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  • Writer's pictureSarah Kay

How to design gardens in a self isolating future?

Updated: May 26, 2020

The last few weeks of self isolation have turned everyone's world upside down and it has been distressing to hear stories of businesses having to close due to the lock down.

However one thing that humans are very good at under adversity is adapting and thinking creatively. So I'm thinking about how I can adapt my garden design business under these unprecedented changes to help you make your outside space more appealing and usable. Here's a few of my ideas.

Virtual Garden Designs

With much more time at home, your garden, how it look and is used is becoming a bigger priority for many people. This could be the perfect time to plan a redesign project for your garden.

The starting point for any garden design is the client consultation where I take a brief and assess the site. Client consultations can be easily done using Zoom or Facetime but will rely on the client to walk the designer around the garden highlighting views to be used or hidden and take measurements and test the soil.

With this information, and using CAD programmes I can produce a design to present online and explain the rational behind the design.

Whilst major projects including grounds work and hard landscaping will have to wait for landscapers to return to work. Planting Plans can be executed by clients as soon as the plan is complete, using online plant suppliers.

Example of Sketch Up visualisation

Virtual Planting Plans

Planting Plans are much easier for a garden designer to work on remotely, requiring only measurements, aspect and soil information from the client. I can produce a planting plan in Sketch up Layout with images of key plants shown.

Planting Plan example

Plant Sourcing

Our plant nurseries need us more than ever at the moment. I can source the plants for your planting plan and organise deliveries for you to plant your garden yourselves. I can also offer advice on how to prepare your soil for planting and how to plant.

Virtual Garden Consultations

I can continue to offer virtual consultations for customers who would like to transform their garden themselves but don't know where to start. If you send me some photographs or take me on a virtual walk around your garden with some measurements and soil sample results I can produce a report with recommendations, supplier suggestions and rough costings so that you can do as much as your budget will allow. I charge £300 for a consultation report.

Maintenance Plans

I currently produce maintenance plans for my clients which details the important jobs to do in your garden month by month. I charge £200 for a maintenance plan. If I haven't designed your garden I can still produce a maintenance plan, but as I will have to identify the existing plants I will have to charge a bit more.

These a just a few ideas of how I can help you make your garden an oasis to go to in these stressful times. If there's any other ways you think I can help, please don't hesitate to contact me at

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