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What's your biggest garden design bugbear

Good morning everyone.  This week I'm working on a Q&A blogpost to be published later in the month. It will be about overcome difficulties with any aspect of garden design - long waiting times, complex relationships, hard-to-build designs, selling the idea of garden design to the customer ------you name it, if it bugs you, let us hear about it.

If you'd prefer to answer anonymously, please email me hello@mygardendesign.co.uk - I'm really interested in what you have to say.

Thanks in advance

Paul

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  • PRO

    Designers siting 'low maintenance ' gravel gardens on good soil surrounded by mature native broadleaf trees.

    • PRO

      When a potential customers budget does not match their expectations and then having to find compromises which do not cut corners ,still  add benefit and are viable . 

      This can also apply to , maintainance , low maintenance projects and more prestige projects . Where is the starting point  wihen it comes down to compromise . ?

       

      • PRO

        I agree with this Ben, it makes no sense at all.

         

        One of the hardest parts of garden design is working to a budget, as designers have most likely never priced a garden build before. Saying that though, if a designer and landscaper work close together throughout the design phase then usualy a suitable design can be achieved close to the clients budget. If the budget is reasonable of course!

  • PRO

    Yes 100% long waiting times. Giving a designer a garden, in the Spring, saying this is going to be main winter job (implementing it), then we get to September and there is nothing for the client to even think about signing off on.

    Designers that just use the same plants in a differnt order whatever the garden they do

    Designers that use curves to an exteme extent (does the CAD programme encourage this?). When a border gets below about 200mm wide its pretty useless imo.

    I think that will do :)

    • Adam, I think you misinterpreted this post!

      Good thing you've retired and moved house, so a mob of angry garden designers won't turn up at your door! 🤣🤣🤣

      • PRO

        Its good to get views from both sides!

        • I think all different trade's can easily criticize each others work, I'm sure we've all seen things the just aren't right.

          As I've heard and constantly remind myself 'Do it right the first time'. If it's wrong make it good. Does shock my sometimes seeing bodge's and how unaccountable some people can be.

      • PRO

        oops :)

        Coming at it from the client asking me to design things - I generally made it very clear that unless it was a minute tweak it would be done when the grass stops growing, not before. When it got to serious design stuff and drawings were required I would defer to a designer (hence the reply above). So suggesting and replacing a few dead shrubs, tweaking the line of a border - yep no problem. Re-seeding borders with grass, digging new ones etc etc was winter work. Mind you at the end I only had space in the diary for maybe 1 or 2 of these jobs a year

    • PRO

      As a landscaper myself I completely agree the timescales in garden design can be way too long. We need a fast turnaround of work and it doesnt need to be held up at the design phase. To help with this we offer a 4 week lead time for our designs to ensure landscapers don't lose a hot lead. To get this lead time down we have over 20 garden designers at call!

      I also agree with planting plans being the same, variety is good! Saying that, it is always good to stick with what you know and what works in a certain area.

      Curves are harder to draw on a CAD program so I am not too sure why this is common practice. I prefer straight lines or curves/circles to a radial point.

       

  • Design bug bears:

    1, people you know that want you to look at there garden for nothing.

    2, people that expect border designs and planting plans for free.

    3, customers saying they will provide the materials to save money, but they buy substandard, to little or to much or the wrong thing.

    4, Bad payers.

    5, couples that argue about final decisions, when everyone knows the women should make it, because it's really there house and us husband work for our wife's despite our self denial.🤣

    6, Most customers only ever seem to want planting schemes in white/blue/purple/pink.

    7, They say they want low maintenance but what they really want is a cottage garden.

    8, once had a customer ask me if there was a plant that requires less maintenance than ornimentail grass, because cutting them down once a year was to much effort. I replied a plastic plant!

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