Garden Design Process Overview
Initial Visit
Site Survey
Design Stage
Construction Stage
Planting Design


Gardenmakers has a broad client base.  Much of our garden design work is with clients who are extending or developing their properties, where the existing garden is no longer fit for purpose or needs redeveloping in line with the property renovations.  We regularly work with those new to gardening, who require guidance on managing or developing the garden.  We also work with clients who have inherited an established garden and wish to put their own individual stamp on it, making it more suitable for their needs and lifestyle.

What are the benefits of employing the services of a professional Garden Designer?

  • Experience and knowledge to translate the brief into an imaginative design
  • Creative solutions to space planning
  • Ability to visualise the full potential of the garden
  • Knowledge of materials and their suitability
  • Contact and collaboration with select suppliers, manufacturers, landscape contractors to implement the design
  • Extensive horticultural knowledge to choose and place carefully considered plants and planting combinations to suit the site
  • An established network of specialist tree and plant nurseries

A well-designed garden with a sense of place responding to the architecture of the property and surrounding area is an investment that will give long term pleasure and add value.

Gardenmakers place particular importance on direct personal contact with clients throughout the garden design, construction and planting process. 

The first visit is a meeting with Caroline and/or Louise to look at the existing garden or site to discuss its development.  We will explore how you wish to use the garden, and learn about your lifestyle and garden ambitions.  This information helps us to formulate our brief.  We aim to get an understanding of the important features of your new garden, these may include:

  • Terraces, steps, paths
  • Entertaining space for outdoor dining
  • Play space
  • Sun/shade solutions
  • Productive garden for growing fruit, vegetables and cut flowers
  • Lighting
  • Storage
  • Water
  • Furniture
  • Sculpture or focal points

Budget:  Gardenmakers works closely with clients to establish a realistic budget and take pride in working within agreed budgets.

Fees:  The scope and scale of each project is different, and after the initial meeting, we will send you a proposal which sets out the design brief and our associated design fees.  Gardenmakers offers competitive fees based on the guidelines established by the Society of Garden Designers. 

Once the garden design proposal has been agreed and accepted, we carry out a survey and analysis of the site.  During this visit, we measure the garden, noting existing levels, features, structures, boundaries, key trees and plants.  We will also assess the garden aspect and specific conditions such as drainage, soil, light levels and surrounding geography.  With this information, we draw up a scaled plan of the existing site, which is used as a base for the new design.

For large or complicated sites, we may recommend that a specialist surveyor is commissioned to provide a topographical survey.  We can co-ordinate surveys on your behalf and brief the surveyor to ensure that the required information is supplied on the plans.

Concept Plan:  Using the Client Brief, together with the Site Survey and Analysis, we develop ideas for the new garden. 

These ideas are presented as the garden design concept at a client meeting.  The concept consists of draft plans (to scale), illustrated with sketches, photographs and detail drawings to show the proposed new layout and garden features  We also discuss materials to be used for specific areas of the garden, showing samples where possible.  These might include stone for paving, walling and paths, and timber types for decking, pergolas, gazebos and garden buildings.  Key structural planting such as trees and shrubs will be outlined, as will the planting themes for each part of the design.

Final Design Plans:  Once the concept plan is approved, full-scale plans are produced.  These include an overall Layout Plan, showing the new design for the garden with details of hard landscaping elements, garden features and areas for planting.  This Plan is accompanied by a scope of works and full specification detailing the materials to be used and method for building the garden, together with a Setting out Plan indicating detailed measurements of the layout.  Construction plans are also provided as necessary for more complex construction such as buildings, steps and walling, and water features.  All together this package provides full information on measurements, levels and construction which ensures that the new design can be interpreted by the Landscaping team and the new garden is built to the required standards. 

Construction:  Gardenmakers has built up close working relationships with a select group of landscape contractors and specialists chosen for the high quality of their workmanship, professionalism, and attention to detail.

We assist clients with the appointment of a contractor suitable for their particular project, taking into consideration locations, the scale of work and materials to be used.  Our contractors are selected for their experience of working with all types of exterior materials, from hard landscaping through to ground preparation, tree planting, turf laying and general horticultural skills.

Gardenmakers has excellent contacts with specialist contractors to assist with all bespoke elements such as water features, swimming pools, ponds and lighting design.

In all cases, we liaise with the contractors, meeting them on site to discuss the scope of work, providing detailed plans and/or sketches to assist them with the preparation of a quote for the work to be undertaken.  Gardenmakers' involvement in this process ensures that quotes are competitive and adhere to the scope of work and specification.

Project monitoring: Once the contractor is appointed, we act for the Client, carrying out site meetings during the construction phase to monitor progress and confirm that work is carried out to the highest standards according to the specification.

As specialists in planting design, Gardenmakers offers a complete planting design and planting service.

Once the Landscaping Layout Plan has been drawn up, draft planting ideas are finalised, taking into consideration the Client's wishes, garden site, soil, aspect and local conditions.  

When the ideas are agreed, we undertake plant sourcing, delivery and planting. 

Sourcing:  Key specimens are carefully researched for quality, shape, size and colour.   All trees and shrubs are handpicked from our extensive network of reliable nurseries.

Delivery:  We oversee the delivery of plants and trees to ensure good care is taken of the plants at all times.

Planting:  We undertake the setting out of the plants and carry out much of the planting ourselves.  Our close personal involvement in every aspect of planting ensures that all elements of the new planting scheme achieve maximum impact.