Frequently asked questions

Why do I need a garden designer and a design?

Various reasons: You need to make the most of your space both practically and aesthetically and a
designer looks at both these aspects. The considered thought during the design process can result in a better garden and very
often, a cheaper one than if a ‘landscaper’ attempts to come up with the ideas
spontaneously. You need to see what the new garden will look like before work begins. A design on paper makes you focus on your requirements and tastes. There can be no misinterpretation as there can be with verbal instructions to a contractor. Very often a landscaper will prefer to work from a plan, all details being there to quote accurately from and to build to and all decisions as to what goes where and materials having been made already. A garden designer should know about plants, their suitability to the site, their growth rate
and habits and any particular quirks they may have.

I want just the design because I want to carry out the work myself. Do you do that?

Yes. We go through exactly the same process of design until we reach the stage when you have got all the information to enable you to start the work yourself.

I have never employed a designer before. What happens?

I have many clients who had never used a designer before but I always try to reassure them and make the whole process enjoyable. It begins with apprehension but once they see the plan before them and they see the possibilities, it turns to joy. I always look forward to that point when they say how exciting it is to see their new garden developing.
See my WHAT I DO page for how the process works.

I have a garden that is in such a state and a complete mess. Would you be able to do anything with it?

I challenge you to show me anything that I have not seen before! The solution normally
comes down to your budget, especially where any building work has to be demolished or big old trees or shrubs have to be removed before anything new can be built.

Do you have a particular style of design?

I pride myself on being able to interpret my client’s wishes and preferred taste and design accordingly. I would not enjoy my work if I were designing the same style of garden over and over. My design philosophy is another matter. I usually look for the simplest solution for the maximum effect. I try not to be gimmicky or resort to overused features for the sake of using them. If asked to include anything that I feel is superfluous, I normally try to use it in an original manner and very often make it the starting point to the design so that it looks well integrated into the garden.

I have such a small garden. Is it worth you coming out to see it?

It normally is. The smaller the garden, the less space to fit everything in so there are several rules of design to bring into play so as not to overwhelm the space

I have a border that I can’t seem to grow anything in. Do you come up with ideas just for single borders?

Yes. I was encouraged to start designing because of my interest in plants. I still count the
planting as the single most important factor in a successful garden.

My garden is now too full and the shrubs overgrown. Would you come out to show me how to prune them?

Gladly, I enjoy encouraging people to prune rather than hacking as it is the key to strong and
healthy growth. Many people dig out perfectly good but overgrown shrubs when effort and
expense can be saved by regenerative pruning.

I am trying to sell my house but I think the garden is one of things that is putting people off. Is there anything that can be done?

Nothing is guaranteed but there are certain aspects that can be addressed to attract potential buyer’s attention. People talk about creating the ‘Wow’ factor but that normally costs more than is viable when selling up. It is more a case of tweaking and tidying and looking for any negative points to eliminate. I can certainly view your garden with fresh eyes and give it more potential.