The Design Process

From concept to completion

At Painted Fern we understand that garden design can be a daunting process and we offer as much or as little ‘hand holding’ as you need. We can offer a range of services dependent on your requirements. Whether it's a full design service from concept to completion, planting design or consultancy. Every garden is unique along with the design created for it, but the steps to reach that completed garden will follow the same process.

1. Initial Consultation

The process starts with an initial consultation to chat with you about your garden and what you hope to achieve from it and enable us to realise your gardens potential. Following on from this meeting we can then send you our Design Fee Proposal.
2. Site Inventory and Survey
Completing a detailed questionnaire with you to ascertain your needs, likes and dislikes and the property setting along with gauging how much time you have for maintenance regimes will begin the design process. A survey to record photos, measurements, aspect, level changes and soil type also needs to be completed. For larger gardens we may use a topographical survey.

3. Design Brief

We will then formalise a brief based on our discussions which will also outline our recommendations for your garden. Once signed off we can progress to the design stage on the drawing board.

4. Outline Plan

The Presentation Plan communicates the idea of how the garden could look, but without finalising material choices, levels or any final details of features.

5. Masterplan, Visual and Moodboard

Once the Outline Plan is finalised and we have reviewed a range of materials we can progress to drawing up a detailed plan noting hard landscaping materials, drainage and levels. Supplementary mood boards, visuals and a written rationale will also be supplied to convey the ideas. Refinement of the presentation plan is a two-way process to ensure you, the client, is entirely happy whilst not compromising on the design.

6. Construction Plans

On approval of the Master Plan, Construction Plans are then drawn up from which the new garden will normally be set out and built. It will enable a landscaper to cost hard landscaping elements and then build the garden, detailing materials and dimensions.

7. Lighting and Irrigation Plans

If budget allows then we recommend adding garden lighting to enable you to extend the use of your outdoor space. An installed irrigation system will enable your new planting to establish quicker.

8. Planting Plan, Moodboard and Visual

The Planting Plan along with a Plant Moodboard will set the colour scheme for the planting and highlight key features such as structural plants, flowers, foliage and form. Location, spacing and the number of new plants are detailed along with any retained planting based upon your soil type and aspect and of course your personal tastes. A Seasonality Chart can also be provided to convey the seasons of interest for each plant.

9. Specification

The Specification is a written document describing the requirements. It is divided into two sections, the first deals with administrative matters and the second section defines the quality of workmanship and materials required. This in conjunction with the construction drawings enable the build to be costed up either by our own preferred landscapers or your own.

10. Build and Project Monitoring

We offer a project monitoring service to oversee either your own landscaping contractor or one of our recommendations to manage the construction of the garden. This will involve regular site visits, inspecting the quality of work, ensuring all parties are continually kept up to date and that all work meets the requirements of you, the client, and stays true to our design vision.

11. Planting

We can source plants for your garden from an extensive range of nurseries. We will prepare all planting beds, lay all of the planting out onsite and plant up for you to enable the plants to get off to the best possible start. If you are keen to learn gardening skills then we offer the chance to shadow us in this process and we can impart our extensive horticultural knowledge upon you.

12. Maintenance Plan

For those with little or no gardening knowledge, being left with a beautiful garden to care for can seem daunting, so a suggested maintenance plan can be created to enable you or your gardener to care for your plants to ensure they flourish in your new garden.

13.  Aftercare

We would recommend a number of follow up visits are scheduled in between 6 - 18 months after the garden is completed, to ensure planting and hard landscaping are working for you as a client and assess that it is fulfilling the design brief. Whilst we do not offer a regular garden maintenance service, we do offer maintenance tuition sessions where we can guide you through caring and nurturing your garden. We can also offer ad hoc maintenance sessions for specialist pruning requirements or further development of the planting if required.

14. Additional Services

We can liaise with other consultants such as tree surgeons, drainage experts, outdoor kitchen specialists and structural engineers if you need us to. We can also help to furnish your garden from furniture through to cushions and throws.