The best way to start outdoor space improvement is by arranging a Consultation: £80 for an hour - plus a mileage charge if long distance. This is refundable against future design plans. During the Consulation Lucy will visit the garden (or part of garden) with the client and discuss any problems or queries the client may have regarding design or planting. This may involve one or several of the common issues given below. Lucy is completely adaptable to the clients needs and will help in whichever way is most suited to the client during the Consultation. Following this, a letter will be sent, listing advice/recommendations and a quote for any relevant further services. A sketch overlay with initial ideas is a popular service. This may be all that is required by the client as a trouble-shooting exercise. Please note that you will not get a new Design for the price of a Consultation. The client is free to leave it at that or proceed with continued help.
Consultation Vouchers make excellent gifts for loved ones and friends.
Making the best of your existing garden. Maybe it has suffered neglect, or just needs some small changes? You may have recently moved in (see 'Front Garden 2') or are planning to sell. Pruning an overgrown garden or garden area with an artistic eye can change an eyesore into an asset. A gardener such as Lucy, trained in design and creative pruning will produce a more aesthetic finish. Some shrubs can be cut right down or re-shaped in order to give them new life when they have outgrown their space. Lucy can advise on what can be saved and what should be replaced. Maybe the borders need re-shaping ? Perhaps the garden looks great in certain months, but there are times when it is very bleak and could do with a lift? Lucy will offer you solutions which are specific to your site and needs.
Creating a new garden with hard and soft landscaping requires careful planning at the outset and clear communication between client and designer. The full process is outlined in detail in 'Design Process'. The extent of help Lucy can offer is tailor made according to the clients needs. Often it is just getting something on paper to show the client's chosen landscaper, other times a client will want Lucy involved from the start to completion - and be on hand for checks and advice into the future.
Wildlife or other Themed Garden
Consideration to British Native wildlife is very much a talking point these days. The research Lucy has done for the Brandon Marsh Sensory Garden and The Parkridge Centre for Warwickshire Wildlife Trust ; her membership of the Wildlife Gardening Forum as well as a personal keen interest makes her well equipped to give advice on how to encourage Wildlife into a garden.
Other themes may be personal to the client and their lives, Lucy is happy to apply her creativity to any original or traditional ideas.
The client may love their garden as it is, but without the gardening knowledge or experience is having trouble keeping it looking its best. Lucy can identify plants and draw up a 'Maintenance Calendar' specifically for the site. This would give an easy to follow, month by month list of tasks with relvant tools and procedures described. Photos of specific plants for identification purposes can be included on request. An accompanying key to where to find what in your garden may be included if necessary.
A basic, laminated Maintenance Calendar costs from £45 (eg £45 for roughly a 15m x 15m garden)
Planting Guide or Plan
Clients who are happy with the layout of their existing garden but would like to improve the planting can be helped to create a Designer look with a Plant Guide drawn up by Lucy. This is a roughly to scale drawing of the relevant area labelling existing plants to keep and marking out areas of new planting. New plants are suggested with guidance for best selection depending on your local availability. Advice on quantity and location is given but the detail is more fluid and less precise than on a Planting Plan. A Planting Plan is scale drawn and lists the precise quantity and named variety of each plant used.
General Garden Advice
Lucy can help with all aspects of design and gardening. For example, a client may wish to set up a composting system to increase the sustainability of their garden or add a small pond (see 'Small Pond'), but are not sure how to set about the project. When and how to prune existing shrubs may be a mystery to the client. Where more specialist knowledge is required Lucy may be able to put the client in touch with a professional in that field.
As part of the Rejuvenation process Lucy will spot and advise on how to make the most of your existing mature plants. Hedges and certain evergreen shrubs are often underperforming as far as contribution to the 'garden picture' is concerned. Some examples of Lucy's work can be seen in the Gallery (see 'Creative Pruning'). Young plants can be shaped fairly easily but more mature plants will take a few years to grow into their new shape. Lucy can guide the client on what to do or return visits can be booked in until the new shape is established and maintenance is just a matter of trimming.
As much an art installation as a stone wildlife habitat, Lucy builds unique and whimsical walls out of salvage. Lucy is always delighted to take commisions to build - but is equally happy to guide a client to create their own. Walls are made using a lime mortar. The lime allows the mortar some flexibility to accomodate the mixed response to weather which salvage from a variety of materials will have. The cost will depend on the project. As a guide, a cavity filled wall similar to the one at Parkridge Centre shown here, would cost roughly £750/sqm; the low, retaining wall at Brandon Marsh roughly £80/m.
Talk with Slideshow
Designing a Border from Scratch I
Designing a Border from Scratch II
Designing a Border from Scratch III
Natural Sensory Garden, From Conception to Maturity
Gardening with Wildlife in Mind
Garden Talks last approximately one hour and are charged at £90 plus mileage. Lucy has her own projector and laptop but will need a screen or wall to project on to.
The initial Consultation cost of £80 for one hour (plus mileage if over 10 mile radius from Stratford upon Avon) is a set charge, payable at the time of visit. Included in this price is a written, recommended course of action and options open to the client which will be sent after the Consultation. The cost of any further work will have to be calculated based on the size and complexity of the project.
Estimates and quotations are free and there is no obligation to proceed. Lucy is happy to visit to put together a quote if the job is clearly defined otherwise a Consultation is recommended. The prices given will have a description of everything that is included within them so that it is clear exactly what is being paid for. A suggested course of action and options open to the client can be sent with the costings. It is possible to work towards a pre-defined budget if that is preferred. Please note that any Design - however rudimentary - will cost more than £80.