In approaching a garden design commission, we always take into account your specific requirements (including budget), your lifestyle, and the context (house style and immediate surroundings - see note below).
These considerations make every new project different from the last, and we believe that we can better fit the design to the brief by borrowing from an eclectic vocabulary of styles rather than imposing a 'house style' on the site. We hope that the accompanying portfolio of Projects will give you a flavour of those styles.
The Standard Design Process.
- An initial site visit and consultation is free of charge within a 20 mile radius of Cambridge. Outside this area, fees and travelling expenses are agreed in advance (download a pdf of our Fee Scales for more details);
- On the basis of the initial visit, a fee is agreed to cover a survey and the production of sketch ideas, budget estimate, concept plan and planting plans;
- Once the survey is carried out, sketch ideas in the form of plans and elevations are produced (along with a rough budget estimate), to stimulate feedback and discussion. Once the sketches have evolved to the point where client and designer are equally happy...
- A concept plan and planting plans are drawn up
A note about Landscaping Budgets.
Implementing a good quality landscaping scheme can be more expensive that you might think. While every project is different, the following figures might help as a rough "ballpark" guide to all-in costs for a complete re-design of your garden.
- Small urban courtyard 35m2 £10-15K.
- Typical suburban back garden 200m2 £25-40K.
- Larger garden over 200m2 £40K minimium.
Although some customers choose to appoint and supervise contractors themselves, we believe that the designer's role in supervising the project is crucial to the realisation of a successful scheme. In this respect, Spike Jackson has the advantage of many years experience of the "nuts and bolts" aspect of building gardens, having originally trained in Landscape Construction himself.
Our fees for Project Supervision are typically based on a percentage of the agreed project budget, although we are happy to negotiate an hourly rate if this is preferred. The basic project supervision package includes:
- drafting of specifications and working drawings to enable tendering for construction work;
- the vetting and selection of contractors;
- the supervision of the construction work to ensure that materials and workmanship are of the highest standard, and that the project is carried out within the required time frame and budget;
- preparation of a maintenance schedule to ensure that the new garden enjoys a high quality of aftercare.
As well as the design skills that Spike has developed over the last 30 years, there are other aspects of garden-making where his expertise can help you with your property. Specific projects, as well as many years experience as a Parish Councillor and (more recently) as the Parish Tree Warden for Grantchester have equipped him with the skills to be able to offer advice on aspects of:
- Planning Permission (eg. large garden buildings, tennis courts, swimming pools and change of land use);
- Listed Building Consent (where the garden sits adjacent to a listed House);
- Scheduled Ancient Monuments;
- Wildlife habitat surveys
- Tree Preservation Orders and the impact of Conservation Zones on tree work;
- Hedgerows and Shelterbelts for screening or wildlife enhancement.