07950 431 828 | joe@mcwill.plus.com

Please contact me to arrange for a no-obligation visit and an estimate for the work: please email: joe@mcwill.plus.com

Terms and conditions for design work:

My initial visit to the property is free of charge, and I will bring (point you towards on Facebook, and on my webpage) examples of my work.

For the fee of xxx *, I will do a garden survey of your plot, and from this I will produce a detailed 2-D drawing of your garden with a proposed design. This design will have details and photos of proposed materials and plants used. 

We will have an initial meeting of up to an hour (this could be via email or phone), to discuss your needs, and for me to assess how you will use your garden and what ongoing maintenance you will be able to provide.

If the site is complex a surveyor may be needed – if this is the case I can arrange this for you. It is your responsibility to let me know of any services (such as drains or buried cables) that are situated in the garden. You should also make me aware if there are any trees with Preservation Orders on, if you are in a conservation area, or your house is Listed.

From the first design proposals, a further meeting of up to an hour is available to discuss changes and alterations. From this a further design will be produced if necessary, with a subsequent meeting of up to 30 mins to discuss any issues.

Any further emails or phone calls outside of the above timeframe will be charged at an hourly rate, agreed at the start of the process.

Planting fees and costs of the plants will be quoted separately. Some clients prefer to plant themselves to keep costs down, but it should be noted that different plants need different mediums, space and light conditions.

By using someone with a good knowledge of horticulture, many of the plants put in should survive well. Some nurseries do supply a guarantee, but as watering, feeding, weeding and pruning are often important with new plants, I am not able to guarantee that you will have a 100% success rate with all your plants. I can supply references though to show that I do have a high success rate with my planting methods.

The above rates are a guide and rates vary depending on the size of the garden and the complexity of the design. Travel time, and project monitoring will be charged at the hourly rate.

*As a guide


- a planting plan, mood board and 2-D design £200–£500

If the property is more than 25 miles away, there may be an additional cost for mileage.




Below is a design that we produced for a nursery school a few years ago.. Note how I produced a scaled drawing of the site, with a mood board of ideas that we have had in preliminary meetings. Also a detailed plant list that you can relate to the design. Each plant is linked to the drawing. Using some hard landscaping features to really tidy the garden up. Design for children has to be practical and safe. Family garden design works in a  similar way. Lots of routes to take, sensory plants, plants to talk about and learn about, 

I have greatly enjoyed using my forest school, theatre design, and plant knowledge to good effect on these school projects. It is really nice to see my design being interactive.


Designing family gardens is good practice for someone who can juggle many different ages and peoples thoughts and needs: you have a garden claimed by two groups, adults and children, each with very different agendas, and if you don’t keep everyone happy there could be a problems with your garden design. When meet for the brief you’ll probably be able to identify who wears the trousers, but things can change. I try to meet with both partners, and am careful not to play them off against each other.


You can have a garden that both you and your children love – without spending a fortune. That develops with your children age. A sunken trampoline can become a pond for instance. (Trampolines are the blight on many gardens, sinking them in can really limit their impact. 


Footballs can be big problems with plants and penalty spots can become very warn (also cricket creases!). Artificial grass can look good now, and are great for sports lawns. this year with the draught in the summer, grass has struggled to retake. Lots of footfall on grass over this winter has made a big negative impact, creating lawns that are more brown than green!


The first and fundamental rule to making a real family garden is to relax your expectations. Children will flourish in a safe environment that provides freedom to explore and experiment.

From https://www.themiddlesizedgarden.co.uk/how-to-create-a-family-garden-14-child-friendly-garden-ideas/ 

 

a) No water – not even a trough, water butt or deep bucket, if it can be accessed unsupervised. A toddler can drown in a few inches of water. If you already have a pond, you can get purpose-made safety grids to go across the water to prevent children falling in.

b) Containment – a barrier will keep different areas of the garden separate (especially to prevent toddlers from escaping to the road), but it needn’t be an ugly wire fence. A low hedge with wire behind, woven hazel hurdles, dense shrubs, a farm gate or low wall will do.

c) Soft landings – if they can go up, make coming down as soft as possible. Lawn is good.

d) Check for irritant or toxic plants: the RHS state ‘’serious poisoning by plants is very uncommon in the UK. Some garden plants present a hazard, but the risk of severe poisoning, skin reaction or allergy is generally low’’.

The best advice that I can give is to check what you already have in the garden, and only to buy new plants that are safe (most are, and they are labelled). If in any doubt get the advice of a professional gardener. The RHS list of toxic or irritant plants, plus what to do about them, is here.