Building a garden design brief 

 In My Trade

For a garden designer to do a great job, he or she needs a good brief. Here’s how to build a garden design brief that will get results.

What is a garden design brief?

A garden design brief helps designers understand exactly what the client wants from their new garden. It thinks about functionality as well as style, materials and long term maintenance. It’s used in conjunction with site survey details to create garden layout plans. If the garden design brief gives some idea of the total build budget – that’s useful too.

As a landscaper I’m often called by people who want want to make improvements to their garden, but they don’t know how. More often than not, it feels as though they expect me to be a mind reader. To know their personal tastes and to design and build a space that will satisfy their every need.

If the client doesn’t know what they need, and doesn’t have a garden design already drawn up, I always go back to basics with them. I break the design process down into simple steps. And instead of asking them to describe the whole of their dream garden all in one go, I ask a series of simple questions, that the team at My Garden Design can use to create a layout plan. The answers to those questions form the garden design brief.

What information does a garden designer need?

Besides the dimensions of the garden and the overall budget, the garden design brief needs to give an insight into how the clients want to use their garden. 

Is this a front garden, a back garden or a wrap around garden? Do they need provision for parking? Will the space be used by children and pets? How about a shed or a washing line?

Crucially, the garden designer also needs to know about mobility issues (now or potentially in the future). For example would the client prefer slopes to steps? Do they need a hand railing for confidence?

Finally, we get around to styling and then maintenance. What colour pallet will suit the property and the owners’ tastes?  Should we be thinking about curves? straight lines? Or a combination of both? How about plants? How much space should be allotted to planting and does the client want a planting plan as well as a layout plan?

garden design brief brought to life

Part of a garden design brought to life by Gunns and Roses. The garden design brief looked carefully at styling, functionality and long-term maintenance. 


Your garden design brief questionnaire

The designers at My Garden Design never get to meet the client, or even to talk to them on the phone, and so for them, the garden design brief needs to be fully comprehensive. 

We’ve created a garden design brief questionnaire that a landscaper can complete online while they chat with their clients. Alternatively, it can be downloaded and left with the client so that they can think about their requirements.

The questionnaire is free to use and there’s absolutely no obligation to order a garden design from the My Garden Design team.

To access and download the questionnaire, you will need to create an account with MGD – don’t worry, it only takes a couple of minutes and we won’t hassle you with emails or phone calls.

Once you have signed up, log in to your account and scroll to the very bottom of the page. You’ll find a link to our useful documents page.

As well as the garden design brief questionnaire, you’ll find some other free tools to help you sell your garden design service. Please explore them and make use of 

Download useful documents here 

More garden design tools for landscapers

Quick quote – find out what online garden design costs and what you should charge your clients. 

5 steps to making money from garden design.

Using garden design to win more work for your landscaping business 

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