How do you approach a garden planning process?
Passion for a house and property evolves from its surroundings, the views, and its aspect – old trees and established shrubs add to its atmosphere. The garden’s potential plays a major role in our feelings about it. So, question is: “What are you dreaming of?” Simple question, and a world full of opportunities and decisions.
We work along a design process which helps you to receive a beautifully conceived and created, artful garden that will give you enduring pleasure and will speak to you year after year.
Idea Development Steps
Step 1 – Meeting, Ideas, Requirements
Step 2 – Concept & Layout
Step 3 – Designs & Masterplan
Step 4 – Project Management Build & Installation
Step 5 – Completion
Idea Development Steps
Step 1 – Meeting, Ideas, Requirements
We help you to explore what’s possible. First we listen to your ideas and wishes and try to get a clearer image of them. We try to tune in with you: maybe you have stayed at hotels that had gardens that you liked? Or, maybe you visited gardens somewhere in the world that were highly impressive? Maybe friends have gardens that you like – even a few digital photos can help us to get a better grasp of what you really like. Or perhaps you wish to get all the inspiration from us?
Functions: what will you do in your garden?
Narrowing down some choices and talking about all your needs for your new garden is an important step. Maybe there is a structure you don’t need anymore? Or perhaps parts of the garden are overgrown and you don’t know which trees should stay and which should go to assign a new use to this area?
It’s important not only to think about how you will use your garden now, but how things might change in the future. Do you want to keep being busy or do as little as possible? What will the garden’s role be? Will it be about being active, about wildlife, or about entertaining? Or do you wish to enjoy a perfect scenery and just look at a perfect “picture” to contemplate, or is it about relaxing? Maybe you also want to keep things flexible? Or perhaps your property is large enough to realize different ideas in separate areas? We’ll help you to find answers to these and more questions.
Here are some options to start with:
|a water feature or custom designed fountain||a garden structure with shaped borders and paths|
|a stylish rock garden||a specially designed pool area|
|a manicured lawn or a non-grass lawn||a garden studio or guest house to work in|
|a paved terrace, maybe with custom-made mosaics||a private chipping and putting area|
|an Asian style walled garden||a sandy sports or boule area|
|a pergola or a pavilion||a complete new garden concept with gorgeous plants|
Atmosphere: what will your garden feel like?
“Every style communicates – even no-style does.” Often gardens are neglected: they don’t have any design or may have lost it. Neither are they still a garden, nor are they nature yet again. These gardens are now just greenery, they don’t unfold any positive emotions at all, they don’t have any character.
We will help you to find out what your garden’s emotions should be.
Sometimes everything starts with things like figuring out which large – and even though impressive – trees may have almost an intimidating effect on one’s emotions and simply block the property’s true potential. Another time a piece of barren land doesn’t tell right away what it would like to become.
And yet another time renovating a neglected garden can not only save a lot of money but rejuvenate an old beauty and thus reveal its emotions. There are plenty of possibilities.
Do you prefer vibrant colours, bold structures and exciting textures that lead to an energizing and thrilling effect? Maybe you wish for a an exotic foliage garden that will carry you away into distant regions of the world? Perhaps relaxation and contemplation, the sound of babbling, reflective water is more what you wish for? Or how about a very formal, elegant and almost stately impression that will highlight your art collection and decently frame your house’s architecture?
Here are some opportunities to start with:
|I want my garden to be peaceful and calm, with a sense of elegance||I wish my garden to be highly impressive and formal, almost distant|
|It is most important to me that my garden reflects the impression my architecture transports||I want my garden to be peaceful and contemplating, yet intimate and informal|
|I’d like to see my garden as a space for my art collection, highlighting every individual piece||I’d like a garden that’s surprising and full of unexpected details|
|I wish my garden was a productive “work garden”, with plenty of wildlife and ecological features||I wish my garden to be a place that makes you feel active, sporty and playful|
|I want to feel energized: my garden should be the perfect party place||I want my garden to be a sophisticated copy of a garden I saw somewhere|
Style: what will your garden look like?
There are plenty of sources for inspirations on which garden design to choose. The difficult part is to sort out what works for you and to align this style with your garden’s functionalities and its emotional effects. It is impossible to throw everything together and realize every style in just one garden.
Collecting ideas and discussing them with you is only one part in our design development process. Bringing everything in line, from function and emotion to style, and searching for the coherent order that feels inevitable, where features, plants, colours, materials, proportions, patterns, architecture and art fall into one place – that’s the hard part about creating an individual style with a convincing character.
Here are some examples for your inspiration:
|a very cool, maybe minimalist garden with plants that look like works of art themselves||a contemporary garden with a more worldly and happier style, maybe with interesting structures, new sculptures and art|
|a modern garden in a classical mid-century style: a fine lawn and some trees and shrubs||a garden full of lush and abundant, maybe tropical looking plants – with water features|
|a formal French “parterre” garden but with new designs for grass and planted areas||a classic Mediterranean gravel garden, formal or informal, a little more innovative maybe?|
|a modern Asian garden that makes room for reflection, with water and stones and simple yet stylish plantings||an innovative rock and desert garden with cacti, palm trees and succulents|
|something else? There’s plenty more.|
Maintenance: how much work will your garden be?
There is no such thing as a no-maintenance garden. The effort needed for maintaining a garden depends on many – often neglected – factors, not just the proverbial “well it works here” for a plant.
Design, layout, soil quality and compost areas do play a role – as do irrigation, plant choice and plant spacing. And of course the gardener’s qualifications, like his pruning techniques, play an important part in keeping up a successful garden design.
Your plants’ beauty is a good reason for choosing a good gardener who knows what he is doing. But the right gardening techniques are essential for your plants’ health – and thus their year-round maintenance requirements. E.g. thinning out at the right time of the year or rejuvenating every once in a while – and with the right technique – will decide if a plant needs a lot of watering and fertilizing to be magnificent, or a smaller amount of water and plant food.
A low maintenance garden needs attention around 6 times a year, depending on its size. A high maintenance garden needs between 1 and 3 times attention per week, again, depending on its size.
Of course there are ways to lower the maintenance efforts by wisely choosing certain plants and materials and leaving out others.
Lawns e.g. may look easy but often are high to highest maintenance. A nice lawn costs a lot of labour and water if you put it in relation to its decorative benefits.
A more sustainable choice are no-grass lawns which consist of grass types that will need no or a lot less mowing, feeding, aerating, sanding, watering … On the other hand, lawns are often seen a being essential in gardens. So, scaling down a lawn’s size can help to make maintaining a garden easier.
Together with you we will determine how much maintenance the design we will create for you will require. We can also carry out a maintenance guideline for your garden through out the year, which will have to be adapted a little over time as the garden grows older.
A survey is necessary to complete a master plan
In order to develop a garden or landscape design and draw a true to scale planting plan and masterplan, we will need a survey of all existing structures and plants in your garden and precise measurements of all elements of your garden: where is everything in relation to the boundaries and how large is it? Without this survey and these measurements, it will not be possible to develop a new garden plan.
We can either check your available site plans and measurements, or carry out this formal site analysis on our own or you can engage a professional site surveyor.
We will now also discuss with you – depending on the overall design idea and health status of individual plants – which trees and shrubs should stay and which could be taken out or be moved to other places in your garden.
Step 2 – Concepts & Layout
We carry out a photo documentation of your garden and develop a garden concept.
After analysing sun, shade and soil conditions in your garden and developing an individual garden style, we develop plant suggestions and draft so-called ’mood boards’ and inspirational images.
A not to scale presentation plan will contain possible layouts, rough sketches of open/closed forms, of paths and circulation, vistas, focal points and possible buidling structures.
All these concept and layout elements will be summarized to result in a guidance document.
We present this material to you and discuss the next steps.
Step 3 – Designs & Masterplan
We develop all necessary plans, suggestions and material lists so that you receive all relevant information in a bundle that will be required to have your garden built and installed. (Please note that usually a survey of your garden will be necessary.)
Part of this step is the development of a true to scale master plan, together with detailed, true to scale planting plans, for all areas of your garden, layouts and plans of all paths and built structures in your garden, like walls, steps, raised beds, sitting areas or free spaces. Moreover we complete all plans for the irrigation and draw up detailed groundplans, construction drawings and cross-sections for smaller constructions and architectural elements in the garden, if necessary (e.g. pergolas, small garden walls, staircases, built border margins, raised beds etc.).
Moreover we make suggestions for the garden lighting, for fountains and water features and hand out detailed lists of all plants that are used in the design, as well as of all suggested materials (wood, cladding stones, slabs, gravel, natural building stones etc.).
A maintenance guide for your garden, as well as memory aids for your next pruning and garden care appointment round off step 3.
Step 4 – Project Management Build and Installation
Finally we offer you the project management for the build and implementation of your garden.
This includes plant consulting and plant shopping service, tendering and overseeing the construction and installation process, installing plants, lighting and irrigation.
For purchasing plants you can rely on our network of purveyors of plants in France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.
Of course we will also be happy to help you choose healthy plants from local nursery gardens as well.
For building garden structures that will require concrete or stone work, we will only propose renowned local artisans or work together with the craftspeople of your choice. Overseeing their work regularly is of course part of our service to you.
It is Green Parrot Gardens’ specialty to develop custom made designs for a variety of garden features, like fountains and water features, architectural elements, sculptures, art or mosaics and more.
For larger structures and later installation on site, we rely on a small and selected network of the best artisans. We work together only with craftspeople who will realise our designs exactly to our specifications and who will work with the best materials and with the same attention to detail as we do ourselves.
Stage 5 – Completion
Once the garden is completed we hold a meeting with you to make sure the garden has been realized according to plan, all aspects of it are working well and a regular maintenance system is in place.