Landscape Designer or CAD Monkey?

Get a FREE Copy of

Our Popular Guide

Landscape Design Guide: The Little-Known Insider Tips You Need to Build the Garden of Your Dreams
“So, I want the shed in this location, and the pool should be over here and shaped like this. With the path, I want…..”- All too common, these are words spoken by new clients as they sit with their designer. What’s wrong with this?

There is a term you may be unfamiliar with, and not too flattering, a CAD Monkey.

This is a person who can use Computer-Aided Design software to create your design, who has no real creative input. They are told what to ‘draw’ on the computer. I remember the first time I heard it, when Nick, one of my landscape architects who was working for me, said something like, “oh, he is just a CAD Monkey”.

A professional designer will go to college/uni for up to 5 years to study the art of landscape design. Then they will learn on the job for years to learn the trade firsthand. An experienced designer is worth their salt!

Okay, so before I lose you, what is the difference?

A designer is a creative person who evokes ideas and offers solutions to achieve the outcome you desire. A CAD Monkey simply does as they are told.

Many clients are unaware that they are holding the designers hat when they say, “I think this should go there and be this size and that texture and….” – they are evoking the creative juices to bring to life their future garden. Now nothing wrong with this, except when you bypass the designer and don’t allow them to do their job.

So how should this work?

Client says, “I would like a concrete pool around 8 by 4m”

Designer, “Lovely. Would you like a pool in full sun to capture the warmth, or would you like a little dappled shade from a tree over one end?”

Client, “A little shade would be lovely.”

Designer, “your daughter is 3 years old, so would you like a beach-entry (very shallow entry area) on one end for her to safely play in with you?”

“Whyte Gardens helped us to completely overhaul our tired, old, two-level and bedraggled backyard into a lovely open and neat space incorporating a pool, deck, play area and outdoor entertaining space. He had ideas, enthusiasm and great practical advice. Three years later and our garden is now well established and works superbly for our family.”

– Helen

And this keeps going…

It isn’t that a client having ideas is bad, of course not, some of the best ideas come from the clients. The problem is that, when you hold the hat of the designer and they don’t get to wear it, you turn your designer into a CAD Monkey, someone who will just do what you say.

You are paying $1000’s, so allow the designer to do their job and inspire you.

Now let me share with you who are the worst culprits of this, yes, its you guys, men!

My male clients (not all) have a tendency towards a need to understand the technical details. They need to feel in-the-know. A man never wants to look like he doesn’t have at least some on-par knowledge with their designer. Where generally, my female clients are happy to be offered ideas they haven’t thought of, and then run with it and enhance it.

You know, it’s the old cliche of, “so, whats under the hood?” – men are supposed to know its 6 or 8 cylinders and has this or that. And real men drive manuals, right? We have to know. Can I please suggest to you men, let your designer guide you, don’t try to outshine them with your newly gained wisdom.

Now if you are one of the few couples who want to be in charge and direct your designer the whole way, engage a low cost designer and that’s totally fine. But if you are wanting to be inspired, ask your designer, “so what would you suggest?”

To keep up to date on inspiring ideas, join my Facebook group below and share with others for a better life in your garden.

Ready to Create the Garden of Your Dreams?

If you love the idea of a jaw-dropping space where you can create lifelong memories and connect to the beauty around you – you’re in the perfect place.

Let our team of professionals take care of everything from initial planning all the way to final landscaping touches. Get the luxurious style you deserve, minus the hassle.


Last updated: July 30, 2017

Whyte Gardens (“us”, “we”, or “our”) operates the website (the “Service”).

This page informs you of our policies regarding the collection, use and disclosure of Personal Information when you use our Service.

We will not use or share your information with anyone except as described in this Privacy Policy.

We use your Personal Information for providing and improving the Service. By using the Service, you agree to the collection and use of information in accordance with this policy. Unless otherwise defined in this Privacy Policy, terms used in this Privacy Policy have the same meanings as in our Terms and Conditions, accessible at

Information Collection And Use

While using our Service, we may ask you to provide us with certain personally identifiable information that can be used to contact or identify you. Personally identifiable information may include, but is not limited to, your name, phone number (“Personal Information”).

Log Data

We collect information that your browser sends whenever you visit our Service (“Log Data”). This Log Data may include information such as your computer’s Internet Protocol (“IP”) address, browser type, browser version, the pages of our Service that you visit, the time and date of your visit, the time spent on those pages and other statistics.


Cookies are files with small amount of data, which may include an anonymous unique identifier. Cookies are sent to your browser from a web site and stored on your computer’s hard drive.

We use “cookies” to collect information. You can instruct your browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent. However, if you do not accept cookies, you may not be able to use some portions of our Service.

Service Providers

We may employ third party companies and individuals to facilitate our Service, to provide the Service on our behalf, to perform Service-related services or to assist us in analyzing how our Service is used.

These third parties have access to your Personal Information only to perform these tasks on our behalf and are obligated not to disclose or use it for any other purpose.


The security of your Personal Information is important to us, but remember that no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage is 100{ada318fc6dc2d41eea89b5a5b5dd2118a53fbf1b12e3e12da41e9bb7113fb0b0} secure. While we strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect your Personal Information, we cannot guarantee its absolute security.

Links To Other Sites

Our Service may contain links to other sites that are not operated by us. If you click on a third party link, you will be directed to that third party’s site. We strongly advise you to review the Privacy Policy of every site you visit.

We have no control over, and assume no responsibility for the content, privacy policies or practices of any third party sites or services.

Children’s Privacy

Our Service does not address anyone under the age of 13 (“Children”).

We do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from children under 13. If you are a parent or guardian and you are aware that your Children has provided us with Personal Information, please contact us. If we discover that a Children under 13 has provided us with Personal Information, we will delete such information from our servers immediately.

Changes To This Privacy Policy

We may update our Privacy Policy from time to time. We will notify you of any changes by posting the new Privacy Policy on this page.

You are advised to review this Privacy Policy periodically for any changes. Changes to this Privacy Policy are effective when they are posted on this page.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, please contact us.

Get a FREE Copy of

Our Popular Guide

Landscape Design Guide:
The Little-Known Insider Tips You Need
to Build the Garden of Your Dreams

We only send you awesome stuff