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Process

A walk through of the service we offer

  • process_1

    Consultation

    The consultation meeting is the time to discuss exciting ideas which will form the basis of the design brief and to discuss your budget.
    During the meeting I will listen carefully to your ideas and together we will explore how you would like to use your garden and the particular style or feel you would like to create. If you have any images of gardens, textures or planting styles that you would like considered in the design, now is the perfect time to show me. We can also discuss the garden design process, so you have a full understanding of the different stages involved.
    I will walk around your garden and assess it from a design perspective – looking at the possibilities and limitations of the site, considering the views, aspect, levels, soil structure and access. Following the meeting I will draw up a brief for the design of the garden based on our discussions along with a fee proposal for the design services required.
    There is a charge for the initial consultation.

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    Survey

    A site survey is necessary to produce a scaled plan of your garden to work from. During the survey we will analyze and record all of the relevant information to consider in the design.
    The survey and site analysis consists of:
    • Measuring the site, building(s), access points, windows and ground levels.
    • Noting the particular characteristics of the garden: the setting, the soil type, drainage, aspect, views, existing plants, drains and manhole covers, local building materials and styles.
    • Assessing whether any views could be enhanced or obscured.
    • Photographing the site.
    • If the site is complex I would recommend that a firm of surveyors undertake this aspect of the work.

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    Ideas, Sketches and Plans

    The Presentation Plan is a coloured 2D scaled drawing of the proposed layout for your garden, showing areas of hard landscaping, planting and features. The design will combine the aesthetic and practical considerations outlined in the brief and discussion during our consultation.

    Details – construction drawings

    The quality of workmanship is key when translating the garden design into living reality. If necessary, to ensure that the design is set out and built exactly as planned, I can prepare accurate setting out drawings and detailed construction drawings for the contractors to follow.

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    Tendering / monitoring

    Tender documents

    If you would like to obtain comparable quotes from three reputable landscape companies to carry out the construction of the garden, I can prepare a specification document outlining the precise work to be undertaken such as the construction methods and materials to be used. This will be sent to the contractors along with the design, contract documentation and any other relevant drawings so they can quote for the work on an equal basis.

    Project Monitoring

    Once you have chosen your contractor and the build gets underway I can make regular site visits to ensure the landscapers and other professionals deliver your garden exactly as planned.

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    Planting plans

    I have an excellent plant knowledge. I pride myself on arranging simple, striking planting designs. Each plant is selected to suit the soil and situation, combining to create all year interest and a maintenance level to suit each client’s requirements. Each planting design drawing will show the position of each plant, its species and cultivar name as well as the quantity required. Each drawing will also feature a plant schedule outlining the name, total number of plants and recommended size at planting. We are also happy to supply and set out plants for you, your contractor or our team to plant.

    Sourcing

    I can source or commission any pots, sculptures, water features or outdoor furniture that you may desire.

    Planting

    We are happy to supply and set out plants for you, your contractor or our team to plant.

    Maintenance

    We are always on hand to offer advice on the ongoing maintenance of the garden.

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Relocating from Australia to the UK we purchased a brand new home in the Northern Cotswolds with a moderately sized garden. We found Susanna on the internet whist we were still living in Shanghai, and liked the examples of her work that we saw online. Accordingly we arranged to meet Susanna on site when our house was still under construction and we were on a visit to the UK from China.

Within a few minutes we knew we would engage Susanna to create our new garden. As we walked around discussing our garden to be, Susanna asked many questions, constantly honing in our the aesthetic and practical needs in a garden.

The brief was that Susanna would create an English style garden, incorporating our existing garden furniture, make best use of sunlight, keeping a large lawned area for the dogs, and that the garden would provide gardening pleasure but would remain relatively maintenance free. We engaged Susanna on the spot to provide us with a preliminary drawing. The drawing confirmed that Susanna was very much in tune with us as clients. A few weeks later as promised, Susanna sent us a colour sketch which arrived via email. We took one look at it and could see it was exactly what we wanted! We met on site the day after we moved to the UK for one further discussion, and then commissioned Susanna to complete the detailed plans and plant selections.

At our request, Susanna engaged a landscaper to carry out the hard work and she project managed the work. The landscaper completed his work to the highest standard, on time, and to budget with a team of enthusiastic workman who were a pleasure to have working on our property. During the construction phase and planting Susanna was readily available for queries from us and appeared on site regularly to liaise with the landscaper.

Susanna is the ultimate professional, knowledgeable and highly capable and has created a garden which gives us beautiful views from every window of the house as well as satisfies our practical needs. Furthermore, the garden has been cleverly designed to provide a service area which will be obscured by a hedge, and trees which will integrate the much older landscape behind our property into our garden, thus creating an illusion of even more space.

We cannot recommend Susanna highly enough.