If you are interested in having me design your garden, this is what to expect:
1. Consultation and questionnaire
Our first meeting involves a questionnaire. This guides us towards finding out what you want from your garden. Some people are very sure about what they want, others have no idea. Both are fine.
2. Summary of meeting
I send you an document summarising the meeting and questionnaire. It gives us all a chance to make sure we are understanding each other. You are encouraged to add or change anything at this early stage. This forms THE BRIEF. Along with THE SURVEY, this is the backbone of any design. This document can be very helpful even if you choose not to continue with my services
3. Survey and Site Analysis
A design is impossible without a survey. It involves measuring your garden and drawing it up to a useful scale i.e. so it fits on a piece of paper with all the elements in proportion. It is from this drawing the design or many alternative designs can be drawn. The Site Analysis involves taking the north point, taking lots of photographs, observing existing elements in the garden including plants and trees, neighbour overlooking points and views out to the landscape. The cost of this depends on the size and complexity of the garden.
FEE: Typically £100-£200 (considerably more if the garden is large and on a slope)
4. Design – Concept
Using the survey I begin the design process on paper, then with 3D software Sketchup see CAD section. This allows the garden to be built virtually before it has been built. Once I “build” it, it is plain to see how the garden will look and I usually give you a little animation which allows you to fly round the garden as if you were a bee! I show this as part of my presentation, and give you a CD to put on your own computer so you can see what your friends think.
5. Design Detailing: Once the concept design is approved I create a drawing suitable for a contractor to build from. This is a bit like an architect’s blue print and is drawn with architect software Vectorworks see CAD section. This will have all the information required for my preferred landscaper Richard Arnott to work from. If you choose another landscaper I will need to produce further drawings including more detailed specifications.
FEES: I will give you an estimate after our first meeting for the Concept and Design Detailing before I start drawing.
Since this is the burning question, how much does it cost to design?… I try will to give an idea…..
As a very rough ballpark figure I can design a small simple flat garden of about 5m x 10m for under £1500, this will include the survey, animation and scale plan. However this doesn’t mean that a garden twice the size will cost twice as much, each garden will need to be assessed individually. It is also possible to offer me a fixed amount you want to pay and I do what I can in the time.
6. Planning the Build: I prefer to work with Richard Arnott, an experienced landscaping contractor who is also a garden designer and talented plantsman. He will quote for the actual work that I’ve planned. Richard and his team are 3 professional, highly trained and experienced landscapers, not to mention friendly and tidy too. You are free to suggest your own landscaping contractor if you wish. Together we can decide on materials to suit your taste and budget. I will charge my hourly rate for this process (£50/hour).
7. Project managing: This may be done by you, by me, or by Richard. It is up to you. Since Richard is building, it makes sense for him to manage the day to day and for me to check in at intervals that suit you.
8. Construction drawings (you may or may not require these for e.g. a new bench, water feature) I can do these for £100-£300 depending on complexity.
Amendments are charged as and when necessary to my hourly rate.