Learning the basics of landscaping terminology with AllScape Design and Installation

By Kat Hitchcock

This article was first published on the blog Hitchcock and Associates, an interview Kat Hitchcock did with AllScape Design and Installation owners Nate Zacarias and Ben Hatcher. 

First question, what does being water wise mean?

AllScape Design and Installation owners Nate Zacarias and Ben Hatcher are skilled at creating unique landscaping with efficient water practices.
Photo contributed

Nate: It basically means to be efficient with the way you use your water and trying to effectively reduce and save on not only on water but also on cost. Water is expensive it is becoming the new high end gold.

Ben:  There’s a lot of different avenues on ways to save water- whether it’s irrigation assistance, drought tolerant plants and adding mulch to absorb moisture when it does rain. There’s a lot of different ways you can reduce the use of water.

For those who don’t know what is the difference between hardscape and landscape? 

Nate: Hardscapes are hard materials like concrete, rock work, pathways- anything outside of softscapes. Softscapes would be considered planting and lawn installations, anything that has to do with plant material and gravels. Pathways can be both hardscape and softscapes.

What are the biggest mistakes you commonly see when people do their own landscaping? DIY Do’s and Do nots?

Ben: I think going with cheap material. So often when we go on a consultation we find cheap material that doesn’t last long, or something not being installed properly. Actually the most common thing we find is irrigation breaks.

Do you see any changes in landscape world?

Ben: I hope people’s philosophy changes about what a yard should typically look like. I hope we go away from the thought of huge lawn areas being ideal. You know typically you don’t use your front yard as much so take out the front yard grass and just be more mindful of the water.

Nate:  The problem is people see rain and think they can instantly go back to their old ways. I hope through all the education from the Santa Barbara and Goleta water districts people will think differently. The water districts did an amazing job getting people educated about being water wise.

What makes AllScape Design + Installation different than other landscape companies?

Ben:  I think just being on top of our game. We have connections with great sub contractors, our knowledge, and being in the field for so many years.

Nate: The fact that we call people back – and we joke that should be our slogan because it’s true- we hear it all the time so many people just don’t call you back.

What do you find most difficult or challenging as a landscaper?

Ben: Figuring out their budget. It’s not like our prices stay the same, but people struggle to tell us their budget.

Nate: To know someone’s ideal budget is key because it helps me just design what I need to design within that range. Otherwise I have fun with it and make it lavish and then they see the proposal and they get taken aback. If I get a set budget then I can design around that. So that is a challenge when clients don’t know ahead of time.

What do you love most about what you do?

Nate: From day one in this industry I have always loved not only the creative part of it but its seeing a crappy yard transition into something special and unique. You know home owners have to live with it every day. I like seeing the transition and happy customers which is why I got into it. To help people out and I love being outdoors.

Ben: Like Nate said being able to walk away from a project and transition something into such a big difference. Building something, making something and getting to work with the clients.

For more information log onto www.allscapedesign.com.