Why Ignoring Garden Design Could Cost You Dearly

Why Ignoring Garden Design Could Cost You Dearly

It’s understandable that anyone would want to remove unnecessary costs from a project. But ignoring garden design could cost you dearly. Here’s why.

Compared to materials and labour, garden design is one of the least expensive elements of a landscaping project.  Yet it feels to some clients as though it’s something they can simply gloss over. Here’s why ignoring garden design could cost you dearly.

  • A garden makeover is a substantial financial investment.  Garden Design ensures you get it right first time.
  • A badly designed garden may not fulfil all of your needs
  • If the garden doesn’t ‘flow’ properly – you probably won’t use it
  • Some garden features need to be designed with safety and longevity in mind – not everything is about how a garden looks.
  • Mistakes in plant choices could mean losing expensive plants and having to replace them
  • A good garden designer will be able to recommend reputable landscapers – it’s a good way to avoid rogue traders
  • Without the added wow factor of a designed garden – your finished project may feel like a disappointment

medium sized back garden with brick pavers

This garden had ‘evolved’ over the years rather than being designed and planned as a stylish outdoor space.
Scroll down to see what it looked like once it had been madeover by a garden designer and a professional landscaper.


overview of newly landscaped medium sized back garden

This is the same garden as you see in the picture above.
Look how much more inviting it is – definitely somewhere you’d be proud to invite family and friends to see and certainly a much nicer view from the conservatory window.

Would You Build A House Without A Plan?

Unfortunately, even though the actual work is closely related, the UK landscape industry is not as well regulated as the construction industry.  If you tried to build a home or business premises without architects plans and careful supervision, you’d soon find yourself in hot water.  Yet a garden can impact on drainage infrastructure, visual appeal, environment, ecology and health and safety.

A poorly built patio for example could potentially send water into your home. Uneven slabs that move around could become a trip hazard.  A deck built without proper regard for the weight it will need to carry is downright dangerous, and don’t even get me started on retaining walls, steep slopes and dodgy lighting.

Garden designers are the equivalent to architects.  They consider not only the way your garden will look, but how you can make best use of it, and how you can ensure it’s safe for everyone that uses it.

Would you build a house without a plan? No. It could become a huge financial burden if you try. In the same way, ignoring garden design could cost you dearly too.

Making Sure Your Garden Works For You

The main function of garden design is to make sure that your garden offers everything you need it to – but in a logical and attractive way.

Modern homes are carefully laid out so that you can move smoothly  from one functional zone to another.  For example – the kitchen is usually near to the dining area so that food doesn’t get cold.  The bedrooms are close to a loo so that night time ‘visits’ are hassle free.

Think of your garden in the same way.  Garden design creates ‘zones’ that flow into one another so that you WANT to use it.  By ignoring garden design you are potentially building barriers that will put you off from using your outdoor space.

The first thing that a good garden designer will ask you, is not how you want your garden to look, but how you want to use it.

Do you need storage space? A washing line? Somewhere for children to play? A place to cook and/or eat? Secluded areas where you can be outside but hidden from the neighbours?

Using your list, your garden designer will make sure that he or she includes features that allow you to do everything you want to, in a space that looks really good too.

modern garden makeover for a sloping garden

Dealing with slopes requires good knowledge of engineering.  Imagine how much pressure is being put on these walls by the weight of the soil behind them – definitely not a job for an amateur landscaper!

Understanding Construction Techniques

A pretty picture of a garden layout is really helpful in deciding how you want your garden to look and feel. But just as a builder needs more than an image of your new home before he or she can start on the construction; a landscaper needs a detailed design to be able to work out what specification your garden should be built to.

Things like contouring the ground can affect drainage and need to be carefully planned out. Likewise, retaining walls, steps, balustrades and raised decks can be incredibly dangerous if not properly constructed.  Understanding construction techniques and building regulations is a crucial part of a garden designer’s role.  By getting these features correct first time round, you can be sure that your garden will last a lifetime and bring you a good return on your investment.

Recommendations For Tradespeople

All too often I see TV programmes and social media posts about badly built and dangerous gardens. So called rogue traders are a blight on the landscape industry but it’s all too easy to fall victim to them.  

Garden designers can usually recommend a good landscaper who will build your garden to the highest possible standards.  They will probably also be able to tell you who to avoid.  The landscape industry is a close knit community – they know who’s good at their job and who cuts prices by cutting corners.

plant trees for beauty and shade

Planting schemes like this don’t just happen by accident.  It takes a lot of horticultural knowledge and an eye for design to ensure that no money is wasted on plants that just don’t fit.

Value For Money With Materials And Plants

The cost of hard landscaping is largely labour, and depending on the materials you choose, that labour cost can vary.  If you are working within a finite budget – tell your garden designer.  He or she will help you choose materials that are a suitable quality but may cost less to install.

Likewise, with plants.  Planting an entire garden is quite a financial commitment.  Even more so if you manage to select species that won’t thrive in your garden.  Get it wrong and you’ll end up planting it again in a few months time.  Ouch!

It’s well worth investing in a planting plan from a garden designer.  Not only will it mean you spend less time at the garden centre trying to decide what to buy. Having a ‘shopping list’ of plants gives you the opportunity to talk to several different suppliers and get the best prices.   One tip for buying herbaceous perennials – steer away from the more expensive 2 litre potted plants and opt for the 9cm version.  You’ll save 2/3 of the price and within a year the plants will have grown to fill your borders.

The Wow Factor

You don’t need to be an artist to decide where to put your patio in relation to your shed.  But garden designers have this intangible talent for creating layouts that you would never have thought of yourself – but that you absolutely love.

If you want your garden to stand out from the crowd and really feel as though it was “worth the money”. You need to have it professionally designed.  Trust me – it won’t add to the build cost – in fact, the designer touch may even save you money on the overall project by avoiding mistakes.

Ignoring garden design could cost you dearly in terms of the safety, longevity, look and feel of our outdoor space. However, investing in garden design will help your landscaping project to run smoother and ultimately take your lifestyle to a whole other level.  What will you do?

Call today to discuss a design for your garden.

What does garden design actually cost? 

Take a look at some of the gardens designed by Tapestry Design Studios.  

Need help from a professional landscaper? Our colleagues at Holland Landscapes have won many awards for their work.

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