The quest for a beautiful garden
The quest for a beautiful garden can be challenging. How often do you drive, walk past or see a garden that you admire and wish that you could have something like that at you place? It’s a good question, which many ask. Over the past few weeks I have covered garden styles and design based topics, which has prompted a number of people to contact me asking me how to go about choosing a landscape or garden design professional.
Your garden dreams are only a few steps away from being a reality if you follow a few simple steps. Like the adverts say ‘it wont happen over night but it will happen’ with some planning and organisation.
A well-planned and maintained garden instantly adds value to your home; real estate agents focus on good indoor-outdoor flow when marketing a home. Having an inviting and comfortable outdoor living space will provide an area, which people will gravitate to.
Before you dive for the yellow pages, or search the Internet for garden designers and landscapers you need to decide exactly what you want to achieve from your outdoors area.
At this point you need to consider what is a realistic budget for you and more importantly your home.
- Do you want or need any of the following:
- Outdoor living area for entertaining, dining, bbq
- Area for children and or pets to play
- Service areas things like clothes lines, gas man access, garden shed
- Screening for privacy or to reduce noise or wind
While you are thinking about this clip pictures from magazines of garden ideas and designs which you like. Also gather images of plants, paving ideas and structures that catch your eye.
Now you are ready for the next step; choosing a designer or garden consultant. It is the landscape professional’s job to interpret your ideas and make them into reality. It critical to choose someone that you can work with and that understands what your goals are.
You can go about this different ways.
- Ask people who have gardens that you like which company they used. This is often a good place to start as they you will find they will have tips that they learnt through the process.
- Contact reputable industry organisations such as LIANZ – Landscape Industries Association of New Zealand for a list of members
- Visit your local garden centre and ask what services they offer or who they recommend.
- Look for advertisements in the Yellow Pages, local newspapers and business directories
Once you have found someone you like, ask if you can look at some jobs that they have done. Once you are happy with what you have seen, make a time to meet at your home for the initial visit. During the initial consultation clearly discuss what your objectives are, include specifics such as time lines and budgets. Go over the ideas you like in your scrapbook, mention what looks and or plants you don’t like and why.
After the meeting the designer will develop a design brief and possibly a concept plan on how your garden will look. At this stage you need to make sure you understand exactly what you are looking at. A concept plan is visually how the finished garden will look, it is not a landscape plan. At this stage it is still relatively easy to make changes to the plan. Take your time and ask as many what may seem like ‘stupid’ questions to make sure the end result is what you want. Once the concept plan is confirmed, the technical landscape plan is prepared. This plan explains and lays out the exact measurements of the garden. It will include all the hard and soft landscaping. Hard landscaping generally is every that isn’t plants.
The implementation of the plan is next. You may wish to hire different contractors for specific parts of the project. Such as paving specialists for paving, builders for decking, plant brokers for sourcing and planting of plants. Or you can engage the design company to manage the project for you. This option often saves time and energy on your part. Ultimately that decision is up to you.
Lastly, enjoy the process, take your time and remember at the end of the day your garden is all about you.
Looking for a consultant in the Canterbury area visit Plant Brokers here.