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What does a Garden Designer actually do?

So, what does a garden designer actually do? You’ve probably seen the Chelsea Flower Show on television many times and heard a few famous names such as Capability Brown or Diarmuid Gavin but how many can put hand on heart and say they actually know what a garden designer does?

An architect will design your house but a builder will lay the bricks and fit the windows, not the architect.  The role of an architect is very similar to the role of a garden designer. We’re not landscapers (the team who do the hard landscaping groundworks). We are a design team. That’s our focus. Once you have the plans drawn up, then professional landscapers are engaged to build the garden, working to our plans just like the architect-builder relationship.

A truly good garden designer is a problem solver. A professional, fully qualified, experienced garden designer like Adam Bailey will bring a whole inventory of design and experience with him to the very first meeting. Thirty five years’ experience in the industry means you benefit from a wealth of hard landscaping knowledge (paving, water features, lighting, outdoor kitchens) and an incredible volume of plant knowledge to recommend what will grow best in any situation. That way you avoid expensive mistakes and get it right first time.

So, what can you expect from us?

From the first meeting, we want to know what you need, what your likes (and dislikes!) are. Are you single, travel a lot, with a taste for the traditional? Are you family oriented, little free time, but want a bespoke chill space which drains away the stress of a busy life? Whatever it is you need, whatever approach to life you take, your garden is your own, custom-made peace haven away from the stresses of life, be that entertaining with friends over a fire pit or sitting quietly by a stream resetting your own sense of inner peace.

So, right from the outset, we will:

  1. Visit for a one-to-one meeting to get to know each other. We’re going on a journey together and there are lots of exciting ideas to explore so let’s talk, see what the problems are with the garden you have and what it’s not giving you. What are the problems you face, day to day? What is it about the garden that can really make your home somewhere really special, a place you never want to leave? Then we’ll discover the garden you really need and how we can solve those problems.

  2. Walk the garden. This is crucial and not something you can do by a Zoom meeting. What’s the soil like, which part of the garden feels the most peaceful, where does the setting sunlight leave its last traces of warmth? What part of the garden gives you the most privacy? The answers to these questions will be different for each and every garden. 

  3. We’ll explain all about the pros and cons of the many different construction materials and how they affect the budget. There are many options available and we have the know-how to choose the best. We’ll offer names of plants (some of which you’ve likely never heard of) and how they can be used to screen, to blast the air with scent, to impress the eye with colour and benefit the local wildlife, something so essential in today’s climate.

  4. We will put all this is writing, what we call the ‘brief’, this is the draft script for the vision which will evolve as we journey together. This shows we have listened and understood your needs, to make this garden bespoke to you, like no other.

  5. We will then engage surveyors who will carefully measure up every part of the garden (the Topographical Survey) and take detailed photos and notes. This ensures nothing gets missed.

  6. Next, the creativity really starts. With samples, graphical ideas and stunning 3D visuals we will show you the garden you know you’ve always wanted and then explain how we can make it reality. Doesn’t have to be all in one go, after all, this a is a journey and no one has unlimited funds, but we’re on this journey together and we will explain clearly what things cost as we go along.

  7. With the plans and drawings finished, we then recommend professional landscapers with whom we’ve built up strong working relationships in the past. These are the crafts people who will do the build (the ‘hard landscaping’). We can be on hand during the build (our ‘Client liaison service’) for complete peace of mind.

  8. And finally, the most colourful part of all, the planting. Low maintenance, wildlife friendly, contemporary or traditional, no two planting schemes are ever the same. And we can even tell you how to look after it all, in the years to come.

Now you have a better idea of what a garden designer actually does, let us know how we can help and we’ll be more than happy to show you what we do and start the journey with you.

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