Writing the brief to get the best garden.
When I work with you on a garden design, the first thing we do is pull together the brief. From the beginning, I am absorbing as much as I can about you, your family, how you live, how you want to live and how you want your garden to function for you. This starts from the first contact over the phone and doesn’t stop until we have a document that distills all your wants and needs for the garden I will design for you.
The brief is so important, as it forms the backbone of the design; it starts with the practical things – how many people do you want to seat around your dining table? Do you want lighting in the garden? do you want a veg patch?
I ask what might seem like trivial questions – Are you a stargazer? Do you like to nap in the afternoons? Do you BBQ in the snow? – all your answers tells me a lot about you as a client; you do like to BBQ in the snow- well you clearly like a challenge, you’re likely to be a real foodie, you probably enjoy being outside all year round, you like to entertain, and the right kit is important to you.
This all helps inform the brief; shelter for barbequing in the snow, maybe an outdoor kitchen. A large dining table. Multiple areas for entertaining. All year-round interest in the planting. Space for food prep. Budget set aside for the latest BBQ.
But it also goes much deeper than the practical, it encompasses your tastes, how you interact with space, what inspires you, and how you want the garden to make you feel.
What are your passions? What do you do together as a couple/family? Knowing that you like ballroom dancing / sky diving / lazy beach holidays is more informing of the brief and design process than knowing your favourite colour is blue. Sometimes, it’s the things that don’t seem relevant to the garden, or gardening that will trigger inspiration and helps me to create the best and truly personal garden for you.
So when we come to write a brief, remember, it’s not about the garden, it’s about you…