Case Study – The Remote Design Service

Having a beautiful garden should be accessible to everyone; without the need for specialist knowledge, and without blowing the budget.
The Customer Brief. This forms the basis of everything I do to design your perfect garden, so it’s the first thing to discuss. With a remote design this comes from an online call with the customer, chatting through the garden as it is now, what you want to achieve, and importantly, the amount you would like to invest. Most people have no idea what the costs might be, so it’s a great opportunity to talk through rough prices and adjust the brief or the amount of intended investment. Once the brief is agreed, a survey would normally be carried out, but for a remote design, the customer provides measurements, photographs, and videos. I can quickly draw this up in SketchUp Pro – a 3d design tool, so that I can get an idea of how the garden currently looks. In this case study, there was a level change to take into account too.

The Concept Sketch. The process of coming up with a concept sketch includes addressing any challenges in the garden, and placing everything (or as much as possible) from your brief. It’s important at this stage to ensure that dominant elements such as pergolas or patios are in proportion to the house and the garden, and that the garden is in balance. In this case study, a beautiful, large Cotinus coggygria (Smoke bush) drew the eye over towards it, and so a balancing structure was added – the walkway pergola, and a focal point to draw the eye towards the end of the garden completed the concept.

Adding Colour and Detail. The concept sketch is used to enable the customer to visualise the new design, before it’s signed off and the final design is completed. Colour is also really important in the planting, establishing mood and rhythm (with repeated plants) and drawing the eye to different parts at different times of year. For this concept the planting was only a suggestion, but colours that complemented the current tree – a vibrant reddish-purple – were used to draw the garden together.

Presenting The Concept. At this stage, we would discuss the concept and make any changes. With online conferencing, I can have the design open in SketchUp and make changes live, when talking to you. This is really powerful, and saves a lot of back and forth trying to describe what you mean! This is also the time to discuss finishes and surfacing in depth, and to make sure that anything added in is also added into the investment amount!
The Finished Design. This is drawn up, and should resemble the agreed concept sketch very closely, but with actual materials and finishes to match your brief. The remote design service includes a plant list suitable for your soil and aspect, so that you can visit the garden centre with confidence! I have talked to too many people who have spent a fortune on plants for them to sadly die. I use plants that are easily obtained and reasonably simple to look after, but that still look gorgeous. My goal is to enable everyone of my customers to have a garden they love, without the need for specialist knowledge, and without blowing the budget.