PRO

Getting the Most from Your Garden Design

Author: Vanessa Drew, landscape Designer at Tobermore


One of the favourite aspects of my job as a landscape designer is that no two days are the same. Every project is different, as are the requirements of individual clients. A project may be a completely blank canvas if it is a new build house or it might be an established house and garden requiring a revamp, or perhaps it will be a renovation or extension project. 

No matter what the project is, Tobermore will have a design service to suit your needs. The more you prepare in advance, the better we can plan your garden to suit you. Make a list of who will be using the garden – do you need a play area for children or grandchildren? Do you need a dog run?  Most houses need to screen off unsightly items such as the oil tank, coal bunker and bins, so we can include this in the plan. Perhaps there is a lovely focal point visible from your garden such as a church spire, sea view or mountains? We will try to make the most of that, and equally try to screen anything you don’t want to see. A lot of clients need a shed but often there is nowhere to hide it.  In this case, consider painting it a pleasant colour, fit window boxes and make it look like a summer house to make a feature of it.

From the very start of the design process, it is useful if you can find inspiration for the style of garden you would like. Flick through magazines and cut out photos. Look online – Google and Pinterest are an endless source of ideas. Choose a style – do you prefer modern and minimalist with straight lines or cottage garden style with curved lines and soft planting?Or maybe somewhere in between? 

The next stage is to choose paving products you would like to use. Come in to one of our paving centres. We have all of our products laid in show garden style so you can see how they would look in your garden. Have a chat with our paving centre staff and take home some samples to see how the colour will tie in with your house colours.

At Tobermore we have two design services. The first is free of charge and is a good starting point for a larger project and often all that is needed for a smaller scheme. Clients simply phone in to book a 30 minute appointment. If you would like to avail of this service, take as many photos of the area from all angles, including one from an upstairs window if possible. Also required are the measurements of the area, including distance to the boundaries, the positions of all the doors and how many steps, etc. 

If you feel the project warrants a visit, we can come to you. On this visit, we will measure the area and take photos and have a walk round the site with you and discuss the possibilities. After doing a quick sketch on site, we then come away and draw the plan to scale on the computer. For this call-out service we charge £175 for a single area. When the client purchases £1,000 of paving from Tobermore, this fee is refunded.  This is certainly a valuable service. 

For either design services, we will quantify the paving required and draw up a quotation to supply and deliver the products. We usually try to ascertain if the client has a budget in mind, so that we can select paving products to suit. We have so many products at different price levels that we are sure to find something to suit all pockets.

So what are you waiting for? Get in touch and let us help you transform your outside space!

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Open forum activity

John F replied to Darren's discussion New Start Up Venture
"We all have a different market place and have to cut the cloth accordingly , I have never being one for throwing my dummy out of the pram if i can't get the price i need i find you only have two choices sometimes . 
1 . Sit at home and sulk 
2. Get…"
4 hours ago
Vic 575 replied to Darren's discussion New Start Up Venture
"It should still be £60p/h even with a hand mower. You seem quite upset Sean that I have given my honest opinion and advice. It is quite alright if you disregard what I say. I only mention my figures in order to demonstrate the running costs involved…"
5 hours ago
Billybop replied to Darren's discussion New Start Up Venture
"yes, good to hear how everybody does it differently and what works for them"
5 hours ago
Billybop replied to Darren's discussion New Start Up Venture
"relieved lol"
5 hours ago
Billybop replied to Darren's discussion New Start Up Venture
"ha ha never you mind lol"
5 hours ago
Sean Clarke replied to Darren's discussion New Start Up Venture
"I actually had a female customer say to me once "if you can't get a digger in there, it'll have to be a hand-job". I was both relieved and disappointed that a digger fitted through the gateway."
5 hours ago
Vic 575 replied to Darren's discussion New Start Up Venture
"A what job?"
5 hours ago
Sean Clarke replied to Darren's discussion New Start Up Venture
"We all know how much you spend on gear per year and how expensive your ride-ons are, this is mentioned whenever the topic of grass cutting prices is raised, as is the fact that quite a lot of domestic gardens are in actually cut with a regular pedes…"
5 hours ago
Billybop replied to Darren's discussion New Start Up Venture
"a lot of the other gardeners around here actually charge a lot less per hour than i do but prefer the half day/full day formula which i find boring and not as lucrative as i prefer to flit from one job to another, all within a small local area. Vic'…"
5 hours ago
Vic 575 replied to Darren's discussion New Start Up Venture
"We have had these discussions many times before. I think that the majority of us think that £1 per minute is about right for grass cutting. If anyone wants to work for less than that then I am very happy for them to continue. I really and genuinely…"
5 hours ago
Sean Clarke replied to Darren's discussion New Start Up Venture
"The £1 per minute formula works up to a certain point, in my opinion it works best up to 45mins-1hr, after that the customer may begin to baulk at the price (this is for regular maintenance, not one-off priced work). So, do you try and fill your day…"
5 hours ago
Sean Clarke replied to Darren's discussion New Start Up Venture
"Working on your own for 5hrs a day, 4 days a week and 45 weeks a year @ £60p/h = £54,000 p/a turnover. If you can find people willing to pay £60p/h over the course of a year (whilst actually charging per job) then fair play to you. I just think to s…"
5 hours ago
Billybop replied to Darren's discussion New Start Up Venture
"Yes good to hear what others are charging, some of my lawns take 2 hours due to fiddly shape/ slopes/ multiple grassed areas rather than sheer size, Just can't see a pensioner shelling out 120 pounds every 10 days to 14 days for it to be done. Anoth…"
6 hours ago
Chris & Heather McAlpine replied to Darren's discussion New Start Up Venture
"I do a couple of domestic lawn cutting jobs which are about 750-800m2 and take about 40 minutes each.  I charge £40 for them so that’s in line with £60 per hour.  It’s not outlandish by any means as I can’t see anyone mowing anything,  apart from a…"
6 hours ago
Kris Baker replied to Darren's discussion New Start Up Venture
"I agree and what I was trying to say "I wouldn't want to do it on the prospect of £50K turnover ... but, starting out, you could". 
Do people really want to do this long term for less than £50K p.a. turnover? A full time, employed, gardener around h…"
6 hours ago
Sean Clarke replied to Darren's discussion New Start Up Venture
"With all due respect to you and your £big number businesses, £60p/h as unviable as a start-up gardener? Don't talk rubbish."
8 hours ago
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