When you are finally at the point of changing, upgrading or re-engineering your landscape, the very first thing that occurs is the process of designing the new look of your environment. The design process ~ beginning with your concept ~ involves a series of activities where your preliminary ideas are conceived, shaped and developed. We help in this process by bringing together innovation, aesthetics, and functionality to plan and create your new landscape in order to meet the requirements of your children, pet, family and your very own.
Our services include:
- Full Package ranges from $150 - $600. The client and Nique'Scapes have their initial interview where your concept, however detailed, is reviewed and your requirements are further explored. During our preliminary walk-through we discuss functions (patio, shade, barbeque, fire pit, water feature, pool, secret garden, playground, lawn, trees, hummingbirds, butterflies, etc) and aesthetics (colors, forms, textures). A comprehensive landscape design is the outcome of our discussions and identifies the location of all softscape, hardscape, irrigation, terraforming, etc...
- Design Only ranges from $150 - $600. The same level of design is provided for this fee allowing you or some one else to implement it.
- Design Evaluation ranges from $60 - $175. Our designer schedules a site visit to review and discuss your concept/design. This effort entails reviewing your selection of softscape for maximum coverage (size, season and being a complement to other plants), choice of hardscape (aggregates, placement of moss or waterfall rocks, etc), location of other elements (walls, shade structure, fire pit, pool, pond, waterfall, etc..). A written summary of the review/discussion will then be mailed to you (no design effort is included).
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We pride ourselves in our work and we also pride ourselves in our customer support. We know that not everyone requires a full landscaping effort. Some of us want to get on our knees and get our hands dirty, and some of us just don't. However you get there, you know there is a celebratory party waiting for you after the finish line. Following is the range of landscaping solutions we offer to help you get there:
Delivery. We create a timeline for your project and purchase and deliver all materials needed based on your schedule and speed of work.
Skeleton. We do the harder/heavier work requiring more expensive tools/equipment or more personnel, such as build walls or shade structures, plant B&B trees and the heavier shrubs or plants, set up the skeleton for the irrigation system be it drip or lawn. When all the set up is complete you can then do the lighter work such as planting the smaller plants, ground cover and bulbs, drip irrigate each plant and place final smaller items.
Full Package. We design your project from its inception, removing old/unwanted material from the area, terraforming, bringing in all materials, laying the weed barrier, planting all softscape, setting up all irrigation, spreading all aggregate/mulch, placing items of interest. Et Voilà!
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All landscapes require maintenance, whether weekly, monthly or even just once a year. If nothing else, the maintenance effort requires that the irrigation system (be it drip or lawn) functions correctly. We recommend that you have a look-see every week ~ make sure that all your plants are 'green' and vibrant in their color. We provide various levels of maintenance effort to your landscape. Cost depends on size and effort.
- Real Estate. As you prepare the inside of your home for sale or rent, we take care of your curb appeal ~ so important when connecting with prospective buyers/renters ~ by buffing up your landscape for its best presentation.
- Spring Opening. Just as Nature begins its new season of growth we help with a post-winter cleanup. This effort entails removing all debris from your property, performing necessary pruning and shaping, amending and tilling all planting beds as necessary, replacing dead plants, areating and/or thatching your lawn and setting up for the new irrigation season.
- Landscape. On a monthly basis, we review the proper functioning of the drip irrigation system and set the timer according to the season. We deadhead perennials and prune shrubs and trees and maintain shapes. We use the blower and clean the property of all debris.
- Lawn. We mow and edge your lawn, review the spray pattern from all nozzles and set the timer according to the season. We use the blower and clean the property of all debris.
- Fall closing. As Nature begins its slow down we cleanup all summer remnants. We clear your property of all debris. Do necessary pruning and shaping, till all beds and amend as necessary, plant fall bulbs, replace dead plants, plant new shrubs and trees, set up for the winter irrigation season.
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This effort looks at your landscape with an eye at integrating a new element, such as a 'retreat space' or a new swale into your current design. A bigger effort is required when the landscape has become so tattered in its look due to longevity or lack of attention and upkeep that even the plants are clamoring for a day at the spa. When your garden calls for a new feature or has lost its air, sun, water and freshness and has become old and tired, it is time not to destroy it all and start from scratch, but rather to look at what is there and will be kept as the skeleton for the new, re-engineered garden. This design effort includes:
- Reviewing which plants require shaping or removal,
- Re-designing which areas need the additional or removal of something (be it plant, rock, sculpture, water feature, etc.),
- Terraforming changes,
- Evaluating aggregate/mulch needs and whether to replenish or altogether replace
- Identifying which homescapes needs fixing, upgrading or rebuilding.
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It is our priority when designing/implementing a landscape to take into account this basic watering paradigm: each plant needs its own amount of water to survive and flourish. The irrigation system that we design and implement fulfills that requirement and you are responsible for maintaining the laid-out schedule throughout the year and noticing trouble areas. If there are any problems, we are a phone call away. All the irrigation work we perform is supervised by our in-house licensed irrigation specialist (contractor's license MS 06 # 88921):
- Design/Install drip and lawn irrigation systems
- Repair old systems whether drip or lawn, replacing old or leaky valves, sprinkler heads and stems
- Maintain our own installations, client installations or previous installations
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This effort involves shaping the grade of your property for either aesthetical (improve the form of the design) or water flow reasons (shape the flow or retention of water on your property). Berms and swales can re-create the sense of nature by removing the flatness inherent in many of our yards. The water flow/retention system can be created to protect the foundation of your building, the safety of your driveway or paths or to make sure that a specific tree or area can use that intended water while at the same helping to replenish our aquifer.
We might add or remove:
- Bumps. We move earth from one area of your property to another, or truck in dirt, to create an area of elevation, also know as a berm.
- Holes. The earth dug and removed from one area might feed a berm, or be trucked out, to create an area of depression, also know as a swale.
- Slopes. For drainage reasons we might want to increase the steepness of the slope away from your foundation or other structure.
- Flatness. Too many highs and lows can obscure a design and not provide a resting site for the eyes. For even watering, it is better to have a flat rim around a plant rather than a slanted one.
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We create lawn areas (either shade or sun) for your children or pets or just to cool down the temperature enough for a pleasurable location to sit or nap. We build your lawn area only after properly preparing the surface and then using:
- Seed. We choose the right seed combination for your location, or
- Sod. We lay down strips of sod.
- Patch. We repair areas that have gone bald due to pests, poor watering or old age.
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We provide services to help a tree or shrub look its best and live a happy and long life while taking into account windows, walls, rooftops, pedestrian areas or driveways.
- Pruning for shape and safety
- Pruning of fruit trees for better fruit production and easier reach
- Removal of dead or nuisance limbs
- Removal of the tree or shrub with either killing, or complete removal, of the root ball
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Whether part of our comprehensive landscape design or as a specific addition to your existing landscape, we build/install extension to your home space, areas where children, family and friends can gather or play:
- Patios with aggregate, flagstone, brick or concrete. Our edges are usually either steel edging or brick.
- Barbeque areas are important for those who like to entertain with food while enjoying their outdoor.
- Fire pits can be as simple as a hole in the ground, or as elaborate as a raised gas fire pit surrounded by a banco. We love to congregate around a flame, toasting marshmallows or sharing a story and a drink. Never forget that a fire must be treated with respect and caution especially in our drought-stricken area.
- Fire places. A nice kiva with its adjoining banco is a wonderful place to sit and relax during most New Mexico evenings.
- Playgrounds. Kids love to hang from here and jump from there and sometimes it is easier for the parent to know where and with whom your child is playing with. Once bought, these can be installed on any surface you want, preferably playground bark or sand.
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We include in this category those items that have a vertical presence in your landscape and have a range of functions such as:
- Separating one area of the yard from another to delineate functionality or to create a smaller enclave for a quiet respite from our sometimes hectic world.
- Supporting plants to grow in the manner they are expected to (i.e. vertically on a trellis)
- Shading, whether filtered through a shade sail, partial through the latilla roof of a ramada or complete shade under a portal.
We design, build and install wood and metal gates. We build block walls, stuccoed or painted, tall or short, straight or preferably curvy, for security, privacy or as an item to catch the eye. We build fences, latilla, picket or metal, which occasionally are a must to save the integrity of a tree's root system. To extend the use of your home space, it might come in handy to either create a or extend your porch. For protection from the elements, either in part or fully, we can build a ramada or set up shade sails.
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We consider everything that is solid and at ground level a hardscape. In this category we include:
- Driveways which may be built from scratch or just need landscaping surrounding it
- Paths whether very delimited or free flowing, curvy or straight
- Demarcations, using steel edging, bricks, cedar or railroad ties, are a good way to keep items and functions clearly and cleanly separated
- Dry river beds can be made of one aggregate form, multiple aggregates or different size combination
- Rocks (waterfall, moss or specimen) are selected to meet their purpose, whether it is providing a seating area, visual pleasure, a unique or striking texture, or a strong element holding a dry river bed, tall shrub or grass, or tree
- Benches, whether bought or built, whether of stone, metal or wood
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A well designed lightscape can:
- transform a dark and dull landscape into a studied set of highlights, where particular softscape items become alive at night not only to our sight but also to our flying night-dwellers, or a structural item exists both during night and day.
- enhance safety and security by bringing light into a dark spot before entering the home, or
- highlight to your guests the path to the front door.
Budget and other considerations may dictate the choice of implementing a light system based on:
- solar: lower spray of light although softer light
- low voltage: for a short run along a path, around a pond is an easier application
- high voltage: allows more versatility as there is no limit on length of bulb power
This is also the time to consider setting up the skeleton for the lighting system on your new wall or shade structure, as well as perhaps a ceiling fan, sound system or electrical outlets for your waterscape or barbeque area.
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Waterscapes are integrated into a design for a number of reasons:
- the element itself is a prized design statement
- the relaxing and playful sound of splashing or running water
- the knowledge that this yard provides the elixir of life to any number of other lifeforms such as toads, birds, butterflies, bees and more
- the pleasure of cooling ourselves of as well as our yard's friends
Elements that we include in this category are:
- Fountains can be purchased, delivered and installed. We can discuss various options to suit the budget.
- Ponds, pre-formed or of our own design, with or without fish, with or without plants
- Waterfalls provide the soothing sound of flowing/splashing water just as a fountain can but its form is quite different and might be a better suit.
- Mister system installed under your shade structure for additional comfort during our hot summer days.
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