An initial consultation is the first step, if you are considering employing a garden designer. Cherry will visit your garden to give general advice and discuss possible options for the garden. Each garden is unique and has its own challenges and charms. This is an opportunity for you to discuss ideas and for her to explain the full range of services Cherry Mills Garden Design can offer. A portfolio of work and photographs of projects will be shown. After this meeting, Cherry can provide a written quotation for any design work.
The creation of a master plan for a garden requires a lot of thoughtful discussion and planning. Clients’ requirements and the nature of the site are considered in depth. A thorough survey is undertaken of the garden, usually by professional surveyors, to make sure every feature of the existing site is taken into account. Once the brief for the garden design is agreed, a draft 2D design proposal will be presented. Cherry can also create a 3D CAD model of the key areas to help clients visualise their new garden.
When the layout is agreed and finalised, additional essential documents can be prepared, which will form part of the tender package for contractors to quote on.
The construction of hard landscaping features must be undertaken before any planting can take place. The extent of this varies from site to site. We will provide all necessary construction drawings, a specification document detailing all work required and materials to be used, and a risk assessment. These form the tender package for landscapers to quote on. Before work commences, we will provide setting-out drawings. We are experienced in working with professional landscapers who will be invited to quote on the work. Their contract is direct with the client.
The installation of paving, walling, steps, water features, raised beds, outdoor buildings, swimming pools, tennis courts, irrigation and lighting all need to be carefully co-ordinated on site and installed in the correct sequence. Professional landscaping companies can manage this process. Additionally Cherry Mills Garden Design provides a project monitoring service during the construction phase. This helps ensure that any queries are dealt with promptly and that the design for the garden is correctly interpreted by the landscaper. Regular site meetings and discussions are essential for the smooth running of a project.
We can liaise with Local Authorities, on behalf of our clients, to obtain any permissions for work on site – TPOs, Listed Building Consent, change of access, Conservation Areas, AONBs.
Lighting and irrigation are two ingredients which play an important part in the success of a new garden installation.
Lighting will bring the garden to life and extend its use into the evening when days are short. All year round it can help guide you round the garden during dark evenings and provide a welcome near the front door and along the driveway. Special features such as sculpture can be illuminated so that they are enjoyed from inside the house even in the depths of winter.
All young plants need a helping hand to survive whilst their root networks develop and grow. So regular watering is essential during the summer months and unexpected dry periods, an increasing phenomenon due to global warming. Hand watering can be very time consuming, especially in large gardens. Even well-established plants can suffer during extended periods of drought. A good irrigation system, which can incorporate rainwater recycling, is highly recommended.
The infrastructure for both of these systems has to be installed during the construction phase of building a garden.
Planting is the icing on the cake of creating a garden and the phase everyone looks forward to. This usually includes turfing as well. Much thought goes into choosing the right plants for the particular location in the garden. Soil is tested to check the pH and whether it is predominantly clay, chalky or sandy. When planning plants for each particular bed, the amount of sun or shade is taken into consideration. The client’s personal preferences are also discussed. The resulting planting plan(s) are communicated to the team using carefully coordinated technical drawings. Every planting plan is accompanied by photographs of the plants proposed and a schedule of plant quantities and sizes proposed.
Where the budget permits, large specimen shrubs and trees can be supplied. These often have to be installed with the help of machinery before lawns are laid. All plants can be sourced by us from reputable suppliers, who we are confident will supply good quality stock. Cherry Mills Garden Design can organise the sourcing of plants and arrange for their planting. We particularly like to do all setting out of plants to ensure they are in the correct position before planting commences, as well as instructing planting teams on site. Seasonal bulbs can be added after the main planting is completed.
Over the years we have acquired extensive experience of installing a wide range of items in a garden, apart from the usual elements such as paving, walling, decking, steps and planting. If we don’t arrange the construction of these items ourselves, we can make arrangements with specialists who can. We will co-ordinate their installation work with the main landscaping. All these elements should be planned for at the outset. These have included:
Once a garden is created, this is just the beginning of your relationship with it. Nature ensures that plants will change and the character of the garden will evolve. In order to maintain your garden as it has been designed, it makes sense to have a plan of how to take care of your new plants once they are installed. Not every garden owner is keen or knowledgeable about plants and it can be a daunting task to have to look after them.
We can help you find a gardener or give ongoing advice on maintaining plants. We can also provide maintenance schedules which guide you through each season on what to do in the garden.