How to find a landscape designer/architect in my area?
I'm typically on the decorating boards, so I'm new to you folks. I hope you can help me out!
We've been in our home for a year and now have some ideas about what is working and what isn't, and what we'd like to see improved. As a layperson, I believe drainage improvements/changes are going to play a big part, but it isn't something we want to undertake DIY if it won't actually solve the problem.
We're in a rural area, on three acres. Mostly wooded, with about an acre near the house cleared with some decrepit ca. 1978 raised beds in the center (planning on taking all of those out). The house is MCM, post-and-beam, lots of glass and architectural interest.
There really isn't any "landscape" to speak of aside from the aforementioned beds and a vague idea of a dividing line between woods and lawn -- pretty much a clean slate. We'd like to keep it natural, but in a more organized way, addressing natural runoff areas that aren't necessarily in the best spots.
So, we're agreed that we'd like to get some professional help to perhaps design a master plan, to be implemented over time. But I'm at a loss as to how to find the right person for the job. Our area (between Birmingham and Montgomery, AL) is mainly very traditional, with what designer websites, local publications, etc. I find focused on formal gardens, cottage gardens, fountains and the like.
We're not going to have a big budget up front, nor are we going to embark on a lot of hardscaping, and I don't want to waste my own time or the time of a designer who just wouldn't be a good fit.
The home and site are unusual, so it's not as though we can drive around and find a home we like and inquire. I thought about going to the better private nurseries in the area and inquiring, and there is always the phone book. But is there a better way?
Her's a photo of the place, so you know what we're working with.