Frequently Asked Questions
Not all garden design comapnies are the same. We provide expert guidance from start to finish.
Why is garden design important to our home?
1) By extending your living area to outdoors, you begin to discover a whole new way of life.
Get away from the busy, high speed ways of modern life and take time out to relax with the scents and views of a carefully designed garden, tailored to your personal requirements. It's an all in one sensation that reaches all five senses, from the focused views, delicate scents and soothing sounds of birdsong on a summer's evening. We all need food for the soul and your own garden, designed to be individual to you, is just the thing to take away the stress and strains of everyday life.
2) Entertain friends in beautiful surroundings.
With alfresco eating, wonderful herb gardens and an intelligent use of outdoor heating and lighting, you can impress friends and family, in the comfort of your own home. The garden is very much an outdoor living area, one which becomes ever more important in busy, stressful lives.
3) Increase security around your property by introducing the right plants and use of sensitive lighting.
Practical design makes security a priority, with sensitive use of tough plants to help guard the boundary of your property. Block off views you don't want other people to see whilst increasing your own privacy. Light paths, entrances and specimen trees to deter unwanted visitors and have peace of mind that your garden is working to protect your home after dark.
4) Make gardening easier.
With the right use of materials and plants, it is possible to stop being a slave of the garden and regain control. Intelligent design takes into account the amount of maintenance the garden will receive. The right plants mean spending time in the garden becomes a real joy, not a chore.
5) Increase the sales potential of your house.
With an ever turbulent housing market, a well crafted garden not only increases the sales potential of your home to new buyers but also shows that you care about your property, something sure to impress a would-be purchaser.
Even the simplest of designs can enhance the sales potential of a design, ensuring the garden sets off the rest of the property.
We’ve never hired a Garden Designer before, what can we expect?
Hiring a garden designer is something many people will do and it can save you making very expensive mistakes! Getting it right can be a very daunting experience especially if you’re not very green-fingered.
The first stage is a free one hour visit (for gardens within a 40 mile radius of Eynsford*) to talk about your needs and requirements. We can give an approximate guide to the cost of a garden from concept to completion. Following the visit, there are several options available.
Design and Build
Part 1: The design brief
If the full design and build option is requested, the first stage is the design brief which sets out the main proposals together with a confirmation of our costs. We can also give an approximate cost for the construction of the garden, although it is for the individual contractors to finalise the accurate costings.
Part 2: The site survery
The next stage is the site survey (unless one has been carried out before) which allows us to draw up an accurate scaled layout plan.
Part 3: The concept design
The concept design shows the main ideas and types of planting, together with materials.
The concept design consists of the following:
- Fully scaled, coloured 2D plan
- Side elevation
- Perspective view
- Full written specification
Along with the 2D plan, we also show a perspective view through the garden to give a visual artists impression of how the garden will look at eye level. A full written specification is also given to give the contractors clear instructions as to the layout and building of the garden. The concept plan is the simplest way of showing how the space in the garden is best used for full effect (very important in small gardens).
Part 4: The planting plan (dependent on size of garden)
When you are happy with the design, we proceed to a detailed planting plan, which shows the positions of all the plants together with names and quantities.
Once the design and planning has been done, we can recommend builders and landscapers (in the case of larger gardens) to arrange the building stage. The scheduling of building work needs to be discussed at the stage of quoting for the hard landscaping part of the project and is solely at the discretion of the builders concerned.
Of course, you may wish to have the garden built by your own builders. This is fine and we are always happy to liaise with a client’s own builders.
For most gardens we do the planting ourselves, although for larger scaled work, we may need to employ the services of outside landscapers.
At all stages of design and construction, the client is kept well informed as to the progression of the work and what sort of time scale can be expected together with any costs which occur during the various stages. This helps to reduce ‘hidden costs’.
We’d like a garden that’s different from the ordinary, what options are there?
When we design a garden, it is after much discussion with the client to find out what sort of lifestyle and character would best suit the space.
Whilst there are many people who are very happy with the traditional or cottage style gardens, there is always the potential for creating a garden very different and unique in its form and use of plants/materials. Don’t be put off by the gardening ‘design’ programmes with purple fences and strobe lighting – not all design is like this!
Sensitive design takes into account the personal wishes of the client together with a very careful combination of plants and materials. It is even possible to incorporate multimedia into a garden, although this has to be done with great care, possibly using lighting, sound and technology that allows the owner to ‘interact’ with the garden.
The possibilities are endless, the only limitation is the client’s budget…
Do we have to have the whole garden designed?
No! The parts of the garden you would like changed are entirely up to you. Planting schemes can be as small as a few pots or window boxes to lush perennial borders. If you would like parts of the garden left untouched, these will be excluded at your request. A good designer will only change areas according to the clients budget and wishes.
How much do I need to spend?
Full build: For gardens including paving, fencing, lighting, fencing and other features, prices generally start at around £25,000. Final cost will depend on how big the garden is, what size plants are put in (bigger plants when purchased means higher cost) and how many plants, paths, walls etc. are put into the finished scheme. We will often ask the client’s budget on the first visit. This is for two reasons. Firstly, it gives us a good idea as to what we can put into the design and what we have to leave out. Secondly, it avoids extra costs during the planning stages. There is little point in designing a garden that a client can’t afford! Therefore, we always aim to design to a client’s (approximate) budget.
Planting only: Prices start from about £500 upwards, we'll provide a quotation according to your requirements.
Who does the building work?
All our gardens are constructed by our recommended professional landscaping contractors. We have built strong working relationships with a select number of qualified landscapers, many of whom are award-winning companies who understand the need for quality and excellence in every aspect of their work. The construction of the garden is of primary concern and we insist on a first class finish. We ensure that the contractors carrying out the work are experienced and skilled craftsmen who can build the garden to the very highest level.
Do you oversee the construction of the garden from start to finish?
Yes, this is an important part of the work we do and we feel it is an essential part of our service to ensure the garden is constructed and finished exactly according to to the original vision. In order to do this we offer a project management service to oversee the construction and planting of a new garden from start to finish.
The design of any garden is one which calls for great attention to detail and we can bring our expertise to every aspect of the project. Please note, there is a small charge for this service.
What happens after the garden is finished?
We are always happy to make return visits to check on the health and establishment of plants. There is a small charge for this service and it helps to give peace of mind that all plants are growing well.