Every garden is unique, with its own set of conditions and challenges. Whatever the topography of your garden; small, shaded, sloping and whatever your needs; low maintenance, easy to access, child friendly, we’ll create a beautiful garden that works.
Garden Design Projects: Challenges of Shape & Layout
Small, shaded, sloping, low maintenance, easy to access, child friendly
Designing for your garden’s shape and conditions
The size of your plot is one of the most important factors in garden design. With a large garden, having so much space can be daunting and it can be difficult to know how to layout the garden. On the other hand, small gardens can throw up different challenges, “how can we have planting, seating and somewhere for the children?”. We love both challenges and create beautiful, practical gardens within your budget whatever its size.
The shape and topography of your plot can be a challenge. Gardens with pronounced slopes or different levels, slices of land that are long & thin, short & wide, or perhaps an odd shape plot. Whatever the proportions or limits of the space, we love the challenge of translating your needs into a garden you can enjoy, no matter what the shape or topography. Clever tricks can fool the eye and give you a space you’ll love.
Having a beautiful garden doesn’t mean having to spend hours weeding, mowing, pruning and planting. We know that some people don’t have the time or the interest to spend hours maintaining their outdoor space. Low maintenance and easy care doesn’t have to mean lots of concrete, planters and paving stones. We design beautiful, easy to care for gardens that give you an outdoor living space you’ll love and want to spend time in.
Shaded gardens are often seen as a poor relation to those that get lots of sunshine. If you have a small patch of land in the middle of the city the chances are that it will be overlooked by a building, fence or perhaps your neighbours’ trees. Shaded gardens are one of the more common features in our compact city dwellings. We love the challenges that shady or dark and overlooked gardens present.
Whether it’s a roof garden, a terrace or balcony, or a garden that has no natural barriers, many outdoor spaces have some common weather conditions, exposure to sun, wind, rain, extreme cold and heat. Developing a plan for exposed gardens holds very speciﬁc challenges for garden designers. We love creating inviting spaces with plants that thrive no matter what the conditions.
Are you counting the cost of the damage to your garden after a house refurbishment? During building works the garden is often used as a storage, assembly and dumping ground. Hampstead Garden Design can work with you, your interior designer or architect to complete the property renovation and develop the outdoor space to complement the work carried out indoors.
The Garden Design Process
We offer a full garden planning service and can advise on all aspects of planting and landscape design, helping you to create a garden which is beautiful and suited to your individual needs and budget. This process usually follows the following steps.
Initial Consultation & Brief
Every garden design project starts with the ‘Initial Consultation’. Following a telephone conversation, I like to meet any potential clients to have a first view of the garden and to hear about your thoughts and ideas for the space, your brief.
During this first visit I can make an initial assessment of the key features of your garden and we can discuss your ideas, your budget and the next steps of the process.
The initial consultation usually lasts about an hour. I will follow up my visit by email with an outline of my understanding of the brief, what we discussed and my fee proposal for redesigning your garden.
Some of the key elements discussed during our first meeting are:
The initial consultation is also an opportunity for you to ask questions and become more familiar with the design process.
The Garden Survey
The next step of the design process is the site survey. An accurate survey of the existing garden is essential before any design work can take place.
During the survey I take full measurements and ground levels, collect soil samples for analysis and look at the aspect and light levels of your garden. I will assess the garden’s best features and views and discuss your favourite areas. I will take photos and assess the atmosphere, the setting and surroundings.
Features that are assessed in the garden survey include:
A key element of the garden survey is the topography of the outdoor space – that is, the lie of the land. This is important as it affects drainage, siting and design of new features and planting and the amount of effort needed for both hard and soft landscaping.
I take many measurements and photos to help during the design and planning process.
Garden Layout Design
We work with you to design a bespoke layout plan for your garden, taking into account your lifestyle, tastes, budget and the local environment.
At this stage of the design process the details of the hard landscaping are chosen.
This might include paving and decking, any walls or fences, pergolas and water features. We work with you to agree details of the materials to be used and supply sample finishes. A layout plan is drawn up which details all dimensions and materials used. This will be used by the landscaper to build the garden. Where necessary we will also supply specifications and construction drawings for particular elements.
If any of the works require planning permission, we are happy to liaise with local planning authorities to obtain consents and have particular experience of working in conservation areas.
Construction & Landscaping
Once the drawings for the garden build have been completed, we are happy to introduce you to reputable landscapers who can build your new garden according to our detailed design. If you wish, we will visit during the build and monitor the construction to ensure that the garden is built according to the plans.
Planting Plans, Plant Selection and Planting
Each planting design is bespoke and is developed to reflect your tastes and also the plants which are best suited to your particular garden. When embarking on the planting plan, we meet with you to look at plants which we feel would work well in your garden. Once we have decided on a palette of plants, we will draw up the planting plan which will show the location and spacing of all the plants, both new and existing.
We source the plants from our network of local growers and nurseries, who can be relied upon to supply good quality specimens. We set out and install the planting for you and are happy to offer advice on the correct maintenance, to ensure that your garden offers many years of enjoyment.
After the garden has been planted we can also prepare easy to understand Maintenance Guides to help you care for and maintain your new garden.
We can also provide…
Hampstead Garden Design: Services we don’t offer
Here at Hampstead Garden Design, we believe in specialising in the thing we do best. Namely working with you to completely redesign your garden, from the initial site survey through to planting the last bulb. For that reason there are some jobs which we donʼt take on.
However we do know lots of lovely people who do and are happy to put you in contact if this is what you need.
A beautiful garden whatever the space
You can enjoy gorgeous plants and greenery whatever space you have available. Whether it’s a shaded courtyard, a sunny terrace or a penthouse roof garden, we’ll design a space that is perfect for you to relax and enjoy.
To find out more about how we can help you create a stylish, lasting garden, suited to your budget, please contact Sarah Oxby, Hampstead Garden Design to arrange an initial consultation.