A meeting at the outset with the client is essential to gain valuable information about the site as well as understanding of the client's requirements and agreeing a brief.

Site Surveys
A topographical survey is usually required upon which all future design work will be based. Other optional surveys which may be required include tree surveys and soil analysis. On receipt of the topographical survey we would undertake a landscape analysis of the site. This information will form the basis for the sketch designs.

Sketch Designs
These are concept proposals for the garden and illustrate how it might be best arranged. The plan will show the main garden spaces and connections between them as well as areas of paving and planting, and can be backed up, if required, with sketches or photomontages. Regular liaison or meetings with the client are usual at this stage to ensure the emerging design reflects the client's requirements. Once agreed this plan forms the basis for detailed designs.

Detailed Design and Procurement
It is at this stage that we discuss with the client how he wishes to procure the works. Developing the sketch designs in sufficient detail will enable us to produce construction drawings for both the hard landscape (pavings, structures etc) and planting. Together with a specification these documents can either be given to the client's builder / gardener, or can be used to obtain quotations from one of our regular contracting teams.

We are often asked to supervise the works and, if an external contractor is involved, administer the contract on behalf of the client. In this respect we monitor construction quality, project costs and programme. Alternatively if the client wishes to use his own labour we can offer a more advisory approach.

Sourcing of Plants
Since most gardens are all about plants we place considerable emphasis on procuring plants on our clients' behalf from a number of UK as well as European nurseries. In this way clients can select from a wide range of species, some unusual. Early ordering enables nurseries to grow on exactly what the client wants, and at very competitive prices.

Maintenance and Management
Whilst it is crucial to discuss the maintenance implications of the gardens at the outset, we can also offer advice on longer term maintenance and management to ensure successful establishment and maturity is achieved in the shortest possible time. Indeed on some of the larger estates with which we have been involved we have prepared 7-10 year Management Plans.

Other Services
Landscape history, research and analysis
Ecological surveys and appraisals
Photographic surveys
Planning consents, if necessary

a brightsite