Tag Archives: landscape design

Unique Landscape Design Challenge Results in a Beautiful Outdoor Space

31 Jul

By Jonah Bishop – Landscape Designer at Dennis’ 7 Dees

When I first arrived on this property, I was immediately struck by its unique design challenges. First, the primary view of this yard was from the upper story deck, so I knew it needed to have some elements that would create lots of visual interest from above. Second, I had a homeowner who did not currently spend much time outside in the yard, but wanted to. I knew I was going to have to create some functional space to draw them outdoors. What made this second challenge unique was that almost the entire backyard was sloped away from the house. Now how to tie the two challenges together and come up with a beautiful cohesive design?  I was going to have to get creative!

First, the yard needed some level spaces in which to create usable space. To do this, we needed terraces. However, with this much space the linear footage was going to get boring really fast.  Taking into consideration that we needed an interesting view from above as well, I needed to take a look at the walls and start making them interesting! I got rid of all the straight lines and merged curves and corners to break up long runs of stone. Adding in some planting spaces at half height between the main levels, I was able to use the construction of these to further break up the long runs of stone with different shapes and plants. We now had our level spaces!


Now that we had our level spaces, we needed to make them useable. First we needed steps so that it could be accessible. With the idea already in place of the curving walls, I simply tied in the stairs to flow with the curves of the walls. Now we had access, but to where? We needed a space to draw the homeowner to.

We needed a reason to be outdoors in the new landscape. We needed a functional, livable space. A fireplace was a great element to draw people outdoors, but we needed somewhere to put it. With the way the idea for the walls was flowing, it provided the perfect opportunity to add patio space.

With the terraces, steps, and patios in place all that was left was the plants! Being able to bring in some fun flowering plants was truly the ‘icing’ on the cake for this yard! Now we had a yard that was visually interesting from all perspectives, and functional! Best of all, we created a landscape that the homeowner WANTED to be outdoors in and use!


Ask About Planscaper – Free Landscape Design Program

12 Jul

By Austin Kelly – Planscaper at Dennis’ 7 Dees

Do you have a problem area that you just don’t know what to do with?

A homeowner came into our Lake Oswego location with a “problem area” and needed some advice.  “…this area is shady and damp…it is right outside my dining room window so I want it to be beautiful…I just don’t know what I can plant that will grow…”  Sound familiar?


The Planscaper program here at Dennis’ 7 Dees is geared towards solving the little problems that your property throws at you without breaking the bank!  Let us give you a professional landscape design to solve your problem with no expense other than the plants themselves.  It is really that easy.


Just ask about Planscaper at any of our store locations or go online to view the Planscaper kit.

See you soon!

Landscaping for the Do-It-Yourselfers

4 Jun

Enjoy getting your hands dirty? Love to see the results of all the hard work you’ve put into your yard? But need some support designing your next project and picking out the perfect plants? We can help!

With Planscaper® from Dennis’ 7 Dees, we can take some of the work out of your planning process. You can start your project with a plan from our professional landscape designers. And we’ll apply the design fee towards your purchase of plants for the project.

Just download our easy-to-use Planscaper® kit to help you gather information about your space. Download and fill out the questionnaire. Take measurements and photos. Then bring it to us. We’ll create a smart, professional plan that you can use as a guide along the way.

So go ahead. Get dirty. But first, start with a plan from Planscaper®.

Planscaper® Stories

  • These folks wanted a garden that reflected their passion for design, was easy to care for and provided a place to relax with friends. They worked with their Planscaper designer to create an artistic plan that provided space for lounging and a fire pit, as well as practical elements such as compost, storage, and vegetable gardening. Many of the plant choices are perennial edibles and the geometric raised beds provide visual interest as well as fresh produce.

  • This former side yard was bare and unappealing. When they started the Planscaper process, they had just a few trees and shrubs and not much privacy on their corner lot. Today they have a courtyard garden that keeps their twin daughters nearby, while providing space for adults to converse. The column rock water feature delights both – and is a good choice for small children.

“The plants matured faster than I expected. When we planted, everything looked small and so far apart, but after two seasons things are filling in really well. The rock rose that we purchased in 1 gallon pots are now 6 feet wide!

We enjoyed the process. It was hard work, but well worth it. It’s satisfying to complete projects you didn’t know you could do, like installing a sprinkler system and putting in a water feature. Having a plan to follow was so helpful.

“My wife and I didn’t know plants very well, so it was great to have our designer to guide us through the selection process. Overall, it was easy, it looks great and we’ve gotten lots of compliments from neighbors.”

  • This story starts with a former swimming pool that was transformed into a low-maintenance garden bed with a cascading water feature. Layers of plantings gave the terrace a more intimate feel but retained views into the adjacent meadow. As the plantings mature, the space will become more forest-like, with inviting paths leading through it. Pops of color, like the brilliant red blossoms of Crocosmia, add interest through the seasons.

How much does Planscaper® cost?

The price depends on the size of the area you want designed – usually from $500 for a front yard design to $1500 for a full yard plan. Then, you receive a Planscaper® gift card for the whole amount that can be used in the garden center to purchase plants and other materials for your project.

So there’s really no fee for design and consulting?

Since 100% of the fee goes toward your plant and materials purchase, the advice, design and planning are free.

And there’s a discount as well?

You’ll receive a 10% discount good for one year. So if you buy a $500 Planscaper® – you’ll really have $550 to spend.

What if I have just a small area I need designed, or only have a balcony or terrace at my condo?

We can help you with any size space. We often design container plantings and self-contained water features. If there is just a portion of your yard that needs help, our program is flexible.

What if I need help picking out my plants once I have my plan and list?

Just stop in. We’ll help you find the right sizes and varieties. One of the benefits of Planscaper® is having friendly garden center team member ready to give you advice as you do your project, and a designer that is familiar with your yard. We’re here to help as your garden grows.

Do you deliver?

Yes, we do! Call or stop by our garden centers for details. We also offer tree planting services for those larger items.

When can we start?

Call or stop in to make an appointment with a Planscaper® designer. We’re excited to help get your project started!

Value of a Landscape Design

31 May

By Spencer Anderson – Landscape Designer at Dennis’ 7 Dees

Why should you have a professional design your landscape?  I think a better question would be why not?  Would you have a contractor build you a new house or remodel your existing home without first working with them on creating a design and making a plan?  Of course not!  There is too much risk and uncertainty of the end result!  You may end up with a Colonial style of home when what you really wanted was a Victorian style or you may find yourself settling for a two car garage when you wish you had room for three cars.  If there is no vision or design in the beginning then unnecessary stress will likely occur sometime during the project and expectations will be left unmet once the project is finished.  Keep reading to find out how working with a professional landscape designer on creating and implementing a design for your landscaping project will greatly reduce risk and eliminate stress and uncertainty from the landscaping process.

Perhaps the most important aspect of working with anyone on any project is to make sure that communication is superb to where you are both on the same page from the time that you first say, “Hello nice to meet you!” to the final project walk-through where you say, “It was a pleasure doing business with you…and I look forward to working with you on future projects!”  Good communication on one successful project will enviably lead to more successful projects together in the future.  A design is an essential tool in building that communication and aligning your thoughts and ideas with those of your landscaper.  Sometimes what sounds like a good idea for your landscape doesn’t always work out with your space.  Maybe the area is too small to comfortably fit the patio, fire pit, gazebo and water feature or perhaps there is not enough sunlight to have a successful back lawn or maybe two steps will be required to transition from the house to the patio instead of the anticipated one.  These initial ideas that may or may not work for your landscape are best tested out first in a preliminary design where the cost of a mistake is the rub of an eraser or a new sheet of paper before the construction begins compared to a patio tear out or lawn replacement after the project is completed.

Project Plan View

Some are not interested in a design because they don’t want to pay for it or think it should be free along with the bid so they opt out of the design or they choose another company who will give them a so called ‘free’ design.  While this may sound like a money saver in the beginning it could end up costing a whole lot more if the install doesn’t run smoothly and work needs to be redone or a last minute design needs to be pieced together on site.  A design will help to determine the budget and allow the contractor to stay within that budget throughout the installation process.  This will bring you peace of mind that you are getting the landscape that you want and staying within your budget.

For those who have a hard time visualizing how their landscape will look even after a design there is good news…the design can be used to create sectional views, perspective drawings or even virtual walk-throughs.  These design services allow you to take your new landscape for a test drive before you make the investment.

Perspective Drawing

Be assured that a landscape design from Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping has been accurately measured and drawn precisely to scale to represent your property and new landscape plans.  This precision in design allows me to plan your space based on your wants and needs…and use my creative license when needed.  I usually come across two types of clients…those who have a general idea of what they want for their landscape, but aren’t quite sure how it will work with their space and those who aren’t quite sure what they want and are looking for good ideas and practical solutions.  A design will service both types of clients very well and help get them both to the gratifying results that they are looking for.  So how do we provide the gratifying results that our clients are looking for by simply creating an accurate design?  The answer is simple…we install the landscape designs that we create!  This allows us to take responsibility for our design and assures that it is implemented with accuracy and precision.  No one is going to know the design better than the designer, so it makes sense to us to have the designer as your project manager.

%d bloggers like this: