Advice on choosing a garden designer & garden landscaper
If you are thinking about hiring a landscaper or garden designer, there are plenty of things to bear in mind. Chances are, you are looking for a beautiful, professional design, and you are willing to pay for it. That means you are expecting a certain level of quality, and you certainly don't want to take a risk. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to screen the very best designers and landscapers. It's all about finding a balance of expertise, cost, and personality. Without further ado, let's run through our checklist for finding a great garden designer.
Look through their portfolio
Almost every garden designer will have their own web site. It has quickly become a basic essential for professional landscapers. Here, they will showcase their best work through pictures and testimonials. Remember, every garden designer has their own style. Use the portfolio to see if their particular style matches your ideas. Is it modern, traditional, Oriental? Browse through their photo galleries; you will quickly see which is the right design and style for you.
Speak to previous clients
It is not unreasonable or inappropriate to ask their previous clients about their experience. Ask the designer for references or testimonials from particular clients. If it’s a local garden designer, speak to others in the area that have used their services. Were they happy with the end result? Was the landscaper easy to work with, and amenable to changes and adaptations? Each of these things will give you a clear view of their professionalism.
Check the Society of Garden Designers
The Society of Garden Designers is the number one place for professional landscapers. To register, you must have two years of design experience and go through a process of evaluation. Every garden designer listed in this society will be highly professional and expertly qualified. Ask your designer if they are registered, or working towards a registration application.
Cost and budget
Of course, one of the biggest considerations is your budget and the cost of design. As you can expect, some designers are more expensive than others. Those that are registered with the Society of Garden Designers, for example, will command a higher price. Those with extensive portfolios and high-profile clients will also charge more. It’s up to you to find a cost that you are comfortable paying for. In many cases, you will find an enthusiastic and talented beginner who’s trying to grow their portfolio. This could be a cheap and effective solution.
Personality and communication
Last of all, consider whether this person has a personality you can work with. Garden design is all about communicating ideas and trusting the landscaper. You will make changes along the way as things start to come together. That means you will spend a lot of time communicating and working with the designer. Do you think you can sustain a good working relationship? It’s the little things like this that make the process enjoyable too.
Spend plenty of time researching before you make a decision on your garden designer. After all, you want to sit and enjoy every second of your new garden when it's finished!