Posts Tagged ‘Garden Design’

How to budget for your new garden

2 Written by Lisa on 23rd Feb 2018 in Design Tips

Working to budgets is part of what I do, but it’s not always easy when there are so many choices available and if make tweaks along the way.  We’re undertaking a small building project at home and it’s exhausting making decisions, even though we’re doing some of it ourselves and therefore don’t have any time pressures.

In the day job, I work with clients to ensure we’ve thought of everything we possibly can before the landscaper prices for the build phase of the project so he can be pretty accurate with his pricing.  The only variance when it comes to construction is when things are changed after the work has started or if something is discovered during the build that couldn’t have been foreseen otherwise, normally under the ground.

I do think it’s easier to budget for the garden as there are less intricate details to take into account (door handles, light switches, paint colours, the list is endless indoors), but without the detailed drawings and specification the spending could easily go through the roof.

So how do you budget if you have a fixed sum of money and what should take priority?

I think planning is the key.  Take the time up front to really hone in on the design and what it will take to bring the design to life.  If you have  sloping garden, for example, there are ways you can work with the slope rather than building expensive retaining walls.  You can plant a slope easily, often with greater effect and it will be much cheaper.

If you know the size of the terrace, the layout and where you might need other hard landscaping materials, it will make your landscaper’s job of quoting much easier.  Equally, if you’re doing the work yourself you’ll be able to easily work out the materials you need and how much you have in the pot for the paving material itself.

Paving can range from £20m2 to £120m2 so sometimes just changing the materials will help you to reduce the spend.  If the layout and balance of the garden is right, a compromise on materials won’t really be as obvious once the garden is furnished with plants and furniture.

When you’re planning the garden bear in mind that hard landscaping is a lot more expensive than soft landscaping.  Depending on the materials you choose, a retaining wall can cost up to £250-300m2 where as a lawn is more like £10-15m2.

Often constructing a wall in the garden is more expensive than it would be for a house extension.  This is because the wall has to withstand different pressures and exposure to the weather.  A free-standing wall, for example, has to withstand the weather on all sides so the materials used have to be fit for purpose.

If you make list of everything you need to source and think about before you get the landscaper in to quote, you’ll have a much better chance of sticking to a budget.  Drawings will really help things along as you’ll be able to work out m2 rates for each of the elements. If you don’t want to work with a professional designer, there are lots of books to help you to design your own garden.

Start with a survey of the site so that you know what’s there now and then draw a plan to scale.  You don’t have to be an artist to do this.  Think of your design as a communication tool for the landscaper and it will take on a whole new meaning.



A spring visit to Allt-y-bela

0 Written by Lisa on 31st Mar 2017 in Inspiration

It’s a while since I visited Arne Maynard’s garden with my some of my garden design peers last year, but we were all so inspired last time that we decided to arrange another visit. Read more

Planning a house project? Please remember the garden…

0 Written by Lisa on 23rd Feb 2017 in Design Tips

I watched the first episode of The House That 100k Built last night.  I don’t know about you, but I think it’s one of the most inspiring programmes of its type on TV.  I especially love the way Piers Taylor inspires the use of alternative, sometimes waste, materials to create something really individual and inexpensive that elevates the design to another level. Read more

Working with curves

0 Written by Lisa on 27th Jan 2017 in Design Tips

I’ve been drawing the design for a large garden in Hurley this week and it involved rather a huge chunk of time working out where all the radius points of my free-hand curves were. Read more

Happy Christmas!

0 Written by Lisa on 22nd Dec 2016 in From the drawing board

Misty valley in Welsh Hills Lisa Cox Garden Designs

The run up to Christmas always seems to go so fast and I never really know why.  But I’ve been baking a lot this week too which probably hasn’t helped too much with getting my task list done! Read more

From the drawing board: Concept design for a challenging garden near Camberley

0 Written by Lisa on 28th Nov 2016 in From the drawing board


I have recently been working with a client near Camberley who has a very challenging garden. She contacted me a few months ago with some pictures of the site and it became clear very quickly why she didn’t really know what to do. Read more

From the drawing board: Epsom garden finished

0 Written by Lisa on 28th Oct 2016 in From the drawing board


I went back to see my Epsom project last week which, apart from the new shed, is all finished. Read more

Super inspiring Allt-y-bela

0 Written by Lisa on 4th Aug 2016 in Inspiration

Allt-y-bela Lisa Cox

I went to visit the garden at Allt-y-bela yesterday, Arne Maynard’s home in Monmouthshire. I can’t tell you just how inspired I feel after a couple of hours in his garden. Read more

From the drawing board: Woking garden 2 years on

0 Written by Lisa on 28th Jul 2016 in From the drawing board

Back garden Lisa Cox Garden Designs

Last week I showed you some pictures from my project in Weybridge which was planted in the autumn last year but today I want to share some photos of the Woking garden I redesigned with my clients 2 years ago. Read more

From the drawing board: My Weybridge project 9 months on

0 Written by Lisa on 20th Jul 2016 in From the drawing board

Contemporary lounge chairs Lisa Cox Garden Designs

Whilst I was visiting RHS Hampton Court Flower Show a couple of weeks ago, I spent a bit of time going back to see some of the gardens that were planted up over the last couple of years. Read more

Lisa Cox Welcome

I specialise in helping families to turn their gardens into an extension of their home and into a space that can be used and enjoyed all year round.

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