This page details the bare bones of a garden design project (which is still ongoing) from initial meeting, through preparation of drawings and appointment of different contractors to construction and planting. It is intended to give some impression of the work of a garden designer. This page will be updated periodically as the project continues.
Major landmarks in the process. (Click on a heading to go to the relevant part of the more detailed diary).
Planning permission granted (The house is a listed building)
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First site visit, meeting with clients and taking of brief
Report of meeting sent along with initial fee estimate.
Fee estimate accepted
Land survey received from land surveyors
Initial concept drawing provided for discussion
Sketch masterplan supplied to clients.
Sketch masterplan sent to local planning office to find out if a planning application is required.
Meeting with clients to discuss design, including proposed materials, drainage, the question of land purchase to extend the garden, timing of work and alterations to some details.
Meeting with planning officer - planning application will be required for hard landscape work since house is a listed building.
Woodland Grant application set in motion.
Draft copy of feu plan prepared outlining new title deed to include purchased land.
Woodland grant application submitted to Forestry Commision
Drawings prepared for planning application and approved by clients
Planning application submitted
Additional information supplied to planning officer
Meeting with Forestry Commission woodlands officer
Amended woodland grant application submitted
Detailed drawings for drive and paving prepared
Planning permission granted
Building work commences on house
Woodland grant application successful - contract sent out for signing
Amendments made to feu plan
Woodland planting plans and contract documents prepared and sent out to 3 contractors
Feu plan finalised and sent to client, including original on stable drafting film
No price in yet from forestry contractors so deadline issued
One price received - far too high - no response from other contractors
Decision taken to split forestry contract into two contracts - machinery work and planting work and to coordinate them myself. Small planting contractor and agricultural contractor contacted for prices.
Forestry contracts awarded
Application sent to environment protection agency for spraying close to river
Forestry area spraying carried out
Ground preparation for forestry planting carried out
Meetings with different landscape contractors to check their ability to carry out hard landscape work
Forestry planting completed
Revisions to design of area between house and river
Drawings for earthworks and drainage prepared
Contact documents and drawings for grass seeding and turfing sent out for pricing
Earthworks and drainage contract awarded to agricultural contractor
Turf and seeding contractor appointed
Earthworks etc underway
Precontract meeting with hard landscape contract on site
Hard landscape contract awarded
Earthworks delayed by wet weather
Turfing contractor on site; area beside river seeded but rest of ground too wet - so left for drier weather
Hard landscape contract underway
Hard contract suspended to allow house building work to be completed
Second woodland grant application submitted to Forestry Commission
Delays to building work caused by wet weather delaying landscape works
Caithness stone paving delivered late in the month
Hard landscape work continuing
January & February
Landscape work suspended due to frost and snow
Woodland grant approved
Forestry contract documents sent out
Hard landscape contractor back on site
Forestry contract awarded
Planting plans prepared
Paving works complete
Planting plans sent to landscape contractor for pricing
Turf contractor back on site to carry out cultivation work
Planting contract awarded
Forestry spraying and cultivation carried out
Forestry planting carried out
Main seeding work (lawn and wildflower meadow) completed and formal lawn laid with turf
Hard landscape work virtually complete but list of snags and omissions sent to contractor
Planting carried our in areas beside new hard landscape
List of proposed wildflower plugs sent to client
Wildflower plugs agreed with client and ordered for March 2002 delivery
Meeting on site with contractor to check seed germination
Drawing prepared for discussion with client concerning planting in front of house.
Forestry maintenance work carried out.
Forestry contractor informs he is emigrating to Australia. Decision taken to find a local gardener to carry out essential maintenance work including forestry areas.
Gates fitted to entrance.
Fertiliser applied to lawn areas to correct deficiencies. Report sent to turfing contractor on defects.
Completion certificate issued for lawn works with retention withheld until defects put right.
Local gardener interviewed and method of working agreed between him and client. Work to include planting of wildflower plugs in Spring. Drawing outlining planting positions for plugs sent to client for approval.
Hard landscape defects put right.
Final certificate issued for hard landscape works and contractor's final account passed to client for payment.
Planting plans for next phase of planting sent to client for consideration.
Meeting on site with client and gardener. Client is prepared to carry out some planting work himself so schedule of work prepared for this and issued to him.
Gardener informs that after spring plug-planting he will be unable to carry out further work so search on for a replacement gardener.
Replacement gardener found and meeting arranged. Wildflower nursery informs of problems with germination with certain species which will delay delivery of part of order until Autumn.
Meeting with replacement gardener, a qualified National Trust-trained horticulturalist. Client happy so now in place.
First tranche of wildflower plugs delivered and planted.
Turf contractors having problems putting right last few defects. Decision taken to have this work carried out by gardener and to subtract the value of this work from the turf contractors' final account.
Gardener starts work, including putting right lawn defects.
Mushroom compost spread on previously-planted shrub beds as mulch.
Meadow area mown by agricultural contractor in preparation for planting of final wildflower plugs.
Wildflower plugs delivered and planted by gardener.
Final meeting of the year with client and gardener. Work to be carried out over next 6 months decided on. Decision to replace shrubs and a few trees in woodland area damaged by browsing deer, accidental strimming or weedkiller drift some 115 plants in all.
River floods lower part of site; little or no damage. Burn overflows and washes away temporary bridge installed by client.
Replacement root-trainer shrubs and trees delivered and planted. River floods again.
Site visit finds that the meadow has an infestation of creeping Buttercup. Client will treat worst areas with 2 applications of selective herbicide. The areas can then be scarified and oversown with a selection of wildflower seed to replace plants damaged by the herbicide. One or two losses in shrub planting during recent winter but most planting has now established well. Gardener proceeding to carry out further planting.
Additional tree and shrub planting carried out in woodland areas.
New ornamental shrub planting carried out in areas close to established woodland along roadside to increase privacy.
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