Every project is tailored to the needs of the client and the garden, and depending on the scale of the project. Sometimes, this will just involve redesigning the planting for an existing border or the redesign of a section of the garden impacted by an extension or summerhouse. Where the project requires a complete redesign of the space, the design process is typically broken down into the following stages:
The first step is a FREE consultation. This might be by phone, over Zoom, or where possible, in your your garden where we can discuss the brief, your budget, your vision and the practical needs for the space. Following this, I can then provide a more detailed fee proposal for the design work involved.
Brief & Survey
If you decide to proceed, the next step will be to arrange another visit to take a full brief, survey and photograph the space. Before starting any design work you will have the chance to approve a written brief to ensure I have fully understood your requirements. A detailed topographical site survey is often required in order to produce a design that is tailored for the space, taking account of all dimensions, levels, existing structures etc. For most gardens the survey process is outsourced to a professional surveyor with the data then transferred into CAD.
A concept design is then produced. This will include a rendered masterplan, 3D perspective visuals – to help you to understand and experience the garden design at ground level, and to better convey the qualities, hard materials and atmosphere the finished garden is aiming to achieve. This stage will also include outline suggestions for planting and hard landscaping materials. This document provides the outline design qualities but not the detailed information that a contractor would require in order to build it.
Assuming the concept design is approved, I would typically put together an estimated costing to give an outline indication of the cost of building the design and, if necessary, make adjustments to bring the design within budget. This would be done through informal discussion with landscape contractors, plant suppliers etc.
The detailed design stage is the production of drawings needed by a contractor to build the garden. These include: final masterplan(s), setting out plans, construction detail drawings (walls, hard landscaping etc), lighting, irrigation and finally, planting plans.
The detailed drawings then form a tender package which is sent to potential contractors who will quote for the work.
Once a contractor has been appointed I can also oversee the build process. This includes regular site visits to check on build quality and deal with any questions or issues that may arise. In some cases elements of the hard landscaping are undertaken by a client’s own contractor – where a house is already in the process of being built or extended – and oversight for this can be built into the process.
I can oversee the specification and supply of all plants and related materials from delivery onsite through to planting, along with other final stages such as irrigation.
Once planting is complete, regular visits are built into the service in order to ensure plants and trees are establishing properly.
NB. Design fees are generally split into two main commissioning stages: Stages 1-4; and then separately 5-9, although this can be tailored where a project needs to be delivered in several phases.