Design Process

Design Process

Described here are the stages for a full garden design and construction project:

Initial consultation

Upon viewing the garden, your project and aims are discussed and where possible a budget is indicated. At this stage you can view pictures of other finished projects and discuss requirements, issues you have with the current garden and your tastes. This discussion forms the basis of the brief. The initial consultation typically takes 40-90 minutes and subsequently you will be provided with a proposal document detailing your requirements and the design fees that would be payable.

Site survey

Once you have decided to proceed with the project then an accurate survey of the existing garden, or area to be improved, is made. For large or complex sites a professional land surveyor may be engaged. The survey records the garden boundaries, gradients, existing paths, features, buildings, and plants. In addition, other details such as aspect, the garden’s immediate surroundings, and soil type and condition are noted.

Concept plans and sketches

Using the information gathered from the initial consultation and the site survey, one or more concept drawings are produced showing how the new garden would look from the air. Elements from one or more concepts can be used to develop the final plan along with any changes or additional features you would like to introduce. Where necessary, sketches are used to help you visualise the designs. If the garden is very large then it may be divided into several areas/phases.

Final plan

Once the design has been agreed the final plan is drawn up to scale so that the landscape contractor can cost, set-out and build the garden. 

Construction details

For some features such as garden structures or water features construction drawings may be produced.

The final plan is accompanied by a specification document which details every aspect of the project from working hours to soil preparation. One or more contractors are invited to tender and you will be provided with a fixed price quotation for carrying out the project including softscaping where applicable. If irrigation or lighting schemes are to be used then plans and costs for these will also be provided at this stage.

Planting plan

The planting plan shows the location and spacing of all the plants in the design, both existing and new. A plant schedule accompanies this, listing the botanical names and quantities, and is used for costing, ordering and setting out the plants.


Once the garden has been constructed and the plant beds prepared, the plants are set out and planted. Plants are sourced from all over the country and assembled just prior to the construction phase finishing.

Project management

Although the contractor will be managing the site on a daily basis, regular site visits by the designer help ensure the project progresses smoothly and that any issues that arise are quickly resolved. You will be kept informed of progress throughout the project and consulted where appropriate.

Maintenance and aftercare

A garden begins to evolve as soon as it is planted and, although no gardening service is offered, advice can be provided on how to help it establish successfully. You can opt to have a maintenance plan produced giving an easy-to-use month-by-month guide on the tasks to be done in the garden. Alternatively, site visits are possible to offer you advice as the garden matures.

It is one of the most satisfying parts of the job to see the pleasure clients get from their gardens and to see how they develop and nurture them. Have a look at some past projects by going to Portfolio.