Landscape architecture and garden design is about making changes. This involves a detailed understanding of your site (the garden as it is now), how it will or could be used (you, your family, friends, visitors), and how a new idea (appearance, style, design concept) can be added to create a place which works now and for the future. The scrolling images below illsutrate the creative process of design using drawings, computer generated images and photomontage. This stage is important in developing ideas and checking these against feasibility, locality, budgets and skills and knowledge of who will carry out the work.
Before embarking upon any changes to your garden it is important to gain a full understanding of the site as it is now. It is easy to miss potentially significant factors, especially if the information is gathered at only one point in the year. Designers and surveyors are skilled at this and, if your site is complex, you may also need the help of other specialists such as ecologists, arboriculturalists, engineers and planners.
You may have strong ideas about what you want the garden to look like. This is a good start, but it may be difficult or not be possible to achieve this for your own garden conditions. This is often a starting point for discussions with a designer.
However, no garden designer can tell you what you will or should be doing in your garden. They may not know you, what you like and dislike, your abilities and disabilities, your interests and who and how the garden is used now and how you would like it to be used in the future. It is therefore ciritical that you identify and discuss your needs.
To get some ideas about areas to think about and discuss, have a look at the page What do you want to do in your garden?