What does a Garden Designer Do?
My role as a Garden Designer is to provide a blueprint for your garden, just as an architect would do for your house. Employing a Garden Designer ensures that any money you spend on transforming your garden is well-spent. A well-designed garden will maximise your outside space, add value to your property and give you pleasure for many years to come.
I work closely with each client, listening carefully to what they are hoping to achieve and identifying any issues that need resolving. My job is to create an elegant design solution that reflects the client’s tastes and lifestyle and complements their property. Good garden design is a specialised skill, requiring both an eye for detail and a clear concept of the big picture. In addition to these design skills, I also bring my horticultural expertise and knowledge to ensure that we select the most appropriate hard-landscaping materials, trees and plants for your garden.
1. Initial Consultation
The design process starts with an initial meeting at your home. This usually takes around one to two hours. It is a chance for me to visit your existing garden and to understand the sort of transformation you are hoping to realise. I will take a detailed brief from you, including your requirements, individual preferences and budget, so that I can create a design that is tailor-made and unique to you. A report is then prepared, detailing our discussion, my design proposals and fees.
2. Site Survey
This is an essential part of any Garden Design. The existing garden is mapped out in detail to produce an accurate plan of the site’s dimensions, features and levels. For more complex sites, this job may need to be carried out by a professional Land Surveyor.
3. Concept Design and Detailed Outline Plan
I use the brief and the survey information to draw up an initial Concept Design for discussion, outlining my proposals for your garden. Once this is approved, I will draw up your detailed Outline Plan, a hand-drawn and coloured master-plan of the proposed new garden, pictured to scale and from a bird’s-eye view. Supporting isometric drawings and 3D sketches can also be commissioned in order to help you visualise the proposed scheme and to really bring the design to life.
4. Construction Drawings
These are drawings showing the precise details of any constructed elements, such as steps, paving, walls or water features. These documents are typically supported by Setting Out Drawings, as well as a written Scope of Works, specifying materials and techniques to be used. These enable the Landscape Contractor to quote accurately, and to build the garden exactly as we have envisaged it.
5. Planting Plans
These are drawings showing the precise location of every single plant and tree in your newly-designed garden. They provide a complete ‘map’ for planting up the garden. Plant selection requires expertise and has to take into account the specific growing conditions found in your particular site. A variety of plant material is chosen to provide year-round interest, to reflect your preferences and style and to create beautiful plant combinations. I also produce a written Plant Schedule, listing all varieties, sizes and quantities, to enable accurate ordering from Nurseries.
6. Tendering and Construction
Once the design is in place, you may choose to engage your own Landscape Contractor to take on the build. If not, I can assist by putting the job out to tender with reputable Contractors, organising meetings with them on-site and providing them with all of the necessary documentation. If required, I can also be engaged to act as Project Manager, to monitor the build process and ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible.
7. Maintenance and Aftercare
Once your new garden is in place, you may choose to commission a Maintenance Schedule. This is a written reference document, specific to your individual garden, setting out exactly how to care for your new plants in order to keep them looking their best. I also offer additional Consultation visits as the garden matures, so that we can edit and refresh the planting and make any changes that may be necessary.
8. Other Services
Not every client requires a complete Garden Design. I offer a range of services, including: Plant Identification and Advice, Border Re-Design, One-off Consultations, and Garden Furniture and Accessory Supply. I am also an Accredited Partner for Wildflower Turf Ltd.