Five Part Master Plan

At Hertzler & George, we often approach a landscape design using the concept of a five part master plan. With this concept, there are five areas that must be addressed to create a cohesive, inviting and practical design. The five areas are:

  • Approach & Arrival
  • The Hub
  • Outdoor Living Spaces
  • Passages & Destinations
  • Boundaries

Here are two examples of our projects where these principles can be see, one a residential scale project and the other a large country estate.

Residential Design

Approach & Arrival

The plan provides two approaches – a direct path to the front door and a meandering path to the children’s garden. The front gate makes an inviting entrance.

The Hub

The heart and soul of any residential property is the home itself. The views from inside looking out are critical. Furthermore, the home’s predominant architectural forms, colors and patterns must guide the landscape if the home is to truly fit its setting.

Outdoor Living Spaces

The east terrace is an extension of the interior rooms. A broad set of steps flows from the inside, and seating areas provide places to gather and learn.

Passages & Destinations

The American garden used to be about sitting on one’s deck and surveying one’s domain. Not any more. A beautiful pathway, pool, garden shed, flower bed, and simple bench or urn can all be used throughout a garden to add life, interest and value.


Fences serve a useful purpose by keeping children from wandering, but they can also be an attractive element in the garden: the wrought iron gate at the front of the building disappears into plantings, and higher fences in the back screen views to and from an overlooking parking garage.

Estate Design

Approach & Arrival

The first view of the house surrounded by gardens and fields, makes a connection with its historical uses, though the original entrance has long been abandoned. The renovated house now faces the road. The clear layout of driveways provide understated direction leading to the front door, and secondary driveways provide convenient access for family.

The Hub

The organization of the garden grows out from the house. The garden is loosely symmetrical around the main axis of the house. Direct views to distant fields establish the agricultural nature of the house.

Outdoor Living Spaces

Outdoor spaces range from architectural extensions of the house to garden rooms farther out. The plan is modeled on traditional spaces associated with plantations; kitchen garden, vineyard, and orchard. The various sizes can accommodate a variety of uses from intimate to large scale (the ellipse).

Passages & Destinations

A variety of paving surfaces draw visitors throughout the property. They also shape the design as seen in the large ellipse. While generally symmetrical, there is enough variety to avoid monotony.


The edges of the grounds are defined by a series of picket, rail, and split-rail fences, which become more rustic with distance from the house. Their low height allows views of the surrounding agricultural fields.

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Thank You

Just a short note to thank you for all the help you gave us with our garden this year. Jonathon again did a wonderful job doing the bed detailing this summer, as did the mulching crew in the spring. I don’t know the name of the woman who supervised the mulching crew, but I want to let you know how professional she was. In fact, the entire crew was pleasant to work with, especially to experience the care that they took with their work.

Thanks also for being so flexible with the changes we requested for our mowing schedule.

E.L. - Ford's Colony

Always Helpful

Brian came out last week to try to assess a problem we are having in our yard.  He arrived on time, was extremely courteous and took a considerable amount of time analyzing our situation.  While he was unable to reach a solution, he did take the time to research and recommend another business that might be able to help us.  That kind of customer service will make us more likely to call on Hertzler & George if other issues arise.  Thanks, Brian!


Five Stars All Around

We hired H&G to help us re-do our landscaping after a different local landscaping company did a sub par job with plant selections and installations. That company also was very hard to deal with. H&G stepped right up with Jennifer creating a new planting scheme comprising of native plants with some we had never seen before and which we love! She is extremely knowledgeable and pleasant to work with – a true landscaping charm! Jon did the installations and also did a fantastic job. He was very meticulous on planting and finishing the job neatly with mulch. Unlike that other company’s installer, Jon left us extremely happy with the job done. Customer service on the phone – pleasant, patient and helpful. The only, and ever so minor aspect of their work, is they don’t offer a guarantee on the plants or install. I suppose that’s becoming industry standard. However, now looking over all the plantings with a bit of time passing, I am confident that there won’t need to be any replacements. Watering is of course the key element. Thank you H&G, the country cottage landscaping we’ve wanted is now ours – FIVE STARS!

Chris Dombrowski
Ford's Colony | Homeowner

True professionals

Had these guys build a surface-grade patio in May 2023. They looked at the project, sent me a proposed scope of work and contract via email, took a deposit of 1/2 the total via bank transfer. They set a date weeks later to start the job. They showed up on time, worked professionally and cleaned up at the end of the day. Whole job took 3 days, and they even replaced all the patio furniture on the last day. The final product was precisely what I asked for, done in a high-quality, workmanlike way.

H&G are not the cheapest guys out there, but for the extra money you get a professional product, professionally executed, on time, on budget. Honestly: I don’t think it gets any better than that.


Ken Blakely

Beyond Satisfied

We had an ugly uneven weedy patio and a driveway that needed reshaping and gravel. The transformation is stunning. Your representative Brian was patient and helpful in designing repairs to our satisfaction and your work crew was exceptional. Edwardo the work site foreman was extremely knowledgeable and professional and created a beautiful patio. His crew was superior.

Tim & Cynthia Porter