The design process starts with the understanding our client's needs.

Design Process Overview

Our role

We design and build gardens that suit our clients down to the ground! Through the design process, we balance our clients' requirements of their gardens with our design expertise and plant knowledge. Our job is to inspire you and we start by understanding your aims and objectives. We’ll ask you lots of questions about how you want to use your garden, the elements you’d like included and how we can make the most of your budget. Our garden design process is a little bit of science wrapped up in a lot of creativity!

The Costs of Garden Design

There is no 'one size fits all' price. It all depends on the size, shape and complexity of your ideal garden and what you have in mind. Our design quotes are tailored to your needs and wishes. So it’s always helpful if you have an idea of budget before we meet so we can talk realistically. As a guide, our fees are 8-15% of build costs and for a small garden that will start around £20,000. And a larger garden doesn't necessarily mean a percentage increase on the design fee, it really depends on the complexity of the project. If you are looking for garden design advice, we offer a one-off Design Consultancy Service, where we provide design ideas and recommendations. We charge these sessions at our hourly rate.  
The initial consultation is the first step to the garden of your dreams...

Initial Consultation

When we meet for the first time, let’s take a walk around your garden. We will talk about how you intend to use your garden, what styles you like and what you would like to include in your garden. I will make notes about the views, levels and direction your garden faces. Together we’ll discuss your budget and preferred timescale. After our meeting, you’ll receive a design brief and a quotation for your garden design work. If you require our full design service, which includes scaled plans, the initial consultations are free within a 30 minute drive of Barnet. Visits further afield are subject to a fee – please call for details.
The survey is critical to getting a new garden design layout right.

Site survey

The next step is to carry out a topographical survey. This is a scaled drawing, which will include the position of the house, levels, boundaries, existing paved areas, existing trees, the position of services (pipes, drainage, etc). Unless the garden is very small, the survey will be carried out by one of our recommended professional survey companies. We will also undertake site analysis and photographs will be taken of the garden and its surroundings.
Our presentation plans are used to layout all elements of the new garden.

Presentation Plan

Next we work from your design brief and draw up a scaled 2-D layout plan illustrating the proposed concept. Our concept plans shows hard landscaping (patios and pergolas etc.) and soft landscaping (plants and lawns) and details any changes in levels, walls, steps, water features etc. At this stage we’ll meet with you again to discuss our proposal and make any necessary amendments. Once you’ve approved the layout, we arrange for final plans to be drawn up into the 'Presentation Plan'.
St Albans traditional country garden design by Amanda Broughton

Planting Plan

If you want us to do your planting, we will create a 2-D planting plan. We show the exact position of each plant, its species and cultivar name as well as the number required. We also include photos of the plants for a quick and easy look at what we have included. Good planting design is not just the icing on the cake, but an integral part of our design process. Visual appeal is our first consideration when choosing plants; whether you want a clean smartly clipped white garden, a lush jungle look using dramatic large-leaved plants, or perhaps a traditional cottage garden. We have an in-depth knowledge of individual plant requirements such as soil types, aspect and water availability. The suitability of plants for the conditions is very important. 'Right plant, right place', a principle inspired by Beth Chatto, plantswoman, garden designer and author, lies at the heart of what we do. So whether your garden is on heavy clay soil or maybe an alkaline free draining site, we will choose plants that will thrive and look fabulous throughout the year as well as provide focal points, enhancing or screening views.
Additional drawings to illustrate level changes in garden design, Hertfordshire

Additional Drawings

There are a few instances when additional drawings may be required:  
  • Depending on the complexity of your garden design or bespoke features we may need to produce construction drawings to make sure the design is properly executed from start to finish;
  • You might also want to showcase your garden in the best possible light. With the popularity of glass doors installed at the rear of our homes, gardens can look fabulous day and night. At your request, we can add bespoke lighting plans and specify fittings that will make your garden a 24/7 feature;
  • Sometimes our clients prefer to see 3D drawings to help them visualise their new garden. These are particularly useful when working with sloping sites requiring retaining walls. Please let us know if this will be helpful.
  We are transparent about our charges and will always make sure you have agreed to additional drawings or extra costs involved in your project before we start work on them.
Garden design project in Hadley Wood

Tendering and Project Monitoring

Once your final plan has been agreed, we will draw up more detailed specification documents for your project. These will outline the exact work to be undertaken, and will include precise materials and methods of construction. All relevant drawings will be given to the landscapers so that we offer a fair tender process. Following the Specification Document, each supplier can quote like for like, you can be sure you’re getting the best value. If required, we can also offer a Project Monitoring service where we will oversee progress and visit the site to check that your design is going to plan.
Gravel garden planting in Hertfordshire

Planting & Sourcing

We select our plants from a number of high quality specialist nurseries and plant them according to your planting plan.


Towards the end of a garden build, we provide a quote for supply and planting. We then order the plants for you and organise a planting team. The size of the team, depends on how big your garden is and how many plants are in the design; we aim to get the main order in the ground in five to six days.

Planting New Trees

If you have new trees in your garden design, we generally plant these before the rest of the plants. So we can source them and ask your landscaper to plant them if they are already on site working on the hard landscaping. Also, some larger specimens might require specialist equipment to plant them, so we would organise this too. We also regularly check nursery prices to make sure the plants we supply are better value than those available at retail. If you would like additional features such as furniture, sculptures or pots, please ask us to help source these for you from our wide network of trusted suppliers.