To many, a Garden Designer is responsible for artistic and creative input resulting in the origination of a stunning, designer inspired, perfectly styled garden. And whilst this is one aspect of their job, it is most certainly not the only role of the Garden Designer. In addition to delivering this creative flair and visionary thinking, a Garden Designer is there to guide you on a number of practical issues to ensure the final design delivers the functional as well as aesthetic benefits to suit you / your family’s lifestyle.
At the heart of any well thought out garden design is an honest and open dialogue with the client at the initial consultation stage. Most reputable designers will have a standard questionnaire which they ask clients to complete in advance of the first meeting. This will help to establish some of the key issues / priorities for the garden and may include:
- Agreeing the main functional requirements for the outdoor space eg Entertaining? Rest and relaxation? Play area? Grow your own zone?
- Agreeing the preferred style of garden eg contemporary, minimalist, traditional cottage etc
- Identifying the main problems with the existing design eg limited shade, need to create boundaries between different zones of the garden, difficult sloping aspect etc
- Identifying motivating influences on choice of garden eg desire to be environmentally friendly, desire to incorporate certain style of planting etc
- Identify a broad operating budget
These are just some of the obvious questions that you might be asked to consider but an experienced designer will be able to provide expert counsel on a number of specific issues. Below are some more unusual design dilemmas that you might encounter:
- Looking for a formal, sunken, concrete lined, fish pond? Always check out the water table of the garden. In some instances it may be necessary to raise the fish pond to avoid the water pressure present in the ground causing the concrete lining to "pop" and fail
- Want a lushly planted Cottage garden but live in an area which is plagued with rabbits? Avoid the unnecessary additional cost of expensive rabbit proof fencing by planting a careful selection of plants that repel rabbits (incl. Acanthus, Agapanthus, Alliums & Delphiniums)
- Need to introduce a substantial boundary into a country garden but worried about obscuring the view? Try installing a ha-ha, a boundary barrier (usually a semi-ditch and a wall) which does not block out the surrounding landscape
- Got a small garden but needing to maximise the limited available space? Try painting the boundary fence matt black with planting in front of it to give the illusion of a larger outdoor space
- Interested in installing a pale cream Travertine natural stone terrace to the back of your property? If the garden is south facing, be aware that on a sunny day the glare from the paving will prove very uncomfortable, if not blinding. Consider an alternative choice of paving!
- Want an old drive or patio removed and replaced? Don’t incur additional expense by having the old patio ripped up and taken away. You can leave the existing patio/drive in situ and use it as a sub base for the new paving
Find out more about Lime Orchard garden design here!