The Design Process

A lot of people confuse gardening and garden design. Gardening involves the tending and growing of plants, and housekeeping a garden (sweeping paths, clearing leaves, adding mulches, creating compost etc).

Interior of greenhouse
owl sculpture

Garden design involves having the imagination to see the possibilities of a garden plot. Carefully considering the elements required for it to function successfully for the owner. From the general layout to the hard landscaping materials, colour scheme, and finally to the choice of plants.

I offer a garden design service, (and only tend my own garden). I am however always happy to assist my clients in the employment of a reliable local gardener or tree surgeon to help maintain their garden once the design is complete.

You may choose from the following stages in the design process:-

Initial Site Consultation

At this meeting (usually an hour), I tour the garden, present my portfolio, and discuss your requirements in detail, establishing a brief. Sound, practical advice about the possibilities for the garden will be given. The brief is confirmed in writing and includes a quotation for the design fees and a cost estimate for the works.

I charge £80 for this initial meeting including the written brief.

Site Survey and Photography

Once the brief and fees have been agreed in writing, I make an appointment to take a detailed site survey and analysis, including soil quality, levels, drainage, orientation etc. I shall take photographs of the garden and consider its wider setting. For large or complicated sites, a surveyor may be employed.

Mood Board and Draft Design

At a site meeting I present a draft design, and an image board illustrating the elements to be included in the new garden, together with details of the materials, plants, colours, and styling to be employed. Any additions or alterations to the brief are agreed at this meeting.

Mood board

Layout Plan

Once the design has been agreed I work the design up into the Layout Plan, this is a fully inked and coloured drawing with written details of the various materials, features and key trees or plants.

Structural Plan and Written Specifications

The structural drawings (if required) explain to the client or contractor how to construct the garden. A written specification may also be prepared to obtain comparative quotes from recommended contractors. The specification will list each component of the job in chronological order, together with details regarding site clearance, paving materials, depth of foundations etc.

Project Monitoring

I am happy to recommend approved contractors and to manage the tendering process, including the preparation of letters, specifications and meeting prospective contractors on site. Once the client has chosen the preferred contractor, I am then available to monitor the construction of the garden to ensure it is built to the highest standards. The fee for project monitoring is agreed at the outset, based on the number of site visits anticipated for the tendering process and during the build.

Plants, Planting and Maintenance

A detailed planting plan will be drawn up to complement the design. This will include the full Latin names and any variety name, the size and number of plants required and their locations within the garden. I can arrange to supply the plants from known, reputable nurseries, and arrange and monitor the planting by suitable contractors. Once the garden is complete, I am happy to arrange maintenance by skilled gardeners.

Contact me now to discuss your ideas