Process

Jemima will come to visit you at your house to discuss your requirements and the budget for the proposed project. She will make an initial assessment of the garden and from this first site visit and your brief, she will prepare a quotation for the design work and if necessary, a garden report. This will be submitted to you in writing.

On acceptance of her quotation, Jemima will undertake a garden report if one is required and then make arrangements for a Topographical Survey to be undertaken. The survey will include the exact position of the house within the site, all fixed features such as garden buildings, paving, walls, hedges, ponds, trees and planted areas, plus spot levels and contours. This will be undertaken by a professional surveyor. Jemima will also visit the site to note down any existing planting that is to be retained and take soil samples, photographs and notes to assist her with the design process.

With all this essential information, Jemima will prepare a to scale hand drawn plan, showing her initial ideas for the layout of the garden. She will then arrange a meeting with you to discuss the plan and once you are completely happy with the design, she will complete the Layout Plan.

This is a detailed to scale hand drawn plan that will form the blueprint for the garden layout. It can be used by landscape contractors, along with construction drawings and the tender, to accurately price up the construction of the garden. It includes all the hardlandscaping features such as swimming pools, tennis courts, garden buildings, walls, terraces, steps, pergolas and ponds. It also includes the location of planted areas, trees and hedges, although the detail of these is covered within the Planting Plan.

Once the Layout Plan has been finalised, Jemima will start on a detailed Planting Plan to cover all the beds, borders and other planted areas within the garden. Your planting preferences would have been noted down at the concept stage, as well as the style of planting you prefer. Existing trees, shrubs and perennials that are to be retained, either in their existing positions or in new ones, are incorporated into the design. A Photo Montage is also prepared to illustrate the individual plants within the plan. A detailed Plant List and an estimate for the supply and implementation of the planting scheme is produced at this stage – Jemima only sources her plants from very good nurseries that consistently produce high quality, healthy plants.

Some of the elements of the garden such as paving details, flights of steps, pergolas and ponds etc.., will require Jemima to prepare separate sketches and construction drawings for illustration purposes and for use by contractors. In addition, this is the time to design a lighting scheme that will bring your garden to life at night. Jemima will either advise on this herself, or for more complex schemes, she will recommend a Lighting Consultant. The larger features of the garden, such as a tennis court, garden building and swimming pool, will require specialist companies to undertake the construction drawings, design details and planning requirements – Jemima can advise on sourcing and commissioning.

Layout Plans, Construction details, Planting Plans and Plant Schedules may be required by the Local Planning Authority. Jemima has experience in submitting these drawings and liaising with the relevant parties. Once planning permission has been granted (if it was required), a tender document is prepared to cover the scope of works to be undertaken by the landscape contractor. Jemima will meet with the contractors individually on site to discuss the project and ensure they have a clear understanding of the work as laid out in the tender document. This will allow them to prepare an accurate quotation. Jemima will then assist with the selection of a suitable contractor.

Jemima will make regular visits to site during the construction phase to monitor progress, inspect the quality of workmanship and materials, and ensure the work is adhering to the design. Any issues that arise during this phase will be discussed between yourself, Jemima and the contractor and if alterations are necessary, they are only made when you are in agreement.

When all the hardlandscaping is completed, the planting phase can begin. Jemima likes to get the main structural planting in first – the trees, shrubs and hedges – and this can be undertaken from November through to March, apart from when the ground is frozen or waterlogged. The rest of the planting will take place in the spring or autumn, including the lawn areas or wildflower meadows, with the bulb planting taking place after everything else has been completed, during the autumn. The main contractor or site gardener can undertake this phase with her supervision, or Jemima can bring her own team. Alternatively, you may wish to plant yourself, with Jemima’s assistance. Specialist contractors may be required to plant larger specimen trees if they are included within the design.

Help with the selection of garden furniture, plant containers and sculpture is an important part of Jemima’s role and these will provide those all important finishing touches to the scheme.

Once created, your new garden will continue to develop and grow, and will need ongoing maintenance. Jemima can assist in the selection of a suitable gardener if one is not already on site, and she can provide regular maintenance notes for yourself or your gardener if required. She can make regular consultancy visits to monitor the maintenance of the garden, or six monthly or yearly visits to advise on any aspect of the garden’s development.