Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

You may have many questions you wish to ask before choosing a garden designer. Below are some based on our experience in bespoke garden design, landscaping and planting, on what you can expect when working with us.

Garden Design: Hiring a Garden Designer

Garden designers must be technically and horticulturally knowledgeable, but they are also artistic. We paint with plants, use materials in creative ways and design spaces that are both practical and beautiful. If you are looking for something bespoke and with the wow factor, then engaging a garden designer is the best place to start. Landscapers have the skills and equipment to shape and construct a site, install new drainage, build garden structures, and install technically demanding designs. At Artscape, we are a professional garden design and landscaping company providing creative garden design, landscaping and planting services. This means we can handle your whole garden project from start to finish.
We are frequently hired by people who have recently bought a house and want to develop the outdoor space to their specification. We also work for people who want to transform their existing garden. By engaging a professional, experienced garden designer you will benefit from their wide-ranging creative, technical, and horticultural expertise. We’ll be able to suggest ideas such as different levels or zones, or design ‘tricks’ to maximise space and the best plants to suit the soil conditions and aspect of your garden. We can also produce visuals to give you a clear indication of the way your garden could look and inspire you with exciting new possibilities. We can also coordinate our contractors and suppliers to complete the project on budget.
As you can see from our portfolio, we work across a broad range of sites, including courtyards, roof gardens, formal gardens, wildlife gardens, urban gardens and country estates.
Yes, you can have any part of your garden redesigned but it is best to design as much as possible to keep a unified feel throughout the garden. Planting schemes can vary in size from a formal border to a large, wildlife meadow. Hard landscaping could be a new series of steps to a large outdoor dining and kitchen area.
The presentation will include a scaled layout for your garden, showing areas of hard and soft landscaping, positions of borders, location of key plants and features, such as a fountain or gazebo. We’ll also show you mood boards, and visuals of key areas of the design, and samples of materials to convey our ideas and give you a good idea of how the finished project will look. We can then incorporate amendments you want to make to the design before preparing a fixed price quotation for the hard landscaping and a schedule to carry out the work.
No garden is too big or too small. We produce all kinds of stunning garden designs based on each client’s individual requirements, and the style of their property and location. These may range from contemporary Japanese-style gardens or ornate formal gardens to country cottage gardens and eco-friendly, wild gardens. Please view our portfolio for examples of our garden designs. across a broad range of garden styles.
In the first instance, visit our Contact page and fill out the enquiry form there, or you can simply telephone us on 01628 629238 and we can chat about your plans and you can decide if you would like us visit your property for a garden design consultation.
Our designers have the relevant qualifications and experience to design your garden. Our director has a diploma in garden design so we are always led by this thinking.
Ideally, as soon as possible. That way we can prepare the landscape design while or before the building works take place. Once both are finished, the landscaping work can commence straightaway.

Garden Design: Cost

Our fees depend primarily on the complexity of the project and your aspirations for the design. For instance, a large estate with sloped areas and unusual elements will be more time consuming than a simpler plot of land. Each project is unique and quoted as such. At Artscape, we will be open and transparent about our charges, and our overall aim will be to make the most of your budget. Our prices for survey, design and planting plans range generally from around £2,000 to £5,000 but it is possible the fees could be more or less than this range.
Each garden project is individual and depends on several factors: the proposed complexity of the garden design, the types of materials and plants selected, and site considerations such as machine access and parking restrictions. As a guide, the design and build of a typical medium sized garden with high quality materials, planting, lighting, changes of level and creative design ideas could cost £75k to 100k. Another rough benchmark for a professionally designed and built garden is to cost approximately 5-10% of the property value.
This depends on the extent of the changes. If the overall scope of the brief has not changed, and the amendments are fairly minor then we won’t charge to make revisions. It doesn’t usually happen, but if changes require us to go back to the drawing board, then we would need to agree the cost of coming up with a new concept. Building a garden is a significant investment, so we work hard to ensure you are happy with your design before moving on.
Collectively, the three governing bodies of the industry: Society of Garden Designers (SGD), British Association of Landscape Industries and the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) recommend homeowners spend a guideline budget of between 4 and 10% of the current value of the property. This could be higher or lower depending on the property itself and your requirements, and the relative size of the garden to the property.

Garden Design: Process

Having a garden designed and built can be a major undertaking. While it’s exciting, do bear in mind that the whole process of designing and building a garden can take around six months. The six main steps are: 1. Initial enquiry and design consultation 2. On site visit, followed by a written brief and quotation. 3. Site survey and concept design produced 4. Design presentation and planning 5. Tender approval and commencement of work 6. Planting plan 7. On-site construction and planting Our process is described in more detail here to give you a better understanding of the different stages of designing and building a garden.
An initial garden concept design should be completed in around four weeks depending on availability. There may be some time taken to finalise the plan, before a quotation can be produced for building works. Any necessary planning applications may take longer.
It will depend on the complexity of the project and when the work is planned to start. Due to the time consuming nature of the work, we may be booked up for several months, so early planning to agree start dates is important. It’s sensible to ensure that landscaping, building, and planting work are all properly scheduled around each other. Do also note that some plants are only available at certain times of year, and if you want bare rooted plants, these need to be ordered in advance to be supplied between late October and March. With different factors to consider, such as adverse weather or having bespoke furniture made, it’s possible that a large garden project could take several months and even a year to complete.
Gardens can be built at any time of year, although progress will be quicker when the days are longer, and the weather is good. Rain and mud can create extra mess and slow the work down and can make it hard to lay certain materials. If you have school aged children, or want to enjoy the garden yourself, you may not want your garden dug up during the summer holidays. Planting can be done at any time of year, although it is not a good idea when the ground is frozen or during a long period of drought. If we plant during the height of summer the plants will need a great deal of watering. Planting can generally be better in the autumn, winter, and early spring. This allows the plants to rest after planting and settle in before they start growing in the spring. If extreme weather is avoided and healthy plants are put into well prepared soil, they should establish successfully.
We can deal with planning applications for gardens which we have designed or have been commissioned to design. These commonly include listed buildings consent, planning permission and conservation area approval.
We will usually visit the site several times over the course of the project. This includes the first garden design consultation visit, followed by the site survey and any other visits required to produce the best design solution. We will also monitor the garden when construction works, and planting are being carried out.

Garden Design: Hard Landscaping

We have a team of professional landscapers, so we can complete the entire garden makeover project for you. This makes the process simple and efficient. We also work with specialist contractors and suppliers for work such as lighting schemes and tree surgery, but this will be managed by us, so you only need to deal with our company.
Our team will always endeavour to cause the least possible disruption to your neighbours. However, major landscaping work nearly always involves several deliveries, noisy equipment and machinery and some level of dust. It will be worth warning your neighbours that they may experience some temporary disturbance from the building and most reasonable people will be understanding of this.

Garden Design: Soft Landscaping, plants and palnting

Yes. We can handle the plant sourcing, purchasing, and planting for you, so you don’t have to. We work with a wide range of nurseries and specialist suppliers to provide the highest quality plant stock.
Yes. We supply plants using our contacts with specialist trade nurseries that we trust for their quality and experience. Trade nurseries supply a wider range of plants and in larger quantities than garden centres.
We aim to source plants as locally as possible, from trusted nurseries and specialist suppliers.
We will check on the health and development of the plants and make sure you are happy with your garden. However, we don’t offer a formal guarantee for plants as standard, as their success depends on how well they are looked after once they are in the ground, raised beds or containers.
Trees and specimen shrubs are generally planted as semi-mature stock. Shrubs and perennials are generally supplied at small sizes, and they take less time to establish and mature. Hedges have the biggest variation and can be supplied anywhere from seedling to mature plants for instant impact.
When it comes to trees, shrubs, and hedges there is a wide range of maturities and associated costs. Most of our garden designs take between two to four years to mature. We generally price three sizes of plants so you have a choice.
The best time to plant up a garden is between the start of October and the end of March. Over this period, bare root hedges are available, and these have two advantages over container hedging plants. First, they tend to do better once put into a garden; and second, they cost less than pot plants. In summer, hot and dry conditions will mean that a lot of watering is needed. But, in general, if you avoid extreme weather and put healthy plants into well prepared soil, they should grow well.
Plants are dormant at this time of year which means the roots are not growing and searching for food or water. In a dormant state they are better at withstanding adverse conditions. Container grown trees and shrubs can be planted throughout the year if there’s no extreme weather and they can be watered regularly.

Garden Design: Maintenance

How much garden maintenance is involved in a designed garden? This varies a great deal depending on the size of the garden and nature of the planting. As a part of your design brief, we will ask you how much time you want to dedicate to garden maintenance; whether it is yourself or a gardener who will be carrying out the work, and we will design the garden and planting scheme accordingly.
We don’t carry out day to day garden maintenance, but we will be happy to advise and answer any questions you may have about your garden. We can offer a written guide to handling all the aspects of the garden maintenance, including all hard and soft landscaping. We also offer further garden reviews to monitor plant health and landscape and answer any questions, for an additional charge.
Once your garden has been designed and built, it should be maintained in a proper way. Maintaining any garden well requires a good understanding of how to keep plants in good condition. Tasks such as pruning, topiary and tree work should be undertaken by someone with appropriate knowledge and training. We can offer a maintenance service once the garden is built. The hard landscaping materials and features will have excellent durability and longevity and should require minimal maintenance. We are always happy to offer advice on maintenance tips for gardens we have designed.

Any further questions you may have on bespoke garden design, garden landscaping and garden planting please don’t hesitate to

Call 01628 629238