Storms Ciara and Dennis may have passed but it’s still pretty chilly outside here in Yorkshire.  Many of us like to settle down on a cold winter evening to select our summer holiday – will it be Greece this year?  Portugal? Maybe a cruise?!  

Here’s a suggestion for you – how about turning your thoughts to your own garden – wouldn’t it be great to sit out in summers to come with a glass of wine?  Maybe watching the children/grandchildren play in a well thought out outdoor space?

Now’s the perfect time to start planning for your new garden. The process starts by instructing a garden designer and finishes with that perfect summer garden….


Take your time

To get your new garden designed and built is a bespoke project, developed to suit your needs and tastes.  It’s worth taking the time to do it properly – just like with a new kitchen, you need to consider exactly what you need and how it will look before getting it installed.  This is what your garden designer is there to help you do – and of course to make sure you squeeze the most out of your budget!   

How to find a garden designer? – the best way is likely to be through personal recommendations, from friends and family; or through independent reviews online – our reviews are at Houzz reviews and we have very satisfied clients!  Or you may like to go through a national organisation such as those we belong to; the Society of Garden Designers (SGD) and the British Association of Landscaping Industries (BALI).


What do I really, really want?

When you meet your chosen designer, you will have a detailed meeting to look at your wishes and ideas together, and to view the area to be designed.  Your designer will then draw up a client brief and fee quotation for the design work.  This brief will become the agreed basis for the design they develop for you, so you should feel free to discuss it back and forth until both of you are clear that it represents what you really want.  You may need to decide on priority areas if your budget isn’t as big as your ideas!  –  we will do our best to guide you here.


Concept thinking

The next step will be for your designer to organise a full land survey; using this and the information in the brief they will set their creative talent and professional expertise to work to develop your Concept Plan.

The Concept shows the suggested new layout of the garden, annotated with thoughts about things like the functions for different spaces within the garden; views from inside and from seating areas; and access points.  Your Concept is the key tool to help you both talk about and agree how your new space will work.  To help bring this to life we like to show clients a mood board of photos and a sketch or two.


Master planning!

Your Masterplan builds on the ideas in the Concept Plan and turns them into a fully worked-up and detailed plan.  Alongside this will be a Setting Out plan and any technical construction detailing – giving all the information which your builder needs to make the new garden a reality.


Plant appeal

Many homeowners find themselves with a garden almost by accident – it came with the house!  Or you may be a keen gardener who can’t wait to get out amongst the flowers.   Either way, we will develop a Planting design suited to your needs, with plants which will thrive and give you pleasure without taking up all your time.  If we are renovating a garden we will also discuss and agree with you the mature shrubs and plants we hope to retain into the new planting.

The garden build

Established garden designers such as ourselves have a network of landscapers and other contractors; or you may have your own contractor you would like to use to install your garden.   Good contractors are booked up 3-6 months in advance – another good reason for planning well ahead!

We will normally source and plant all the plants for you.  Most will be planted immediately after the garden build; some items – such as bulbs and some shrubs – are only seasonally available.

Ready to take the plunge?

If you would like North Leeds Garden Design to help you with your garden, please do contact uswe are always interested to talk possible projects through, and are happy to take on small courtyards just as much as country estates. 

As a first step, why not complete our Garden Questionnaire.