Design

A well-designed, successful garden can be truly uplifting — not just for people, but for the wildlife using it and for the architecture it complements.

Whatever the size of the garden, its success always flows from the client’s enthusiasm and their trust in the design process. From this comes a garden with the right mood and function, one that blends seamlessly with the client’s lifestyle.

Initial Consultation

First we meet so that I can introduce myself, show you examples of my work and get an understanding of your site and requirements. At this meeting, I will also advise on the garden’s potential and limitations and will then follow up with a design brief and fee quotation.

A consultation visit can, however, cover more specific topics — for example, planting ideas or advice on landscape material selection, rather than a full redesign service.

Design Fees

There is a fee for the initial meeting and a fixed fee for the initial preparation of an outline design and survey if required.

Fees for a full design service, seeing the scheme to completion, are calculated on a percentage of the total construction cost based on between 10%–15%, or an hourly rate as appropriate.

Site Survey

The first stage of any garden design project is the site survey. With smaller sites, I usually do this myself, while larger or more complex sites may need the services of a professional surveyor. However, there may already be a detailed site survey in place for some projects — new builds, for example — and if you have one, I can work with that as long as it’s accurate.

Outline Plan

The survey and design brief are brought together in the outline plan which represents my proposal for your garden. It shows the garden’s layout, all materials proposed, planting areas and types together with features such as pergolas, gazebos, water features, and other decorative elements as required. It is accompanied by supporting visuals.

It’s at this stage in the process that alterations and additions are made to the proposal, and this document then becomes the master plan for all the subsequent design work.

Layout Plan

For your garden to be accurately priced and built by a contractor, I create a layout plan, which includes further design detail. I’ll add information about water features, hard surfaces, timber structures, and other any elements that need building, as well as the dimensions and indications of major structural planting.

Construction Details

To enable the contractor to price and build a feature — for example, a pergola, water garden, entrance gateways, or walling — construction details will be needed.

Planting Plan

One of the most important parts of the design detail for your garden is the planting. With larger schemes, it may be necessary to create an outline presentation of the planting proposals but generally we will agree the plan following discussions on style, maintenance and site environment.

Project Costing

Once all these elements have been brought together, the design elements of the project can be fully costed, and once we have agreed a price we can move to the next stage — Building Your Garden.

Build

Most clients retain me to manage their garden project, from inception to completion.

Throughout the process, I will regularly liaise with you and your contractors to ensure that the garden design is completed as planned and to budget. My project management fees are charged at a percentage of the overall contract or hourly.

Choosing Contractors

I work with many experienced contractors, among them general landscapers and specialists in irrigation, lighting, timber construction, and water feature supply. They are given the relevant contract documentation and drawing details to provide you with competitive quotations for all the construction elements of your garden design. All contractors are employed directly by you, the client, and will have their own terms and conditions. These usually include stage payments and a payment following completion.

Plant Sourcing

I source all the plants for your garden, and lay these out for planting by the contractor. For smaller gardens, I aim to use local growers wherever possible; for larger gardens, I will select your plants from a range of UK and overseas nurseries. Once all construction work and planting has been finished, the garden design process is almost complete. The final stage is establishing your garden…

Establishment

Designing your garden is much more a process than a one-off project with a defined end.

To get the most from your new design, you need to take a long-term view and factor in what you’ll need to do to establishing and maintaining your garden as it matures season by season, year by year.

I can draw up a detailed maintenance plan for you, laying out a suggested month-by-month programme of work, and I can also schedule occasional visits — many clients see me on an annual or bi-annual basis — during which we can discuss any issues you have and I can advise on how best to proceed so that you continue to get the very best from your garden.

Management

For clients who prefer to outsource all aspects of the upkeep of their gardens I provide a complete garden management service.

This is particularly suited to larger, more complex gardens, and covers a broad range of maintenance activities, including:

  • Advising on the appointment of gardeners
  • Providing your gardeners with regular maintenance schedules — usually fortnightly or monthly — to ensure the garden design’s full potential is achieved in line with your requirements and budget
  • Appointing and managing contractors for new work, such as tree felling, hedge cutting, paving, and walling repairs
  • Drawing up planting plans for reworking existing borders or adding new ones
  • Supplying garden consumables, such as bedding plants, bulbs, composts and mulches
  • Managing all external garden contracts covering — for example — electric gates, swimming pools, lighting and water features.

Please contact me to find out more about how my garden management service can ensure you get the best from your garden.