When you’re planning to overhaul your garden or outdoor space, you want to make sure you’ve communicated your ideas properly to anyone helping you with the project. Even if you plan on doing most of the work yourself – you’ll still want to know how to properly communicate with the industry insiders (suppliers, etc) so you know you’ll be ordering the right kind of product.
Because we know how key communication is, especially when designing a space so personal to you, we’ve put together some landscape architecture tips to ensure you’re always confident people will understand what you mean.
Tip 1: Have all your measurements taken at the start of the project
Before you start any project on your garden, and before you begin contacting suppliers or landscape architects, make sure you’ve done measurements for the space, so you can give people a clear indication of the work involved and the materials needed. When you’re asking for quotes, or ordering materials, accurate measurements are often the difference between under-spending and over-spending – so they’re key to staying in budget and completing a project on time too. It’ll save you money if you have the correct measurements from the outset, but it’ll also save you time too – as it makes the communication process with suppliers and landscape architects so much easier from the start.
Tip 2: Understand the kind of space you’re designing
When you’re thinking about your garden design and the kind of garden you want to create, think carefully about the space itself. First of all, what shape is it? A square, a rectangle or a circle? Or is it a free shape (with lots of different corners and routes). Who will be using the garden, and do you have pets?
Knowing these things and identifying them from the start makes communicating with suppliers much easier. They may be able to recommend specific product to you to suit your space, or they may be able to warn you off certain techniques or styles. For example, many people think astro-turf is a budget friendly option to grass – when in fact, for large gardens, it’s extremely expensive. Being open and honest about sizes and styles of your outdoor space from the offset is beneficial to everyone, but mostly you.
Tip 3: Identify materials you like, and those you don’t
Have you given thought to what kind of material you like yet? A big part of landscape architecture is finding the right materials, and for many people, they find that certain materials fit their taste perfectly, and others really don’t. Try and identify early on, which materials you like and which you don’t. For flooring, think about whether you prefer wood, stone or slate (just an example). Think about if you like dark wood or light wood. Do you prefer hard stone or soft stone? Do you like warm colours or greys? As an example, many people assume that ‘stone’ means one thing and so let their landscape architect (etc) choose the details, or go with the cheapest option. However, when their supplier turns up with a shade of stone they weren’t expecting, they’re left with a result they’re not 100% happy with.
Tip 4: Set up a Pinterest board for inspiration
Pinterest is a great way of learning key terms and phrases surrounding landscape architecture. If you’re new to garden design, but you’re keen to learn more – Pinterest is a fantastic place to start. It’s also a great place to collect your inspiration too – and ensure your suppliers or builders are on the right lines visually. Remember, visual examples of landscaping ideas you like are always more powerful than descriptive words. When someone can see what you expect, it’s much easier for them to match your expectations successfully.
Tip 5: Sketch everything
You don’t necessarily need to be a professional sketch artist to produce a sketch that will be useful. If you’re hiring a supplier, builder / gardener to create your outdoor space for you – then providing them with a rough sketch of ideas is a great place to start the communication process. It’ll help give context to your ideas too. When the process goes on, you should ask them to create a more in-depth sketch for you to look at too – outlining their plans and designs. This can help you ensure you’re working towards a common goal.
Tip 6: If you’re unsure, ask!
If you’re ever unsure about what a term means, or what a supplier is referring to – don’t be afraid to ask. With a lot of these things, specialist terms and phrases can be slipped into conversation – and it can be confusing if you’ve not come across them before and you’re not a professional landscape designer! If you’re ever a little confused about something always ask for clarification. The last thing you want is to agree to something or order something you don’t actually want, just because you misunderstood a word.