Here is a run-down of the various stages and elements of a garden design. A full garden design, build and plant will inevitably involve all stages but in some cases you may only require certain services.
When you contact me I will establish some basic facts with you about your garden. Its size, condition and any specific physical characteristics ( such as slopes or rockeries) are useful to know, plus the age and style of the property. It is also important to gauge at this point how much you would like to invest in your garden if you know, so that I can give you an indication of what can be achieved within your budget.
This takes the form of an on-site discussion which can last up to two hours depending on the size of your garden.
I will take an in-depth brief so I will be keen to know about your own ideas, your likes, dislikes, lifestyle and style preferences. I will steer you through this process, and it is helpful if you can bring any photos or articles that demonstrate the style of garden that you are looking to achieve.
A consultation fee is charged for the visit, but is reimbursed if the client decides to proceed with any further design work. If the consultation is a precursor to a design proposal, a briefing document and fee proposal is automatically included.
Survey and Site Analysis
If you decide to proceed with a garden design, the next visit would be to conduct a full garden survey which includes measuring the site, noting the levels, shrubs and trees and taking photographs for reference. Soil and site analysis are also undertaken to establish the physical characteristics of the garden.
Based on the survey plan and your brief, I will produce ( usually 2 ) concept drawings for you showing potential layouts and styles for discussion.
When the concept plan has been agreed, a master plan is created which is a full scaled drawing of the garden plan. It includes an indication of recommended materials and feature plants and trees. I will also produce 3D CAD drawings of your garden where possible.
The Master plan will be suitable for a landscape contractor to use to construct your garden. However, some additional detailed drawings are usually required and these include the Planting Plan. Occasionally you require Construction Drawings which show the construction detail of elements of the garden. This is an additional service.
Specifications documents are recommended and can be drawn up for you. These cover what is expected in terms of quality and performance from the contractors and are part of what they will use as a basis for their quote.
Appointing a Landscaper
Assistance in appointing a contractor is available. Plans for contractors and on-site visits to show them the project can also be arranged.
A monitoring service for the construction element of the garden is available. The monitoring fee includes all site visits (a minimum of once a week during the build) all my organisation time for co-ordinating contractors, any visits requested by yourself or the contractor and regular updates for you.
Plants and Planting
Plants can be supplied and put in the ground for you. The advantage to this is that I can follow my planting design with sensitivity and with the knowledge of what I am trying to achieve for you. I will personally select plants from the nursery to ensure the best specimens are provided and if substitutions are required the most appropriate plant for the scheme will be selected.
Design Costs and Fees
I will agree a fixed price with you for the delivery of design services up to Master Plan stage.
This is based on the size of the garden and the complexity of the project. My fee will be confirmed in writing after the initial visit. It is payable in agreed staged instalments including a 30% payment of my design fee at survey stage.
All further services will be charged, as agreed, on either a daily or an hourly basis as the amount of work at this point is unknown until the master plan has been agreed.
A garden design project should always be considered in the same light as having an extension built or a new kitchen. They are complex projects, requiring the pulling together of different trades and skills, but as in both my examples, will have a profound effect on your property and how you experience it.