It’s time for you to have the garden sorted out. The ideas are flowing and the budget is available but how do you choose a landscape gardener that’s right for your project?

We have created a few tips that we think are important when choosing a landscape gardener.

Get your ideas down

You may have lots of ideas for potential themes and styles, or you may have no idea at all and want to leave it all to the professionals, either is fine. Do have a think on this though, so that you can get those ideas across when meeting with potential landscape gardeners.

Write a brief beforehand

Once you have those ideas down, write a brief. This doesn’t have to be a long and elaborate vision board… a few ideas would be enough, do what suits you best. Landscaping companies will have their own strengths, some may be better suited to those straightforward projects whilst others may specialise in the  more detailed work. Therefore, when it comes to deciding on the right company for you it’s important to begin with the project description.

Consider the design process

If you are set on your own design, then your next task is to find a competent landscape gardener that can share your vision and install to your requirements. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a design, it’s best to look specifically for a garden designer or a landscaping company that also offers design work.

Do your research

Most companies these days are easy to find and have online information available through websites and advertising. Trusted trader schemes like Checkatrade seem to work very well for both clients and contractors so do include these in your search. Other sources include newspapers, magazines and personal recommendations. Ask around and see if any of your friends and family can recommend someone. Gathering references would be advisable and check for accreditations.

See images of previous work

Whilst researching companies look out for photographs of previous work. Is the workmanship up to your standards? Does the style of the work suit your requirements and ideas? Think about what you are looking for when perusing a company’s portfolio and use this as an opportunity to assess their workmanship, style and creativity.

Meet with your final choices

Once you have contacted a few companies, you can then arrange meetings to gather estimates and quotes. We suggest meeting with around 3 to 4 companies. This is a great opportunity to get an idea on whether the project will fit into your budget. You can also get a feel for the company and their ethos. Forming a good working relationship is important, choose a company that can not only do the work but also see your vision.

Consider other options if budget is limited

Depending on the size of a project, expect a company to provide you their pricing information within a week. Prices for garden design and landscaping often seem expensive at first but a good landscape gardener will always be willing to work with you to lower costs if it’s possible. For example, omitting any features which could be installed at a later date, changing materials to a less expensive alternative or reconfiguring the design are all ways costs can be reduced. Be open to suggestions and consider other and more affordable options, if needed.

Think of the project as an investment

Once the quotes/estimates are in, you need to make your final decision. Avoid going directly for the cheapest quote, especially if it significantly less than others. There’s a chance it’s been under-priced or that your requirements have not been fully understood. Instead, bear in mind that although good quality workmanship does come at a price, the garden landscape will last for many years and retain your investment.

Make sure you are both on the same page

Our final tip is focused around ensuring that the company you choose is walking down the same garden path as you (sorry, we couldn’t resist!). Communicate and be clear about your requirements. It’s important to raise any concerns, ideas and variations throughout the process. Keep the conversation between you open and honest. This helps to build a good working relationship. It also helps the project run smoothly and ultimately ensures that you end up with a garden you are happy with.

We hope you have found these tips useful! Good luck with your search…