Garden Design Services
As a garden designer I can advise on a variety of areas including:
Incorporating containers, structures and art into your garden.
Developing sustainable environmentally friendly gardens and reviewing gardening products & practices.
Providing research and advice for historical gardens including Conservation Management Plans.
If you decide to engage with us to provide our garden design services we like to follow a series of defined design stages so that we can be transparent and accountable at all times during the project. Whilst we are always flexible and do not wish to 'over-engineer' our solutions and engagement, we have found that a clearly set out path helps all parties:
1. Initial consultation
There are two ways to proceed:
(i) Two hour one-off design consultation:
If you do not require a set of plans but would like advice and ideas about how to make the most of your garden, I offer a 2 hour on-site consultation to discuss ideas and offer design solutions. An initial meeting can prove to be a really good starting point for getting advice or deciding what needs to be done about particular problems. Prior to the consultation I send you a questionnaire to get a sense of your ideas and advice required. Following our consultation, I produce a short written report with advice on how to proceed. Depending on the nature of the garden and the intended projects, this report could be all that you require, or it could lead to any of a wide range of solutions for developing the garden using my knowledge of plants, construction materials and design techniques along with some suggestions for contractors and suppliers. I charge an hourly rate for this service which includes reviewing the questionnaire, travel costs, the consultation and the written report.
(ii) Initial consultation to discuss design and planting plans:
If you wish to engage me as your garden designer, I arrange an initial visit to look at the site and understand your requirements, your lifestyle, problem areas, your budget and if you are a gardener or not. It's always helpful if I can see some photographs of the garden beforehand . I follow up this initial meeting with a detailed brief, a summary of our services and a design fee estimate. We charge a fixed fee for this visit which is refundable on the Sketch Design and Planting Plans.
2. Site survey
Once we have agreed to proceed and to kick off the design process, an accurate survey of the existing site is needed. I measure up smaller gardens myself taking note of site position, utility services, existing trees and plants, views and sightlines, slopes and levels, soil type and prevailing winds. For larger and more complex sites, a land surveyor may be required. An existing site plan is always welcome. We charge a fixed fee if measuring ourselves and recommend a land surveyor if required.
3. Outline plan: Sketch Design
An outline sketch design plan is prepared showing landscape features, hard landscaping and planted areas. This plan may be all that you require if you want to tackle a smaller project yourself. For larger projects, we talk through design options and solutions and agree the final design plan. For the sketch design stage we charge a fee based on estimated time to prepare, which is payable on delivery of the plan.
4. Detailed layout plan and construction plans
The Layout Plan incorporates changes agreed with you and are the plans sent to landscape contractors to prepare cost estimates and quotes. The detailed final drawings consist of a suite of plans including a Setting Out Plan giving detailed measurements and Construction Details of specific features such as ponds, retaining structures and hard landscaping. We charge a fee based on estimated time to prepare and we require 50% to be paid upfront and the remainder paid on delivery of drawings. We are happy to review quotes and project manage the landscape construction and our fee for this is usually calculated as 10% of the total construction cost.
5. Planting plans
Based on the agreed sketch design, we prepare a detailed Planting Plan which shows the position and quantity of all the plants in the design and is accompanied by a detailed plant schedule. Plantings plans can be designed as part of a full design project or as stand-alone if your garden simply needs additional planting to refresh or update an existing scheme. We charge a fee based on estimated time to prepare ,the plan payable on delivery of the plan. We can recommend nurseries and local growers and also provide a planting service ourselves for smaller gardens, for which we can provide a separate quote which is based on time and materials.
6. Garden renovation
Many clients buy properties with established gardens that are past their prime. Often the basic layout of the garden is sound or just needs adjusting slightly to fit with a modern lifestyle. Very often the planting has become tired or patchy. The garden renovation service aims to understand how you want to use the garden and to restore it appropriately back to its best. We are happy to provide a verbal roadmap and charge an hourly rate for a quick site visit and discussion.