Being new to the landscaping and design business it was always going to take me a while to get used to the different aspects involved, none more so than the design process; fiddling about on the laptop with the design software we use was all well and good- but it couldn’t prepare me for the real life problems presented by an actual client and project.
When Nicky informed me that i would be sending off my own design and presentation I was a tad nervous about the outcome to say the least! It didn’t help that the garden I would be designing for was a very strange shape and quite large. When doing practise designs I found it alot easier to come up with ideas for smaller gardens, so this was the first stumbling block! I tried to fit in everything that the client had wanted, but ended up with a mish-mash of a design with no real flow throughout the garden, so it was back to the drawing board!
I needed some inspiration, so took to the web to see if i could find it there. I wanted to have my own style in the design so found it quite difficult to look at other designers’ designs and ideas without thinking that I was cheating, so it was to the reference books next! This proved a bit more successful as they not only have designs and techniques in them but tips and ideas on how to create gardens of all shapes and sizes which was exactly the kind of help i needed. I came to realise that the design concept is the same, whether for a small town garden or in my case a large oddly shaped country garden, just different scales. So once i had got my head round the size and shape it was onto the design itself, which proved just as difficult.
The clients themselves live in a modern farm conversion in the country with cracking city views of glasgow, so my problem was trying to fit in the rural rustic surroundings, the clients modern style whilst framing the city landscape in the distance. Not much then! Taking into consideration the clients needs for certain things in the garden; utility area, patio, water feature, i decided to try and mirror the view from the house in the garden. I tried to achieve this using different heights in the centre of the garden with hedges and walls, and fibre optic lights embedded in the patio, to reflect the city view, and with different size lawn mounds either side of the central ‘city’ area to replicate the surrounding country hills and farmland. Considering the materials was also important so it was back to the books to find the perfect gear. I would say that this stage of the process was probably the easiest due to the fact that the house was very modern so to tie in that to the garden was just a case of trying to use nice clean modern materials, like black slate for the patio and crisp white gravel for the pathways.
So i was happy with my design, next stage- the dreaded presentation! Now I’m not the most confident of people so this was terrifying for me to say the least! It was a case of sucking it up and getting on with it really, no books to help me there, and in the end it wasn’t so bad!
It’s out the road now anyway, first one under the belt as they say. I came across a few problems and it took me longer than i would have liked but its all part of the learning process i suppose. I’m looking forward to the feedback but not as much as i’m looking forward to the next set of problems….. I mean designs!