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Design process

Creating beautiful gardens and delivering the outdoor living spaces our clients dream of takes considerable care, coordination and know-how. Our comprehensive garden design service is based on working with our clients from start to finish of the project.

Whether it's a courtyard space or a large-scale, landscape garden, every project is unique. The following steps provide an overview of the 'typical' garden design process.

Step 1: Initial consultation and brief

Every project starts with an initial consultation and site visit. These early conversations are an opportunity for us to discuss and agree your functional and aesthetic requirements and aspirations, culminating in the creation of an agreed 'client brief'.

Step 2: Site survey and analysis

This a foundational information-gathering stage of the design process. It usually includes a site visit by Colm Joseph Gardens to undertake a detailed analysis of the existing garden and the commissioning of a topographic survey of the site.

Step 3: Outline design

Informed by the client brief and our site analysis, we develop and present an outline design for the new garden. This presentation pack includes plans, images, illustrations and material palettes to help communicate how your new garden will look.

Colm Joseph Gardens Cambridge garden design courtyard plan

Step 4: Landscape masterplan

Once the outline design is approved, we produce a final masterplan drawing, which captures the final, agreed layout design of your new garden.

Step 5: Detailed design and specification

We then work to detail all aspects of the design, including hard landscape elements (construction drawings and specifications for paving, steps, walling, seating, water features, etc.) and all soft landscaping (planting plans, specifications, plant schedules, tree selection, etc.). This step may include close coordination with other professionals involved in the project (architects, engineers, etc.) and planning applications, as needed.

Step 6: Sourcing a landscape contractor

We can recommend suitably high-quality professional landscape contractors to undertake the garden build. We will help coordinate the quotation process, either from a single, preferred contractor or via a restricted tender process in which two or more recommended contractors are invited to quote.

Colm Joseph Gardens Cambridge garden design contemporary courtyard work in progress

Step 7: Garden build and planting

With a professional landscape contractor in place, we then monitor the garden build on your behalf, helping ensure the garden is built as per our design and to the highest quality standards.

Step 8: Post-completion and maintenance

Gardens are living spaces open to the elements and to seasonal change, and all gardens require some maintenance. During the project, we will communicate what we believe the maintenance requirements for the new garden to be and advise clients on putting those maintenance arrangements in place.

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