FAQs When Engaging a Garden Designer

FAQ’s when engaging a Garden Designer

How much will it cost?

This is the most pressing question for most customers.

Obviously it depends on what is actually required. It may be that you are employing a garden designer to give the whole back garden an overhaul. It is acknowledged that a well designed and maintained garden adds value to your property and would be similar to the cost of a new kitchen or extension.

The design costs usually represent a small proportion of the cost of the whole project, in the order of 10-15 percent of the cost. The costs would be offset by the increase in value of the property.

If the designer is taken on to design and plant up a new garden bed then the costs would be proportionately larger, perhaps 20-30 percent of the total budget. 

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How can I save costs?

Payments for the design are almost always made in stages, allowing some budgeting.

Construction costs are also often phased, depending on the contract you have with the landscape contractors. It is also possible for the build to be done in well defined stages such as front garden first followed a year later by the back garden. A design allows this to be done in a logical manner.

 Do you work with the landscapers/ contractors ?

Most designers work with several regular contractors. This allows for a closer working relationship and builds trust. There are no referral fees. Working with more than one contractor also gives the customer choice through a tendering process.

If a customer has their own landscaper most garden designers would be happy to work with them.

What services does Essence Garden Design offer?

We design gardens and garden spaces. We also offer consultations and advice to customers about their gardens. The construction of the hard landscape is usually done by a firm of landscapers (see above). We can also monitor the building process for you. We can do the planting of most gardens but it can be done by the landscapers or even the customer.

How long does it take for a design to be completed and the garden built?

This can be variable depending on current work load of both the designer and the construction team. In a straight forward design where planning permission is not required, a design could be completed within 6- 8 weeks. Contractors that are reliable tend to have a lead time of several months depending on the time of year. Once on site, the contractors we would recommend do not leave the job until it is completed. The build could be finished in 2 weeks or may take several months depending on the complexity of the design and the site, as well as the weather conditions. Planting of a garden generally takes about 2- 4 weeks to organise.

Does Essence Garden Design have any particular area of Specialism?

We are particularly interested in Sustainable Garden Design and all that entails. From encouraging recycling and reuse of materials found on site to the design of rain gardens, green roofs and green walls, we are keen to embrace the need to cut our carbon footprint as far as is possible. We would encourage our clients in this aim and continue to learn from experts in this continually evolving aspect of gardening and garden design.



I want a low maintenance garden is it possible to get this and still have an interesting garden space? 

Of course! There is no such thing a NO maintenance but low maintenance is almost always a necessity these days. A lawn will almost always be designed with a mowing strip  that allows the mower to run over the edge. This means that there is no need for time-consuming edging. Planting is often repeated, creating pattern but also allowing simplified maintenance programmes. Plants are specifically selected to work well together  smothering the ground and preventing weed growth.

Can I build the garden myself?

Yes, we have worked with several DIY customers and deliberately aim to make the design appropriate to the customers’ skill set. Planting is also part of the garden ‘build’ that customers may want to get involved with. We can advise customers and give them the confidence to work from a planting plan saving costs overall.


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