Garden Design – What it means

Everyone has a different idea what garden design means and what to expect, or sometimes no idea what to expect! From a simple discussion on possible ideas and a quick sketch through to full 3D CAD drawings with every detail specified, or just make it up as you go! We have worked with it all.

This is how we do it

For us garden design is about these 3 things;

Function – how you will use the garden and what it will be made of.

Shape – the layout and ‘flow’, how you will move through the garden.

Aesthetic – Your garden should be inviting, making you want to be out there and enjoying it.

We have been building gardens professionally for over 25 years so we have seen a lot of gardens! We have also seen what works and what doesn’t, what gets on peoples nerves and what brings them joy. We know how the look and feel inspire you to use and share it, we also understand the long term maintenance needs and chores.

We can build you a 3D computer based model of your garden so you can see the how the finished garden will look, you can view it from different angles, and virtually walkthrough it to understand how your new garden will work.


We love building gardens for people so if you already have plans or a designer involved we can work with them – we have worked with some amazing designers that produce fantastic designs and amazing drawings.

It’s important that your designer has a style you like, that they understand your requirements and that you both connect. We recently split this aspect of our business out to provide a more bespoke service, we called this Saffron Garden Design – Take a look at what we do and if it’s not for you, at the bottom of this page is a list of other great local garden designers.

Visit and Discuss

We make an appointment to visit and have a chat about your garden, what it is and what you want it to be, we add in our ideas, recommendations and practical advice – this is free!

Design Proposal

We will send you a detailed proposal and pricing.

If you want to go ahead, we will invoice this and get to work planning your new garden.

Model your house and garden

We build a computer based model of your house and new garden, all in 3D and to scale. We may need to revisit and take more measurements and levels.


When your design is ready, we send you views from several different angles, close ups on the features and a walk through video if you have taken that option. This means you get to see what your finished garden will look like when its done. If we need to make alterations we can make a virtual appointment to screen share the 3D view, rotate and pan the model – even walk through the virtual garden to see different view points and perspectives so we get it just right.

3d garden design drawing example
our garden designer's desk


Now we have agreed exactly what your new garden will look like we need to agree the materials and produce an accurate quote. Our quotes are itemised so you can see where the costs are and adjust it to fit your budget. See our FAQ’s on costs of landscaping.


Once we have agreed the work and a start date it’s all go. You will meet the team leader responsible for your project – this way you can discuss the day to day running and finer details with one person throughout the build. We go through the details one more time to make sure you are happy and we agree a payment schedule so you know what to pay and when.


When it’s done and finished you can sit back and enjoy your new garden and watch it grow and mature. If you need us to, we can maintain it in peak condition for an agreed regular monthly fee.

Soft landscaping in a large walled garden


This depends on area, complexity and bespoke features as well as complex levels and structural considerations, material sourcing – We have a tiered tariff guide so you know what to expect.

The answer is there is no such thing as a typical garden; they are as individual as the people that own them. Published research shows that complete gardens rebuilds cost between £30 and £250 per square metre which really isn’t very helpful!

The best approach is to start with an overall budget in mind, this helps decide the materials you use and the complexity of the design. Budget is always a tricky subject, most people don’t go through this process very often and we all want best value, but it’s definitely the case that you get what you pay for – any shortcuts are a compromise in quality and in a garden that means how long it lasts!

Here’s a list of things that may push the price up:

  • Retaining walls and big level changes.
  • Bespoke items of furniture and features.
  • Intricate patterns.
  • Ponds and water features.
  • Really big areas of paving / decking.
  • Very poor soil conditions.

Good design is about considering the many different aspects of the space, its use and aesthetics and the best way to keep that in budget, that takes time – quality landscaping is an investment and you want to get it right first time – if you don’t it will either bother you every time you go in the garden or cost a lot more to change it again.

A design usually takes 5 to 8 weeks from first visit to presentation. Once we have an agreed a design that you are excited about and a quoted price you are happy with, we can schedule the start date. Generally we have 12 to 16 weeks lead time in spring and summer, less in autumn and winter so it is worth beginning to plan your garden sooner rather than later.

A garden should be a place to relax and enjoy, not cause you stress, we have a sister company dedicated to maintenance and looking after gardens we have built – they will help you decide on a package to keep your new garden looking great and maintained the way you want it at a monthly price you are happy with.