Landscape Design – Working With Us

Where do we start?

Start by getting in touch with us, send an email, or give us a call. Sometimes having a chat can be simpler and easier. If you have any supporting documentation specific to your project, like a survey, site plan, or a concept plan of the new building this can be helpful here too. If it feels like the right fit we can book an on-site consultation where we can discuss the scope of the project in more detail, and discuss ideas, constraints, and cost implications.

This will give us a chance to meet each other face to face and have a look at the site and see what is possible. The initial garden design consultation usually last around an hour on-site, from there we can prepare a detailed fee proposal.

Project costs 

Design fees will vary based on size, complexity, and the scope of each project. Certain factors such as the slope of the site may be more expensive to deal with. and may require more hard landscape elements such as retaining walls. As a general rule, the more detail and hard landscape included in the garden the more it may cost. Not to say that we can’t design a beautiful garden that for less using mostly soft landscape. This can still be a great option, but it will just be a different sort of garden.

If engaged for the design of your garden our role is to try to marry the brief and the budget, keep in mind that in some cases, these may not align. Generally, the residential landscape design projects in Metropolitan Melbourne we undertake usually start at around 60K – 100K. Here is a great article about working with a landscape designer from the Design Files here

What we will need from you 

If you are working with an Architect, they will supply a landscape architecture package. This will include all relevant drawings in DWG (CAD) format, including site plans, surveys, and elevations. If you don’t have this information we may need to have the site surveyed so we can work from an accurate file and everything is clear. If required we can recommend a surveyor to come and do this for you and they can include everything we need. 

You will need to supply us with a brief for the garden design. This will include what you would like to have in the garden, as well as any specific ways you think it will be used. As well as a Pinterest brief – a folder you can make and share with us on Pinterest. This is a great way to give us a simple visual reference for the type of garden you are interested in. We will put all of this together to form the basis of the design for your garden. 

How long does the design take?

The time frame for the design of your garden will depend on the workload at the time of approval. Generally, it is good to allow a minimum of 8 weeks for this stage from the time of approval for standard residential garden design. For larger rural properties, garden design for multi-residential and more complex projects requiring town planning, etc we will need a bit more time. A simple overview of the design process is outlined here

Costing the Garden Design

Now that we have designed a garden that you love and everyone is excited we can move on to costing the garden. We will contact some of our landscape construction partners to get the landscaping cost for you. We will meet with them on-site and once we have looked over the quotes to make sure everything has been covered will send this on to you.

Along with our costing for overseeing the landscaper, plant procurement, and layout on site. The contractors will work for you directly and we will be there until the garden is finished to make sure everything is in line with the initial design intent. Depending on the size of the garden, and the contractors engaged it is good to allow around 2-8 weeks for this stage.  

Building the garden 

Now that we have found the right landscape construction partner the work can begin when they are available. Keep in mind that highly skilled landscape construction companies are in high demand and there may be a six-month wait to book the right person for your project. The right contractor should elevate a design the same way a great band breathes life into a well-crafted song. So although cost is the main consideration it is there are many factors to think about here and finding the right fit for the garden is important. 

Construction management 

We are there to ensure the garden is built as it was originally intended. A great result requires collaboration and open communication between contractors and designers. 

Establishment & garden maintenance 

We need to make sure everything is working as it should, and plants are getting enough water to establish during this period. There is great skill in pruning, training, guiding and balancing, and developing the garden over time. Gardens are not static, they are always changing. Once the garden is built it needs to be guided by the right hands to ensure it not only survives but thrives long term.