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Choosing a garden designer

What to consider when choosing a garden designer

Choosing the right garden designer is a big decision and can often be quite daunting if you have not been through the process of garden design before. Apart from trying to find a designer who will fulfil your brief and give an aesthetic that you love, here are several important factors to consider. Taking the time to evaluate these aspects will help ensure that you the right designer who aligns with your vision and requirements. Here are some key considerations:

1. Experience and expertise: Look for a garden designer with significant experience in designing gardens. Check their portfolio and see if their previous work reflects the style and quality you are looking for. Assess their expertise in areas such as horticulture, landscaping, and the use of different plants and materials. Don’t be afraid to ask for references from recently completed projects or ask to visit a similar garden to yours. The build and planting of a garden are just as important as the design. Garden Club London offer a full design and build landscaping service whilst stand alone designers will need to charge you to go through a tendering process. In order to do this they will need to provide a detailed specification and drawings. This is where many homeowners can benefit from an experienced design and build team. If your designer does not have the experience to put together a detailed specification then the contractors proposals (and quality of work and materials) will vary greatly. If a designer produces drawings or specification that state ‘Contractor to specify) then this is a red flag for inexperienced or sometimes lazy designers.


2. Design style and compatibility: Every garden designer has a unique design style. Assess whether their style matches your personal taste and preferences. A successful collaboration requires compatibility and shared vision, so try to find a designer whose work resonates with you. At Garden Club London we work with our clients recognising that the design is a two way process and client feedback is critical to a successful garden that not only looks beautiful but is practical for your requirements and use of the space. A skilled designer will be able to create a scheme that suits you and the garden orientation. Another benefit of using Garden Club London’s award winning team is having a pool of in house designers so you can select works from our portfolio and speak with the designer about how they would fulfil your brief.


3. Reputation and references: Look for designers with a good reputation in the industry. Seek testimonials from previous clients and request references that you can contact. This will give you insights into their professionalism, work ethics, and client satisfaction levels. At Garden Club London we believe that we are only as good as our last project! Not only can you meet with your potential designer, you can also meet with the team that will build your garden and request references/see projects from the landscape team too. When appointing a standalone designer the contractor and timescales will be unknown for a long period of time.


4. Budget and project management: Discuss your budget with potential designers and ensure that they can work within your financial constraints. Ask about their approach to project management, including timelines, coordination with contractors, and cost control methods. Clear communication and efficient project management are crucial for a smooth process. We are regularly assessed and audited for our business and project management systems. Try not to be too constrained by a set budget and be willing to develop the design or add big ticket items to the design at a later date as budget allows.


5. Sustainable and eco-friendly practices: Consider working with a garden designer who prioritises sustainable and eco-friendly practices. They should have a good understanding of environmentally conscious design, efficient water usage, native plants, and organic gardening techniques. We love re-using and recycling materials in our garden design which is kinder to the environment and your budget!


6. Collaborative approach: A successful garden design project involves collaboration between the designer and the client. Look for a designer who actively listens to your ideas, understands your needs, and involves you in the decision-making process. Find someone willing to provide guidance while respecting your preferences. We work closely and collaboratively with our clients at every stage including create concepts and value engineering where required.


7. Qualifications and Accreditations: While not necessarily essential, qualifications and Accreditations can provide an added level of credibility and expertise. Consider designers who have relevant qualifications, such as degrees in landscape architecture or horticulture, or certifications from recognised professional organisations. For garden designers, accredited membership of the Society of Garden Designers and British Association of Landscape Contractors is a trust mark of skills and working practices.


8. Communication and rapport: Effective communication is vital throughout the design process. Assess the designer’s communication skills and their ability to understand your requirements. A good rapport will make the project more enjoyable and ensure a better outcome.


By carefully considering these factors, you can select a garden designer who not only meets your expectations but also delivers a beautiful and functional outdoor space that enhances your property. As a client of Garden Club London you will be in constant contact with Your lead designer, project manager and our construction team working together as one to create the best garden that we can for you.