April 10, 2017
I have worked with the talented landscape designer, Lisa Caprioglio, on a project in Washington, DC. The landscape design of this project was critical to the success of the house, given its proximity to neighbors and the narrowness of the site. Lisa was consulted at the initial stages of design. She attended meetings, assimilating and contributing to the vision and use of materials for this modern gut renovation of a single family home. She was quick to understand the requirements, the homeowners’ desires, and the general contractor’s methodology. In response, she created a subtle tableau of plantings and walkways that highlighted both the architecture and materiality of structure. She fostered the perfect backdrop for this limestone and mahogany house. Lisa's attention to detail also helped us with the size of the outdoor planters, the placement of the fence, and construction of a more functional outdoor utility area. Lisa worked as part of a team to connect the outdoor spaces to the house. It was a welcome collaboration and like all inspired teams, the sum was far greater than the parts.
Lynne Breslin, AIA
* * *
Lisa Caprioglio is one of the best contractors we have hired in our 10 years of owning our house. She approached our yard not by thinking about what would look nice in her opinion. Instead, she spent a lot of time understanding how we wanted to use the yard. On her first visit, we looked at the garden from several windows, walked through the garden, and we talked for close to an hour about our family and our activities. She continues to email us about the garden (reminding us to water it, etc) and to stop by when she is in the neighborhood. This work is her passion, not a job.
We asked Lisa to completely re-do our backyard, which is good-sized but on a hill. At the same time, we needed to reconstruct the patio which runs along the length of the house and leads to the yard. We had done some professional landscaping 9 years earlier, but three years of renting out the house had left the yard neglected. Because of the plantings, we weren't able to walk through the yard, and it was no longer beautiful to observe from the windows. We needed a complete overhaul.
My husband and I aren't huge gardeners, and Lisa took that into account in selecting low-maintenance plants. (Since she works with native plants, this is pretty easy.) Lisa observed that we had two young boys, and she took it upon herself to plant a space for them in the yard, too. I would never have thought of that on my own. Our boys love their "fort" and play there often.
Lisa also served as our consultant in hiring the contractors to do the patio, as well as a fence and garden illumination. She researched a number of providers and offered us the people who would work with our vision. We hired them on our own, and we have been more than happy with the people she found.
Lisa even took advantage of Washington's warm autumn to put our plants in. We enjoyed spring and summer blooms because of her foresight.
It is very easy communicate with Lisa, because she is frequently on her email. She was extremely mindful of our schedules, agreeing to in-person visits after our work hours, and keeping those meetings efficient.
Lisa was always on site. She is a hands-on landscaper. When needed, she brought in her crew -- sometimes one person to help her pull up a stump, sometimes four or five people to do big planting jobs.
We wholeheartedly recommend Lisa. It is truly fun to work with her, and we all enjoy the garden she made for us.
Tania and Luca
Woodley Park, Washington DC
* * *
We hired Aldertree Garden to do a complete landscape design for our property and to plant our front garden.
Lisa was quick to respond to our initial inquiry and met with us to walk through the space, discuss our budget and desired level of maintenance, our aesthetic, and how we envisioned ourselves using the space. She not only thought about the humans in our home, but also took our two dogs into consideration. Her thoughtful design included areas for them to run, and areas that were more protected from their digging. She also eliminated any plants that were not safe for dogs--many of which I never would have guessed could pose a problem to pets. At the end of the design process she came to our home to walk us through her beautiful and thoughtful design. At first we were a bit skeptical about going with an all-native design. We worried that the design might not look quite as manicured or intentional as we had envisioned. Lisa's design exceeded our expectations for what we thought was possible using a native palette.
Given the scale of the project, we knew that putting in the numerous gardens was going to be a significant financial investment. Lisa worked with us to consider how we might break the overall project into manageable phases, provided cost estimates for each phase, and suggested how we might qualify for DC programs that provide trees and landscaping refunds. She helped to connect us with those resources, and even came back to our property to work with one of the agencies to incorporate their services into her design. The agencies were very happy that we were working with a professional with such a deep knowledge of native plants.
A few months later we were ready to move ahead with the planting of our front garden and we hired Lisa to do the work for us. Her costs came in as estimated, she was on schedule, and she was very communicative and responsive throughout the whole process. Most importantly, our new garden came out as planned and looks beautiful. We cannot wait to see it grow and develop over the coming years, and we're looking forward to planting the rest of her design soon.
We would highly recommend Aldertree Garden to others.
Greg and Michael
Brookland, Washington D.C.