Landscaping & Design/Expert Profile

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Design of landscape structures and design of planting arrangements in the landscape. I usually do not answer questions of a horticultural nature or about growing plants or gardening unless they are related to design. I will answer these questions at my discretion. I will answer maintenance questions at my discretion,usually when they are related to design. I am a landscape designer. I am not a contractor or a gardener. Although I will describe how something is built I do not provide detailed installation or construction instructions. Here are example categories of problems I can help you with: Design of residential walks,low walls,low retaining walls,fences,drainage systems,arbors,plant selection,xeriscapes (low water use landscapes),rain garden design,rain water harvesting,permeable paving,sustainable drainage. No advise on an architectural or engineering level. I DO NOT PERFORM ACTUAL DESIGN WORK THROUGH THIS SITE. I only provide suggestions and advice. For more comprehensive help check out my website at:

Experience in the area

Landscape concept plan for a 30,000 square feet housing site. Involved site recon by pace measurements and photographs and a site analysis and a site analysis report and recommendations and a preliminary cost estimate. Design elements included canopy trees,shrub cover,accent flowers,trash receptacles,benches and planters. Landscape concept plan for a 7,000 square feet site for a community center. Involved site recon by tape measurements and photographs,a site analysis and the creation of 3 conceptual designs for the site. Work was done through a local professional design center. Design elements included tree garden,playground,sitting area,lawn,cooking area,lighting and concrete and brick paving. Landscape concept plan for a 3,000 square feet housing site. Involved site recon by tape measurements and photographs and a site analysis. Concluded in 3 concept designs for the site,shown at a formal presentation,a site analysis and recommendations. Work was done through a community volunteer program. Design elements included decks,a playground and fencing. Briefly as draftsman for landscape designer/gardener. Conceptual landscape design for residence. Involved site recon by tape and pace measurements and site analysis. Design included covered patio area,ground cover and flower beds. Two years experience as draftsman for transportation department in engineering firm and for engineering consultants to phone company. Duties consisted of plotting topography. Survey crew member. General assistant to surveyor. Work was done for U.S. Army and County Highway Department. No instrument work. Duties included tape measurement,holding graduated survey rod and plumb bob for sighting and clearing brush. Marketed Landscape Design Services. Brochure writing,promotional material and marketing graphics.


Course in Computer Aided Drafting. 700 hours in AutoCad 2000. 700 hours to date on AutoCad Light 2000. Certificate in Manual Drafting. 1200 hours drafting time. Course in Civil Engineering Technology. (One Semester)

Awards and Honors

From Civil Engineer: I am very impressed with your work and with the obvious thought you have put into the marketing of your venture. It was especially good to see a print of that job we discussed on the phone. I wish you much luck with the venture as I do with your plans for school. Im darn proud of you buddy. And by the way,when I get my license,maybe you will consider me for a consulting job down the road. I hope to get together with Rick sometime soon and I would really like to show him your stuff if its ok with you. From all these questions you ask I get the feeling that you are genuinely interested and have put alot of thought into the idea and process of landscape architecture and if you could possibly afford the cost I would urge you to take some classes in the areas you are most interested in. The subject is not so simple as it appears,mixing science and engineering with art and a certain amount of religion to create a comfortable and pleasing balance between man and nature. A thoughtful soul like yours can do this but it can be a lifes work getting it right.

What do you like about this subject?

I take a balanced and practical approach to landscape design. I try to design for simplicity,ruggedness and versatility,low cost and ease of maintenance and for sustainability. Sustainability is not a political statement here. I use sustainable design ideas to give greater value to my clients.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

While my orientation toward this field is mainly of a technical nature,I also realize the importance of art in the landscape. My philosophy of art is largely of a utilitarian nature. I steer more toward the homespun,rustic and practical art and not so much toward high,formal art.

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

Landscape design is a synopsis of elements from civil engineering,horticulture and architecture and I try to take this balanced approach. I got into landscape design through my training as a draftsman and by working in the field for a surveyor and through a love of the outdoors and gardening.

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Terry05/22/16101010Thank you. Covered my question good. I .....
Rod04/13/16101010thanks for the quick reply, it solved .....
A.02/21/16101010Thank you for your suggestions!

Recent Answers from Mark

2016-05-19 No gutters:

Hello,    Here is a list of options:    Regular artificial turf installed over a gravel subbase to aid drainage and increase stability and with holes punched in the material for drainage.    Permeable

2016-05-15 No gutters:

Hello,    Depending on the size of the area involved, you might want to consider just laying down a solid paved surface such as concrete or asphalt or a surface of mortared stone or gravel or just use

2016-04-06 beautyfying our ditch:

Hello,    If the ditch is not in the right of way,I would suggest:    ornamental grass    low growing shrubs    wildflowers    dry landscaping (stonescape,rock garden)      Mark Harshman    

2015-09-06 Retaining wall:

Hello,    Railroad ties are relatively light compared to stone or concrete,so deadmen would be in order. Spacing of 8 feet apart should be adequate.      Mark Harshman    

2015-08-24 Landscaping:

Hello,    Here is a list of suggested climbing vines:      Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)    honeysuckle    morning glory (can be invasive)    golden hops    clematis    hydrangea    yellow


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