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dc-in-ca.JPG (56074 bytes)My name is David Childers. This a photo of me in 1980 at Kenny Rogers' mansion in Beverly Hills, CA. I was designing his estate in Colbert, GA. and he was generous enough to send me to learn from his designers in CA. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I will be forever grateful to him for it. Allow me to take you on a virtual tour of Beaverdam Farms  I have enjoyed success in my career with his and other magnificent projects, but I respect that most of my clients have limited budgets. I invite you to let us help you build your dreams with a masterplan, regardless of the size of your project. The process is easy and incremental.   Design fees range from $300 based on the size and complexity of your project and travel distance from Athens, GA.  Call (706) 543-3395 or email for a consultation. See design process for details.

EDUCATION & BACKGROUND I am a retired landscape architect and owner of Signature Landscapes. I graduated from the University of Georgia  School of Environmental Design UGA SED In 1982, where I conducted independent studies in energy conscious design as related to architecture and site planning for residential subdivisions and home sites. I worked my way through school as the principal designer for a design/build landscaping nursery starting in the summer of 1975. I started my first landscaping business in 1973 to earn my way through Jr. College in Atlanta, Georgia.

EXPERIENCE I have designed projects in climates and locations from Vail Co (climate zone 2) to Taif, Saudi Arabia (climate zone 9 Arid), as well as all over the southeast region of the US (climate zones 6-10) temperate to sub-tropical. I have designed sub regional recreation communities, commercial properties, a passive solar condominium complex, residential subdivisions, horse farms, cattle farms, golf course estates, large estates to intimate gardens, and everything in between.  Projects that I have designed have been featured in over 20 publications. I am currently honored to be included in Who's Who in American Executives and Businesses.  I am a former chairman of Public Relations for the Athens West Rotary Club.

DESIGN PHILOSOPHY I enjoy turning your dreams into a workable masterplan that suits your budget. My designs respond to your needs. If it were not for the people part, it is just rocks, trees, and dirt. Most people these days want color, texture, seasonal interest, and low maintenance.  Protecting the environment is a concern for all of us. Environmentally sensible designs are low maintenance. This is due to the required understanding of how the forces of nature effect the design over time. Environmental design is one of the few 4 dimensional art forms. During the day, a shady morning spot can bake in the afternoon sun. During a season, plants and microclimates go through many cycles. Over many years, a landscape that is designed by a novice for short term impact becomes a maintenance problem and has to be redone. My designs are prepared with an understanding of these processes and the horticultural needs of the plants selected, so that your landscape develops into an enjoyable sensual experience instead of a fight with nature.  

To clip, or not to clip; that is the question.  Said by W. Terrell in Marietta, GA  "I like to trim some shrubs - if that what it takes to get changes in color.  I want the yard to POP - I want it to slow traffic in the neighborhood - I want people to want to have their picture made in my yard - I want to look forward to pulling in my own driveway.  I do not want to see my neighbors on either side.  I want a formal look or at least a look that goes with the house."

Response: I am very happy to design a spectacular landscape with you, and appreciate the opportunity!  The choice to clip shrubs is a matter of preference, and priority.  Traditional formal design tends toward symmetrically arranged clipped shrubs.   The most popular request I have heard over the past quarter century is low maintenance.  When I was in college, I was awarded the privilege of self-directed independent study.  I chose to research design for low maintenance and design for energy conservation.  I have used that knowledge as foundations of my design philosophy.  Landscape maintenance has changed during the last 20 years due to the abundance of ever increasingly efficient equipment and Latino labor. Assuming you can afford to hire a Latino crew to maintain hard edges, the question becomes:  Do you want to?  What is your tolerance for fuzzy edges?  Can you allow plants to look natural, or do they look better with straight sides and domed tops?   Must the edges between lawns and beds be rigidly maintained, or can the plants spread out to overlap?  I’m not advocating everyone live in a  “jungle”, nor am I advocating that everyone have golf course style maintenance.

Sustainable Design, advocates using plants that are native to the specific area.  Many aspects of sustainable design are similar to my long held low maintenance design philosophy, but I don’t limit myself to “weeds” because there are thousands of plants that provide foliage color, seasonal color, and interesting textures while requiring little or now maintenance.

21st CENTURY DESIGN, PRESENTATION, AND COMMUNICATION TOOLS You can see examples of near photo realistic 3d renderings and computer image processing on the computer images  page. I am set up for video conferencing and online collaboration.  See Design_Online 

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 david[at]signaturelandscapes(dot)com  or voicemail at:  706-543-3395

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