16/07/2015 12:00 AM
Just as you might invite an architect in to provide advice on how to make the best use of the area inside your house, it makes sense to bring in a garden designer to gain their professional insight on how to maximise your outdoor living accommodation.
This blog post aims to arm you with some clear guidance on what kind of service you should expect your garden designer to deliver.
Substance and style!
To many, a garden designer is responsible for artistic and creative input resulting in the origination of a stunning, designer inspired, perfectly styled garden. And whilst this is one aspect of their job, it is most certainly not the only role of the garden designer. In addition to delivering this creative flair and visionary thinking, a garden designer is there to guide you on a number of practical issues to ensure the final design delivers the functional as well as aesthetic benefits to suit you / your family’s lifestyle.
At the heart of any well thought out garden design is an honest and open dialogue with the client at the initial consultation stage. Most reputable designers will have a standard questionnaire, which they ask clients to complete in advance of the first meeting. This will help to establish some of the key issues / priorities for the garden and may include:
- Agreeing the main functional requirements for the outdoor space e.g.. Entertaining? Rest and relaxation? Play area? Grow your own zone?
- Agreeing the preferred style of garden e.g. contemporary, minimalist, traditional cottage etc.
- Identifying the main problems with the existing design e.g. limited shade, need to create boundaries between different zones of the garden, difficult sloping aspect etc.
- Identifying motivating influences on choice of garden e.g. desire to be environmentally friendly, desire to incorporate certain style of planting etc.
- Agreeing a broad operating budget
No two garden design projects are the same but there are a number of common challenges faced in the outdoor room, that your designer should be capable of resolving. Here are some examples of practical responses to a few design dilemmas:
Work with professionals
One of the most important priorities when working with a garden designer is to be reassured that the project will be delivered on time and on budget, ask to see examples of previous work undertaken and take up references with past clients. Visit the BALI (British Association of Landscape Industries) www.bali.org.uk and APL (Association of Professional Landscapers) www.landscaper.org.uk or the Society of Garden Designers www.sgd.org.uk to source a reputable garden designer and / or landscaper.
If you are looking to gather ideas on what to do in the garden, why not visit Jacksons show gardens for some inspiration? Open far longer than any of the official garden shows – and entry is free!