How do I find a landscape designer or architect?
I love to garden, but i'm not so great with design. We have a new house that needs a big backyard makeover (giant melaleucas snuggled up against the house, a raised and rotting deck that was concealing the concrete foundation of a hot tub, and overgrown and boring, boring, boring clipped hedges and bright green overwatered grass). Our realtor recommended a popular local LA who wants to design a big stone and stainless steel barbecue island decorated in the usual way with iceberg roses, lavendar, and agapanthus. Do I push this guy to give me what I want or do I find somebody who will give me a small patio and help me lay out my favorite natives and Mediterraneans? How do I find this person? The neighborhood that we live in has mostly tiny and typically landscaped yards so the neighbors wouldn't be much help.