​​​​​Welcome to ModernBackyard.  I’d like to introduce you to MB’s web-based design process and answer a few of the most common questions I receive from new clients.

My goal with the web-based design process is to help clients focus on the essential starting point of garden development….the Landscape Master Plan.  Designers begin with a master plan because time and energy put into the shape and flow of garden rooms and paths, the interplay of architecture and landscape, and the character and feel of a site lead to the creation of outdoor spaces that most fully support home and lifestyle.  This important piece is not readily available to those with smaller budgets; filling this gap is the goal of MB's web-based service option.

Q: What is a Landscape Master Plan?
A: Step back a moment and imagine you are in school, writing an essay.  You learned to begin with an outline.  Think of the Master Plan as an outline for your garden…a guide that can be used to build your garden immediately, or over the course of a few years, as time and budget allow.  While each plan is unique depending upon your property and your needs, your plan will be drawn to scale and will likely include the elements in this example:  Landscape Master Plan or Landscape Master Plan with Plant Recommendations.

Q: How much does it cost?
A: Landscape Master Plan:  $950.00; Add Plant Recommendations:  +$250.

Q: What makes the web-based service option different?
A: MB's web-based option is a collaborative and condensed version of a full-service design process, which is what makes it more affordable. You describe, photograph, and map your existing garden.  MB then creates a Draft Landscape Plan, which you have the opportunity to review and revise, leading to a Landscape Master Plan.  Click Get Started for documents detailing the process and more information.

​Q: My budget is limited, and my local garden center (or landscape contractor) will give me a design for free.  Isn’t this a better option for me? 
A: If you are working with a smaller budget, it may be tempting to put all of your efforts and funds into plants, materials, or construction and labor; thus building before planning.  Bear in mind that many clients hire designers as a result of such a mistake. After developing a garden without a cohesive plan or vision, people often find themselves unhappy with the result and wind up renovating. It is more satisfying and cost-effective to get it right from the start.  Take the time to research local gardens you are drawn to and find out how they evolved…was a designer hired?  Does the homeowner have a talent or passion for art or design?  If your local garden center did design a garden you love, by all means, hire them.  There are many paths to creating fantastic spaces.

Q: I agree that the Landscape Master Plan is important...can you clarify what steps I will need to take once I have my Landscape Master Plan in hand?
A: Depending upon the complexity of your design and your approach to construction, more detailed drawings may need to be developed as you transition from Landscape Master Plan to built garden.  There are different ways to navigate this transition:  you may hire a contractor with the skills and experience to develop details as needed during construction, you may hire MB or a local designer to assist with detail development and a specific planting plan (select Landscape Master Plan with Plant Recommendations to include specific plant names), or you may DIY the project, relying on your own skill set, creativity, and research.​  

Q: I am interested in full-service design rather than the web-based option, is this available?
A: Yes, full-service design is available for clients in the vicinity of Port Townsend, WA.  Contact MB for more information.

ModernBackyard is on a mission to make garden design accessible to a wider audience.  
I invite you to join me in spreading thoughtful, contemporary landscape architecture in your community.  
Let's Get Started.


Remodeling and Home Design
About Julie...
ModernBackyard founder Julie Miles has been supporting and guiding clients in the design of their gardens with personal, creative, and thoughtful service since 1997.

Julie received her Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Virginia. Her early career is defined by work at several award-winning firms: Allworth Design, The Berger Partnership, and Nelson Byrd. 

She has studied gardens and explored both urban and wild places in a variety of regions, within and beyond the U.S., resulting in a breadth of experience which informs her design.   

From Washington, D.C.
to Washington State
Julie was raised in Maryland just a few miles north of Washington, D.C., and spent her early adult years in the Mid-Atlantic states and New England. She then migrated west, enjoyed 15 years of urban living in Seattle, and now resides in the seaport and arts community of Port Townsend on the Olympic Peninsula.


​​​​​​​​​thoughtful contemporary landscape architecture

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