Process

The garden design process places you, your ideas and your dreams at it’s heart.

 

I strongly believe  that the garden is your space and my role as designer is to help you achieve your dreams – to do that, I must listen carefully to you and seek your input throughout the design process.

 

Please note that I would be delighted to meet you and see your garden at any time.  I am pleased to help in whatever way I can: no matter what size of garden you have or what condition it is in when I arrive…in fact, the messier the better, as far as I am concerned!

I tailor make the stages of garden design to your individual needs.  So, our agreed design process, as detailed below, may include some or all of the following steps dependent on the level of design you wish to undertake and your budget for design.

1Garden Design Consultation

The initial consultation is usually a straight-forward discussion with you to find out what you want to achieve with your garden. You will usually have some ideas about what type of garden you would like: is it a family garden, do you have a dog, would you like a water feature, how much maintenance are you prepared to put in? etc.

The design consultation involves a walk around your garden and then a sit-down Q&A session, where your wants and needs will be teased out.

After this initial meeting, if you would like to avail of a design, I will provide you with a written proposal of services suited to your circumstances and budget.

My initial consultations involve a small fee to cover my time, expertise and travel costs. The amount required would be agreed with you in advance.

2Garden Design Survey

If not undertaken on the first visit, the first part of my garden design process involves a return visit to your garden to assess the garden in greater detail.

I take measurements of, amongst other things, the general layout of the existing garden surfaces e.g. lawn, beds, hardscape, mark the location and extent of existing structures e.g. washing lines, take note of the scale and types of boundary materials etc. I also take a detailed record of the location and types of existing trees, plants and backdrop vegetation. Other items examined include views, light and shade, drainage and the slope of the garden.

The make-up of the existing garden will be marked up on a plan drawing and will be used as a template over which the new garden design can be laid.

Whilst not essential, you can assist us in this regard by supplying a plan of your site, perhaps, a planning or architects drawing that you already have.

Finally, if your site is especially steep or large and there are severe level changes, we may need to employ the services of a surveyor to assist us and you should be prepared to include this in the garden design costs. This will pay dividends later as a full and accurate design survey will ensure that the garden is properly designed and that the construction runs smoothly at a later date.

3Concept Garden Design Plans

The first part of your garden design can involve the production of a concept design plan for your garden. This is the fun and most creative part of the design process for me; at this stage, I apply free-flow of thought to the garden design concept.

My creative genie is let loose and your dreams will be placed down on paper for the first time. Yes, I will acknowledge the constraints picked up in the survey but I will also apply my own art and passion to the garden design, giving it a style and body with all the main parts evident.

The concept may be presented to you as a colour-rendered hand-drawn plan, hand-sketched views or indeed a fully worked up 3D drawing with selected presentation views.  The concept plan shows the main features and suggested hard landscape materials and a planting style and maybe a mood board of images and hand written text to further describe the design.

I will always present you with a draft before finalising the concept garden design with you.

4Garden Masterplan and Detailed Design

After completing the garden concepts with you, I will produce your garden design masterplan. This will be a 2D plan of your garden and will feature all aspects of the design in a format from which the garden can be constructed.

For some gardens, I show the hard and soft landscape details on a single plan but for complex commissions I produce a separate planting plan and may produce detailed construction drawings also.

5Implementation

After completion of the design stage for your garden, I will agree with you the best method of getting the garden constructed, whether building it all at once or on a phased basis. This will involve employing the most qualified team of people to build your garden to the agreed budget.

My only recommendation is that you, at the very least, consider retaining me to supervise the work so that I can ensure the correct implementation of my design for you.

6Post-completion and maintenance

I recommend that maintenance of the garden be considered right from the start of the project, as every garden needs some form of maintenance. My gardens are not designed as off-the-shelf products, each one is unique and specific to the client and the site; and the gardens will not look after themselves after installation!

Whether you choose to do the gardening and maintenance yourself or engage our maintenance team, I recommend that you meet me periodically to review the progress of the garden. I view my gardens as long term projects that will take time to fully develop and I am pleased to offer you guidance in this regard. I offer favourable rates for follow up visits as I am keen to see how the garden grows with you.

Environmental Considerations

 

Wherever possible, we will try to retain existing garden features and incorporate these in to the new garden design. This is for two reasons:

  • it will provide you with cost savings
  • it is often better for the carbon-footprint of your garden design to leave materials in-situ rather than bring in new materials.

Obviously if there is something that you feel simply must go, then we will remove it and, if it is salvageable, re-use it elsewhere.