• About the Company

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    How long have you been in business?

    We’ve been in Atlanta since 1988. Prior to that, we had a business in New Orleans, LA. If you want to know more details about our education, experience, etc. look at our Linked In profiles. The quick link to that is located under our photo in the left margin.
    What kind of warranty/guarantee is offered?
    On Plant material:
    A one-year warranty is offered provided that the plants are watered and cared for properly. We will give you instructions at our final walkthrough. You’ll also receive our 100 page “Gardening Guide” and our monthly newsletter that contains month-by-month advice. During the first year, you get free “tech support”. If there’s a problem with a plant, let us know. We’ll stop by as soon as we’re in the area to check out what’s happening. We’d rather save a plant, than lose a plant, so do keep us posted.
    We rarely need to replace plants, however, because we put so much effort into hand selecting the best plants. Our crews handle the plants gently and carefully nestle each one into properly prepared, raised planting beds or individually prepared areas. Because of the type of prep we do, we rarely lose a plant due to bad drainage or other problems caused by planting directly into Georgia red clay. In the sad occasion that there’s a bad plant or one that suffered undue stress during transport, it will normally die within 6 weeks. Most others that die after that are usually because of too much, or too little water or general neglect.
    Our contract states that the plant warranty is void if you don’t have a properly designed and functioning automatic irrigation system. If you happen to be a person who is a great gardener and diligent about hand watering, and simply cannot afford an automatic system, then we’ll still replace a ‘bad’ plant that dies. Trust that we can tell when a plant hasn’t been watered properly. Those clients who are planning to rely on hand watering should consider that during the hottest, driest part of summer, certain plants could die from inadequate water in just two days or over a weekend. This is of particular concern for clients who travel a lot or simply go on a summer vacation. We highly recommend an efficient and properly designed automatic irrigation system as a bad one can cause more harm than good.

    On Hardscape:
    The type of warranty for hardscape depends upon what is being built and will be addressed on a per-project basis. We use only the best craftsmen and oversee their work to ensure that the critical aspects, such as foundations, have the utmost integrity and are in full compliance with all applicable codes. All workmanship is warranted. The materials are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.
    If materials fail under provisions of the manufacturer’s warranty, then they usually supply new materials however, they don’t supply the labor to remove the defective materials and install the new ones. If you read the full exclusions on any warranty you’ll see that this applies. In such cases, HGD will give you a proposal to switch out the materials.

  • About our Initial Consultation

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    Can you come out after 4pm or on weekends?
    Yes, but those time slots book up way in advance and are charged at a higher rate. We encourage you to meet during normal working hours.
    Once you are an established client, we do our best to accommodate your schedule and make the process as convenient as possible.
    We do not work on Sundays.

    Can you do an Initial Consultation at 8am?
    This works well for many people as it gives an opportunity for all decision makers to be present, before anyone goes to their office. Whether we can accommodate you for this depends upon your location and where we’re working that week. For example, if our current job under construction is in Suwanee and you desire an initial consultation in Vinings at 8am, it’s most likely not going to be feasible.
    We don’t do 8am appointments on Mondays.
    Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are always best.
    Certain times of the year it’s just too dark at 8am to have a productive consultation.
    Please Contact Us for additional information and to set up an appointment.
    Can you come over today or tomorrow?
    Probably not, unless we just happen to be in your neighborhood consulting with another client that day. Appointments need to be scheduled in advance. How far in advance depends upon our current workload. In slow seasons, we can usually meet you within a week. During peak seasons of spring and fall, you can expect to wait longer.
    Please Contact Us for additional information and to set up an appointment.
    Who will come out for the Initial Consultation?
    One of the owners of the company will be happy to meet with you. The majority of the time, it will be Danna Cain, our landscape architect and garden designer. Conrad Cain will often handle projects that consist mainly of construction or drainage issues.
    Please Contact Us for additional information and to set up an appointment.
    Can you send someone over to give me some ideas?
    Yes. A "Garden Walk & Plant Consultation"  is a quick & simple approach to providing you with professional opinions and ideas. During this type of consultation, you will lead the Q&A. We will provide information and/or sketch on-the-spot as time permits. You must be present for the entire consultation. All time requested is charged for including any followup Q&A. The weather must be suitable. We will be in touch the day before to confirm. In some circumstances, the weather is just crazy, and this might lead to a last minute cancellation.
    Contact Us for additional information and to set up an appointment.
  • Overview

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    Our projects vary greatly in size and complexity. The simplest projects may involve only bed preparation and plantings. More extensive projects include grading, drainage, water conservation and hardscaping such as a prettier and more functional driveway, walk, walls, patio and/or deck that create an outdoor living area.

    More complex projects often address the complete integration of the home and garden such as the inclusion of a room addition, sunroom, swimming pool, or other structure. No matter the price range, landscaping is a significant investment for any homeowner so we want to be sure that you’re happy with the end result. This is why we start with in-depth communication, and then offer multiple options and flexibility. We’ve listened to our clients over the years and have developed the following process based upon their suggestions.
  • About Design Plans

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    Do you have a flat rate for a doing a design plan?
    No, we do not have a flat rate per design or per acre. Our work is far more comprehensive than that of designers who charge that way. The fee for your design will be based upon the scope and complexity of your specific project. We urge you to view samples of our plans to see how in-depth they are. Don’t be fooled by other’s plans that contain only basic information and are colored to “wow” you.

    Do you charge by the hour?
    The fee that we quote to you will be based upon our current hourly fee. We’ve been doing this for so many years, and know how long it will take to get plans done. We use that knowledge to calculate a price for you. We think it’s better to just give you a contract price rather than to quote an hourly rate, leaving you to wonder how many hours it will take to complete the work. This way you know exactly what your commitment is. Besides, we know that an hourly rate can be very misleading. Someone with as much experience as our designer can get a lot more done in an hour then someone with less experience, charging a lower hourly rate.

    Can you provide me with a design plan that works within my budget?
    Yes, We’re very conscious of the need to work within a client’s budget. Our design process was setup to always keep the budget in mind. We’ll give you ideas of different directions and budget ranges. Before the design begins, we’ll come to a decision, together, on a direction that makes sense.
    Example #1. So many people want to terrace their back yard but this usually involves a lot of very costly walls. If your budget can’t afford that, we will strive to find a way to give you the use areas you need without so many walls.
    Example #2. A patio doesn’t need to be made from expensive bluestone. We’ve created many that are gravel surrounded with a paver border. It still functions as a patio, pretty destination and stable place for table and chairs but the price is considerably lower. The size, shape and location of the seating area doesn’t change on the plan. The materials alter to suit the budget.

    Must I design the plants for the entire yard at one time?
    No. We can focus on one area or one "garden room" at a time. Some people on a very limited budget choose to proceed that way so that more of their currently available funds go toward something planted rather than design fees.
    Keep in mind, however, that when designed in pieces, the total design fee will end up being higher because there will be far more trips and meetings involved. If you can afford to do so, we recommend the cost-efficient approach of designing the entire yard at the same time, or at most, separating the front and rear yard. From a designer's perspective this is also preferred, since it's easier to find the best location for desired plants.

    What if I don’t like what you design?
    We’ve never had to go back to the drawing board and start over. It simply doesn’t happen because our design process doesn’t allow it to happen. Major changes aren’t needed because we use a step-by-step design process. We start very conceptually and then layer in more and more information and details as you’ve approved the design. A typical amount of time for tweaking the design is built into the contract.
    If somehow you really hate what we’ve designed together, we’ll take the plans back and refund your money. Though this has never happened since we developed our unique design process.
    If you plan to bid out the installation of the plans, there will be charges for any further revisions to plans.
    If the project is moving towards us doing the construction, we’re far more willing to work with you to make adjustments as needed.

    Am I obligated to use you to build the project?
    No. We do build majority of what we design, though you’re not, in any way, obligated to us for that. The design plans are yours to do with as you please. We do hope that after we’ve worked together thru the development of these plans that you feel so comfortable with us that you won’t want to go elsewhere for the construction. Besides, we’ll know your project better than anyone at that point, which means the construction of the project, will flow more easily.

    What percentage of your plans do you typically build?
    We build about 75% of the plans we’ve created. 20% never get built for reasons linked to that family’s situation such as divorce, surprise pregnancy or their job relocates them to a new city. 5% decide to have someone else build their project, usually due to a lower bid. Most of those end up coming back to us and say they wish they had had us build it after all. See some of these comments on our Kudzu.com reviews.

    Please Contact Us for additional information and to set up an appointment.
  • About Installation, Construction and Maintenance

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    Can I install my project in phases?
    • Yes, most people do. We'll help you choose the phases based upon your budget, priorities, time of year, and site access. Often, site access will determine what must be completed first. We do have a minimum fee per phase.

    Can I start building my project with only the “Conceptual Master Plan“?
    Yes, most people do. We'll help you choose the phases based upon your budget, priorities, time of year, and site access. Often, site access will determine what must be completed first. We do have a minimum fee per phase.

    Do you provide written estimates and contracts?
    • Yes, however only after the design is complete and all “take-offs”, quantities & materials have been determined. When requested in advance, ballpark estimates may be provided as part of our services. Clients often choose this when the project involves multiple design options.
    • We provide written proposals with a bottom-line price that lists all work to be done. We will provide a price for the "core project" along with options that you can pick and choose for upgrades. The proposal and contract will be cross-referenced to the plan to indicate the areas that we are working on. This way you know exactly what to expect. We aim to communicate clearly.

    Do you do maintenance?
    • We don’t mow lawns.
    • We do not offer a weekly or monthly maintenance contract.
    • We are available to assist in other ways by teaching you what to do or overseeing the work of others. Certain types of pruning tasks can be addressed as a small project or as a landscape overhaul.

    Please Contact Us for additional information and to set up an appointment.
  • About Our Process

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    Where do we start? • Go to the “Contact Us” page.
    Please complete & return the form so that we can determine if we seem to be a good match. This will also give us your address, idea of what time you’re available to meet, as well as an overview of your goals and budget.

    You can also request this form by sending us an email or leaving a message at 770-938-6688. One of us will call you back to discuss your project further and schedule a consultation. You’ll then be sent information to help you to prepare for our first meeting.

    What types of consultations do you offer? Most projects begin with an "Initial Consultation" which is a prelude to developing scaled, drafted plans for your project. 

    For very simple projects that do not require drafted plans or for do-it-yourselfers seeking advice, we offer a "Garden Walk and Plant Consultation".

    Please Contact Us for additional information and to set up an appointment.
  • About Payment

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    What is your typical payment schedule?
    Design fees are typically 50% down and 50% on completion.
    Small installation/construction contracts follow that same payment schedule.
    Larger projects will have a smaller down payment, progress payments then a payment on completion. This will be determined based upon construction flow and length of time it will take to complete the project.
    Can I pay with a credit card?
    Yes. We accept Master Card and Visa.
  • About Being Green, Eco Friendly, Organic, Sustainable, Water Wise

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    Does your company offer eco friendly choices?
    Yes, we have been “green” pioneers and advocates for the benefits of being water-wise, sustainable and organic long before it became trendy. We don’t just say that we are as many others do. We truly embrace that lifestyle.
    Being green is more than just installing a few rain barrels, using compost or buying materials from sustainable resources. It’s an integrated system. With our palette of over 100 eco-friendly proven solutions, we design, reclaim and recycle landscapes and hardscapes into healthy environments for family, pets and wildlife. We’ll provide you with options so that you can choose how “green” you want to be and we can educate you on how to maintain your landscape without the use of chemicals.

    Do you use native plants and low maintenance plants?
    Yes. For native plant enthusiasts, we will design with all native plants. For all other clients, we integrate plants that are proven to be adaptable, drought tolerant and low maintenance for our area. We avoid any plants that are conducive to certain harmful insects and diseases. For example, we won’t use euonymus, Otto Luyken laurels or other similarly problematic plants that require chemical life support.

    Do you do xeriscaping?
    Yes. See more info immediately below.

    How do you make your landscapes water efficient?
    Some of the many things we incorporate are listed below.
    • Plan for small or no lawns with efficient irrigation and good soil:

    When a client must have a lawn such as for children or pets, we highly recommend that the lawn have a good soil base so it can set deep roots, thus be the most drought tolerant it can be. We also separate all lawn areas from bed areas when determining irrigation zones. This gives the ability to apply only the water that’s needed to each area.
    • Group plants by their watering needs:
    This is the basis of xeriscaping. It provides the ability to set watering time shorter for the most tolerant plants or for plants in the shade. This also allows irrigation in certain areas to be turned OFF once the plants are established.
    • Pre plan for efficient irrigation:
    We utilize drip irrigation and high efficiency micro spray heads that precisely fit the planting layout and the specific needs of the plants.
    • Integrate the irrigation with a rain collection system, weather monitoring station and other state-of-the-art systems for highest efficiency water use.
    • Prep the planting areas with organic soil and amendments:
    This allows the plants to set deeper roots which will make them more drought tolerant.
    • Choose drought tolerant plants and provide exceptional drainage for them so they don’t drown when we have excessive rain.

    Please Contact Us for additional information and to set up an appointment.