A garden consultation is the first step – it establishes your Brief. Time is spent with you discussing:
- what you want to achieve
- what you like / don’t like
- your ideas (if you have any)
- your likely budget
Following this visit, a detailed Brief is prepared with an opportunity to review. A quotation for design fees is provided.
To develop a Concept Plan, a topographical survey is needed. The survey is an essential part of the process, resulting in a scaled drawing including position of house, levels, boundaries, existing features and location of services.
Unless the garden is very small and has minimal level changes, this will be carried out by a recommended professional survey company. Photographs are taken from various vantage points and of existing features. Soil sampling and testing is done also.
Measurements are essential if you want the quotation to be as realistic as possible.
A 2D Concept Plan is prepared in response to the previous stages.
- It proposes the spatial design of the site, a response to your brief and my assessment of the site
- 3D visualisations are prepared – either sketches or using CAD software
- We meet to discuss my proposals, your feedback is taken into account to make any approved changes
- After this meeting a more targeted and detailed design is prepared
A final master plan is developed using Computer Aided Drawing (CAD) software. It will provide sufficient detail for the garden to be realised and a budget prepared.
The Planting Design is part of the Garden Design process and can be supplied as a separate service. Many of my commissions to date have specialised in planting designs: from creating all the planting for a blank garden canvas to renovating existing borders.
The planting drawings are used to
- Source and order the plants (correct name, type, quantity and size) – Plant Schedule
- Put the plants in the right place – Detailed Planting plan
Value and Benefits
Planting is an important feature of the spatial design of the site. It can
- create spaces depending on the planting height
- define the mood by planting style
- offer screening
- provide privacy
- help the garden harmonise with its surroundings
The planting design considers your personal style (cottage, contemporary, etc). Plant form, texture and colour are weighed up to give you appealing combinations.
Having an in-depth knowledge of plant requirements, I carefully design the structural and ornamental planting with the ‘right plant, right place’ philosophy. This ensures the plants are given the best start, grow well and can be maintained efficiently.
For a full Garden Design package, ideally the Planting Design is considered as early as the Concept Stage.
Examples are given below when clients have benefitted from a separate Planting Design service.
- After the garden has been re-landscaped/built (no existing planting)
- Creating dry stone raised beds along a drive and provide planting scheme
- Renovating existing borders and new planting schemes introduced
For a Planting Design only commission, I usually find it is beneficial to select key steps of the Garden Design Process…
- Develop Brief (inc. Consultation)
- Planting Concept Plan
- Detailed Planting Plan & Schedule
Sometimes it is necessary to carry out some ‘backtracking’ of the re-landscaped garden to achieve the best results. Options can be discussed during the process.
In order for a contractor to build exactly what the client and the designer have agreed, a set of detailed construction drawings and specifications are produced together with a scope of works. These drawings are required if you
- wish the construction to go out to tender
- provide a more accurate and comparable quote
- set the garden out precisely
The project should be realised effectively, efficiently and to a high standard as practically possible.
If required, I can also offer a Project Monitoring service where I will oversee progress and visit the site to check that your design is going to plan.
This can often be needed when a landscaper starts digging and underground conditions require adaptations to the design.
Plants are typically sourced from recommended wholesale nurseries, most of whom supply other Garden Designers, Landscapers and show gardens. Where practical, I can personally select plants ensuring the plant material is of the best stock available.
I will accept delivery of plants, on site. I also recommend that I set them out, ensuring the best possible planting effect.
If you would like additional features such as furniture, sculptures or pots, you can ask me to help source these for you from a wide network of trusted suppliers.
The first two years in particular are crucial for the successful establishment of your new outdoor space.
Maintenance plans and schedules are also offered. I am happy to be involved in the maintenance of designed planting schemes, knowing when best to trim, prune and maintain plants to ensure the best possible display. Alternatively we can discuss other options for managing your garden.
Autumn and Spring are ideal times for a one-off service, to spruce up and tidy the garden for the season ahead.
Staking may also be recommended for some plants and I use subtle methods to achieve this or creative staking to enhance the visual appeal.