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Design Process

Some clients use every part of the design journey, others only certain parts.  That's fine with us, and it all starts with a friendly conversation and develops from there. 


Initial Consultation

The priority here is to listen to you and get a good understanding of your aspirations and needs for the garden, as well as getting a feel for the existing space.  It is not always necessary to undertake visits, if for instance the space is straightforward and you supply good photos or plans.  Initial visits outside of Buckinghamshire may incur a small charge (subject to location).  This is refundable if we are appointed to carry out the design.

Fee Proposal

Following the initial meeting, the design brief is confirmed in writing, along with an indication of design fees.  Our proposals are based on the Landscape Institute and RIBA Stages of work, and each stage is explained in the document.  Each stage is payable on completion before moving on to the next.  We will advise on the need for surveys to be undertaken.

Concept Design

Following signed approval of the fee proposal, we move on to the creative side, producing exciting concepts for your space.  This includes sketch plan options, mood boards and 3d sketch views where appropriate, allowing you to see clearly how the the garden will be laid out.  We like to challenge you during this stage, putting different ideas on the table.  We also love to get a reaction from you, to help inform the next stage.  

Developed Design

Taking on board your feedback, we produce a final 2d masterplan.  Material palettes, spatial arrangement and location of key features are fixed, as well as the broad planting palette, look and feel.  3D views are updated where necessary.  If planning is required the drawings can form part of the initial applications, prior to detailed and technical design stages.  

Detailed & Technical Design

The approved plans are worked up in further detail at a larger scale.  Technical drawings, are also developed. Drawings can include setting out plans, lighting design, levels information and cross sections.  Discharge of planning conditions can be covered at this stage.  This can be a good stage to ask potential contractors to provide budgets for construction costs.  

Planting Design


We can provide a stand alone planting design service or one rolled into the overall garden design.  Planting plans show the location of all the proposed species, along with a plant schedule listing names, sizes and quantities to be used for costing, ordering and setting out. A mood board of all plants is included so that you get a feel for the look we are aiming to achieve.  James likes to be involved with setting out on site, to ensure the scheme is right, making adjustments if required.

Tender Stage

Detailed tender packages can be pulled together and sent to contractors to quote for the works.  This includes detailed drawings, typical construction details, and full specification. 

We are happy to help guide this process, recommend contractors and review returns on your behalf.

Construction Drawings

Following the tender stage and the landscape contractor being appointed, a final set of construction drawings is often required.  This might simply be adjusting the tender set, or may require more detailed changes, if for instance value engineering (budget reduction) has taken place during tender.  

Site Monitoring & Completion

An extremely important part of the process.  We independently monitor the construction works on your behalf and ensure that the vision turns into reality.  We check for quality of workmanship and carry out detailed snagging reports at the end of the project, ensuring you get the product you have paid for. 

In use & editing your garden

Once the garden is finished and the contractor walks away, this enables you to start enjoying your investment.  This is only the start of the journey and it is very important to revisit the garden at regular intervals over the first few years at least.  Editing the garden is an especially important part of the review process and we can offer advice and tips for getting the most out of your investment.

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