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I always start with an in depth survey and loads of notes taken at meetings with the clients.

Have found though, over the past ten years, that once the base plan is drawn, the pencil instinctively begins the design. There is always some sort of feature, view (needing to be highlighted or disguised) that you work out from. Could be a curved wall, gateway or open vista. The route one will take along the garden along with feature planting all begin at this stage.

I usually do two concept designs and 99% of my clients go with the first design that was produced! I LOVE doing concept plans.

Planting plans, another story! They take much longer and more and more often I find that low maintenance is the buzz word. Did actually have a client who didn't want ANY plants in the newly constructed garden!

Trying to marry beautifully crafted planting schemes to the 'talents' of non gardeners is extremely time consuming and terribly soul destroying for all if you get it wrong.

I love this job though.

I agree so much with everything that Kerrie John has put here, the concept plans for anything you are designing are the bit of excitement in our lives.. Its funny that time just seems to pass you by.. I have on occasions had to be ordered to bed by my wife because I have to be up in three hours!

You are so right about loving what we do... its fantastic and it changes every year, new plants, new colours, new products, new clients and even new weather!

As for the cients wanting no plants, I am just about to finish a front garden for a client that wanted everything gone and pure clean turf layed in the back garden and they love it so much now they want the front the same... I don't mind as I have gained some gorgous old rose's for my own garden!

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