Full Design

I offer a full landscape and garden design service which includes the production of all plans and supporting material. I create each bespoke design to meet the client's brief, while adhering to the main principles of excellent design and good horticultural practice. All plans are produced by hand, resulting in beautiful, accurate and original designs. The cost is dependent on size, complexity and materials/plants but it ranges from £1500 for a small garden to £2000 for a very large garden. Payment is in 4 instalments and is associated with phases 2-4.


1. Free Initial Consultation & Design Brief

(Free consultation in Dorset and only travel expenses outside this county, such as Somerset, Wiltshire & Hampshire)

This is the first vital step, in which I spend 1.5-3 hours with you in your home to understand your initial objectives and vision. The result is a solid, shared understanding of your requirements and vision that is key to achieving a perfect design solution. This consultation provides an opportunity to discuss your aims and requirements as well as a chance for me to see your garden and gain an impression of the surrounding landscape and environment. It will normally take 1.5-3 hours, as I ask a wide range of questions to illicit what you want your garden to be used for, and by whom, as well as exploring together different styles and designs for your garden, your budget, timescales and any constraints. I will outline the various steps in the design process, and after this consultation I will produce a Garden Design Requirements Specification containing a summary of your requirements and a quotation that will form the basis of the design work.


2. Survey & Outline Design

Once the Requirements Specification is signed off, I will conduct a thorough Site Survey myself for most gardens and for much larger sites I will arrange for a Chartered Land Surveyor to survey the garden. The survey records all measurements and key features. This is vital for the production of a garden design as it provides an accurate picture of the garden and key constraints. Without this, there is a danger of unplanned changes occurring during the construction of the garden. If you have already commissioned a survey, I can use this if it is accurate, up to date and well detailed. If planning permission is required, I can also help with this process. Based on the Survey, I will produce a hand coloured, detailed Conceptual Plan and present this to you with an explanation of my proposed design. Following our discussion I will amend the design for your review. Once you are happy with the design I will finalise it by inking it in to produce the Outline Plan with accompanying Mood Board(s) that are a pictorial statement (photos of suitable plants) allowing you an early insight into the visual direction that I am planning to design towards. If you require lighting for part or all of the garden, I can add the details to the Outline Plan and liaise with lighting specialists to ensure that additional work is performed at the appropriate time without the need to rework plans. I can also prepare 3D views if this will help you visualise your new garden. If the construction budget is a consideration, I will suggest that you request rough estimates based on the Conceptual Plan before we finalise the Outline Plan as this can then be refined based on the estimates. I have a list of recommended landscapers that have constructed my designs.


3. Detailed Design - Construction and Planting Plans

Having agreed the Outline Plan, I will prepare the Construction Plans for the hard landscaping, such as paths, steps, patio, pergola, pond. These are the essential plans that explain how the contractor must build the garden. These are imperative for the control of the final garden and its cost. To soften the hard landscaping, the plants are the second essential element. I will produce a Planting Plan that shows the position of all plants that have been selected for your soil and the aspect of each border. To accompany these plans, I will provide you with a Plant Schedule containing a list of plants with sizes and quantities and a Maintenance Schedule, to provide guidance for you or the landscaper to plant them. To help you maintain them over time I also provide you free access to your garden on the Shoot website which will have all of the plants in your garden and will send you a monthly email with care and maintenance instructions for each plant.


4. Preparing for Construction

During this stage, I can help you prepare for the construction of your beautiful garden by preparing a Setting Out Plan and a Specification that will specify the tasks that need to be performed to remove any existing, unneeded hard landscaping, the materials to be used and how the new hard landscaping will be constructed. The Specification will be used for the competitive tendering. I can then put you in touch with companies in whose work I have confidence and are best suited to the challenges of your new garden. I can prepare and send the documentation (all the plans and the Specification) to your selected landscape contractors and meet them on site to answer their questions. This will allow them to quote for the build accurately on the same basis as each other.



I would recommend that I monitor the construction of your garden by meeting the contractor(s) onsite regularly, representing your interests and keeping you informed. This minimises the risk of the project overrunning by minimising delays, addressing issues in advance and controlling costs.

Ann Balmforth
ann balmforth GARDEN DESIGNS - Your local Dorset Garden Designer/Landscape Architect
If you have any questions regarding the designs please don’t hesitate to contact me.