Never employed a garden designer before? In this article, Mary outlines some of the benefits (not that she’s biased of course!).

  • Imaginative ideas – a good designer should be able to use your ideas in ways you can’t even imagine.
  • A good designer listens – unlike certain high profile designers who inflict their ideas on clients, most designers consider listening to their client’s vital – the garden is for you to enjoy for years to come, and must reflect your hopes.
  • To be sure of using a designer who is going to give you sound advice, contact the Society of Garden Designers. Their qualified members (with the letters MSGD after their names) have all been thoroughly assessed for competency and professionalism.
  • Avoiding costly mistakes – plants are quite forgiving and can often be moved, but pathways are expensive to lay – they need to be in the right place first time.
  • Spatial awareness – a good designer will know how to use the space really well, understanding how to create movement and interest in a garden while working with scale and proportion to suit the site.
  • I mostly work on a fixed price basis, so that you know exactly what you will pay before I start work for you. Some designers choose to work on an hourly rate, I can do this if you prefer.
  • Expect to pay around 10% of the overall cost of the garden to the designer – who should make the garden 100% more beautiful – so a good return for your money.

How much will my garden cost?

It is difficult to say exactly how much a garden will cost, as so many different elements can influence the cost.

  • Hard landscaping is without doubt the most expensive element, with the contractor’s charges adding around £50 per metre to the paving you chose.
  • The planting can range from around £20 per metre upwards, depending on how dense you want the plants straight away. The larger the garden the more the average price per metre drops as usually there will be larger areas of lawn which works out less expensive.
  • Changes in level are a great design opportunity, but are expensive in terms of construction – where retaining walls need to be built, it can increase the overall costs considerably.
  • Some good news! Once you have a good plan to work to, you can build different elements of the garden each year, and spread the cost, yet still have a cohesive and successful garden when it is completed.