GENERAL

 

Why do i need a garden designer?

As with most things in life, things that are planned well in advance tend to avoid costly mistakes and long term save time and money. A well-designed garden is no different. Having a plan means that you have a goal to work to – the garden being realised within your timescale or ‘phased’ in stages as the budget allows. Coupled with your own ideas and personality, I will bring creative skill and technical knowledge to make your garden work beautifully. House owners now recognise the unrealised potential of the garden as an extension of the house – a place for relaxing and entertaining perhaps, as well as adding value and saleability to the property. 

What type of gardens do you design?

I produce stylised gardens based on your requirements, and the style of the property and location. These may range from roof terrace design, contemporary garden design, modern garden design, classic gardens, traditional garden design, formal gardens, wild gardens and more. 

How do i know your qualified

I Have a National diploma in landscape construction, a degree in garden design and I’m accredited by the Association of Professional Landscapes (APL), this is a governing body that regulates the industry and separates professional designers and contractors from the rest and finally we are TrustMark registered. 

I'm thinking of having an extension built or renovating my house and then want to have my garden designed. When should I contact a garden designer?

Ideally, as soon as possible. The earlier I can get on board the better, that way I can prepare the landscape design documentation concurrently with the building works on the house. Once both have finished, the landscaping work can commence, minimising the amount of time between getting your interior finished and finishing the exterior. Often people wait until the house works have been completed before contacting us, and don’t account for the duration of the design and build process. 

What does a garden design include?

Much depends on which stages you are having carried out. Generally, the first level of the garden design (the Outline Plan) will provide you with a scaled complete layout of all the areas agreed in the Design Brief, showing location of all hard and soft landscape surfaces, making suggestions to materials and features. The plan may also include locations of key plants such as trees, hedges and topiary, and comes with a set of written notes which itemise each item and give a description of what that item is or could be. From here, the next stage is the detailed garden design, which provides a full package of drawings from which to quote for the build of the garden. For more information please refer to our Design Process page. 

Is there a minimum or maximum sized garden you'll design?

No. I design spaces ranging from the smallest courtyard to open acre fields. 

 

LOCATION

 

What areas do you cover?

Living in the heart of Lancashire, I cover the whole of the Northwest including Lancashire, Cheshire, Cumbria, Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Merseyside. I also work nationally having done work in the past in London, Surrey and Ireland. Feel free to call me for an initial chat so I can understand more about your garden design requirements, and how this might work, with where you are based. 

 

PROCESS

 

How do I appoint a garden designer?

To get the process started, I offer an initial garden design consultation service, whereby I visit you at the property in question and spend some time together talking through ideas and understanding the space and advising on potential solutions. These garden design consultations typically last an hour. I will then return to the office and prepare a preliminary client brief based on the meeting, along with a quote for the first stages of the design process; Site Survey and Outline Plan. This provides you with all the information necessary to start the design process. 

What information do I need to provide to a garden designer?

When I first get in contact with you, I have simple survey that asks for some brief details of the garden and property itself (including a few photos), and what you are intending to achieve. Don’t worry if you haven’t got accurate details of the size – I will be able to calculate that when we visit site. 

How long will it take for my garden to be designed?

Much depends on the scale and complexity of your garden design and its requirements. As a rough guide, the initial garden design will be completed in 2-6 weeks. The designs and specification is then passed over to the contractor to quote to get back with the final build prices. Planning applications may take subsequently longer due to council lead times. I have in the past completed gardens in a few weeks from start to finish, some larger gardens have been an ongoing relationship over a longer period, but an average garden would take perhaps 2-3 months from start to finish (concept designs thru to completed garden build) 

What is the difference between the concept design and the master plan?

A concept design provides you with the general garden layout and feel of the garden. It focuses on spatial feeling and aesthetic intent, but has no detail from which to build from. The mater plan is the evolution of this, and provides exact details, measurements and specifications of all hard landscaping surfaces, accessories and features. This plan, along with construction details, can be given to any professionally approved garden Contractor and will allow them to construct your garden successfully. 

Why do I need to have garden construction details?

Construction details are an integral part of the detailed garden design package, and specify exactly how to build the elements within a garden. Without the construction details, the design is open to interpretation by the Contractor, and may not end up being built quite as either you or I intended. 

Do garden designers handle planning applications?

I can offer the service of dealing with any planning applications for gardens which I have designed. These commonly include listed buildings consent, planning permission and conservation area approval. 

 

COSTS

 

How do you calculate the costs of a garden design?

I take a variety of factors into consideration when quoting for a garden design. These may include the size and complexity of the site, (such as level changes, boundary detail, and existing features) as well as the requirements and aspirations you have for the new garden design. I like to be open and transparent, and my overall aim is to make the process work for you. 

How much will my garden cost to design?

There is no set pricing or specific formula for quantifying costs on a garden each project is individual and is quoted as such. Please do get in contact if you wish to obtain a specific quote for your garden design. 

How much should I spend on my garden (& garden design)?

Collectively, the three governing bodies of the industry (BALI, SGD and APL) recommend homeowners spend a guideline budget of between 4 and 10% of the current value of the property. This could be higher or lower depending on the property itself and your requirements, and the relative size of the garden to the property. 

How much will it cost to build my garden?

Much like design fees,each project is individual and depends on a number of factors; primarily the final garden design. Other considerations such as machine access, site facilities and parking restrictions may also have an effect on the final cost. Once the detailed garden design stages are completed, I can work with the recommended contractor to provide you with a fixed quote for the construction of the garden design. 

 

CONSTRUCTION / BUILD

 

Do garden designers do the build work too?

I originally did for over 10 years but don’t any longer, we use qualified trustworthy contractors who i’ve work with before and trust to build your garden to the highest standard . Also depending on location and availability I can see the entire design and build process through from inception to completion – that makes the process simple and efficient for you.

Do garden designers do the planting work too?

Yes. Typically I handle the plant sourcing, purchasing and installation for you, so you don’t have to. I work with a wide range of UK based plant and tree nurseries to provide the highest quality plant stock, that is health and disease free. 

How long does it take to build a garden?

That will depend greatly on the size, complexity and materiality of each individual project, not to mention the effects of adverse weather conditions. Typically, from start to finish the minimum garden build timeframe is around 4 weeks, ranging up to months and even years, relative to the project. 

How to find a trusted landscape Contractor?

I having worked with a select few APL approved landscape Contractors for several years now. I can manage the garden build process and handle finding a suibtablen landscape Contractor for you – making the whole process simple and efficient. 

How do I know they are a professional landscape Contractor?

Professional, trustworthy contractors will be accredited and approved by the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) or similar – they will be displaying the logo on any of their vehicles and promotional material. 

Can I source the materials myself?

To make sure the garden is built logistically and financially efficient, the contractor will supply all of the materials. If you wish to ensure a particular material is selected, ensure we are aware at the planning stage so we can incorporate it into the design. 

Can I source the plants myself?

I have a close relationship with a number of the best nurseries across the UK which aren’t open to the public, and as such we can supply the best quality stock at competitive rates – much cheaper than garden centres. 

How big will the plants be when they are planted?

Trees and specimen shrubs are generally planted as semi-mature stock (meaning they will look like trees, not like seedlings). Shrubs and perennials however are generally supplied at small sizes, but take much less time to establish and mature. Hedges have the biggest variation and can be supplied anywhere from seedling to instant. 

How long will it be before the planting in my garden starts to mature?

I may offer you a number of options at the build quotation stage for how mature the plants will be at soft landscaping installation stage. This relates particularly to trees, shrubs and hedges where there is a wide range of maturities and associated costs available – so you will have some contribution to choosing how long the maturing process takes. Commonly, gardens we have designed take between 2-5 years to mature, some much longer, some are instant. 

How do I maintain the garden design?

Once the garden is completed, you have a number of options for garden maintenance. Firstly, I can put you in contact with local trusted gardeners and horticulturalists that are competent and knowledgeable enough to maintain the planting aspects of the design. The hard landscaping materials and features will have excellent durability and longevity and should require minimal maintenance. We are always happy to offer advice on maintenance tips for gardens we have designed.