Design Process

The North Leeds Garden Design Process has been created based on our years of experience in garden design and horticulture. Our 8 step design process covers every eventuality to leave you with the perfect garden and outdoor space. We always strive to make your vision a reality and this in-depth, tried and tested garden design process is key to making that happen. Please see below for an over-view of the garden design process steps and feel free to contact us if you have any questions about them.

1. Client Questionnaire:
At North Leeds Garden Design we believe it is important that you have plenty of opportunity to explore with us what you really want for your new garden. We have developed a garden questionnaire to start this process off. We ask all our clients to complete it and will then discuss your responses in further detail as part of our briefing meeting with you.
2. Briefing Meeting
Design-Process-Image-1This first meeting is to establish your ideas, needs and budget and will involve a walk around your garden to discuss any problem areas, the potential of the garden and any ideas you have on how you would like the garden developed. At the meeting it’s also useful if you can share with us any photos, pictures or Pinterest boards of gardens you like, and to have considered materials, plants and garden styles that you like or dislike. Clients find it helpful to complete our Garden Questionnaire before the meeting, as this will help you clarify what you are looking for and your priorities for the garden. We make a nominal charge of £110 for this initial meeting, but this is refundable against the cost of your Masterplan Following the meeting we will develop all the information from our discussion into your Proposal and send it to you for your approval, along with our fee quotation and Terms and Conditions of the contract. We are then ready to begin the development of your design.
3. Site Survey and Photographs:

Design-Process-Image-2When you are happy with the Proposal we will arrange for a Land Surveyor to visit your garden to take detailed measurements of the garden boundaries, buildings, features, paths and spot heights, plus measurements of the house including placement of windows & doors, sill heights. And also measurements of any trees and large shrubs both within the garden and around the boundaries. He will then put all this information together to produce a scaled topographic plan of your existing garden as a basis for the design plans. The designer will also make a detailed photographic record of your garden and examine the character and setting of the garden; views – good and bad – and screening requirements; the aspect and microclimate; soil type and drainage.

4. Concept Diagram:

We will develop our initial ideas in response to your Proposal brief and the site survey and analysis, and then present and discuss these with you at the concept meeting. The concept itself will be shown as a draft hand drawn diagram and explores the layout of the garden without going into great detail. Typically it will identify the key areas of your garden by function and target: hard landscaping, planting, garden fittings. We will normally also show you a mood board to illustrate the kinds of features, plants and structures we are considering for your garden. We will also show you some illustrative visuals such as perspective drawings and an online mood board.

5. Masterplan:

We will prepare a final drawing developed from the concept diagram and the shared discussion. The plan will be to scale and show the detail of the proposals such as positions of proposed paths and paving, walls and fencing and the extent and character of the planting (not individual species at this stage). It will be accompanied by notes to explain the plan further and provide technical detail on materials and structures.  A setting out plan showing dimensions and levels will accompany the masterplan if required.  Our plans are hand-drawn to scale; however we have invested in computer-aided design and so we will select which method to use depending on the requirements.  Using CAD means we can easily incorporate architects into our drawings.

6. Detailed Design and Specification:

In some cases it may be necessary to prepare construction details for features such as ponds, pergolas and steps. We can also provide a detailed build Specification of Works if you are considering going out to tender for your garden build.

7. Planting Plan:

  We will develop a detailed plan of all the new planting in the garden once the Masterplan has been agreed with you. This is a scale drawing showing which plants will be set out where, showing the position by individual plant species. All plants will be appropriate for your soil conditions and aspect. North Leeds Garden Design are experienced horticulturalists and so we will also provide you with a quote for providing plants, planting and mulching.

8. Pricing and Implementation:

We work with various landscaping companies who understand our plans and the high quality of implementation we expect. They all deliver high quality work for a competitive price. They will provide you with a fixed-price quote for installing your new garden based on the agreed Masterplan and Construction Details.

9. Project Inspections:

We will conduct project inspection visits at appropriate intervals so that you are informed of how things are progressing with your contractor(s) during key points of implementation, and to check that your garden is being built according to the design. The exact number and timing of these inspections is based on the complexity of the garden being built, and therefore we will be able to give you the fee for these once we have an agreed Masterplan. If you wish we can also carry out project liaison, which enables more frequent and detailed communication, helps resolve any design implementation issues which may arise with your contractor, and helps projects run more smoothly.

10. Care Plan:

Where we develop a Planting Design for you we will share a Plant Care plan with you.  This lets you have at your fingertips, season by season, the key information on how to care for your new plants.  Having a new garden installed is only the first step and we want you to be confident about how to care for your plants, and to enjoy your new outdoor space long into the future.

Get started with our Garden Design Questionnaire