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Garden design – the full-service by Karen Chamberlain

Garden design – the full-service

How does it work?
The following steps outline the garden design process of a full design commission, where formal plans and documents are required for the design, costing, building and planting of a new garden.  (If this is more than your project requires, you may find our garden design advice service more suitable.)

Garden design process

  • Step 1:  Have a chat – Firstly we need to have an informal chat, over the phone or by email, to discuss your project and what you are looking to achieve. So please call today – we’re a friendly bunch.

 

  • Step 2: If you like what you hear then book an initial consultation – We will arrange a convenient date for an on-site consultation where issues surrounding the existing garden and your priorities for the project can be discussed. During this visit we will establish your preliminary design brief, offer up new and exciting ideas and then follow this up with a written VAT free, fixed fee design quotation for your consideration. (Please note: At this stage you are under no obligation to place an order and we promise not to pester you to do so!)


  • Step 3: Place your order – To begin the exciting transformation of your old garden into the perfect space for your lifestyle simply sign and return your booking form along with your deposit.  (Please note: design fees are spread over several payments and credit card payments can be arranged.)


  • Step 4: Sit back and watch us survey –  As soon as your order is received we will arrange to measure and analyse your old garden because accurate and detailed data is needed to ensure the lovely new features we’re going to design will fit!
  • For large or complex projects a specialist surveying team will be commissioned, but for smaller or less complex sites we will conduct the survey ourselves. You do not even need to be at home whilst the survey is conducted – although if you are, a cuppa is always welcome!


  • Step 5: Relax and let us prepare a design proposal – Once all of the information concerning the existing garden has been collected then begins the truly exciting part of designing the new layout. This is the artistic phase, the art of weaving together your wishes, the ideas discussed at the consultation stage and the new possibilities that present themselves as your garden takes shape on the drawing board.
  • The result of all this creative thinking is presented to you as a hand-drafted and coloured drawing with ‘mood board’ images and 3D drawings to help you visualise the likely outcome of the ideas being proposed.


  • A note on budget control!  – If you provide a budget figure at the start of the process we will design to what can reasonably be achieved within your budget. However, many clients prefer us to design to their ‘wants’, phasing the build over a number of years as finances allow. This is the great benefit of having plans prepared as they allow you to work towards a final goal at your own pace.

 

  • Step 6: Optional ‘design’ extras –  On non-complex sites a professional landscape team can estimate and build straight from a design proposal drawing. However, if the site and resulting design, is complicated or if you want to explore quotes from several contractors then it is strongly recommended that you commission extra ‘thinking’ from us.
  • This step involves the preparation of detailed planning and specification information which is not only vital to the preparation of firm quotations, as opposed to estimates, but also provides information on ‘how’ and ‘what’ is to be built ensuring that the design intention is realised and not left open to interpretation.  Of course, you can undertake this part of the project yourselves, but most people underestimate the amount of thinking still required and the financial consequences of holding up the build because decisions have not been made early enough or, worse still, are changed during construction.


  • Step 7:  Time to choose the perfect plants – occasionally we work with ‘plantaholic’ clients who just can’t wait to get stuck into designing their own planting schemes, but for lesser mortals, commissioning a low maintenance planting plan is a ‘must have’.  All you have to do is tell us your favourite colours and we will plan a collection of plants that will thrive in your garden creating an attractive yet manageable display throughout the year.  If you do give us free reign over the selection process we will look to choose plants that have been currently awarded the highest accolade a plant can receive by The Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.  This means they  have been rigorously tried and tested to be both aesthetically pleasing and all year around good doers.


  • Step 8: Sit back and watch your new garden materialise – once all the planning is completed and you’ve agreed costs with the contractor (DIY projects also welcome), we can stay involved in a consultation role until the garden is completed.

That completes the whole garden design process. If you have any further questions, please get in touch.

 

We look forward to hearing from you and discussing your garden further.

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“…definitely worth the design fee, we never thought of using the shape of the swimming pool to guide the new layout.” Mr & Mrs S. (Newton Green)

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