How To Write A Garden Design Brief

Many folks dream of having a beautiful garden, but this dream all starts with knowing how to write a garden design brief.

This article may contain affiliate links where we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

Many folks dream of having a beautiful garden, but this dream all starts with knowing how to write a garden design brief.

Of course, to create your dream garden, you will have to hire a garden designer. This is where the garden design brief will come in handy. In fact, the garden brief can either make or break your plans – so you want to get it right the first time.

It is advised to write the garden design brief before you meet with the garden designer. This design brief will include the basics like how the garden will be laid out, the design elements of the garden (fountain, pathway, etc.), and even the materials used in the construction of the garden space. 

A garden or landscaping design can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to several thousand dollars, so it pays to get the garden brief right if you want to have a beautiful garden. Here, we are going to take a look at some of the factors to consider when writing the garden design brief.

As experts in landscaping design, we can help guide you through the entire process of writing down your garden design brief and the elements that you will need to consider and discuss with the garden designer you hire.

Table of Contents

Starting with the Garden Design Brief

Your garden will appear less fascinating and tiny if it is open and not split into distinct areas. This is why you need to prepare your strategy ahead of time and split the space of your garden into pieces. You don't need a physical division in your garden like a wall or fence; instead, use huge trees, bushes that may obstruct a section or densely placed potted plants.

It's like building a house one room at a time. If you don't have an overarching idea for how the area will go together, your plan probably won't work. Try to approach it more like a jigsaw puzzle, where you start with the general picture you want to create rather than a freestyle work of art where you just go with the flow and see where they lead you. This is because the design is more than just pure imagination; it is a blend of beauty and functionality. Functionality needs and the design must be considered, as well as how practical it will be to build something when it comes to designing a garden.

Hiring a Garden Designer

When hiring a garden designer, the first thing to consider is the brief, which describes your wants and needs. The designer will use this information to follow the design process and come up with acceptable solutions. So, thinking about it from the beginning will be time well spent. Don't worry if you don't feel comfortable drafting a brief ahead of time; the designer will be able to lead the discussion to ensure that all parts of the garden are examined during the initial meeting.

Consider how you use your garden now and how you want to utilize it when the re-design is complete before scheduling an initial appointment with your garden designer. Write down any must-have garden elements you had in mind as part of your brief for your garden designer — for example, a pergola or seating area. Do you have any favorite garden landscaping materials? Is it better to go with York stone pavement, galvanized box grating, or Larch decking? Include all of them in your design brief.

Cover the Basics

It's equally crucial to include the items you don't want in your garden in your garden designer's brief since this may be just as useful. If roses don't work for you and gravel makes your teeth clench, write a list of everything you don't want in your brief.

Are there any practical considerations your landscape designer should keep in mind? Where do you hang your laundry? Do you want to integrate a water butt? Is it difficult to get into your garden? Is it possible to have a tree? Add anything practical you believe your landscape designer should be aware of to the brief.

Many people make the mistake of having a single huge grass in the center of the yard, surrounded by flower beds and maybe trees and bushes around the perimeter. This can work in certain gardens, but it usually means that a) the entire garden is shown all at once, and b) the area is divided very little, and there is no feeling of travel across it.

As you move from one section to another, you can quickly generate a sense of discovery and surprise by breaking up the space. Gaps between higher objects, such as hedges, walls, trees, or bushes, or structural structures, such as arches, can highlight transitions.

Dealing with Empty Spaces

There are two types of space: those that are seen in two dimensions and those that appear in three dimensions. Paths, patios, and lawns are examples of 'flat' 2D components that occur on the horizontal plane. Pergolas, walls, trees, and buildings are among the 3D components that bring in the vertical dimension. These vertical components, such as pergolas or trees, are what give the garden its 'mass.' When there is a healthy balance between 'mass' (trees, buildings, etc.) and 'void' - the empty areas in between.

During the winter, elements that provide heft or dimension to the area tend to constitute the garden's 'backbone.' Without a framework of structural features and evergreen plants, a garden that focuses too much on flowering perennials will seem quite empty and unattractive during the winter months, so consider integrating this as one of the first aspects in a design.

It's critical to choose plants that are best suited to your climate, weather, and garden circumstances. Plants that demand full sunlight should be cultivated in a sunny location, while plants that require dry soil should not be grown in wet, damp soil, for example. Also, give them the appropriate space while planting. Remember that after you've planted them, they'll grow tall and wide.

Harmonize Your Design

We sense it when we go into a setting that seems harmonious and 'hangs together,' whether it's indoors or out. Using too many various shapes, materials, and sizes, and competing concepts make the area appear 'fussy' or fragmented, which is one of the most common faults we find.

Rather than buying a large number of pots in various sizes, forms, and colors, pick a smaller number of pots with the same shape, material, or feature. This will have a greater effect and feel more balanced. Use black clay pavers for the walkway and terrace. Choose the color of the roof tiles with consideration. Use the roof tiles on the home's window sills, stair risers, and as coping on one of the boundary walls, in addition to the building itself.

The Budget

Of course, the cost is always going to be the main deciding factor when it comes to any home renovations or upgrades, including getting a new garden design. The budget is usually negotiated during the initial design consultation and written down in the brief. While it isn't necessary to talk at this point, working on a budget allows for a smoother and speedier design process. Due to the nature of the work and personal preferences, the cost of design and construction often starts at a few thousand dollars and may go up to $20,000 for a typical home.

Do You Really Need a Garden Design Brief?

Absolutely. As previously said, the garden designer will complete a large portion of the design brief on the initial visit and on the spot. They'll have to ask you a few questions on this occasion as well, but it'll be to make sure we don't cause you any harm.

The design brief offers the designer a clear picture of where your garden is today and what you want it to be when it's finished. You may make it easier for them to help you by being specific about which plants you prefer or detest, which colors you want to avoid, and what design you want. This may not be entirely clear, but any little bit of knowledge helps.

Recent Articles

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Thank you! You're signed up for our free newsletter!

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form