This post is sponsored by Tilly.
I don’t know about you, but for some reason I have always felt intimidated by landscape design. I never felt totally equipped to handle the design myself, but also felt paying a landscape designer would be well beyond my budget. Despite the fact that I’ve always loved gardening, tackling an entire design for a yard is really an entirely different ballgame. It’s like the difference between picking out some kitchen chairs versus designing an entire kitchen from an empty space.
My mother has an absolute obsession with gardening and I grew up surrounded by plants and flowers. Over the years, she’s introduced me to lots of esoteric plants and their needs. She’s acutely attuned to the need for pollinators, and the most eco-friendly ways to care for our gardens. Gardening is, truly, the one thing my mother and I have in common and we often bond over trips to the plant nursery or to the local botanical gardens. Yet, despite my keen interest and amateur knowledge of horticulture (combined with my love for interior design), I never felt confident tackling plans for my outdoor spaces.
Earlier this year, I was introduced to an online-based landscape design company, Tilly. I was immediately impressed by the breadth of their work and the notable accomplishments of their landscape designers. I loved their process, too. It was simple and didn’t require a big time commitment on my end. And I loved that working digitally offered me access to some of the best landscape designers in the country (Tilly really vets their designers).
On my end, all I had to do was send over some images of my front and back yards, a Pinterest board of outdoor spaces I find inspiring, and a survey of our property. Next, I was matched with my landscape designer. My designer (Brett Kessler) and I then had a very detailed call over Zoom to walk the property and go over everything from my landscape design style, to what on my property I would like to keep, and what I would like to replace.
Brett was surprised to find that my Pinterest board of landscape design inspiration was a bit different from my interior style. We chatted about that as I grasped for the right words to articulate what I like and dislike in my landscapes. To be honest, I don’t think I ever articulated it all that well, and my Pinterest board must have been confusing AF. I had pinned everything from images of ultra-modern Californian landscapes to super lush and formal English gardens.
She also seemed surprised because, as she noted, my interior style was really so defined. But as we chatted I realized something that I hadn’t before. My outdoor style is really very similar to my indoor style. I love color, but it’s important to me that the color is used very intentionally and methodically. And I DO love formal partitions just as much as I love a cool California hardscape. Which at first might seem disjointed. But then I thought more about that and realized that isn’t so different from the fact that I combine Victorian antiques AND mid-century modern in my interior designs. Really, what I am getting at here is my outdoor style is very eclectic, just like my interiors. And eclectic designs can be really difficult to put together because they necessarily involve bringing disparate styles together in a way that feels cohesive.
Despite the disjointed nature of my Pinterest board and the difficulty of creating such an eclectic design, Brett NAILED it. When I received my final design plan I was absolutely blown away by just how much she understood my nearly incomprehensible blabbering about loving pretty much every kind of plant and garden out there, and wanting elements from nearly all of them. She created a landscape design that screamed “ME” more than I ever could have. She included the bursts of defined color, as well as the formal partitions and boxwoods and the modern hardscape elements. It was whimsical, yet sophisticated. Colorful, yet collected.
I was given a chance to tell Brett what I wanted to change about the design, or what I didn’t like about it. But it really was absolutely perfect. Brett had clearly truly listened to me and my desires for our yard. I was not only given a list of all the elements, but also a 3-D rendering and video so I could really experience what the completed project would not only look like, but feel like. Those pieces were especially helpful for me because my brain really struggles to process 2-D plans. Especially with things like plantings, it can be very difficult to get a feel for a project with only 2-D renderings in hand. But now I can actually feel what it’s like to walk through the finished plan. Head over to my Instagram to check that out!
Not only was the plan absolutely perfect, Tilly spelled out how we could DIY certain elements AND gave us the names of reputable local landscapers. And is if that weren’t enough, they also gave us access to their wholesalers so we could purchase plants for our project in bulk at a low cost. I also loved how they gave me images of the plants, and even included details on how large the plants should be when we purchase them (which was based off of my total overall budget). I just loved the convenience of being able to not just get an incredible landscape design from Tilly, but to also be able to order plants through them at a wholesale price, too.
My only complaint is that I am now really way too excited to get started on this plan. Before being introduced to Tilly, the landscape design at the new house was going to be a project for down the road. But now that we were able to get affordable plans done that spelled out how to DIY what we want, as well as offered us access to wholesale prices, we’re going to be getting started on this project right away.
I think the pandemic gave us all a renewed interest and appreciation for our outdoor spaces, and we realized just how important they are to us. I know I’m excited to make ours just as beautiful as our interior, and we can’t wait to get started on this plan from Tilly.
Be sure to head on over and check out Tilly – and let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!