Brief collection and site visit

The first and most important aspect of any garden design project we get involved with, is coming to see you, the site and talk about what you want to achieve. This is a chance for us to meet, to get a feel for the site and discuss all the opportunities, constraints, and options available.

From this, we can develop a brief for the design, this will be the starting point of all design work, so we'll chat, ask questions, bounce ideas around, and we'll write all of this up together with our fee proposal, so that we can agree the next steps.

We often ask clients to pull together some images of things they like or gardens they really love. Pintrest is a great way to do this and we're happy for you to share your boards with us. We even make boards for clients, pulling together ideas that we can bounce around. Sometimes just visiting your home, and getting to see your style, taste, art, & furniture gives us some great starting points.

Budgets and design fees

This can be tricky to set, you might not know how much you are looking to spend, or you might have a very fixed amount in mind. We're happy to discuss all options with you. Building gardens isn't cheap, it's like an extension or complete renovation of a house, just outside! And everything needs to stand up to the elements all year round, and often, until you are out of the ground and all your foundations and groundworks compete, you bury most of the cost. Each garden is unique, and depending on the features you want, the costs will vary dramatically. Happy to have initial chats over the phone, we can also arrange to put together initial budget costings for you, either ourselves for a fee, or by collaborating with an experienced cost consultant or quantity surveyor.

Our design fees directly respond to the size and complexity of the project. Usually we offer a fixed fee for each stage of the design process (see below), with any additional site visits, meetings or work outside our agreed fee based on an hourly or day rate.

A project with a total construction value of between £10k and £50k will attract fees anywhere between 12.5 and 18%. A £100k construction value attracts fees at around 10%. For projects over £150k this drops to about 9% and at £500k fees drop to about 8%.


One of the most important aspects, we need to start with a good base plan. Small to medium gardens can be surveyed by Alick. For larger and more complex sites, a reputable surveying company can be instructed to carry out the survey. If required, a full arboricultural survey can be arranged for all trees on site.


Working from the brief, the next step is to produce a document to fully visualise the design. This will include layout plans, sections and elevations if needed, plus hand sketches, 3D computer visuals and precedent images to communicate the vision to you. I'll present this to you with samples of hard materials proposed and a concept planting palette.


Once you've signed off the concept design, we'll produce a full hard & soft landscape design package. This will include construction details, setting out plans, specifications, planting plans and all relevant schedules. Using this package, we then normally invite three experienced landscape contractors to tender for the works, and we'll complete a tender analysis for you and help you choose the best landscape contractor for the job.


During the construction phase, we inspect the contractor's work to ensure the quality of the build, attending regular site meetings and reporting back to yourself to keep you informed. We can also source and supply all the plants for your project, and oversee deliveries, setting out and planting on site to realise the final vision in full. We work with some great UK and European nurseries sourcing the most fabulous plants.

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