DeSignia Landscape 


Article by Melinda Burris

Photography by DeSignia Landscape

DeSignia Landscape was founded almost 40 years ago, and in that time, the company, with its dedicated team of creative professionals, has distinguished itself as the Queen City’s premier provider of innovative landscape and elegant, personalized outdoor living space design.

Mark Selles, a co-owner of DeSignia, wears multiple hats in the company, serving as head of design, marketing and equipment management. Henry DeBoer, president of the company; and Matthew Posvar, the irrigation manager and sales manager; are also co-owners.

Mark emphasizes that although each of DeSignia’s three owners brings his own set of talents that collectively contribute to the team’s ability to create distinctive, inspired landscapes, “We are interchangeable in our commitment to excellence but not in our skills.”

Landscaping: A Growing Art

Mark’s passion and reverence for design is evidenced in the way he describes landscape as a living art form:

"To me, there is nothing more satisfying than attending a site three or four years after installation, just about when the plants are beginning to achieve their design purpose, and seeing the depth of the planting design—layers of texture, color and size all harmonized to form the garden's intended character."     

For Mark, plants are the essential element of any landscape design.

“I can design a nice shaped walkway and make it out of plain, boring concrete, but in the end, the plants win the day by making that walkway look beautiful."

"If you really pay close attention in undisturbed nature, there is a chaotic beauty that emerges. If I can represent that in a garden, then I have achieved something."      

DeSignia’s Mission Statement

DeSignia’s tagline, “Beautiful by Design: Shaping and Maintaining an Elegant Atmosphere,” succinctly states the company’s guiding mission: to place design first and foremost to enable custom shaping of the natural beauty each site offers and imbue the location with an authentic, elegant atmosphere.

The Design Process 

Mark details his thought process when contemplating design possibilities for any space.

"Landscape designs, like any art form, evoke feelings. How do I want people to feel when they stroll through the garden or relax on their patio? Creating an evocative space is the ultimate goal." 

Design is the essential first step in creating any art form, and the growing art that is landscape is no different. Still, Mark at times encounters individuals who do not understand that design is the foundation of any landscaping project.

At times, people either do not want to pay for design or express a desire to rush the design process. This mindset always astonishes Mark.

“Design is the most important part!”

You cannot realize your vision for any project without a comprehensive design. 

DeSignia repeatedly emphasizes elegance in describing its landscape designs. When questioned about this, Mark replies by reciting the definition of the word: "pleasingly graceful and stylish in appearance or manner." Thus, elegance is the perfect word to describe the inspiration Mark derives from the classic beauty that abounds in nature.

“There is simply nothing more elegant than tall wisps of ornamental grass and lush bright day lilies bowing in the breeze, or a bubbling water feature that invites the eyes with its elemental sounds.” 

Confronting the Challenge of Combining Practicality with Aesthetic Considerations   

Numerous factors must be considered when designing an outdoor space, including the amount of land available as well as the client’s lifestyle and expectations for the finished project.

Mark has a discussion with each client to ascertain the practical applications they have in mind for the space. Mark observes this primary focus on practicality is more common among Americans than Europeans.

Mark says that finding ways to fit all the requested elements into a space often presents a creative challenge that he finds enjoyable. This is particularly true when designing for small garden spaces, such as those often found in the city. 

Once the utilitarian needs are addressed, the aesthetics are contemplated. Often, Mark finds that practical and aesthetic considerations overlap. An important aspect to factor into any garden design is how large the selected plants will grow to be when they reach maturity. Mark points out that plants must be chosen with care because it is vital that a garden design not require constant pruning as.

“Most plants look best in their natural shape.” 

The Inspiration to Create Outdoor Living Spaces

DeSignia is dedicated to the development of innovative landscape and outdoor living spaces to enable its clients to enjoy their outdoor space. Mark elaborates on why he is drawn to designing outdoor spaces: 

“I love the outdoors. Also, I find such an incredible lack of quality in Charlotte in terms of how individual landscapes look. Everything is so basic. Little thought goes into most projects it seems. What is amazing is that for the same or a similar investment, a basic landscape has the potential to be a home run just by applying a creative design.” 

DeSignia Specializes in Residential and Corporate Landscape Design

DeSignia offers a full range of landscape designs for residential and corporate spaces. These two spaces vary greatly in scale, aesthetics and maintenance considerations.

“Corporate buildings need to look great from a distance and be easy to maintain to keep maintenance costs down. Sometimes, corporations want to create a beautiful spot in the garden for employees or visitors to enjoy on their lunch breaks, or as places to go to relieve stress.” 

Discussing the challenges faced with designing for residential and corporate spaces, Mark says, “the ultimate goal of designing and installing a unique, beautiful landscape suitable to the needs of the client” remains the same. The building always sets the stage for how the design process unfolds. This can be a challenge when the home or office building has a basic architectural design.  

Designing corporate landscapes presents a unique challenge as city ordinances impose certain requirements such as plant screening buffers, dictating the number of trees that can be planted per parking spot and other limitations that must be factored into the design concept.  

DeSignia’s Maintenance Services 

DeSignia offers complete maintenance services so that the outdoor spaces meticulously designed for its clients maintain their original functionality and aesthetic. Mark explains that proper maintenance is key as any “decent designer will have some specific purpose for many of the plants in the garden. … Since landscaping is a growing or evolving art, sometimes this does mean that a plant needs to be maintained in a specific way.” 

The DeSignia Difference

DeSignia Landscape was founded on two basic principles: the customer always comes first and the continual pursuit of excellence. To that end, the professional team at DeSignia is dedicated to offering Charlotte’s preeminent creative landscape solutions combined with a commitment to providing reliable, dependable service.

Want to Learn More?

To discuss your residential or corporate landscaping needs or explore designs for your own outdoor living space, call DeSignia Landscape at 704.494.8877 or visit DesigniaLandscape.com today.

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