THE DESIGN PROCESs
The initial meeting is to establish your needs and desires for your garden and the possibilities the space offers. We will discuss how you envisage using it and any design or planting ideas you favour. I will look at your garden to assess its potential and limitations.
It is important at this stage to realistically consider the budget. While it can sometimes be hard to decide how much you wish to spend, an approximate figure enables us to realise what is achievable and move forward to the design brief. I will fully explain the whole design process at this meeting. Following our discussion I will present you with a report, which includes the design brief, a proposed budget for the services required, and a quotation for my design fees.
If you decide to proceed a site survey is essential to produce a scaled plan of your garden and to assess any potential issues regarding changes of level, soil structure, access, and so on. I will measure the site accurately recording the locations of all windows, doors, access points, and changes of level. I will test the soil at various points in the garden and record any particularly damp or dry areas. I will take numerous photographs and consider any views that need to be enhanced or concealed, taking into account anything you wish to retain or dispose of.
If the site is particularly large or complex, I would recommend this job being undertaken by a professional surveyor.
Using the information gathered from the site survey and your design brief, I will create a preliminary design for the site. This will help you to visualise your potential garden and will include suggestions for hard landscaping, planting, and any other features needed. I will arrange a meeting to discuss this plan with you where we can review any possible changes and the cost implications. Once you are happy with this stage I will draw up the Presentation Plan.
This is a scaled drawing of the proposal for your garden accurately detailing areas of hard and soft landscaping, and any garden structures or other features. This plan can be used by a contractor to build your garden. If required I can also produce more realistic 3d projections of how the garden will look.
I will create an original planting plan taking into account the site conditions, your preferences, and how much maintenance is required. It is all too easy to waste hundreds of pounds by selecting low quality plants or those not suited to the particular growing conditions in your garden. I will use my horticultural knowledge to select quality plants from professional nurseries to provide a lasting design and year-round interest. Once the plants arrive it is important that they are planted correctly and with care, and set out according to the planting plan. I can undertake this part of the project for you.
Various technical drawings are required to enable contractors to replicate the design on the site. These include specific construction details for hard landscaping and any garden structures, as well as setting out plans to ensure that everything is placed and built exactly as planned.
Tendering and Project Monitoring
You may have a reliable contractor whom you would like to use for the build phase but for larger jobs I am able to send a tender package to three local landscape companies to obtain a competitive quote for the complete project. This will include documentation detailing the precise work to be done, methods, and materials used.
If you would like me to act as your representative during the build phase, I can monitor the project on your behalf making pre-arranged visits to the site to ensure that the design is being followed correctly and the work is being completed to the required standard.
Please click the thumbnails below to see detailed examples of each stage in the design process. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.