The key to ensuring that a garden reaches it’s full potential is the level of care and attention that goes into it. A garden should be fed regularly, weeded and watered. Plants need sensitive pruning in the correct season to ensure that they keep a good shape and to maximise flowering. Some taller perennials and bulbs need annual staking to safeguard them from the wind. We offer a bespoke maintenance service that can be adapted to your needs. If you want a programme to guide you or your gardener through the seasons we can create it. We can also provide consultations to ensure that the garden is keeping in the spirit of the original design and we can offer an ongoing maintenance service.

 

Good irrigation keeps a garden alive and thriving. This is often the first stumbling block when a new garden is created. New plants are often left to die because they are not watered enough. We can install irrigation services for small terraces or large gardens. These drip systems use water efficiently and save time, money and allow your plants to flourish.

The first meeting

The initial visit is free of charge and is an opportunity for the designer to view the garden and meet the client to explore their preferred style of garden and find out what they hope to use it for. Will it be used to grow cut flowers or play football, to host parties or to find some peace and quiet. There are so many options and clarifying these is crucial. The client can also ask the designer what is possible within the space and what initial ideas they have. After this free meeting a document will be sent to the client to outline a proposal for the garden and lay out the costs for a design.

The site survey 

If the quotation is accepted the designer will return to the garden for a site survey. We measure the dimensions of the garden and the back of the house including doors and windows. To this we add any level changes, mark out significant trees and shrubs as well as establishing the position of the sun and the soil quality. This is drawn to scale and will be the basis for all subsequent drawings. It’s also an opportunity for the designer to spend some more time in the garden and develop further ideas for the site. Is the garden exposed to the wind and frost or warm and sheltered enabling more sensitive and unusual plants to fruit and flower? Is there an ugly building to hide or a beautiful view to enhance. All this information is the basis for the design. 

The draft plan and the presentation plan. 

Once these measurements are committed to paper a draft plan or plans can be drawn and designer and client meet again. The drawings are explained while a concept board offers images that reflect the proposed mood of the garden. When a garden is drawn up you can see it much more clearly and make decisions with more confidence. You suddenly realise that you can fit a larger dining table, that the lawn needs to be a little smaller or a cherished sculpture should be lined up with a specific window in the house. We spend time listening to what the client likes in the proposal, drawing out any new ideas that they may have. This is also the stage when we samples of suggested products. All of these decisions will be incorporated into the final inked up plan and we meet again for the presentation of this plan and to give the client their drawings. Once this final plan is agreed upon the garden is ready to be built and planted.

 

Building and planting

At this stage the project is ready to go out to tender. We can recommend contractors and provide the required tender documentation. This contract will be between the client and a separate landscaper. If required we can arrange to visit the site regularly during the building and planting to answer questions and flag up any problems. When the hard landscaping is completed it is time for one of our favourite stages – planting up the garden and watching it come to life. We can also set up an irrigation system so you really can sit back and relax while your new garden grows. 

Garden design
Garden maintenance
Garden rescue

Sometimes gardens get out of hand and both the gardens and owners need rescuing! We can quote for a rescue package – letting you know how much work is required to bring some order and balance back into your garden. We will cut back climbers, shrubs and small trees that have got out of hand, restore tired lawns, remove unwanted or dead plants and fill gaps with healthy new plants. We can also arrange to remove the waste. It’s an immediate makeover. Sometimes a cutback like this is all you need in order to be able to enjoy your garden for the year ahead.

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© 2017 by Robin McAfee Garden Design | Garden Design London.

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