Over the last week we have been sharing examples of our work as part of World Landscape Architecture Month.  WLAM2016 is organised by the American Society of Landscape Architects and is all about promoting the work of LAs to the broader public.

We have displayed examples of our design work alongside photos of completed gardens to provide insight into the process involved.  This post (and the next) attempts to go a little further into this process and explain what it is we do, to get a landscape in the ground.

Concept to Completion – Part 1


Before we put pen to paper (so to speak) we first meet with our clients and establish the design brief.  This meeting is usually on site and involves a conversation and walk through of the proposed garden space.  We take numerous photos, make notes and engage in a free-ranging conversation to get a full understanding of what our client wants and needs from their outdoor space.

Rasika, one of our LAs, takes site notes

Rasika, one of our LAs, takes site notes

We also establish the level of detail that is required from us.  Some clients are only looking for a concept sketch or planting ideas to get them started, while others want us to co-ordinate and supervise the project from start to finish.  Each landscape project is unique and this meeting ensures we are all on the same page!  Finally we discuss budget.  It is vital that we have an understanding of what the client wants to spend.

Stage One – Concept Design

This is where we take all our notes, photos and the design brief and bring it all together in a functional and beautiful landscape.  Some projects seem to fall into place and clear layouts and solutions flow freely.  Others are not so straight forward and once we start working with scaled base plans, levels and other site constraints it becomes a challenge to achieve the client’s dream.  That is the beauty of what we do and where our creativity and design experience are hard at work.
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The concept design is presented to our client as a scaled site plan, and with a combination of sections, elevations, 3D imagery and supporting photos to fully display the design.  The concept shows surface materials, layout of pavement, locations of garden beds and even built features such as swimming pools, pergolas or outdoor rooms.  These are all displayed in relation to exisitng or proposed architectural elements (ie. the house), including neighbouring buildings, features and trees, which put the design in its proper context.

Next Post – Concept to Completion Part 2

Stay tuned for the next stages where the concept is detailed and the project starts to get dirty!