Having developed my gardens for years I hadn’t previously considered I needed a garden designer for my new plot .. I was wrong! Caz has brought structure, process and an elegance to the garden I could never have achieved on my own.
— Kim, Hampshire

5 Steps to designing your ideal garden

To imagine and create a new garden or landscape takes carefully planned steps and a shared vision between designer and client. Whether you would like to retain your current design but have a fresh planting scheme or start from scratch the following outline gives you an idea of the process.

Stage 1 Design Consultation

The design process begins with a free onsite consultation during which key areas are discussed; how you currently use your garden, what you would like to see changed and any preference for style and an idea of budget.

Follow up consultation: This more in depth discussion walks through design ideas such as changes to specific areas in the garden, functional and visual elements to overcome or enhance, hard and soft landscaping, lighting ideas and the type of materials to be incorporated. Looking at the overall environment beyond your own garden is key in the design as well as considering climate influences and whether you have any pest or disease concerns. Approximate measurements will be taken at this stage.

A written design brief and quotation to stage 4 is then produced for your approval. 

This consultation will be charged at £60. If the design work is commissioned this fee will be redeemed against the total project

Stage 2 Site survey and Analysis 

Once the design brief is approved a detailed site survey and photographic record is conducted. In this survey exact measurements are taken and a thorough assessment made of aspect, views, soil conditions, drainage and existing features.

Larger and more complex sites may require a professional surveyor to be employed to complete a topographical survey.

Stage 3 Concept Design and Mood Board

The concept design helps to establish the overall look of the project. This outline plan takes into account proportions, how your new design sits in relation to your property and how it meets your desired objectives and brief.

Photos and examples of materials will help pull the whole concept together and give you a stronger visual idea of the final design. This brings focus to key landscaped areas, trees, shrubs and perennial planting and includes looking at lighting to further enhance your newly created space.

Stage 4 Master Plan 

The master plan provides a detailed plan for your garden and will include:

  • Details of materials, features and specific measurements and schedules for the landscape contractor to be able to provide a quotation and complete the work

  • Construction documentation 

  • Detailed written specification 

  • Construction drawings, where necessary, for the contractor 

  • Project overview including timescales and quotations

  • Option for Planting Plan in stage 4 or additionally in stage 6

Stage 5 Construction and Management 

You may wish to complete the build yourself, or already have a landscape contractor in mind. However, more usually the plans are put out to tender to trusted and known contractors depending on the nature, location and size of the project.

Once the quotations are received Caz will help assess the options and support you in making the decision on which landscape contractor will be best suited for the construction.

Project Continuity

With a background in landscaping as well as designing and a keen eye for detail, Caz will oversee the project from start to finish. This ensures the construction follows the agreed design and specifications and provides peace of mind and continuity. Regular progress meetings, strong collaboration and communications with all parties keeps everyone informed of progress and helps to manage any changes required.

Stage 6 Planting Plan

Plants are selected according to the agreed design - for colour, form and texture. They will also be chosen for their suitability for the site, soil conditions, and desired maintenance levels. With larger specimens or where habit or shape is fundamental to the overall look of the design sourcing is from specialist nurseries.

The planting plans will detail the location and spacing of each plant along with a written description of the plant attributes and care requirements. A plant schedule detailing sizes and quantities for costing are also included in the plan.

Local nurseries are used where possible as well as specialist nurseries when required and Caz will manage the ordering and delivery of plants and trees as well as overseeing landscape contractors or personally carrying out the planting.

For larger projects a planting plan and schedule will be quoted separately.

Maintainance programme

A maintenance schedule can be provided, detailing how to take care of the plants and materials within your newly constructed garden, helping you to keep the garden looking its best at all times. If you would like help with maintenance a suitable company can be recommended.

The Garden Design Hive is fully insured.