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1Water feature and square lawn
2Raised ball topiary feature
3Raised water feature and lawn
4Seated patio area
5Seating on paving stones

Garden Design

Our garden and landscape design services will help you achieve the garden of your dreams, from concept to completion. Each garden is thoughtfully created with the highest attention to detail, from the design and selection of hard landscaping materials through to the colour, texture and choice of plants, and finishing touches. We work with highly skilled lighting designers, water specialists and experienced landscapers to ensure that the garden we have designed for you is delivered according to plan – and to the highest possible standard.

Below is a summary of the key steps involved in the creation of your dream garden.

Click on the services below for more information

Design consultation

The first step in the design process begins with the initial design consultation. During this first meeting we will discuss your likes, dislikes, possible themes and styles, and create a wish-list. It is helpful to have to hand any images of gardens you have visited that you like, or photos from magazines that have particularly sparked your imagination as this will help to determine the desired look and feel of your garden. The outcome of this consultative meeting will be the creation of the design brief: a written summary of key requirements that must be met in the creation of your garden. The design brief will also include a quote for our design work, together with an indication of next steps and our terms of business.

Site survey and assessment

The next step is to undertake a full and detailed survey of your garden as it currently is, accurately measuring its boundaries and orientation, plotting the location of any existing structures and services, areas to hide or highlight, items to remain or remove, and, if you have a sloping garden, any changes in ground levels. The site survey provides the opportunity to note any challenges that the design must overcome. For instance, do we need to screen an unsightly view? Which areas of the garden get the most sun/most shade? Is the garden overshadowed by neighbouring trees or buildings? Helpful reference photography and soil analysis are also taken at this stage.

Outline plan

With the survey complete, the creative process can begin in earnest. This will typically include the development of initial concept sketches and style montage. Once we have agreed the overall creative approach to the garden, we will then evolve the chosen concept sketch into a scaled and fully detailed outline plan. The outline plan is the transformation of ideas from the initial design consultation and creative concept into a complete, hand-drawn design for your garden. It will show all the proposed hard landscaping elements, focal points and features, areas of soft landscaping, and specimen plants.

Innovative planting design

Once the outline plan is complete, we can talk in more detail about the planting design. Typically, this conversation will take into account any colours and plants that you particularly like. It will also help us uncover any planting styles that you find appealing, such as traditional cottage, Mediterranean, wildlife planting schemes or bold, architectural-style planting. We will identify and shortlist the plants that will be most suited to your garden’s soil type – and the amount of time you want to spend looking after them! We then create your bespoke planting plan which ensures you have the right plants in the right place – and in the right quantity - to achieve the desired effect. Working with reputable nurseries we will also source the best quality plants available.

Construction drawings

With the outline design complete, the next stage involves the production of detailed construction drawings. These are particularly important where the design includes elements such as walls, steps, water features, or structures that will require technical drawings and specifications to ensure they are built in accordance with the design requirements. Additionally, it may also be helpful for the contractor to have setting out plans. These indicate exactly how the garden plan is to be ‘set out’ in the garden and ensures that the design makes an accurate transition from plan to build.

Building your garden

Seeing your garden take shape is perhaps the most exciting phase of the design project. To ensure the project runs smoothly from start to finish, we can draw up a scope of works and specifications. This is helpful in obtaining accurate quotes for the landscaping works and is invaluable when putting the work out to competitive tender. Typically, we work with trusted landscapers but are equally happy to work with your chosen contractors. Once work begins, we can be on hand to monitor the project at critical points throughout the build, with regular liaison until your dream garden is complete.

Imaginative finishing touches

A garden wouldn’t be complete without those all-important finishing touches: garden furniture, containers, garden art and statuary, and other styling details. Our creative approach and design ethos enables us to identify the right style of outdoor furnishings and related items that will fully complement the overall look and feel of your completed garden, whether you have opted for an ultra-contemporary garden or a more traditional theme. In many instances, we are also able to source the items for you.

Aftercare and ongoing consultancy

A garden is always evolving and over time it may need a little help to keep it looking its best. Once the garden is complete, we can prepare detailed and personalised aftercare plans to help you keep your garden looking great throughout the seasons. For those gardens where we have been involved from concept to completion, we also offer follow-up visits during the first year after completion. This ongoing consultancy – typically scheduled in spring or autumn - gives us an opportunity to review how the garden is developing, and discuss any areas that may need attention.

One-off garden consultancy

In addition to our full garden design and landscape services, we are also happy to meet and discuss any garden design or planting design issues you may have. For example, you may be broadly happy with your garden but in need of some suggestions to revamp a troublesome spot, or you may simply want some ideas to breathe new life into a tired area. If this is the case, our one-off garden consultation will ideally suit your needs.

Areas that we cover

We design and create landscapes and gardens in London, Middlesex and Hertfordshire areas as well as in Buckinghamshire and Surrey. We are also happy to consider commissions further afield.

Why not contact us today to arrange an initial design consultation, and take the first step towards realising your dream garden?

  • Buckinghamshire
  • Berkshire
  • Oxfordshire
  • Hertfordshire
  • London

© Christine Wilkie Garden Design