We also offer a maintenance manual on your landscape project including plant choice, care and maintenance.
The initial step in your landscape design project is a survey. We will visit your site to access the possibilities of fitting your ideas into the site.
The process is simple. Below is a list which the surveyor will follow:
Measuring. Everything has a size. Plants, trees, railings, walls, steps, entrances, the ground, water depth, water volume. These will be measured accurately in metric.
Identity. Tree and shrub varieties need to be named with their positions recorded. The health of these specimens are noted and photographed. In addition the neighbouring sites should be viewed to note what else grows in the area. Trees and shrubs that need immediate attention are recorded. Hard surfaces may need to be added or taken away, so the manufacturer or type of surface will be noted.
Soils Soil test samples will be taken and an evaluation of the general condition of its capabilities, i.e.; does it drain well? Is it compacted? What is the sites history? Is it imported top soil? A test pit will be dug to examine the soil profile, its top soil and sub-soil volume.
Levels This is another important factor. Can this be put a side? Only if the project does not include the ground levels being adjusted, i.e.; tree thinning or replanting an existing border. A change of use would normally require the ground levels to be recorded, either by a simple level and staff or a SAT guided; one man station. The measurements taken of the size of the plot will be used in the surveying. The position of where the differing levels are on the records of the size sheet will be plotted. Surveyors normally use an AB method.
Orientation The bearing of the sites position is found out by using a compass. If you would like a seating area in a certain position but 70% of the day it is in the shade, the idea would need to be adjusted. How about the shade cast by tall buildings, or mature trees? It is vital to establish where North is in relation to the site. Consideration of the prevailing elements, especially wind and frost exposure would have a bearing on the design. e.g.; Grippy surfaces would be included in the proposals in frosty areas of the site.
Services If a full survey is needed then the services need to be plotted. The services that you are likely to find are. Electricity, Gas, Water supply, Telephone, TV cables, water foul or storm. So a thorough site investigation has to be made. Cable avoidance tools can be used to find the metal core cables. These dont pick up plastic gas pipes! Ask about the history of the site, have there been any changes to the drainage network. Follow your instinct, research the down pipes and lift the drain covers.
Boundaries We will investigate whose boundaries are whose and determine whether they are in good condition. We will record wall and kerbing condition and photograph existing damage.
Documentation The investigations are recorded and are countersigned by you and the surveyor.
You are central to the consultancy process. We will spend sufficient time with you to enable us to understand exactly what you need and want. You may already have a clear vision of how you see your site being changed for the better. We will listen carefully to your comments and viewpoints and pay close attention to the site recordings in order to reveal the possibilities of taking your project further.
Once we have found that the ideas presented will fit your site and the decision has been made to go ahead with the project, the next step is to find out what your personal likes and dislikes are. You will probably find that the list of dislikes will be less time consuming to write than the “like” list. Colours, shapes, scents and surfaces will dominate this list, e.g. “I don’t like yellow and I hate the smell of summer flowering jasmine. It reminds me of my grandmother’s cat!”
During the consultation we will often be able to determine your personal style and preferences by simply observing your surroundings and the d’cor in your home. Obviously, if you have any strong preferences as to what you desire, please let us know at this stage.
Before a choice can be made on which surfaces to use on the site, samples of the soil will probably have to be taken. For our older clients we will be able to offer personal advice as to the most suitable surfaces to use in your garden.
Everything that is discussed during the consultation will be carefully noted down and is vital for the design process.
The design process is a combination of yours and your designer’s thoughts.
To begin with we will link the notes and thoughts from our consultation together and the survey taken and draw a concept of what the site will look like including all of your chosen elements. This is then presented to you. Changes may be made to accommodate the shade of overhanging trees on a patio or suchlike, but then the drawing will be taken to the designer’s office for it to be given the final lines.
In our initial site visit, we will have gathered a sense of scale and a sense of place and would need to transfer those thoughts to paper.
If we have decided to create a point of interest, a hidden view, a feeling of secrecy or even an old world style there are certain principles that must be followed:
These are only some of the factors that should trigger where the line of the pencil goes. Finally the drawing is presented to you and the chosen contractor who will study the implications.
Emmert Wolf once said “A man is only as good as his tools”. We strongly advocate this mindset. Whether it’s a strimmer, lawnmower, chainsaw, hedgetrimmer, cordless hammer drill, our tools solidify our work ethic.
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We look forward to hearing from you.
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