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Why you shouldn’t use a Garden Designer


Did you know?

Not everyone should use a garden designer.

Shock! Horror!

It’s true.



Let’s delve a little further into the reason for that statement.

For example: – You may have a large estate and wish for it all to be developed and managed. Then you should be looking for a landscape architect, a landscape designer, to develop much of that land. And then a landscape or estate manager to keep it going. A garden designer would be appropriate for certain areas – formal gardens near the house, orchards. Of course with all of those professionals floating around, you may also need someone to manage them; a landscape or garden consultant, with enough expertise to have authority.

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Now most of you who are reading this article will not have large estates of many acres. So why shouldn’t you use a garden designer? Let’s consider a few reasons…

Are you prepared to work with the garden designer to create a garden that suits you? Yes, you did read that correctly. I can design 3 different gardens for you, all of them wonderful, of course – but without input from you, will they work for you in the long term? A successful garden design depends on collaboration and if you’re not prepared for this, then you shouldn’t use a garden designer. Or accept that the garden may well not turn out as you had hoped.

Good garden designers are experts in their field. Now whilst collaboration is essential, if they’re advising you, it pays to listen to their advice. If you decide not to follow that advice, that’s fine; it’s your garden, after all. But make sure you’ve listened.

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Do you care about your garden? Are you bothered if it looks nice / is wildlife friendly / is a welcoming space? Some people are not interested in their garden. If that’s you, I would query why you would use a garden designer for a full garden design. You could just have a wildflower meadow and a patio. Or give your garden space to someone who will use it and enjoy it. (She says, being controversial).

You think garden designers just plant a few trees and flowers. So you talk to a couple after you’ve let some non-gardening landscapers lay a patio, build some narrow raised beds and put up a shed. Without any thought to how these elements of the garden link to each other and the house or whether they’re in the right place for your needs…

Oh and definitely don’t use a garden designer if you don’t appreciate that they cannot create a £40,000 garden on a £10,000 budget. Magician is not part of their job description.

Whilst we’re talking about money, you shouldn’t use a garden designer if you’re not prepared to pay them. The number of times we designers hear “Could you just pop round and we can chat about my garden, and you can give me some ideas, and do a quick sketch…nothing fancy” Uh, no. I’m more than happy to share thoughts and tips – I think over 5 years of blogs sort of suggests that. But would you go to work for a month without being paid?

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Are there any more reasons why you shouldn’t use a garden designer? Well, yes. For example, is a garden designer the right professional for the job? This partly relates to my first point about an estate, but not totally. For example, for inside spaces and houses, use an architect; for fencing use a landscape gardener.

So if these are reasons why you shouldn’t use a garden designer, what would be some reasons for using one?

If we keep to the money issue – a good garden designer can save you money.
Consider the scope of the project – for your garden re-design, use a garden designer.

For some more excellent reasons on getting in the right professional, click through to Should You use a Garden Designer?

But if it’s a problem with your garden, use a garden consultant. Plews Marie can help with that, as can other members of the PGCA as there are different areas of expertise available..


Other Gardening Blogs you may enjoy

Should You use a Garden Designer?
What is Garden Design?
Garden Planning – Your New Year’s Resolution for Your Garden
Why are there Changes to Your Garden Growing Season?
Hospice Memory Garden – Design and Preparation
5 Ideas for Stunning Front Gardens

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