Frequently asked questions
What does a Garden Designer do?
We are the "architects of the garden".
Working on a detailed brief from you, and using specific information provided by a profesional site survey and site analysis, we apply design principles to the creation of a beautiful and functional garden that is then built by others.
What are the benefits to me of commisioning a garden designer?
We are your safe place.
You can see where your investment is going because we provide you with detailed drawings and visuals. This way you can imagine the garden before you pay for it to be constructed. Many of our previous clients have mentioned how glad they were they could realise the vision prior to the build. It gave them confidence and assurance.
How do you charge?
The masterplan is based on a fixed fee. After this we work at an hourly rate.
The construction phases and dealing with planning/structural engineers, planting plans etc is charged at the hourly rate. We can provide you a broad estimate so you can make an informed decision before you proceed with us.
To project monitor the build we charge a % of the build cost. This will help you see where your budget is being allocated.
Can you describe the garden design process?
We've made a handy infographic which gives a clear explanation of the garden design process.
How much input do you need from me?
Some clients provide us detailed Pinterest boards and have a very clear vision, or they may know their plants and want to do this part themselves. Others have managed house renovations and want to project monitor the build themselves. The majority hand over the client brief and want us to facilitate the whole design process, just wanting us to keep in close communications and make sure they are happy with the design and progress.
What is Construction Detailing?
Measurements and materials are detailed, with technical detail and information. The contractors and fabricators can see how we want the garden and bespoke features built, and to what specification. This allows them to quote accurately. This allows you to make informed decisions for any changes needed going forward with the build. These drawings and specifications also allow multiple contractors to tender from a level playing field.
I have a clear idea of what I want. Do I need a garden designer?
You wouldn’t built an extension or a house without an architect to draw up the technical drawings. The same applies to the garden.
Our expertise is in spacial visualisation and the skills to realise ours - yours and our - vision. Added to this is our depth of knowledge around plants and garden materials and how they function in an outside space. We will work closely with you to ensure you get the maximum from your garden.
Do I need to sign up to the whole garden design process?
Most of our clients want the whole package. They trust our competence and need the continuity of service.
However, some clients are keen gardeners or have project managed their home renovations so are happy to take on parts of the process themselves. The garden design process is wholly flexible.
How long might a garden design take to achieve?
We will usually present the Masterplan to you within 4 weeks of carrying out the Site Analysis.
The duration of the whole project depends on a number of factors. Lead times for the surveyor, complexity of the design, how long you need to mull over the design before committing to each next stage. Also the lead time of your preferred contractor. Duration from initial enquiry to completion can range from a couple of months on smaller gardens, through to large schemes that are built in phases that can take years!
Do you do the actual work, or use a contractor or just make recommendations?
We do not do the actual work. We do have a list a qualified reliable contractors we will put forward to you.
Many are members of BALI or APL and so have gone through a rigorous adjudication process. You contract directly with the contractors, not through us, although we are able to be involved throughout to support both you and those building the garden.
Are you on hand when the labour is being carried out?
Yes, if you would like us to project monitor the build for you then we can do this.
We have regular site meetings, and are on the phone and email throughout. We check that our (yours and our) shared vision comes to fruition. We also help troubleshoot any onsite issue, and make any onsite design decisions that may be required. Contractors prefer us to be on hand.
Can I take a look at other gardens you've designed?
This portfolio allows you to see what type of drawings you can expect to receive from us. It also shows what level of detail each drawing compromises. We have a project page for you to see images of completed projects. We have many years experience of working on all types of gardens from small courtyards to larger rural gardens, low maintenance family gardens to gardens for retired plants people. Kitchen gardens, swimming pool terraces, riverside gardens, exposed hill gardens - we are proficient in designing for diverse client briefs.
Do you source everything locally?
We aim to source locally where possible.
We source plants from local growers and trade nurseries. Sometimes plants will be imported from the continent but we aim to use nurseries that follow biosecurity processes. On occasion a client may want a specalist plant and we may source from a nursery further afield e.g fruit, specimen trees.