508.841.5268 donna.rudek@gmail.com

Landscape Design Services by Gardens by Design

Full-Service Design and Build Services located in Shrewsbury MA


The first step to a well designed landscape project is to meet our designer, Donna Rudek, for a consultation to discuss your goals and objectives for your outdoor space. During this meeting, you will walk the property with Donna and evaluate existing plants, topography, privacy concerns, lifestyle issues, and any major projects that you may be considering, such as a swimming pool. You will discuss the type of garden and landscape designs you like and don’t like. Based on the scope and size of your landscape project, Donna will determine if a photo image design will be created to help you visualize your design.

We will create a proposal for design services from the information gathered at this consultation meeting.
We charge an hourly fee for our consultation meeting, which will be deducted from our design fee should you choose to continue the design-build process.

Site Analysis

The next step to our design process is to conduct a site analysis of your property. The site analysis identifies problems such as noise, climate control, erosion, and lack of privacy. It takes into account the existing site conditions in proposing solutions to the identified problems.

The designer will request a plot plan or any other architectural or engineered drawings that you may have. Depending on the scope of the project you may need to obtain a survey or need an engineered topographic plan for large changes in topography.

As part of the site analysis, the designer will measure to locate existing beds, trees, shrubs and hardscapes on the property and perform soil testing.

Functional Layout

The functional layout brings together information from the consultation meeting about the desired use and look of the property and site specific issues and challenges discovered during the site analysis. The functional uses drawing will suggest patterns of circulation throughout the property and potential uses of the outdoor spaces. Once there is agreement on the functional layout a master plan is prepared.

Master Plan

The master plan refines the functional layout further and identifies masonry and plant layout for the design. A typical master plan shows the final shape and size of each outdoor area, specific circulation routes and plant types. Once there is agreement on the master plan a design specification is prepared.

The design specification document identifies each plant, the size of the plant, the location of the plant, specifies each hardscape element and the location of each hardscape element.  The design specification serves as the working document for installation of the design.


The final design can be fully implemented at once or in phases depending on time and budget. Once the scope of the work is determined, we will submit an installation estimate. At project completion, you will receive a disk containing photos and care instruction for each plant in your landscape.

Some clients wish to perform a portion of the work themselves and Garden by Design is happy to work with you in this capacity. On projects where the client is performing a portion of the work, we bill on an hourly basis, rather than by the job, because we will not be able to take full advantage of all of our professional efficiencies.

If you decide not to have Garden by Design perform the build portion of your project, we do strongly recommend that, at a minimum, Garden by Design be retained as a consultant to ensure that the work meets the design specifications.