Prospect Cottage; a Study in the Artful Use of Flotsam

On a clear sunny day at the end of summer I finally made it to Prospect Cottage, in Dungeness. I’ve known about Prospect Cottage for so many years that I can’t remember how I first found out about it. A Southbank Show about Derek Jarman perhaps?

5 Tips For Lighting Your Outside Space

Lighting a garden properly can be deceptively tricky to do. If you go overboard, your space can look garish and tacky, but if there’s not enough light, it will lack ambiance. I’ve shared five tips to help you nail your outdoor lighting, in our latest blog so you can enjoy your garden after dark through this winter and beyond

Hever Castle Gardens – Garden Visit

Driving back from Reigate I saw a sign for Hever Castle and remembered I wanted to pop in to have a look at the new Faith Garden.

We create bespoke hand-drawing designs

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We focus on making your garden another room of your house, that you can enjoy for as much of the year as possible. Tackling large or small garden projects, creating the perfect marriage of form and function, to give you a beautiful garden with year round interest.

We love a challenge and feel that the best ideas come from solving a problem or making the most of what you’ve got. Our intention is always to design a garden in keeping with the style of your property and to your own tastes.

We are also able to deliver on specialist requirements like the introduction of habitat for bees, butterflies, birds and other wildlife, no water planting, Japanese style gardens and more.

We are based in Beckenham, SE London and cover all SE London postcodes, into Kent and Sussex within a 25-mile radius.

After an initial FREE consultation*, if you decide to commission we will create hand-drawn designs & plans to illustrate how your garden will look.




01. consultation meeting

Once you’ve contacted us, with some details about your project, we will be in touch to arrange a site visit: to meet you, understand your requirements, like and dislikes and investigate what is possible from the site. At this stage we will discuss possible ideas, make suggestions, show examples of similar work undertaken and discuss fees. There is normally no charge for this meeting.

02. brief
If you are happy to proceed, after the initial meeting, you will be asked to sign a notice of engagement. We will then have a briefing meeting, it is important that everyone who uses the garden attends. We will go through a series of questions to define the brief however it is also helpful if you have pictures of gardens you like or dislike.
03. master plan

Once the brief is agreed we will create a scale drawing of the site, defining the design concept with material choices and overall plant ideas. This will probably require a visit the garden to undertake a site survey. If the garden is particularly large a professional surveyor maybe required to undertake the survey.

04. material labour & quotes
Once the master plan is signed off and materials are all agreed labour quotes can be undertaken, I have my own roster of tradesmen however sometimes clients wish to use their own builders at this stage.
05. planting plan

The Planting Plan is the detailed scale plan which shows which plants go where, how many, with a defined plant list (Latin names including specific species/type). From this list, the planting is quote obtained.

06. build process
Once all quotes are agreed the works can beginning; starting with site clearance, foundations, electric cables are laid for lighting and any power requirements, the conduit for irrigation, hard landscaping, structures etc. Site visits are undertaken to confirm the design is being followed and any issues are resolved which impacted on the design. We do offer a project management option which would be discussed at the briefing meeting.
07. planting
The flower beds are then prepared, plants are bought and planted following the agreed planting plan.
08. finishing details
Irrigation is installed, as is final fix lighting.
Design Heights offers project management, procurement and planting services as well as quarterly maintenance and gardening tuition, fees are agreed based on requirement and scale of the project.
09. time scales
Depending on your requirements or the site conditions; dramatic changes can be realised in just a couple of weeks. However more complex projects and larger schemes will involve more planning and may take weeks in the design and implementation phase, before work begins.