Why is it necessary to get a garden designer in – can’t my local landscaping company do it?
That depends what you want. I design bespoke gardens. It’s horses for courses. If you want a bog-standard garden then go for it! If you want something special that reflects you and your lifestyle then contact me – a professional designer with 30 years experience. My particular focus is on avoiding wastage of resources so I am particularly keen on recycling materials, and working with the environment in every way possible. I am not a celebrity designer who will fly in and out leaving you with an unmanageable scheme – I work with you at every stage to create the garden of your dreams – but it won’t cost the earth!
Why do you charge for an initial consultation when some designers / companies do it for nothing?
There is no such thing as a free consultation! Some may offer this service but you’ll find the cost is added to the overall cost of the scheme and is therefore hidden. If it is a local building supplier then they make the money by specifying their own products – so you often end up with an ‘over-built’ garden with too many contrasting materials. I prefer to be completely upfront about my charges. I am a professional, I have spent time and money investing in my training and I therefore expect to be paid for my time. Some designers may offer this as a means of ‘getting in the door’ particularly if they are new to the business. Feel free to look around if this is an issue for you.
What about the process – is it like on the TV?
No, the TV makeover programmes have a very specific remit – maximum output in minimum time with a (largely unseen) team of people and large budget (though this is rarely reported) which makes a swift transformation possible. In reality, it is a much longer process – allow several months from initial consultation to seeing the garden built. Sometimes it may take up to 6 months to complete. This shouldn’t be seen as a problem. For something to be done properly it takes time AND a realistic budget.
Who builds the garden?
I don’t build the garden but can suggest some local craftsmen/builders who can. If you choose to do it yourself that is not a problem either as you will have a plan to follow.
What about cost – do you design to a budget?
Yes and no. Obviously I take into account what you have available, and I will often advise what can be done within that budget. But my aim is to give you the best garden possible and sometimes you just can’t put a price tag on that! However, a scheme can always be adjusted if it proves too costly.
How long does it take?
On average it will be 6 months to a year from first consultation to completion but this obviously depends on size and complexity.
How do you get most of your work?
I work by personal recommendation mostly – though I do advertise in local publications and on the web (obviously). The best recommendation is a happy customer – I hope you will join them.