Our design process is very flexible according to what each client needs, but usually involves:
- an initial design consultation to establish a brief, a budget and provide a quotation for the design work
- a site assessment to know what we have to work with
- a concept design for structure and layout
- a planting design listing plant names and quantities required
As an indication, our plans typically cost between $1800 and $3500 inc GST. Our built gardens typically cost between $25,000 and $300,000 inc GST
We have designed gardens from Auckland through the Waikato to the Central Plateau and service other areas through New Zealand by arrangement – please contact us to discuss.
Initial Design Consultation
The first step in the design process begins with meeting you at your home (or garden site) to understand your requirements, the vision you have for your space and to learn more about the practical side of your project such as your timeframe, budget and any site complexities. We like to get to know who you are and share who we are, so that we are confident working together.
This first consultation lasts around 30 to 40 minutes and allows us to develop a written brief and quotation detailing the design work required.
If you are happy to proceed, we have a contract for you to sign and return and require a deposit to be paid to secure your place and a start date for your design work. As we approach the start date, we may work to refine the aesthetic for your design further using a shared visual idea-book which we will set up for you on Houzz.co.nz
Site Assessment and Base Plan
In advance of the site assessment, it is helpful to send us any plans you may already have for house and property. For some projects, it may be sufficient to do a simple site measure ourselves, and/or we can obtain plans from council. For complex sites and projects, it may be necessary to obtain a comprehensive topographical survey from a Registered Surveyor to show boundaries, buildings, underground services, existing trees, spot heights and ground contours. We will indicate in our quotation if this is required, and can recommend some companies that provide this service, giving you plenty of time to obtain the report before we begin.
During our site assessment, we will work through any existing plans on site, taking any additional measurements or notes we need. We assess existing plants and structures, look at the soil, sunlight, wind and other conditions, take a comprehensive set of photos and spend time developing an affinity for the garden. If possible, we also like to do a brief walk-through of your home, so that we can understand what you see from inside and how your home and the garden might connect.
We then prepare a base plan, which shows everything we have to work with and our notes and observations about the site.
We then work from this base plan to prepare a concept plan for your garden. The plan will be prepared to scale, professionally rendered and will show the general intent of the design and the main ideas and solutions we have used to interpret and deliver your brief. It will broadly indicate materials and planting style but may not specify them precisely at this stage. We often include sketches, elevations or visual representations to show the look. We present the plan to you in person and talk it through in detail, preferably on site. We then leave this plan with you for as long as you want, this allows you to think it through at your leisure and make a list of any amendments you want. We then complete these changes for you and finalise the details of the plan.
The balance of your Design Fee is due on the presentation of the Concept Plan.
In most cases, the finalised concept plan will be sufficient for a professional, experienced contractor to be able to quote from and construct the garden. Should more detailed plans be required, such as construction plans and detail drawings, we can provide these at our hourly rate.
A garden’s functionality comes from a clear layout and structure. A garden’s personality and beauty comes from the plants.
We can develop planting designs for your entire garden, or a few key areas. We focus on selecting the right plant for the right place. We pay great attention to details of colour, fragrance, ongoing care, availability and seasonal interest. We also consider the effects of time, making sure you don’t end up with an overcrowded garden in a few years time. Most importantly, we don’t forget your budget.
The planting plan is prepared to scale and will include existing plants as well as new plants. The plan will show plant spacings and quantities so it is easy for anyone to follow to set the plants out on site. We also prepare a plant list detailing names, quantities and the recommended grade to purchase. We also provide you with a plant palette providing example images of each plant so you can understand how they will look together. We often include sketches or visual representations to show the look.
If we are preparing a planting plan for you, this will be presented at the same time as your concept plan so you can understand our overall vision for your garden. We complete any required changes to the planting plan at the same time we complete the amendments to the concept plan.
Now your plans can be provided to a professional contractor to install your new garden and plant for you. Alternatively, you may wish to install the garden yourself and stage it to suit your time and budget.
We also provide provide a plant sourcing and supply service and can make good recommendations on how to break your planting into stages.
For smaller projects, where you may just want advice or ideas and don’t require a detailed set of plans, we recommend a Specialist Garden Consultation as an alternative option to our Full Design Service.