Getting to Know Your Landscape Designer: Andreas Lietz
Andreas started with Salisbury Landscaping as a foreman. He has since worked as an operations manager and a designer, and for the last 10 years, he’s also been overseeing the office and the work of the other designers.
What drew you to landscape design?
I did an apprenticeship in Germany back in 1992, and an integral part of that was on design and installation. Plus, I was always interested in creating something beautiful and working with people.
Tell me about your first design project.
That was many years ago! I think my first design project was a front yard renovation. It was at the beginning of the xeriscaping trend, and the client had asked me to create something without any grass in the front yard. At that time, that was not very often seen. They loved it and I was quite happy about how it turned out!
Tell me about your favourite design project that you’ve done to date.
I would say it’s probably the Hole residence. It was a very, very large project. The client was a businessman and she was an interior designer, so she had a really good understanding of design and design elements. It was a complete transformation from an overgrown yard, to a very modern, kid-friendly, and inviting yard.
What inspirations would you say influence your designs most?
I think what I’m looking at most is the client and something that fits their lifestyle. You have to adjust to what works for them.
Which projects would you say you are most passionate about?
I would still probably say it would be the Hole residence, just because there are so many different elements and aspects involved in it. Those transformations always turn out quite nice. But what really excites me is when I come back after a few years and see people using the yard. When they’re still happy about it or when they refer me, then I know I did something right.
If you were given full freedom, both financially and creatively, what would you most love to create in a design?
That a tough one—a yard is very, very complex. But I suppose I am probably drawn to modern and contemporary design. I focus on functionality and a lot of design elements so something like a terrace garden would be cool!
From start to finish, can you just go through the basics of your design process?
So, it starts with a client contacting us, and then we arrange a site meeting. We call it a site meeting because we’re actually going on site and seeing the property, making notes, and talking to the client. Then we go back to Salisbury, work on the design, and within 2-3 weeks we come up with a preliminary drawing. We continue to make changes to it, then finalize it, hopefully within a month/month and a half.
If they then decide to go ahead with the installation, I would then be the project manager, as well. I would set up the crew, stay in contact with the client, and make sure that everything is still okay. I check to make sure that I’ve read their vision correctly and I guide them through to the end. We finish up with a walkthrough and stay in contact if they want to—and for some clients that can be for years after.
What advice can you give to those considering their first landscape design project?
It’s really, really important to plan out what your yard will like in 10-15 years. Purchasing a home is probably the second most, if not the most expensive purchase that most people are making, so when you’re talking about its design, you want to think big. You want to think about how it will look in the future, regardless of what it looks like or what you can afford now. You can always work towards it. The planning stage should reflect on how you can use it now and also in the years to come.