Garden Design Plan Service

Designer services for all, from small gardens to rolling acres.

Regardless of the size of your garden, if you are considering an investment in the outside space of your home, then allocating some money to garden design services is always a good idea as together, we can explore the potential for your garden to be everything you wished it could be, possibly more? 

If you would to like read more on what to expect of a design commission, you will find details of the design journey further down this page.

And, if you are looking for an little assurance on the outcome of working with Karen, then please jump over to the Projects gallery where you will find a varied selection of completed gardens which are all the result of clients commissioning a full package of garden design services.  

Why work with a professional garden designer?

"Do we need an architect?"  Would probably be your first question if you were about to embark on building a new house or on remodelling an existing one.

The reasons for working with a garden designer are similar to those for working with an architect and include: access to inspirational ideas, solutions to challenging issues, ‘seeing’ the changes before committing to the physical reality, having someone to guide and advise you, having drawings prepared so that others can construct the changes, access to trusted contractors and craftspeople.  Karen offers these benefits to your project and she is also a plant expert. (Be mindful though, that unlike the title of Architect, anyone can call themselves a garden designer.) 

Karen is a professionally trained Garden Designer with some 20 years experience.  She holds the appropriate insurances and has been vetted by the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) and is a pre-registered member of the Society of Garden Designers (SGD). Recognition by these organisations ensure that she maintains her professional status by keeping up to date with current legislation and working practices.

Artisan hand-drawn plans: a personal connection.

"During my design training I was enthralled by the 'mark-making'; the swirl of the graphite; the permanence of the drafting ink, and the way colour and shadow helped communicate my ideas.

I've proudly maintained hand-drawing as the foundation for the exploration and artistic stages of my design process - the weaving together of my clients wishes with the reality of the site constraints and its possibilities. For me, computer aided design (CAD) is not the right tool for this stage of the design development and so my designs are presented as ink hand-drafted and coloured plans on large format paper"

My Process

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Initial Enquiry

Firstly, we need to arrange a time for a free and informal telephone conversation to explore what you are looking to achieve and how we might work together to achieve it. Please contact me to book your complimentary consultation call.

If we are agreed that a visit to your home is appropriate, a professional appointment will be arranged where you can introduce me to your garden, its issues, frustrations and any positive points!  Together we will explore it's potential, establish your priorities for your investment and select an appropriate package of design services for you.

A fully detailed fee quotation will be forward for your consideration. 

Design Fees are free from VAT and are usually quoted on a fixed-fee basis.   

Survey Works

Once your commission is placed, arrangements will be made to measure and analyse your existing garden. 

It is critical to the design development, and later build phase, that existing dimensions and level changes are collected. It is also important to capture window and door positions along with the location of drain covers and any existing features and trees that are to remain in the new design. This stage is vital to ensure that the new design will fit!  

For most projects a specialist surveyor will be commissioned. For small, and uncluttered sites this may be carried out in-house. 

Design Development

Now begins the truly exciting part of designing your new garden. It can get messy!  

This is the primary artistic phase, the art of weaving together your preferences and all of the possibilities that present themselves as your new garden starts to emerge on the drawing board.  

As well as being the stage where ideas are explored and tested it is also when critical level changes and Health & Safety issues are addressed, along with standard planning constraints.  This can be a challenging area of the design process but ignoring these issues in the early stages can lead to complications and additional costs during construction.  

Once satisfied that the design solution has been reached a personal prestation of the initial concept along with 3D illustrations and mood boards will be arranged.  

On your approval of the concept, a Garden Design Proposal Plan will be prepared. This drawing maps out the whole garden area showing the proposed placement and connections of all the various elements and features. In fact, it is an illustrated representation of your new garden in perfect miniature along with 3D sketches and mood boards. It is traditionally hand-drawn and may be supported by digital illustrations, where appropriate.

Selecting Materials and Products

Once you have agreed the proposals we can begin the more detailed stage of exploring and selecting the materials and 'off-the shelf' products for your new garden. (Specially designed features will also required more detailed consideration).

Depending on your project, this may include choosing: a palette of materials for paved areas, timber for decking, water features, fire pits, arches, pergolas, summer houses, hot tubs, containers, ornaments and furniture, etc.  I will curate a selection for you and present samples, brochures and images for your consideration.  

The advantage of this service is that the ‘styling’ is consistent throughout the garden insuring a cohesive finish. Additionally, build estimates can be more accurate where products are identified. 

Technical Information for your Contractor

Once we have a vision for your new garden, additional documents can be prepared in order to fully communicate the more subtle design intent details ensuring that all visual decisions are made prior to the commencement of building works, leaving the contractor to concentrate solely on construction techniques. The additional benefit is that the project is more likely to stay on budget and be delivered on time.

Most of these documents can be prepared in-house although some may need to be commissioned from other professionals, such as Structural Engineers, specialist manufactures and installers.

Not every project budget can support, nor indeed requires this level of detail. However, they are advisable if you are going to seek quotes from different contractors as they help to ensure 'like for like' comparisons.

And finally ....The Planting Scheme

When even a tiny garden can have in excess of 200 plants most clients require my horticultural and design knowledge for the selecting and artful arrangement of their scheme.  

During this stage I'll consider your preferences and your garden's many environments alongside the design direction already set out.

Fully detailed Planting Plans and supporting documents provide all the information required to purchase, plant and maintain irresistible, yet manageable, year round displays.

Building and Planting your New Garden   

When you place a commission with Karen you are working with a design specialist whose priority is to take the time to imagine, explore and test design possibilities on your behalf.

When it comes to creating your garden Karen can introduce you to trusted and professionally skilled landscapers, crafts people and suppliers whose focus will be to turn Karen's plans into stunning reality. 

Creating a new garden is a team event! A collaborative process involving client, designer, other professionals, contractors, specialists manufacturers, suppliers and plants people all working together to create something special just for you.