FAQs

I know what I want so why do I need a garden designer?

You wouldn’t build an extension to your house without an architect to draw up plans and the same applies to your garden. Working closely with you I can bring years of experience to transform your ideas into a reality and avoid potentially expensive mistakes. Detailed plans will also make sure that the garden is both costed and built accurately. My passion for plants ensures that your preferred style of planting works and plants thrive in different garden conditions.

 

Why do I need a survey?

It is vital that the final plans are based on accurate information. For example, without accurate level measurements it is impossible to plan how many steps may be needed or how high a retaining wall needs to be. A garden can look completely flat but rarely is and its true shape is usually a surprise to its owners. Surveys also show an accurate footprint of the house, the position of doors and windows, garden boundaries, existing elements and trees and planted areas within the garden. It is the basis for all garden designs.

 

Why do I need more than one design plan?

There is usually too much information to put on one drawing without it being very confusing to understand and difficult to interpret. Whoever builds the garden needs clear instructions at a scale that can be easily read and this is why layout plans or construction drawings can be a necessity as well as the master plan.

 

What if I don’t want a full design service?

That’s absolutely fine and I am completely flexible. Some clients simply need a planting plan for existing borders or may want a design and will tackle the planting themselves. For minor changes an Ideas and Inspirations Hour includes a visit to your garden with lots of advice and food for thought. The cost for local visits is £75. This can be treated as a one-off visit or some clients choose to do this a couple of times each year to keep their garden looking at its best.

 

My garden is tiny! Is it too small to need a design plan?

Absolutely not! Many of my clients have pocket-handkerchief gardens (see the Lavender & Limestone garden portfolio). In most cases it is even more important for a small garden to be well designed to make the most of every inch.

Who will build my garden?

I can put you in touch with skilled contractors in your area who I know to be reliable, honest and who will do a really good job of building your garden. These companies are completely independent of the design service: the client employs them and my job is to smooth the way and be at hand if needed. Some clients wish to use their own landscapers and I am happy to be at the end of the telephone if questions arise.

 

What are the cost implications?

As every project is different, it isn’t possible or useful to provide an estimate before seeing the garden. The cost of a design depends on the site and the different elements that are required - for example a large garden laid mainly to lawn can be a lower design cost than a small garden with complicated hard landscaping and lots of ornamental features to incorporate. After visiting the garden, assessing its requirements and talking to you about what you would like to achieve, a clear fee proposal is sent to you. I will discuss your budget with you before starting a design and strongly believe in providing you with a plan which is practical to achieve and within your financial boundaries.

 

Does the garden have to be built all in one go?

Not at all. Developing a garden can be an expensive business and many clients do it in stages over a period of time. One of the advantages of a garden design plan is that you can pick the areas which are a priority and develop them as budgets allow. Many of the most successful gardens have evolved over several years.

 

If you have any other questions or would like to have a preliminary informal chat please feel free to contact me.

‘Although I had strong ideas I didn’t know how to pull them together into a cohesive whole. As a brand new house with a mud patch for a garden there was plenty of scope to make something special, but I was aware that if I was left to my own devices the finished article would be a long time in the making. The ideas Sally floated past me put me immediately at ease - she had absolutely listened to me and had captured the essence of what I wanted. The design was more than I hoped for, the finished product is even better and a delight to live with. Functional, fun, original and still with scope for later additions.’

S.M.

The Studio, Taxus, Smiths Lane, Snitterfield, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. CV37 OJZ

Email: info@sallyhopkinson.co.uk Office: 01789 731478 Mobile: 077426 37144

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