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landscape designers--cost of initial consult?

14 years ago

Hello; I hope this question is not inappropriate for this forum.

We are in the midst of a major renovation to our big 1860s house in New England. Though it's too early to do anything to the grounds, I know we will need a landscape design. I contacted a designer with background in designing gardens for older houses. I learned that for an initial consult, she charges $120 per hour, rounded up to the nearest half-hour, plus travel time (she lives about 45 minutes away). So I'd be looking at upwards of $350 just to meet her and get a sense of her general approach! Is this typical? I had expected to meet with several candidates before choosing one, but it seems I was naive.

Before hiring our architect, we interviewed half a dozen candidates, each of whom spent an hour or two touring our house and talking with us, without charge. For architects, meeting with prospective clients in this way is part of the cost of doing business. Is it different for landscape architects, garden designers, et al.? What is it reasonable for me to expect?

Thank you to anyone willing to help educate me...

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