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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What’s the point of getting a landscape design plan?
    A landscape design plan is an essential tool for creating a beautiful, functional outdoor space that meets your specific needs and preferences. The design takes into consideration the local climate and regulations (ie. for swimming pools, fencing…) and particularities of the site (views, wind, soil…), which increases the likelihood of the project’s success. You will receive a plan which is essentially a bird’s eye view of your garden, with the best layout possible to include all the elements you want (lawn, vegetable garden, entertaining area, spa pool, play area…), as well as suggestions for plants, materials and structures that will suit the style of garden you’re after (native, natural, contemporary, formal, cottage, tropical…). Hiring a designer ensures that you get everything you want while creating a beautiful, practical space with great flow, and which follows the essential design principles (simplicity, harmony, rhythm, balance, focal points, scale, unity…). It consolidates all your garden design ideas and requirements into a single document, providing a clear and comprehensive overview of your project. Whether you’re going to do it yourself or plan to hire a landscape contractor, the plan can provide specific quantities and measurements, facilitating an accurate landscaping budget/quote. Finally, a well-designed landscape not only enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of your home, it can also increase the value of your property. Overall, a landscape design plan is an investment in the success and long-term enjoyment of your outdoor space.
  • How much does a landscape design plan cost?
    There is no fixed price for a landscape design plan as it varies from project to project. If you’re in or around Hamilton, the first meeting is free of charge. At this meeting we will walk around your section so I can have a better appreciation of it, and we will talk about your specific needs and wishes to take into consideration in the design process. After this meeting, I will send you a free no-commitment quote with a brief that outlines what we have discussed together, and details of what you will be getting. Typically the cost of the plan will depend on these factors: size of the area to be designed; land contours (is it flat or on a slope); how many and complexity of elements to be included in the design (pools make it more complex for example); availability of section/house plans (this will impact the time spent doing the site measure)… For a full section landscape design plan, the price typically starts around $1200 (incl. GST) to $3000+ If you only want a design for a part of your section, then it could be less than $1200. Contact me for a free quote!
  • What should I prepare before we meet?
    You may have no idea what you want in your garden, in which case you don’t need to prepare much, I will help you find out by asking you lots of questions! If you have time before we meet, try to think about how you want to use your garden: to enjoy the views, to grow some food, to entertain friends and family, to play with children…? If you do have an idea, then you can prepare a wishlist of the elements you want included (ie. deck, shaded area, BBQ area, spa pool, pool, water feature, utility area, favorite plants and trees, vegetable garden etc.). You are also welcome to show me any images from the internet, magazines, books, garden visits, to help me visualize better the style of garden that you enjoy and want. Feel free also to point out any specific issues you have in your garden like drainage issues, unwanted views, strong winds, bad soil…
  • What kinds of gardens do you design?
    I tailor the design to the clients, the site, and the house so each garden is unique! I have designed NZ native, semi-tropical, perennial, sustainable, contemporary, formal gardens, coastal, simple low-maintenance, small, medium, large, lifestyle… I love them all! What all the gardens have in common is that the plants and materials are chosen to both suit the conditions, the client's wish list & style.
  • How will you design my garden?
    The first step is the initial meeting which is the most important one. This is where I listen to you, find out how you want to use your garden and what you would like it to look like. The second step, also essential, is the site assessment (and measure up). This is when I take time to get to know your garden, the area, the particularities of the site (views, wind, soil, sun path…), the house and its features, see if there is anything worth keeping in the garden, look at the neighbourhood. This gives me an understanding of the canvas I have to work with. Then I go to the drawing board. Laying the base plan down on paper (or the computer), to scale, is the best way to figure out how to fit all the elements you want in your garden while making sure the design is practical and follows the design principles. On the drawing board (computer), I will try different options, think of creative solutions, to create the first draft of your landscape design, which I will present to you at the concept meeting so you can give me some feedback before I do the final plan. We will also discuss the plant palette at the concept meeting. With your feedback, I will make changes to the plan and the final design will then be sent to you both in hard & electronic copies for future use.
  • How long does it take?
    Garden designs are currently taking around 5-6 weeks to create, from the time the quote is accepted to the concept meeting. Then the final design takes about 2 weeks from the time I receive your feedback on the concept (sometimes this happens during the concept meeting, other times clients want to take a bit of time to think about it before giving feedback).
  • Can I use my own landscaper?
    Yes! One of the advantages of having a plan done by an independent landscape designer is that you can take it to the landscaper or landscape construction company of your choice, and get several quotes.
  • Can you build my garden for me or arrange for a contractor to build the landscape?
    I specialize in creating landscape design plans (and planting plans) only. I do not offer services in terms of garden or landscape implementation, project management, sourcing competitive landscape quotes or supplying landscape materials or plants. However I am happy to recommend some trusted landscapers or for your contractor to contact me if you need to discuss anything included in the design plan during the pricing or implementation stages.
  • My budget is limited, can I do it in stages?
    Yes definitely. Having a landscape plan is immensely beneficial, particularly when it comes to managing the cost of your garden project. Implementing your landscaping plan in stages can be an effective way to tackle the project without incurring a significant financial burden. Although there may be some loss of economies of scale, starting with a landscape plan allows you to install your garden in phases as your budget permits. By doing so, you can still achieve a cohesive result that meets your specific needs and preferences. With a landscape plan in hand, you can rest assured that your garden project will come together seamlessly, even if it takes several stages to complete.
  • Can you look after the garden once it is done?
    I do not offer maintenance services but I can recommend trusted gardeners.
  • What areas do you service?
    I offer free quotes for properties within 30km of Hamilton. If you are outside this area, I may still be able to do it but there could be a call-out fee for the quote, and travel fees included in the quote. Feel free to message me to ask about those.

Any other questions? Get in touch!

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