GARDEN DESIGN

We offer a comprehensive design service following a 5 stage process:

Before we start a design we discuss with you on the phone some brief details about the project.  Often we will meet you at your garden or site and shortly after this we will present a fee proposal for your instruction.  Fee proposals are prepared at key stages in the process – the first Proposal covers the first 2 stages of the process, the second for stage 3 and the final for stages 4 and 5.

SURVEY AND SITE ANALYSIS

 

Our first task at the start of a garden design project is to understand in detail your requirements.  We work with you to develop the design brief on which we base the overall concept, style and theme of the garden.  We use a detailed online questionnaire along with conversations to clarify how you want to use the space, your likes and dislikes and the types of features required.  If relevant, we also review all planning permission submissions and planning conditions for your house and meet any other parties, architects, interior designers, M&E specialists or structural engineers.

At the same time, the garden is surveyed – either by ourselves or using a 3rd party surveyor, we also perform a site analysis.  This involves taking photos, assessing the existing structures, strengths and weaknesses of the garden, soil, aspect and location conditions.

The outcomes of stage 1 are a completed client brief, a site survey and a site analysis plus importing any 3rd party CAD files (e.g. architect and interior design drawings for the property) into our survey.

Stage-1--2

DESIGN

 

Once the design brief has been agreed and we have all the outcomes of stage 1 we prepare a set of presentation drawings. This will include a scaled concept plan of the garden design, a levels plan showing proposed new levels versus existing, elevations and a colour mood board with a range of images of features, finishes and planting.

We can also arrange CGI images, 3D models and other visuals to better understand the garden we are proposing. Included in the concept plan will be some outline ideas about key structural planting.

We do not start stage 3 detailing until stage 2 has been signed off and the layout of the space agreed.  In many of our projects at this point we may also be required to complete a discharge of planning conditions or submit for planning consent or tree works to either a TPO tree or trees in a conservation area.  Additional documents in this stage can also include tree permissions for tree works or removal in a conservation area and all documents relating to the planning.  We have worked in a number of conservation areas and on grade listed buildings and curtilage.

Stage-2

DETAILING

 

Once stage 2 is signed off we prepare a set of detailed construction drawings and specifications including setting out plans and detailed technical drawings for particular elements of the garden, such as trellis, fencing, paving, water features, irrigation etc.  All materials will also be specified and decided in this work.  We prepare a lighting plan and schedule, which depending on the lighting scheme required, can be prepared in house or by a specialist lighting designer.

A full set of drawings along with a work specification and all CDM (Construction, Design Management 2015) documents will be prepared for the landscape contractor so that they can prepare their quotation.

Planting brings the garden to life and we use digital mood boards to show images of the full list of plants that we will use working with you to refine the planting palette.  From this palette of plants, we prepare detailed planting plans showing the placement of all trees, hedging, plant, varieties, quantities numbers and spacing.  A plant schedule is created from this plan and we send it to a number of nurseries to provide all plant supply costs for the garden.

At the end of the detailing stage all documents are ready for garden build quotations to be requested. We can recommend a broad range of suppliers / contractors to take our garden designs from concept to reality including water feature experts, lighting designers, soft landscapers, tree planting, hard landscaping and other external works. Or simply take our designs and work with the people you already work with, know and trust.

Stage 3

CONSTRUCTION

 

Pre-Construction

We work with a large range of very capable landscape contractors. Often our clients are happy to accept our recommendation about who should execute the landscaping and build the garden.  Sometimes it makes sense for the project to go out to tender.  We discuss with you as to the pros and cons of this.  We select a range of landscape contractors appropriate to the scope of work and we manage the tender process on your behalf.  Once quotes are in we will help you select your landscape contractor and provide a comparison analysis of the quotations to aid decision making.

 

Contract Administration

To give you peace of mind we administer the contract through weekly site visits during the construction phase.  This helps to ensure that the project remains within budget and on time as well as delivering the final design and finish that we have specified. We sign off work as it is completed and will also identify and proactively manage any snagging that might arise and any variance from plan in terms of time, quality and budget.

The contract administration stage is crucial when multiple design parties are involved on other elements of the site development i.e. an architect practice for the house, building contractor and interior designer because changes can take place at quite a late stage in the project driven by wider ongoing works to house and site.  Our involvement ensures we coordinate and adapt to these in an integrated way with your development team.

Stage 4 -1 update

ONGOING ADVICE AND MAINTENANCE

 

To help our clients with the maintenance of their gardens, we can recommend landscape maintenance contractors and gardeners to help with regular garden care. After the garden has been built we make visits during the following calendar year to see how things are developing. We can also offer on-going advice on design, styling and planting. A garden is a living, growing thing and needs on-going attention and care, even if it has limited planting. If you do not put maintenance in place on a regular basis it is important to carry out a review of your garden annually and carry out remedial work as required. We can help you get maintenance in place for the garden to help it grow and thrive.

Stage 5-1 update