the space.
What can I expect to receive when I'm provided with a design for my property?
We provide full overhead plans to scale, showing the location and variety of plants, terraces, walls, garden structures and site furnishings.
Detailed plant profiles with images, notable key characters such as bloom time, fall color and wildlife benefits are provided for each selection.
We also offer photosimulations of the property. Plants and hardscape designs are overlaid onto existing images to show what the project will look like once installed.
How long does the design and installation take for a project?
Depending on the scale of the project and the time of the year, you can expect that from the time of the initial consultation, through to the design process and the finished installation that the project will be completed anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks.
What are your specialty areas?
Parick design, LLC offers a broad scope of services. We specialize in container gardening, rooftop design, small urban gardens and interior plant scapes. We offer seasonal “change-outs” to provide a dynamic landscape that can be enjoyed in all four seasons. We use photosimuations as a tool to help customers visualize what the plants will look like after multiple years of growth so you can experience what the garden will look like as it matures before any plants go in the ground!
Parick Design, LLC can also provide mixed planter arrangements for birthdays and special events and occasions! Check out some of our cacti planters as a low maintenance long lasting gift that outlasts fresh cut flowers.
We also offer seasonal decorating services for any holiday or event.
Do you offer other exterior design services besides plantings?
While Parick design, LLC is not a full in-house design firm, we do work with regional contractors to subcontract the masonry, irrigation, lighting or any other work that is required. Our engagement with the project adapts to the specific needs of the client.
How do the contracts work?
After the complimentary consultation is completed, a proposal for services is provided for client review and approval.
In all cases ⅓ of the total cost of the project is due in order for the work to begin. Following the completion of the contract the remaining ⅔ of the project cost is due.
Acceptable forms of payment include Venmo, Paypal, check or cash. Please note that any applicable processing fees associated with Venmo or Paypal will be added to the invoice.
Any site furnishings, planters, lighting and fountains that are specified for a project are purchased directly from the client and not included in the price of the design or installation contracts.
Parick Design, LLC can also coordinate the purchase directly if a client credit card is provided, or if payment for the items are made in full prior to purchase.
As part of our design services, we will provide detailed ordering instructions including any custom finishes and colors and links to online resources, if applicable.
How do you define and manage the budget for a project?
The scope, budget and execution of the project is adapted to the needs of the client.
Our first focus is on developing a comprehensive design. If budget is of concern, these designs can be phased over time.
Our design fees start at $1,000.00, while installation and implementation fees start at $2,200.00
If a phased design is desired, we implement the “bones” of the garden in the first year, with fast growing structural plantings and key architectural elements. We produce a framework that can be added to and enhanced over time.
We offer multiple design solutions at various price points to give clients the tools to think critically about how to best use their resources to get the most value for their money. We are always here to help with an honest and practical assessment of how best to accomplish this.
We communicate to our client what elements are most important to give them a roadmap to work from. In some instances one or two higher cost elements can be intermixed with more economical solutions to provide a design that maintains its integrity.
Considerations such as a specimen plant’s proximity to central gathering spaces or windows are carefully analyzed. Sometimes all that is needed is one or two well placed focal point plants in high visibility areas to create a great design. Other more economical plantings and materials can help to support and reinforce those key features.
What are your hours of operation?
The Parick Design, LLC office is open between 9:00am-5:00am Monday thru Friday.
Installations are from 7:00am - 7:00pm during summer months. These can be adjusted based on the client’s schedule and/or HOA mandates. Weekend installations can also be scheduled.
Will your services add value to our home?
Absolutely. Curb appeal and outdoor spaces for relaxing and entertaining is one of the most important factors in the resale value of the home.
Outdoor space is at a premium in this urban environment. Having a usable and aesthetically pleasing exterior is a unique asset.
Through the design process and with the use of photosimulations, we can even investigate options for adjusting the colors of doors, new outdoor lighting, minor architectural enhancements and adding shutters or window boxes. While our scope of installation services do not include these items we can provide advice and illustration to help guide your design decisions on other exterior improvements to your home.
Do the plants have a warranty?
Unfortunately, Parick Design, LLC can not offer a full refund on plants needing replacement. However, we work with the client on an individual basis to access any concerns or issues with plants and work to remedy them if the need arises.
What should I do following the installation of my new plants?
To ensure your new plantings are healthy for years to come, daily watering for the first two weeks is essential.
Focus on watering at the base of the plant so the root systems receive as much water as possible with a gentle spray.
Following the first two weeks, every 2-3 days is sufficient during the summer for plantings in the ground. Except when daytime temperatures exceed 95 degrees, in which case daily watering is highly recommended.
Most container gardens will require almost daily watering throughout the growing season for optimal health.
Watering in the morning is ideal but evening watering is also ok. Afternoon watering is not recommended when the plants are in full hot sun as this can scorch the foliage.
Fertilization is recommended 3-4 weeks after the installation of the plantings.
Parick Design, LLC takes special care to let each client know what the specific needs of their selected plants are. We can also provide bi-monthly maintenance plans if desired.
Are plantings difficult to maintain once installed?
The answer to that all depends on the level of engagement the client wants with the garden. Lets face it some people are garden people who like to get their hands dirty while others want a low maintenance landscape they can enjoy from afar. We tailor the level of maintenance to the desires of the client, this is discussed during the first consultation to ensure that we develop a design that fits your lifestyle. We also provide detailed care instructions for every plant we use in our designs.
What special care and strategy does Parick Design, LLC provide to keep my plants healthy for years to come?
Parick design, LLC prides itself on a few key principles. Above all, selecting the right plant for the right place is critical to its success. We analyze site conditions carefully and are mindful of sun requirements and exposure, salt tolerance if near a walkway or driveway, plants that help stabilize slopes, upland and lowland plantings, vegetation for screening and enhancing viewsheds, and the ultimate size of the plants to make sure that they are long lasting solutions that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Through the use of photosims the mature growth habits of plants can be accurately illustrated over multiple periods (1 year, 3 year, 5 years etc.).
Soil mixes specifically adapted, hand mixed and tailored to the needs of the plants, seasonal sprays for evergreens to enhance drought adaptability and amendments to the soil to help retain moisture and nutrients are just a few of many measures utilized to make sure the plants thrive.
If regular maintenance of plantings is desired, Parick Design, LLC performs regular fertilization and pruning and assesses and remedies any insect or wildlife damage that can develop. We believe in a proactive approach to minimize the chances of this occurring.
Will my garden need an irrigation system?
Irrigation systems and drip line irrigation for pots is recommended for optimal plant health but is not a requirement. There are many methods for keeping plants well watered, and depending on size and budget, items such as a removable drip line hose with a timer can be run through garden beds to help make watering easier.
How does Parick Design, LLC go about purchasing the plants?
We have relationships with all of the premier nurseries in the DC metropolitan region. We work in multiple capacities, and, depending on the scope of the project we can order plants for the nursery to deliver to the residence, or can arrange delivery ourselves.
Some clients enjoy scheduled trips to the nursery to see plant options in person. We are always happy to meet at and tour nurseries and garden centers with our clients. We can provide guidance and direction and if requested ahead of time can coordinate same day delivery for small orders.
What is a "walk and talk" design session?
If requested by a client, Parick Design, LLC also provides a “walk and talk” design session at a client’s home. The service is charged at an hourly rate of $120, including travel time to the residence. Here design concepts, potential plant selections, hardscape options, or any specific questions or design challenges the client has can be discussed. Weblinks to specific resources, plantings etc. can also be provided during this session.
A virtual live video “walk and talk” design session can also be provided at an hourly rate of $120. We recommend that a few images of the space and a survey plat and/or site measurements of the property are provided prior to the start of the video call if possible.
Payment for both of the above mentioned services is due at the time of the meeting.
Does Parick Design, LLC service apartment buildings?
Absolutely. If requested, we will work directly with the building concierge to coordinate all deliveries, schedule loading docks and reserve service elevators to make the process seamless.
Can you provide hand drafted designs?
Some clients prefer the look and feel of hand drafted designs. While the majority of our design work is done with the computer, we can provide hand renderings and sketches if the client requests.
Do you do water features?
We can specify and coordinate the delivery and installation of water features and fountains. Any electrical or plumbing work that is necessary would require a subcontractor. Depending on the size and scope of the water feature, Parick Design may be able to do the installation in-house.
Do you provide designs for pet friendly gardens?
Absolutely. We love our furry friends! Plant palettes that are non-toxic, adaptable and durable for the stresses caused by pets are thoughtfully selected.
What is a microclimate and how does that factor into my design?
Microclimates are spaces in the garden that afford us the opportunity to plant species that might not otherwise survive in our region of the county. Sun exposure, prevailing wind patterns, sheltered areas, and even reflected heat from masonry can all positively affect a plants ability to thrive in conditions that are slightly outside their optimal range.
This broadens the plant palette we can use and if put in the right locations species that are typically better adapted to the north and south of us can be integrated into the gardens.
Parick Design, LLC looks at the site conditions closely to determine if and where these plants can be incorporated to provide a more diverse mix of plantings.
Do you provide plants that help deter pests such as mosquitos and other small rodents?
We do! While there is no fail safe method to keep these at bay, there are some plantings that can be used to greatly reduce this problem. Considerations such as maintaining proper air circulation by not over planting areas prone to these problems, and adjusting existing site grading to eliminate areas of standing water are considered.
Do you provide plants that are deer friendly and/or methods to keep deer damage at bay?
Parick Design, LLC takes special care in providing selections which are appropriate for these conditions. We also offer non toxic, organic solutions that help to deter deer and other wildlife.
Do you provide child friendly and educational gardens?
We have extensive experience developing gardens that engage children, including raised vegetable gardens and tactile gardens. We have done work with gardens for children with autism, providing sensory therapy through the use of plantings that provide scent, texture and foster beneficial wildlife and butterflies. We take special care to select plants that don't attract bees in areas that people congregate in and that are non-toxic to humans and pets alike.
Do you do xeriscaping?
We do. Selecting plantings that require less water and that are adaptable to high heat is of particular concern in the urban environment. Selecting drought tolerant plants is a great way to ensure that you'll have a garden that's beautiful with less care! It’s also more sustainable by using less water.
Do you provide design services tailored toward those with special needs?
We have extensive experience designing gardens for those that are visually impaired with gardens focused on touch and smell. We have also designed gardens for the elderly, dementia ward and hospice care with healing gardens that have colorful perennial gardens with successions of blooms throughout the growing season.
What seasonal services do you offer?
We specialize in both interior and exterior holiday decorating and can provide services for any event! The scope of the work can be anything from purchasing and arranging pumpkins, halloween items, gourds and fall harvest themed decor, Christmas trees, wreaths and garlands, tablescapes, candles, interior and exterior holiday lighting, seasonal flowers and any other items that will provide seasonal ambiance throughout the home. We are also happy to set up existing holiday decor a client has previously purchased.
Can you provide garden styles that are reminiscent of other regions of the world?
While we cannot create a landscape that has plants that are not adapted to this climate, with thoughtful selection of design elements we are able to achieve gardens that have a distinct feel representative of other environments, countries or regions.
What special considerations do you make when selecting pots and planters?
If planters are to be used as a permanent addition to the garden it is critical that they are rated as frost resistant or frost proof. Planters in protected areas with overhangs have greater resilience to winter conditions but still need to adapt to the constant freeze and thaw conditions that can degrade planters over time. It is also critical to select plantings that have drain holes, or are a material where drain holes can be added.
Second to that are color, scale, style and texture. Groupings of planters in matching or complementary shapes styles are carefully selected. Depth and sizes of the planters are matched appropriately to the mature size of the plants to ensure they are healthy. Larger planters are used to provide architectural interest, visual barriers or can even serve as a safety measure to segment spaces.
For interior planters scale and drainage are very important considerations. While the variety of materials that can be utilized is much greater, measures such as high quality drain pans and felt protectors on the base of the pots are used to protect floors and furnishings.
Do you provide native and pollinator gardens?
We can provide native gardens that facilitate butterflies, bees and wildlife. We take special care to select varieties that are optimally suited for our climate and create plant palettes that have overlapping bloom periods to provide wildlife habitat and value through the entire growing season.
What is the best time of year to plant?
Frost resistant plantings can be installed as early as March 15th. Summer annuals need to be planted after the threat of the last frost. Depending on your region, the ideal window for spring and summer plantings is between April 15th and July 15th.
Planting between July 15th and September 1st is possible for many, but not all plant selections, and much more care and watering is needed to ensure the new additions to the garden thrive!
The ideal window for autumn plantings falls between September 1st and November 15th. During this time cooler temperatures put less stress on new plants, while at the same time our days are still long enough to provide enough sunlight for plants to properly establish.
Evergreens and winter annuals can be planted anytime up until Christmas, after which the soil is typically too frozen.
What involvement does Parick Design, LLC have in the local community?
Parick Design, LLC welcomes any opportunities to work with the local community or local municipalities on community projects. Recently we completed a children’s garden for a homeless shelter. With the help of members of the community and the eagle scouts, an educational garden with raised herbs and vegetables, a playground, flagstones with letters and numbers and areas for interactive play were created. The garden changes seasonally and we work with the kids to grow and harvest herbs and vegetables.
Do you have experience working with an HOA?
Absolutely, many urban and suburban areas in the DC metropolitan area have strict mandates from HOA boards. For the work we did in City Center, we met with both the developer and the design team to define a plant palette that was in keeping with the development. Our work on the Wharf also required close coordination with building management. We have also had involvement with neighborhood HOAs in Montgomery county to help establish mandates to beautify the community.
Do you work with medicinal plants and herbs?
Absolutely, we find these to be especially effective in healing garden designs. Depending on the varieties that are planted, a garden can even be created that people can harvest for making tinctures and home remedies for health and wellness.
Large containers or smaller ones, which do you prefer?
For beginner gardeners larger containers are always better. Larger containers with larger soil volume means better plant performance because they are able to retain more moisture and plant’s roots have more insulation from late afternoon summer heat. Larger containers also equate to less maintenance over time and the ability to add a larger, more interesting and more diverse mix of plantings. They also open up the opportunity for plants that can last all year, rather than just seasonally.
What are some methods utilized to provide a garden that’s visually appealing in the winter months?
There are a few key design principles we follow. We provide an diverse mix of evergreens in different textures and colors, ornamental grasses and cabbages, mixed garden containers with evergreens, pansies, polished rocks and decorative branches are just a few of many methods.