1) Site Analysis
We always start with a thorough site analysis and develop a design brief on which to base the overall concept, style and theme of the garden. This covers topics of how the garden will be used and its function, with the clients likes and dislikes. We also consider the orientation of the site, soil type, climatic region, and what key features are to be included, i.e. water features, sculptures or mature plant specimens. We always take photographs at this stage, and nearly always advise that a proper topographical survey is carried out by a surveyor, unless existing plans are sufficient. Based on this information we work up the analysis and design brief and for review with the clients prior to signing up to the design process. At this point the design fee is due 100% upfront to show our commitment to the project, and the clients.
2) Presentation Drawings
Once we receive the signed design brief and the site analysis has been agreed we will start to prepare a set of presentation boards incorporating the concept “Masterplan”. This will include a scale illustrative plan, perspective drawings and sometimes sectional elevations showing how the garden will look, together with mood boards showing a range of images showing main features, boundary treatments, finishes, surfaces and style of plantings. We sometimes show a draft for lighting at this stage, but the proper lighting design is always undertaken once a client has signed off the design, either by ourselves or a specialist lighting contractor, we work with a few.
We also sometimes produce a computer generated image of how the garden will look.
3) Construction Drawings
When the client is happy and has agreed to the design, we start the next phase which is preparing detailed construction drawings and specifications including setting out drawings, technical drawings and specifications for materials so that the landscape contractor can then produce an itemised quotation. Sometimes this can be a simple stage, but if it needs to go out to tender with several landscape contractors its very important to get this right to be competitive.
4) Planting Plans
At this stage it is very important to prepare a drawing showing detailed planting, with varieties being used, quantities and spacing together with a planting schedule. Sometimes if we are taken on as project managers of a site, a client can avoid the costs of this stage, as we are able to place the plants on-site prior to planting by the contractor.
5) Tender Package
If the client wishes the contract for the construction of the garden to go out to tender to a selection of landscape contractors we are happy to produce a full tender documentation and manage the tender process on a clients behalf.