The well tried and tested process that Sarah follows is to come and visit your garden for at least two hours (@ £30 an hour). This is a brainstorming session where you put forward all your ideas about your garden, all your inspiration but also your concerns and, very importantly, your needs. We then walk around the garden together and look at each part of the garden and its aspect and potential use. Sarah takes photos and rough measurements which she then works with back in her studio to produce a plan. At the end of this initial visit you decide exactly what form you would like your garden plans to take and how much they will cost.
The crucial and very popular part of the garden plans is The Letter in which Sarah writes up all her design and practical recommendations for every part of your garden including clear and comprehensive planting recommendations. This is always accompanied by ‘concept’ plan and 3D sketches to give you a clear idea of what she is talking about. Typically this stage costs £300 – 400.
At this stage there are then several choices. Many clients choose to carry forward the plans with their own gardeners or landscape contractors and Sarah is called in at important stages of the work, particularly when laying out the lines for the flowerbeds, paving, hedges etc. Subsequent site visits can then be made when necessary. Sarah usually supplies the plants for her projects from the wholesale nurseries in the UK and Holland that she has used for many years and she will come and place the plants. This is very important and much better than any planting plan. The client may then choose to do the planting or often Sarah and her team work with the client and all do the planting together. This is an excellent approach as it becomes an important educational exercise and introduction to your new garden.
For an example of the depth of correspondence to expect from Sarah here is a letter guiding a client through planting choices.