Suzanne Day Audette Landscape Design

My Process for Creating Meaningful Landscape Designs

When I first meet with the clients is when I start the process of meaningful landscape design.  As I walk through the landscape, I listen to the client talk about their ideal landscape, their outdoor vision, the experiences they would like to have in their great outdoors, their practical needs, and I also take into account the site’s unique environmental surroundings. During the walkthrough, is when we begin to get an idea of what the “concept” will be behind the design.  The “concept” is the backbone, the design’s essence, or the most integral part of the project that keeps the design strong, cohesive, and unique to its site and experiencers.

 Once there is a concept for the space and I have a clear understanding of what the client’s wants, needs, and visions are, I then design the site and create schematic, to scale, drawings that take the customer’s intangible visions and make them visually tangible. When the schematic drawings are complete we meet again and present the design to the client and have discussions to fine-tune the design. After the design is finely tuned the exciting part happens -the design begins to be built and the client’s unique, exceptional outdoor experience becomes a reality!

Concept Examples:

 “The Elements”(see more…)


People experience this site get to enjoy the elements of earth, wind, fire, and water; especially within the oval sunken fire pit that is almost entirely surrounded by water.

 “Xeriscaped Mountain Connection”(see more…)


Goodbye lawn, welcome native and water wise plants!  This home has mountain views that look out at Mount Jefferson and Mount Hood and was calling for a connection to those two rock outcroppings.  If you look behind the railing, there are those two mountains right in their front yard!  Also, the homeowners did not want a lawn and wanted a low water use, xeriscape landscape.  To follow their vision and the vision of the mountain connection, we followed a plant palette similar to what you would find in an indigenous Oregon mountain landscape.

 “Tiered Timelessness” (see more…)

photo 2

This space evolves with the ages and elicits relaxation and play time.  The homeowners, a young family, needed a place for respite for the adults and a playground for the kids.  This design in the New Urbanist Community of Northwest Crossing is delineated into two levels, one for the adults to enjoy and one for children.  The upper patio has a fire pit for entertainment or reflection and the lower level has a natural looking  sandbox and small play house.  The main theory behind this design is that it is changes with the times.   When the kids are older and don’t want or need a play ground then  the lower level will change into what the family wants or needs. Maybe a hot tub?

“Homo Ludens or Man of Play”(oops, can’t see more, this is my only picture)


 A playground for the young and the old! This residential landscape has a custom outdoor kitchen, water feature, and hot tub for the older “young at heart” and has a sunken trampoline for the kids.  It’s time to play no matter the age!