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hqbirdbath

Hmm...we engaged a “Garden Designer” last April....in July he expected to be with us in early November...we have not heard a word since so I have done the job myself...and saved a quick £7000!!!

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David Male Gardens

Well done to Houzz for publishing this story. As a garden designer I'm always interested in clarifying some of the misconceptions about the industry. First and foremost is the idea that garden design is only relevant to extremely wealthy people with massive country estates. I work mainly with city clients with small to medium sized gardens and with budgets that have to be carefully controlled. Very often the smaller the space the more attention has to be paid to making the most of it: a creative yet practical solution. In terms of budget, it is often the case that what the client has to spend is basically what is left after doing a house extension or renovation and that this may or may not be enough to achieve their vision. A garden designer should always be very clear and honest about what can
and can't be acheived within a certain budget, and not to lead the client
up the garden path, if you will excuse the pun. Taking time early on to give ballpark costs of different things, before getting too involved in a fixed
plan always leads to a more fruitful and trusting designer/client relationship.

Apart from the creative aspect of the job I believe strongly that a garden designer's key roles are to carefully manage a client's expectations and to patiently guide them through the myriad of decisions that have to be made when creating a new garden from scratch. Both of these responsibilities take time and attention and shoudn't be rushed. I have worked with several clients who were a bit sceptical at first about whether they needed a designer's involvment. In each case, at the end of the process, they all said that they had initially had no idea just how many things there were to consider in creating a new garden and that they were grateful for me being there to guide them through every step of the way.

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Pierce Hill Design, ltd.

I agree with David. Advice and planning can always be done for a client at various budget levels. One of the most important reasons to have a garden designer on board is that the client can make budget decisions on a full scope as well as help to break the project into sections, and manage their budget that way. It would be a shame to spend money on one section, only to have to rip it out later and redo, because the project order was only geared to what would give the biggest "bang for the buck" early on, when it might be smarter to save up a bit more and install needed hardscaping or structure.

   

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