Here’s Some Questions We Are Often Asked As Garden Designers.

What are the benefits of using a garden designer?
As garden designers we combine our spatial and design skills, horticultural knowledge and understanding of outdoor construction to create the ideal garden to meet our client’s brief. Whilst working with the environmental constraints of your garden; soil type, aspect, moisture levels, sight lines and shelter. To ensure your garden fulfils your requirements and looks at its best all year round.
What does a garden designer do?
We can supply you with a complete garden design service; design concept and plans, planting plans, hard landscape design, construction drawings and specialist elements such as water features, lighting, outdoor structures. We offer advice on budgets and contractors and, if required, project-manage the whole scheme for you from concept to creation. Design Heights also offers maintenance of our own projects and quarterly tuition so you can learn how to maintain your new garden.
What things should I consider before engaging a garden designer?
We will sit down with you and walk you through a list of questions designed to ensure you get the garden you desire. In advance of that meeting think about how and when you want to use the garden and which plants, materials and colours you like and dislike. It’s important to make sure everyone who uses the garden attends the briefing meeting. If you have visited gardens or parks you particularly like, take some photographs. Use pictures from books or magazines or images from websites like Pinterest to help you, be prepared to explain why you like something. Do think about the budget, we can accommodate most pockets but it’s important to be realistic at the start to avoid wasting time and money on re-designs.
How do you charge and when do I have to pay?

We charge a design fee and planting plan fee which vary based on the size of the garden. The cost of the hard and soft landscaping will be estimated after the brief and design are undertaken and agreed, this will whenever possible align with the budget. Payment for design fee is due after the briefing meeting. Payment for planting plan is due after design has been signed off. All costs for materials and plants are required upfront, prior to order and labour cost are due 5 days after completion. Payment schedules will be supplied on request.

How long will creating my garden take?
We have outlined the process here. However it depends on the size of the garden, the weather and your availability to agree the brief and design, normally this stage will take 4 weeks. Assuming contractors are readily available you are probably looking at 2-6 months, from agreeing to engage us to sitting in your completed garden.
What do I need to consider?

Be prepared for some disruption. What is access like into your garden; is it through the house, along a narrow pathway, is heavy equipment required, will a water or electrical source within your house have to be accessed? All things to be considered, although we will flag these sort of issues up to you at the briefing meeting.

What time of year is the best for planting?
As a general rule planting can be undertaken at any time of the year, especially in the milder South-East of England but it depends; where you are in the UK, the aspect of your garden and what you want to plant. Ideally March-November but I have planted in December, it snowed I was freezing, the plants were fine!
What time of year should you get your garden designed?
Anytime! Everyone tends to start thinking about their garden in the spring and hence this is a very busy time for us garden designers but there isn’t a need to wait. We can get the design and build work done in the autumn/winter months (weather permitting) then plant in early spring, leaving you the summer months to enjoy your garden when you use it most.
So what are Garden Designers, Landscapers, Landscape Gardeners and Landscape Architects?

There is a fair bit of confusion around the terminology of the trades involved in gardening and what they do.

Garden Designers will in most cases design and be involved in the creation of both hard (paving, decking, walls, planters) and soft features (planting) of a garden, including small structures e.g. sheds, gazebos, pergolas, screens, greenhouses etc.

Landscapers are usually builders who specialist in the external building works, patios, external walls, pathways, steps, fencing etc. They are normally better able to create these features whilst considering the planting aspects that follow than a standard builder.

Landscape Gardeners are often grounds maintenance companies that maintain corporate green spaces, communal grounds and very large gardens.

Landscape Architecture is the designing of outdoor areas normally on a large scale like parks.

There is of course overlap between all these definitions and I believe in the US Landscaper does often refer to Garden Designer so when you google the term it can be confusing.