Garden Notes

Working with a garden designer

Published on 1 September 2009

If you have come home from holiday and want to explore having your garden re-designed what should you do? Most people don’t know what to expect from designers, the service to be offered or the amount of money involved and this uncertainty often puts people off exploring the options.

It’s fair to say that this is partly fuelled by the fact that designers do work in different ways and also that a lot of companies say that they offer design, but actually they are mainly landscapers who might provide you with a sketch for very little money– which is not the same as a scale design or someone who has little or no training in design or horticulture.

What then should you expect? Firstly you should expect a designer to show you a portfolio of work containing designs of a variety of work, excellent references and also photographs of completed gardens and planting. A design is not the same as concept or sketch, it is done to scale and is a working document that can be used by the landscaper to build the garden. Equally your designer should produce a Building specification to accompany your design that provides detailed information for you and the landscaper about materials and how the garden should be built.

Most designers will produce planting plans and some like myself will supply and plant for you as well as providing an aftercare service such as maintenance plans or seasonal visits to help in the development of the garden. Personally I love keeping in touch with clients to see their pleasure in the garden as it becomes established.

Finally you should like your designer and have confidence from your meeting that they are going to listen to your likes and dislikes which should be included in the design brief before any work is undertaken.

Happy gardening.

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