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May 27, 2018

Latest:

Success for Woodlodge at RHS Chelsea Flower Show -

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Business rates success for growers -

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Covent Garden blooms for Chelsea Fringe -

Saturday, May 26, 2018

American Hardwood Export Council and Waugh Thistleton Architects collaborate with ARUP on landmark pavilion -

Friday, May 25, 2018

Summer celebration of art, creativity and imagination at Borde Hill Garden -

Friday, May 25, 2018

Special RHS Chelsea award winners revealed -

Friday, May 25, 2018

Stihl expands Viking range of petrol mowers -

Friday, May 25, 2018

Celebrating the benefits of plants with The Great Escape industry exhibit -

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Plant of the Year and Product of the Year revealed at RHS Chelsea -

Thursday, May 24, 2018

HTA makes two big appointments -

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Timotay Landscapes shortlisted for APL Avenue Show Garden competition -

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Love Your Garden: NHS Special -

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Alan Titchmarsh presents Griffin Glasshouses’ donation to the National Garden Scheme -

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Capel Manor’s ’50 Shades of Gold’ garden wins Gold at RHS Chelsea Flower Show -

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Bernhard’s Nurseries enjoy success at Chelsea Flower Show -

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Countrywide Grounds landscapes new garden to provide respite for patients at Alderney Hospital -

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Myeloma UK Garden by John Everiss wins Silver-Gilt at RHS Chelsea 2018 -

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Lemon Tree Trust Refugee Garden wins Silver-Gilt at Chelsea -

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Hat trick of awards for Landform Consultants at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 -

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

10 design trends at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show from SGD members -

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Millboard

Handling design budgets with Catherine MacDonald

catherine

Pro Landscaper speaks to Catherine MacDonald about handling budget expectations, and ask for Catherine’s top tips to reduce project costs without compromising a garden’s design

“Due to my nature, I prefer to be completely honest with clients, telling them straight if their expectations are exceeding their budget – of course telling them in a diplomatic manner,” Catherine says. When asked about a standard client reaction to this reality check, she explains: “Sometimes this leads them to change their expectations and alter their design brief or it can lead to clients increasing their budget, to allow the garden to be completed to their preferred specification.”

If a client wishes to get a project underway immediately but budget is still an issue, Catherine sometimes recommends phasing the installation. “When completing a project in phases we create the finished design and then advise on how the project could be broken down,” Catherine tells us. “By having the garden constructed in stages, the costs of labour and materials is spread out, allowing the project to get closer to the client’s wishes.

“As part of the design process we will often provide a ballpark figure for projects, based upon square metre rates and average material costs. This gives the client a rough idea of what the project could end up costing, and to perhaps adjust their expectations or review the design if necessary.”

Alongside labour, hard materials, such as paving, are a major cost of a project. When asked how to save on material costs, Catherine tells us: “We always advise clients to select quality products. Although when it comes to reducing a budget, without compromising on quality too much, we recommend substitutions such as a generic sandstone as opposed to something more specific like York stone.

“Changing the specification of trees can also be an effective way to bring a project’s cost down. Purchasing smaller trees, that will of course take more time to develop, could sometimes offer a substantial saving.”

In terms of altering the design to reduce costs, Catherine says: “Provided that it is not too detrimental to the overall design, it can be feasible to reduce the amount of hard landscaping within a project, as this is one of the more expensive aspects of the design. Feature items, such as pergolas, BBQs and water features, may also have to be removed as they are typically high-cost and are not always the most integral part of a design.”

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