Everything you need to know about finding a Garden Designer
If you are considering updating or revamping your outdoor area, a garden designer will be able to create a plan to suit your needs and budget. Whether it is a complete overhaul or a simple update, a well-designed garden is a foolproof way to add significant value to your property while providing you with an area that you can enjoy year round. For garden design ideas see our photos.
A good garden designer should explain all the elements involved in creating your new garden. Such elements include the cost of the project, how long the garden will last before it needs replanting, what plants are to be used and their availability, what professionals are required to build the garden, the amount of maintenance needed and how the finished product will look.
The garden designer should visit your property in order to see the existing layout and to survey it for the purpose of producing a garden plan. They should also ask what your requirements are for garden features (e.g. paving, plants, water features) and garden structures (e.g. pergolas, cubbyhouses).
The designer will prepare planting designs, choosing the best combinations of plants for the style of garden. Your chosen professional should also provide you with a sheet of the plants that are suitable for your garden should you want to add additional plants or need to replant in the future.
When coming up with a design for your garden, consider how the different components will work together, for example, how the plants will work with your entertainment areas. Your chosen professional will help you with working out what combinations of plants, outdoor furniture, paving etc will best maximise the use and appeal of your garden. The secret to a good garden is incorporating the look and the functionality into one cohesive package.
When planning your garden, try to think of it as an outdoor room and allocate space as you would with an interior room. Remember that storage, power and even the clothesline are essential parts of the garden as well. If you have a sloping block, the installation of retaining walls to create a split-level garden can create several different areas that can be tied together. If you do decide to use retaining walls, be aware that you will need a professional qualified in building retaining walls and installing the associated drainage systems.
Above all else, the garden needs to reflect the style of your home and the professional should be easily able to see your vision and also be willing to make corrections to your ideas where necessary. A good designer will keep you involved with every step of the designing and building process. Don’t be tempted to follow the latest trend in your garden as trends tend to date quickly and updating can prove to be a costly exercise. It is best to strive for a classic look that can be updated using cheap methods.
The cost of using a garden designer varies greatly dependent on the type and amount of work that they do for you. The cheapest option is to hire a garden designer to draw you up a landscape plan. From this, you can implement the plan yourself or hire a professional to implement it for you. To draw up a plan, designers usually charge either a flat fee or an hourly rate and this should be agreed upon in writing before any work is commenced.
A conceptual plan should encompass the layout of the garden, what materials are to be used, what structures are to be built (pergolas etc), what lighting is to be installed and what plants are to be put in. This plan is what additional tradespeople and contractors will price from so the more detailed the plan, the better.
Another option is to have the designer draw up the plan and coordinate the professionals required to implement the plan in your garden. This is especially good if you do not want to coordinate tradespeople yourself but it is more expensive than just purchasing the plan. The garden designer will also take responsibility for ensuring that the work is carried out correctly.
The third option is to hire a firm that will control the entire garden project from planning to finish. This is usually the most expensive option, however, you have the security of knowing that one company will be looking after every aspect of the garden project and the work will usually be completed in the shortest timeframe.
How Much Does a Garden Designer Cost?
Garden designers will often charge for an initial consultation, when they visit your home and produce a written proposal for your garden. They will then generally work on an hourly rate - and there is no clear industry rate. Costs can vary widely, with renowned garden designers able to charge considerably more. Others may use a fixed price for their services - and if this is the case ensure you know what is included in this fee. If you change elements of the design during construction will this be included in the initial fee? Larger spaces with more complex elements will involve more of a garden designers time - so budget accordingly if this applies to you.
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