Working with a Designer or Architect

Working with and understanding your designer

Many designers will have their own way of working. The following is a step-by-step guide to the design process, from the initial consultation to ongoing maintenance.

Initial Consultation
You meet the designer on-site to discuss aspects of the project and form a design brief. The designer will make notes and get a feel for what you are trying to achieve. Before the initial consultation you will have made your own notes and prepared an initial design brief for the designer to build on. Be sure to share these and your scrap book with the designer.

Site Survey
The designer will make detailed notes, take photos and accurately survey all existing features and assets. This will form the base plan for the conceptual process and final plans.

Conceptual Process
The concept plan will show the basic layout: movement flow and main features, e.g. driveways, steps, decks, paved areas, planting, lawns, trees, water features and any other major elements. The concept plan is a stepping stone towards a finished landscape plan. It may include suggestions for planting and thumbnail sketches of key features. Your designer will present these and discuss how the project will evolve while listening to your feedback. The plans will then be developed further by the designer. Depending on their scale and complexity, the concepts may be revised several times before embarking on the final stage of planning.

Final Concept
This is the detailed plan made from earlier concept drawings. It is finished and will include working drawings for any construction, specific planting plans and notes.

Construction / Planting Plans
Construction and planting plans are scale drawings with detailed specifications for all aspects of your project. They may include quantities of and, specific plant information, specifications for materials and soil conditioning.

Implementation (Installation)
This is the building stage of the project. Some designers cover all aspects of the job while others act as project managers to ensure your landscape is installed with quality workmanship and to their specifications.

After the garden plan is installed it needs regular ongoing maintenance. As any landscape or garden is a living growing entity routine maintenance is inescapable. Part of its joy is that it is constantly evolving.

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