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c£4k to design a garden

(19 Posts)
DaisyBD Thu 04-Dec-14 12:21:30

Has anyone paid a garden designer to do a proper re-design? I've just had a quote from someone (recommended by the new gardener) which has come in at nearly £3,000, plus £1,000 for a survey. Does this seem like a lot of money? They include four site visits, and break down the cost to about half for the back garden, and a quarter each for two small front gardens and a driveway plus side access on the other side.

It's not a massive garden but it's not small either. The back garden is about 22m by 22m, not sure about the front but two separate small areas. The cost for the design includes plans and a detailed planting plan and schedule.

I have no idea what we should expect to pay but this does seem like a lot to me. At their quoted hourly rate this works out at nearly 50 hours work.

Any advice gratefully received! Thanks.

Ferguson Thu 04-Dec-14 23:21:33

My maths isn't very good, but is that not £80 an hour !!

Is that just 'design' or does it include planting, landscaping etc?

This Society of Garden Designers site might be more secure advice than MN:

DaisyBD Fri 05-Dec-14 09:51:20

Thanks Ferguson, and for the link. The hourly rate is £60 an hour, which seems on the high side, although I've seen hourly rates elsewhere of between £30 and £60. It seems like a lot of hours too - just wondering if that seems reasonable. The cost doesn't include any of the actual work - it's split roughly equally between a design and a planting plan/schedule.

TywysogesGymraeg Fri 05-Dec-14 09:53:49

50 hours to design a garden? �4000???? That's bloody ridiculous!

Go and buy yourself a garden design dvd and do it yourself.

Heels99 Fri 05-Dec-14 09:55:29

That is a lot! I assumed it included the actual work of redoing the garden. Get another quote!

funnyperson Fri 05-Dec-14 13:59:29

Ho yes I wouldn't pay that much unless it included the work of digging the beds and planting and aftercare.
I know on Monty's programme he was on about how gardens cost as much as kitchens but the concept of a garden being as important as a kitchen or as costly is arrogance in my view- and I love gardens! Kitchens are used many times a day for essentials of daily living and the cost of them includes appliances which have to be a to a certain safety standard. Gardens on the other hand are not essential, mainly used only 6 months a year and are not a life threat if something goes wrong. Therefore there is no way in my book that a kitchen should cost as much as a garden. £80 an hour is not far off what a consultant paediatrician will charge private patients, so in my view for a garden designer of considerably less qualification with considerably less risk involved to charge that much is a rip off, frankly. Even if they were a big name eg Chris Beardshaw I wouldnt pay that much because any garden design is only temporary: it is only good if maintained. Compare that to treating meningitis and saving a life. No comparison.

funnyperson Fri 05-Dec-14 14:02:56

Another comparison might be a work of art. For £4000 one would expect to buy at least a seriously nice little picture to treasure for generations from the RA summer exhibition, say. In other words, there has to be something which gives a lot of pleasure and is lasting to show for the money invested.

funnyperson Fri 05-Dec-14 14:13:50

Both Sarah Raven and Great Dixter do planting and design courses. I would want to know what experience and qualifications the designer had and also any photos of gardens designed by them.
I can see that with quite a large garden it is a good idea to get a garden designer in but I would have thought for a survey and planting design/plan £1000 max. I mean kitchen companies will come and design a kitchen for free. We have a local nursery who charge £150 for a site visit and advice on planting.

WaitingForMe Fri 05-Dec-14 14:21:25

I suppose it depends on how detailed the design is. 50 hours is only about six days work. And £60p/h is fairly standard for proper design/consultancy. I make that as a copywriter.

My DH sometimes does gardening work and has a client who once paid him £600 (4 days work) to tidy up their garden for a party.

Mintyy Fri 05-Dec-14 14:25:33

I know someone who runs a gardening business, and he only does gardens in the most expensive parts of London. His clients are millionaires and billionaires and very swanky businesses.

He charges £28.50 per hour labour plus of course the costs of plants and materials. Afaik, he doesn't charge anything at all for doing a design, although I suppose he might charge a few hours at £28.50 ph if his client wanted something particularly detailed and formal.

funnyperson Fri 05-Dec-14 19:15:06

Thats very reasonable Mintyy

DaisyBD Mon 08-Dec-14 15:15:05

thank you all for your replies. I'm torn between thinking it's really high and thinking's it's fairly reasonable. People should expect to get paid properly for a professional service. I worked as a freelance writer for years and got paid between £19 an hour for proofreading and £60 for copywriting. And sometimes things do take ages. But I think on the whole it seems a bit steep, originally we just wanted the garden to look a bit better and now it's spiralling out of control.

mipmop Mon 08-Dec-14 15:24:00

I may pay £60 per hour for someone who has the knowledge and experience to do a great job, but I wouldn't expect someone with that level of experience to require a week to design a garden! I can't understand how they would need so many hours to design an (admittedly large) residential garden unless they've never done it before.

WaitingForMe Mon 08-Dec-14 16:30:45

Then stop and take a breath Daisy. If it feels like it's getting out of control then pause things until you are ready. Ultimately it doesn't matter what any of us thinks of the price, if you don't feel right about it then it's not right.

Could you see if there are any students at your local college who'd be interested?

Mintyy Mon 08-Dec-14 19:40:41

Re-read my post.

NotAnotherNewNappy Wed 10-Dec-14 18:57:41

Buy this book:

Design your own perfect garden.

Then spend the 4k on getting someone in to do the hard work/plants.


Dd helped with the smilies...

Fingeronthebutton Fri 12-Dec-14 13:14:58

Another saving: you don't have to buy a book from Amazon or anyone else.
Go to your Library, that's what I did. You can then peruse (sp) the books at your leisure and decide what you want and then look for a gardener who will do what YOU want.

NotAnotherNewNappy Fri 12-Dec-14 16:50:31

My library had this book, that's where I got hold of it!! It's really good and has loads of designs and planting schemes for different types of gardens. Crocus also have some great planting schemes available for free on their website.

Rhubarbgarden Mon 15-Dec-14 20:24:50

That's very expensive, and I say that as a garden designer. Get more quotes in and ask to see examples of previous work; both photos and visits to actual gardens if possible. You don't need to spend that kind of money.

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