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if you hire a garden designer, how does it work?

(7 Posts)
warthog Sat 26-Sep-09 08:37:17

my garden has been totally trashed by rebuilding the house so there is absolutely nothing in it at the moment. because it's such a huge undertaking to redo a garden i have hired a garden designer.

i was expecting to get a layout design ie. where the beds are / shed / paved area etc. as well as a planting plan - what plants go where. i'd expect this BEFORE any work is started.

instead what i have is a layout design ie. where beds are, an extremely general idea of what is in each bed eg. herbaceous border, shrubs, a tree. that is all.

it seems the planting plan will only be forthcoming when the landscape guy has actually started work on the beds and planting spaces are agreed. but isn't that what the layout design is for?

warthog Sat 26-Sep-09 08:39:28

what i'm worried about is that i have to give a massive deposit for the labour before i'm even happy with the garden design.

Pannacotta Sat 26-Sep-09 14:54:58

This doesnt sound right to me.
Normally you'd get a layout plan which you would approve (or not and it would then be amended) and after that a planting plan with the details (positions and number) of trees/shrubs/perennials/bulbs etc.

I can't see how you can be expected to commit to a landscaper doing work before you even know what you are going to have!

Most designers offer a design service tup to planting plan stage, without doing project management of the work, does your designer not offer this?

I have to admit to being a bit put off garden designers as we had a plan done for our garden as its a very awkward site but the layout and the planting were not right and I have had to make lots of changes to it myself....

Did you meet other designers to get a feel for what services they offered?

Trifle Sat 26-Sep-09 15:02:06

Are you sure you area dealing with a qualified garden designer? If so what did you agree to pay for the design? Most designers charge say £500 (very rough figure as it depends on the size of the garden) and for that you would expect to get an overhead plan, a perspective sketch and a list of suggested plants. If you havent paid for a design then you cannot expect one. It sounds more like you have bounced ideas round with a gardener who has advised what can go where.

warthog Sat 26-Sep-09 18:37:11

i have paid A LOT for this design (well over £500) and i'm sure he/she (don't want to be too specific!) is a qualified designer.

i'm feeling a bit short-changed and nervous about the whole thing.

they work closely with a landscape guy who does the work. they have been liasing.

i just don't think layout of beds etc. constitutes a full design.

'usually I wait until the work is underway to ensure all planting spaces are agreed before I get too excited about where plants will be sited - often things can change on the ground once work has commenced and it does save time to do the planting plan once all groundworks are at least drawn out on the ground and we all agree. '

they have offered to show me something sooner though.

i guess i can not accept the builder guy's quote and not carry out her / his design and go with someone else. but we've wasted 6 months on this now.

warthog Sat 26-Sep-09 18:45:40

not to mention the dosh hmm

Pannacotta Sun 27-Sep-09 09:52:36

warthog I do sympathise as I had a similar experience.
How about calling the designer and explaining your concerns, perhaps ask to meet him/her so you can go through the layout plan and talk about what he/she has in mind.

Has the designer specified what will be lawn/hard standing/planting space in the design?

Normally the designer would produce a spec and then quotes from three landscapers for the work would be arranged and then you decide which one you want to use.

I do think it's very odd that the designer has been liaising with the landscaper but not with you, it's your garden after all!! You will be living with it for many year, not them. Perhaps you should remind him/her of that...

IMO you need more info about what the designer has in mind before you go any further.

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