With such a vibrant upbringing I suppose it's no wonder that I eventually became a Garden Designer. But I still can't work out exactly how it happened. One day my husband asked how I knew so much about plants, building walls, trees, birds, butterflies and the only answer I could offer was “I really don't know!”
That one moment made me stop and take a look at my career choices so far. I knew that if I made the leap, I had a really good chance of being happy and fulfilled as a self employed Garden Designer.
For most people it can be difficult trying to visualise how your garden could look and to work out where to put features and plants for best effect. So that’s where I come in. My job is to help bring your ideas to life.
I’ll just chat through everything with you, absorbing every nugget of information so I can turn your thoughts into reality with the minimum of fuss. It doesn’t matter how big or small your project is – be it a full-blown garden design project including a concept plan, construction drawings, master plan and planting plan or as simple as revamping and re-planting your existing space.
We chat about your desires for your outdoor space and the budget you’re working to. It’s a chance to look at any problem areas and ideas you have on the overall potential of your garden. If you’ve got any pictures, magazine cuttings or particular plants you’d like to incorporate or leave out, this is the perfect time to let me see your vision. If you don’t have any of this, that’s okay too as just by talking to you, I’ll be able to get a good sense of what design and style will work for you.
I’ll take detailed measurements of your existing garden, making sure to note down all boundaries, level changes, trees, and features, together with a soil sample. At this stage I like to take lots of photographs to get a good sense of your space while I’m away working on the design. An important part of this initial phase is to do an assessment of the surrounding areas and ensure my designs enhance the character of your property.
Before I go too far down the line, I like to meet back up and go through a few sketches of my initial design ideas. It’s a chance to test that I’ve understood what you’re looking for and nail down the design before moving on to more finished drawings.
This is the point where I unveil a drawing of what the final design will look like. It will have both perspective and elevations drawings – bringing the space to life. If I feel it will help, a mood board may also be presented at this point to illustrate the planting themes and landscape materials.
Before any work takes place, a master plan (which is basically a technical drawing) with full construction details of all hard landscaping features will be created. This gives any contractors we’ll be using on the job clear details of how the garden is to be built and what materials are to be used. The plan is drawn to scale and shows all measurements and level changes.
At this stage I produce a detailed planting plan. These will be done as standard in the case of a full design and build, however you may have an existing garden which is structurally well designed but has some gaps or areas of inappropriate or tired planting. If this is the case, I can also offer a planting service. This could involve a total redesign of your borders or could simply be a re-vamp of your existing areas. All planting plans give clear details of all plant names and varieties – more importantly it will show where plants are to be positioned and a full list of quantities.
As much as I’d really love to, I can’t be there looking after your garden full time. So I like to issue all my clients with garden maintenance documents so you have pictures of each plant used, its characteristics, time of flowering and care instructions. All borders planted will be numbered and this will correlate with the maintenance plan making it easy to identify plants in the garden. These documents are a really valuable reference tool in allowing you to get the best from your garden in the years to come.