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GARDEN DESIGN

'We wanted our garden re-designed to create a variety of different spaces.  Over the past few years Ric has designed and overseen the creation of a Mediterranean garden, cottage garden, large rising rockery and a Japanese garden as well as re-designing the bog garden and long border.  The results are stunning!'
Ed, North Devon
My Design Services

Garden Design Services

Full Garden Design.

Some designers are known for having a certain style or look to their work. I don't limit myself to a particular style but choose to work in a way that is empathetic to my clients. I want to create the best garden for you, whether that is a contemporary design for outdoor dining with friends or cottage garden beds, surrounding a lawn for the kids to play on. Your home is unique to you and your garden is an extension of that home and should be just as personal.

I offer a professional and qualified garden design service in North Devon also covering further afield in Devon County. Garden design can be an exciting and explorative experience for the client and designer, working in a collaborative process. Starting with an initial consultation, followed by creation of a design brief, then moving onto research and concept stages before production of a completed design ready for landscaping. I can assist in securing a landscaper to construct the garden and I provide project inspection during construction. More information on my garden design processes can be found here.

Fees - An example of my fees can be found in the sample proposal document. This document details an example full design process for a simple front and rear garden of approximately 150m , with basic landscaping and plant planning. Fees can vary greatly with the size and ambition of design, however £1200 - £1800 should be considered a good starting point for even a basic design.

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Planting Schemes/Plans.

Sometimes you don't want or need a full garden design and construction. Having an area to plant or changing the garden theme with new or additional planting can be a great way to give your garden a new and refreshing feel.

 

The garden design process can be slightly deconstructed for planning of an already designated planting area. I can produce planting plans, plant lists and assist with sourcing of plants and planting. This doesn't involve the analytical, concept or research processes of design, it is a simple way of planning and planting an area. 

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DIY Design Consultation and Advice.

While I would always recommend hiring a garden designer, sometimes we are limited by budget or excited by our own ambition and learning. For those wishing to embark on the journey of designing their own area or garden, I offer a guidance service to help the client understand their garden space, design principles and other related subjects.

What is Garden Design?

Garden design is an artistic and creative process working with the client. Using professional knowledge and skills, the aim is to bring an old area to life or create an entirely new garden. Design involves several processes and methods of work including surveying, graphic design, CAD, planning and sometimes project management. The order and choice of processes will vary between designers, but it usually follows the basic pattern of:

Client meet, Brief, Concepts, Designs, Construction, Completion.

Planning and creating an entirely new garden can be an expensive undertaking. However, these processes and budget can be scaled down to design a planting scheme for a smaller area. Garden design is only really restricted by imagination and budget!

 

I work mostly in CAD as it can create multiple views and images of the same garden as well as having the versatility to make minor alterations or large changes with ease. It also provides you with various options, especially during the concept stage of the garden design. My preferred method of work is outlined below:

Initial Meet - This is a free meeting (within 25miles where we can meet each other, and I can get an outline of your ideas and requirements (If the meeting requires more than 25miles travel, I charge a flat rate of £60 to cover time and mileage). There may be some follow up communication via email or phone, once you are happy and if you wish to proceed, a fee proposal is prepared for the garden design project. It will state pricing and outline my stages of work for the garden design project. Usually this is broken down into fees for specific stages of the project.

 

The fee proposal will also be accompanied by my terms of engagement, this is a document for garden design projects that serves to protect both client and designer in engagement of works. It may seem daunting and a little convoluted! But it is just standard industry practice as recommended by the Society of Garden Designers. If required, we may discuss some changes to the proposal. Once you are happy, we both sign it and work on your garden design can begin!

An example of a proposal document and a copy of my terms of engagement can be found below:​

 

Design Brief and Site Survey - A design brief creates a comprehensive package of information for the garden design. This is a vital reference during the research, concept creation and final design stages. It details key information such as your plans for garden uses, desires, ideas for garden design and any other relevant information for the design from you as a client.

This information is gathered through an initial consultation and other communications between us. I use a tailored garden design questionnaire that allows you some time to consider any other aspects or information you may wish to provide. However detailed or limited your answers may be, it is very important to the design process. There will also be a follow up meeting, this allows us to work through your responses and anything else we may feel the need to discuss for your garden design. I usually conduct the meeting at the same time as the site survey.

 

A site survey involves recording of data to create technical plans and site information relevant to developing a new garden. This can include: Aspect, exposure, soil texture/structure, microclimates, existing garden content such as plants and buildings. Creating a brief is a wide ranging and detailed process, it helps both of us to understand your garden and allows me to understand your expectations for the garden design and to align them with the current garden environment and its design potential.

Concepts and Initial Design Process - This whole concept stage is a communicative, creative and evolving process that should be very exciting for you as a client. I use the design brief as my information pack and reference point throughout this process. Utilising creative research and development skills, my aims are to start collecting various ideas, images, styles, themes and possibly materials to present to you. I consider whole themes you have mentioned or I believe suitable, down to small individual elements or materials like seating or the tone and size of gravel.

 

We will have a few meetings where I can present to you some of the ideas, usually as digital or hard copy presentation boards. This allows us to begin to pull together various components and start working towards some full ideas for the garden design. This process is as much about 'No' as it is 'Yes'! Knowing what you don't want and don't like is just as critical in concept stages, in fact I often find my clients have a much clearer idea of what they don't like than what they like! 

Working from the brief and our meetings some plans and perspectives may be presented to you using CAD. Once some firm ideas of the overall garden and its elements have been developed, I can create a final concept for the garden design. More often than not, several features from different concepts will be incorporated into this. Usually at this stage I will start communicating with landscapers if this is something you require me to do. This communication can lead to initial estimates and site meetings, beginning the process of finding and instructing a landscaper for the garden build. 

All the concept research and work should bring us to an understanding of what you want your garden to look like, what function you want from it and the materials and plants you would like to have in it. Following the concept and some initial design processes laid out in the proposal, we would then be in the exciting position of producing the final design!

Final Design - The garden begins to come to life! This process can involve a large amount of work due to the research of plants and materials and the technical drawing aspects of design. The final garden design can include a layout plan of the garden, a hard landscaping plan, planting plan and depending on scale or scope a lighting plan and other technical drawings of structures or relevant layouts. Other documentation in the final garden design can include design rationale, perspective images or drawings, plant lists and material lists. If you require I can produce maintenance schedules and advice sheets as well as plant profile documents.  

 

The final design will involve a draft process where small changes may be made to a point, however larger changes can severely impact the overall design, creating more work and almost certainly incurring more costs. 

Garden Build -  Bringing the garden design from concept and plan into reality. As mentioned in the concept stages, I can assist with finding suitable landscapers for the project. Please be aware that many landscapers will have diaries booked up a few months in advance, sometimes there can be a delay in design to completion due to this. 

Some landscapers provide a full service of construction, soft landscaping, bed preparation and planting, others will only provide hard landscaping and many offer variations of these services. I have landscapers in certain areas that I would recommend and will also narrow down the right landscaper for you in your area. Ultimately it will be your decision, but I can support and advise you throughout the process of selection.

Depending on the level of service provided by the landscaper, I can source and install plants if necessary or variations of this. I will also visit the garden throughout the construction process, keeping up communication between myself, you and the landscaper to ensure all is running smoothly.

Finally the garden will be complete! Paths and patios laid, plants installed and you will be able get out and enjoy your new space! I can also provide follow up visits and consultations at later dates to ensure the garden is thriving and performing as it should.

 

 

Why Have a Garden Designed?

Similar to using an architect for designing and planning a building. A garden designer brings the same level of skill and professionalism to a garden or area. The garden is another room of your house, with the right vision it should provide you with an outdoor space that extends your home, giving you continual interest, enjoyment and satisfaction.

Designing a garden can take a lot of time and planning, good communication is key and the designer will listen to the client ideas. They can help you through the process of bringing your desires for the garden to life and hopefully show you new ideas and concepts that you hadn't even thought of! 

Designers are trained to view a space uniquely, engaging in many overlapping processes during the design journey. They will correlate a variety of factors such as; survey, site analysis information and client aspirations into a coherent design process. This can save money in the long run, using their skills to develop design concepts, eventually planning for appropriate plants and features. Of course these skills also apply to working within budget constraints for developing the whole garden. Designers will make the most of your space and the uses you want from it.

Reasons for using a designer:

  • A new view and vision for the project.

  • Specialist knowledge e.g. design principles, planting selection, environmental influences.

  • Saving money with foresight of problems and planning.

  • Save you time and stress by using a trained professional.

  • Work with site features and limitations.

  • Make the most of all the outdoor space.

  • Development of garden ideas and concepts through research and various presentation mediums.

  • Full design presentation including technical plans and CAD Software.

What is design
Why have design
Design Fees, Terms of engagemnt
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