Before Consulting a Landscape Designer Consider These 5 Critical Things April 11, 2024

Before Consulting a Landscape Designer Consider These 5 Critical Things April 11, 2024

When it comes to engaging a landscape designer to design your garden it can be a little daunting. Will the designer understand what I want from my garden? Will their ideas be what I want? Will they listen to me? What if I don’t like what they design? All of these concerns are genuine and understandable.

Firstly, most designers are a friendly bunch, that genuinely love discussing and talking about gardens and the potential of an outdoor space. Secondly most of the designers I know are great listeners and should listen to what you would like in your garden. They should offer their advice or some alternatives if they feel it’s needed.

It should be a collaborative exchange of ideas, and an enjoyable experience.

In preparation for your first meeting with a landscape designer, here is a list of five things you can do to ensure that you obtain value from the meeting and finish the meeting knowing if they’re the right designer for you.

  1. Work out Your Budget

  2. Prepare a Wishlist

  3. Gather Photos of Gardens you Love

  4. Research your chosen Landscape Designer

  5. Prepare a List of Questions to Ask


Landscape Designer


1. Work Out Your Budget

Do you know how much you’re willing to spend on your garden? I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking “Scott I don’t know how much a garden costs, you tell me you’re the expert”. A new landscaped garden can cost as little or as much as you are willing to spend. As designer we need to make decisions as we design Knowing your budget or at least settling on a figure that you don’t wish to exceed is something you should have an idea around before your first meeting with a designer. Not a very sexy subject I know!

2. Prepare a List of Items you want in your Garden (Wishlist)

Grab a pen and paper and write down a list of all the things you would like included in your garden. We’ll call this your Wishlist. Your Wishlist should include things like a pool, a basketball court, a pond or water feature, lawn (real or artificial), garden shed, roses etc. This wish list will help give some direction and understanding to your landscape designer. It’s important to note that maybe not all the items on your Wishlist will end up in your garden depending on the size, space and budget you have.

3. Gather Photos of Other Gardens you Love

Putting together an album of photos from Pinterest or Instagram can really help your landscape designer understand what you like and dislike. A picture speaks a thousand words. Sometimes having a conversation about themes and styles of gardens can be misleading. However, a photo of a certain style or theme of a garden can really clarify exactly what you’re trying to communicate.

4. Research your Chosen Landscape Designer Online

Google your potential landscape designer (if you haven’t already). Read as much as you can about them and try to get a sense of their personality and style of their designs. Does their style of design fit with yours? Many designers charge a fee for their initial consultation which is understandable and a small price to pay in order to find out if you can work with them or not. However, you may be able to avoid a wasted initial consult fee by looking at their website and socials beforehand and trying to work out if they’re right for you.

5. Prepare a list of Questions to ask at the Initial Consultation

I always think it’s a good idea to be prepared for any meeting, design or otherwise. Creating and writing down a list of questions to ask will ensure you don’t miss anything and get a good understanding of the services being offered. Good questions to ask are generally about how the design service is delivered (every design company does it a bit different) and also questions around your expectations.

Example questions might include:

  1. What is the design process and how long does it take to deliver a completed design?

  2. What materials do you think will go well with the house?

  3. Are you a design only firm or do you construct as well?

  4. How long have you been designing gardens?

  5. What do you charge for your design services?


Special Offer

If you’ve read this far you deserve something special.

For the next 30 days only Shape and Form is providing all new potential clients with a special offer.

We will visit your garden for an initial consultation (normally valued at $385.00) for up to 60 minutes, to discuss the potential of your new garden. This consultation is completely obligation free.

We love talking to people about the potential of their new garden. It’s one of our favourite things to do!

To take advantage of this amazing offer please click the button below and fill in the contact form.

In the comments section of the form please type the code word SHAPEOFFER.

Please note this offer finishes on the 15th May 2024.


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Scott Bartho

Director at Shape and Form