At PLT Design we believe the most important aspect of the design process is listening to the customer and working in partnership with them. We can then tailor our services to meet the scale and scope of your project and the design process will usually involve all or most of the following steps.

+Step 1 - Initial consultation
This initial meeting is free of charge and gives us the opportunity to get to know you and your garden.

We listen to what you envisage for your garden, your likes and dislikes for your current garden, how you would like to use it in the future, any ideas you have and features you would like included, what plants and colours you like or dislike and we will ask a number of questions to establish a potential concept for the garden.

If you have any pictures from magazines or books that have inspired you now would be a good time to share them. This is also the time for you to get to know Paul and ask any questions that you may have and is a good opportunity to see some of our previous work. As well as walking around the garden together as we discuss ideas, Paul would spend time in the garden alone to get a feel for the space, make notes and take photographs.

This is also the time when we would discuss your budget as it determines what can be achieved and is usually the basis on which the design fee is calculated.

Following on from this meeting we will send you a proposal letter containing a detailed design brief together with a quotation of the design fees for the services required.

+Step 2 - Site Survey
The next step is to survey your garden.

This consists of taking measurements of the garden, house and any outbuildings; noting down site features such as access, views into and out of the garden, location of drains and manhole covers, tree preservation orders, aspect, soil type, slope detail and period and style of the house and surrounding buildings; detailed photographs of the garden and house will also be taken.

This information will be used to produce an accurate scaled plan and site analysis from which to work from and which also helps a contractor evaluate what will need to be removed from site and estimate costs accordingly.

For larger more complex projects we would recommend the services of a professional surveyor.


+Step 3 - Concept / draft plans
From the brief and site analysis, a concept design will be produced and presented to you for discussion and feedback. Depending on the size and complexity of the project this could include some or all of the following; a full site analysis, design brief, mood board, concept design plan, elevations, sketches, a list of suggested materials to be used.


+Step 4 - Masterplan
Once you are happy with the concept plan a final masterplan will be produced. This will be hand drawn to scale and coloured and will include details of hard landscaping materials, planting borders and features.


+Step 5 - Layout plans and Construction Drawings
A Layout plan will be produced showing all the necessary dimensions, measurements and materials to enable the contractor to build your garden. More detailed construction drawings can also be produced for hard landscaping areas for example paving and walls and for bespoke features such as pergolas, water features, seats, fireplaces and so forth. They would consist of detailed cross section drawings and elevations so that the contractor can clearly see how to build each element of the design in detail. These documents are also useful for the tendering process. Lighting plans can also be produced where necessary.


+Step 6 - Planting plans
A detailed, coloured planting plan will also be produced. This will show the plant type, number used and location for each plant. Plants will be chosen for each area of the garden according to aspect, soil conditions and orientation, to give year-round interest and to complement the design style. The plants chosen will be discussed with the client prior to purchase.

A planting schedule will also be produced. This lists all the plants used, with details of quantity and size required. This will be sent to plant nurseries to quote for supplying the plants.


+Step 7 - Scope of works and specifications
To help the contractor estimate an accurate fee and ensure the design is built to a high quality and exactly to plan, a written set of instructions detailing construction methods and materials to be used is produced.
+Step 8 - Tender process
If you do not already have a landscape contractor in mind we can assist with the tendering process. We can suggest suitable contractors (usually 3) and prepare and manage the tender process, liaising with the contractors on your behalf and answering any questions they may have. The documentation we produce during the design such as the initial site plan, layout plan, scope of works and specifications and any construction drawings all enable the contractor to produce an accurate fee for the work needed.
+Step 9 - Project monitoring
We offer a project monitoring service whereby we organise regular site visits to ensure everything is running according to plan and the work is of a high quality, ensuring both the client and contractor is happy with the progress being made and there is good communication between all parties.
+Step 10 - Maintenance schedule
Once the garden is complete and to help it look its best for years to come we can provide a maintenance guide specific to your garden. It will include before, during and after photos as a record of how your garden was created, details on how and when to maintain the different areas in your garden be it patio, decking, lawn etc and a detailed section on the plants in your garden with pictures of the plants used and information about each plant including pruning and maintenance advice. There will also be pages left blank at the end for you to add your own notes and pictures as your garden grows with you over the years to come.