Garden Design Process2023-08-16T13:38:09+01:00

Garden Design Process

7 simple steps to our garden design process

All designers to some extent follow a similar process- from design brief to a final pack of drawings, although our process differs a little, in that …

  • We have an exceptionally broad team of award-winning Landscape Architects, Garden Designers, and Horticulturalists, and can bring in all these people to inform our designs.
  • We have in-house Estimating (for costings) and a Landscaping team, so we can help you refine your budget and value engineer the costs as an integral part of the design process.
  • This means you have all the expertise of the top specialists, with all the benefits of an optional one stop shop, without being tied to using our teams throughout if that is not the best solution for you.

We know that most of our clients want a garden, not just a design, and we are here to tailor our process to get you that in the way that works best for you. In essence this will be as follows:

1.    Taking the brief

Meet on site to discuss what you want to achieve and to share our preliminary thoughts

2.    Formal design proposal

We send you a formal design proposal, showing detailed fees and outputs, as well as a survey quote if you need one. If you are happy with these we can press on to stage 3…

3.    First design review

We go away and create a preliminary set of drawings and 3D models to allow us to have a working session with you. We will come out of this meeting with a clear sense of what you like and don’t, how to adjust it, and what will be pushed forward into the next stage of development.

4.    Detail development and additional reviews

We typically work through another 2 rounds of meetings, aiming at each stage to develop from the last- updating the modelling, increasing the level of detail, and gradually working through features, key materials and planting. This will include lighting, irrigation and other infrastructure as required until a final design is in place.

5.    Optional budget and value engineering

Once the design is agreed, we offer an optional budget costing for this. We review this with you to help you prioritise and make design changes if needed. This can then go back to our Estimator to update and/or you can send to anyone you like to provide a quote.

6.    Final outputs and next steps

Once the final design is agreed, we issue a formal design pack containing all you need to press on.

The main design phase is over, but we are available to help you complete your garden. We can do this ourselves or are happy to work with anyone you would like us to!

7.    And afterwards….

Kick back and enjoy a glass in your new garden!

If you would like to know more contact us

“CGLA re-designed our front and back garden, as well as then implementing the designs for us. They were so good throughout the process, really listening to what we wanted, as well as coming with great ideas. They were transparent throughout the process on costs and invoice dates. When it came to implementing the designs, a team from CGLA were with us for three weeks – they were on time, polite, hard-working and very clean on site (including thorough clean up at the end). We would thoroughly recommend CGLA!”

Client: Simon Pearce


Can you create Biodiversity Net Gain Plans for planning purposes?2024-07-10T13:24:14+01:00

Yes we can! For more information on this do have a look at our article here

Your web site looks expensive – are you?2024-05-07T11:40:42+01:00

It’s a great question- we are delighted that our projects look so good!

CGLA are typically best value for design-led projects requiring a fully managed build. These often require integration of hard and soft landscaping and complex features or infrastructure such as outdoor kitchens, lighting, irrigation, firepits, pools and pergolas.

This is a different approach from a basic piece of hard landscaping replacement, for which we would indeed expect a local builder to be cheaper.

We will require a detailed design to be in place for all but the most obvious of works, as this is needed to provide accurate costings and a clear expectation for the client. The design does not need to be one created by our own in-house team, and we have had the pleasure of working with many top garden designers, including building Chelsea Gold Medal winning gardens for Marcus Barnett, Andy Sturgeon and Sarah Raven.

Whilst we at CGLA can and do take on smaller projects, particularly locally, these work best where the clients prioritise a high quality process and finish and value the wealth of expert advice available. This is a personal trade-off, and one we are happy to discuss in detail with prospective clients.

What will it cost to build my garden?2024-07-10T09:28:14+01:00

We have several articles on this subject (see links below). The upshot is that we have a unique process aimed at heading this problem off at the pass!

  • Have a frank discussion about budget and process, sharing “ballparks” for similar projects (see cost to landscape article).
  • Once started, we design to suit your brief, cost that as soon as it is practical to do so, and allow for the time to value-engineer and adjust the designs to optimise the budget
  • Final outputs are prepared to suit the value-engineered design, and once this is complete, you are welcome to obtain quotes for the work from your choice of suppliers.

An overview of the design process is here and feel free to browse our “insights” pages for more information or call us for a chat!

Can I have my garden for this summer?2024-05-01T15:37:11+01:00

It depends on the complexity, scale and how decisive you are! As a general guide, if we are having this discussion in February there is a fighting chance, and by May it is much harder to achieve as landscaping teams tend to be heavily booked by then. If you are keen to do this it is best to let us know as soon as you possibly can.

If you have other questions feel free to contact us or see FAQS.

Garden Design



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