Frequently Asked Questions
If your question doesn’t feature below, or you would like to talk though your project, please get in touch…
HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED A GARDEN DESIGN CARRYING OUT?
If you are feeling like your garden doesn’t work or if there are sections that aren’t being used to their best ability, or if you simply fancy a freshen up or putting your own mark on your outdoor space, then it’s a good idea.
WHY WOULD I APPOINT A PROFESSIONAL GARDEN DESIGNER?
As a designer with twenty years’ experience of what works and what doesn’t and the formal training and recognition of the Royal Horticultural Society and The Society of Garden Designers, we are equipped to find the best solution for your outdoor space. We can inform you of what is realistic within a given budget and location, whilst facilitating how to optimise the functionality and beauty of your plot. It’s not uncommon that we are called out to see why a garden (a few years after a garden has been installed), doesn’t work… This might be that its not easy to move around, or awkward to maintain, or maybe a tree is dying or a whole bed isn’t doing well. It’s a plants nature to thrive, so if it’s not doing well, it’s because it’s not the right plant for the right place. I’ve also been called out to patios that flood, trees that are damaging paths and the wrong fence for windy sites… All these are things that an experienced, properly trained designer will be able to navigate around and ultimately save a lot of time and money.
WHY the palace gardener?
Having worked on and installed hundreds of gardens in different spaces, we have the real hands on experience of what will realistically work. Ensuring the sustainability of the garden and protecting your investment, goes hand in hand with our flare for design and visual arts. We want our clients to be able to completely visualise the garden before the installation goes ahead.
I’VE GOT SOME INITIAL IDEAS, CAN WE USE THEM?
We want to facilitate getting your garden to its optimum performance and maximise its aesthetic appeal. The better we do this, the more you will use and enjoy your garden. So whether you’ve got no idea or a few rough ideas you need materialising into a workable plan, all ideas are welcome. We are not the designers who will charge the earth and put a design into your hand then disappear, instead we see this as a crucial stepping stone to securing the result that you are going to be really happy spending the money on.
WHAT AM I PAYING FOR IF I’VE HAD A HAND IN THE DESIGN?
As part of the getting the brief we have a tried and tested way of getting out of you every thought you have had, about your garden and others alike. We are then able to associate that with a practical and sustainable solution that will be totally achievable. In the meantime, if there are any elements, we think you’d like we add them into the mix, then the challenge is for us to answer the brief set and maximise your investment. As a result of the design process, you will have a complete set of drawings that you can take away and use to get contractors to quote and follow to build the garden, exactly as you’ve imagined!
HOW DO YOU CHARGE?
We have a set fee based upon the site size and complexity of the brief which will be agreed before we start. The payments will be staged, and split evenly, any additional or unexpected amendments will be agreed by you and charged at our standard hourly rate. If you want us to plant up the garden, we charge by the hour so that if we can get it done quicker and cheaper we will, equally if we come across any challenges no one is out of pocket. If you want us to project monitor the whole installation, this is charged at a percentage of the overall cost and at an hourly rate for time spent
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE PROCESS?
Check out ‘the process’ page for more detail, but its worth noting we can do all or part of these stages if it’ll be beneficial to the project. That said, I would always recommend carrying out our full design service, to make sure your voice has been heard, that you have a clear idea of what its going to look like and that there’s an overall responsibility for the way the design works.
WHAT DO WE GET FOR THE MONEY?
Check out our ‘Process page’ to see more detail but you will get an initial consultation with the designer, either in person or on a call. Then a more in depth meeting where we get the brief from you over a few hours via video link or in person. A full-scale site survey and site analysis will be carried out to ensure we are starting from the right place. Then at first draft stage, you will receive a scale master plan of the first draft, a few mood boards to give you an idea of the materials and planting palate and a technical drawing of the most important elements. This will be supported with visuals to aid you being able to see what is being proposed.
If you’re happy with this, the design will be detailed out into technical drawings for builders to follow and planting plans for the soft landscapers; basically a fully detailed map for how to materialise your dream garden!
WHAT IS THE TIME FRAME FOR GETTING THE DESIGN CREATED?
Obviously this must go on a job by job basis. Typically arrange stage one of getting the survey and site analysis carried out, and the initial consultation (to get the brief) within a few weeks. Once this has been carried out its often around six weeks for the first draft to be delivered. After this, dependant on what amendments may need to be made, we can have a full set of drawings to get going with a few weeks later. Its a great idea to work well in advance so that theres no pressure on getting this stage completely right. Also, once the plan is in place, you may spend weeks finding the right contractor and finding the time for them to fit you in. If you have everything ready to go your job will be a more attractive job for contractors to quote against.
Once the design has been delivered will that be the last time we see each other?
It can be if you’d like, although our previous clients have all asked me to carry out the planting and help with the dressing to ensure the final look is right. This is charged separately to the design and will be charged hourly to be fair. If you’d like us to project monitor, or help with irrigation installation or plant maintenance plans these are all things we can do as a separate hourly job. Other than that feel free to send me pictures of the garden and keep in touch via our client portal with any queries.