Site analysis, research, ideas
Our consultancy services are all about researching and feeding back information about a site. This can include site analysis, surveys, site inventory, discussion of ideas for design and planning, planting design, grading, storm water management, and suggestions for construction specifications to ensure plans are practical and meet the current building codes as well as the client’s requirements for the site. There is usually a consultancy phase with all projects, whether a one-off meeting and discussion or a more elaborate series of visits and documentation.
Layout, drawings, plant choices
This is where the fun stuff happens! The design phase is where ideas for the layout of the garden are produced, and can include master plans, sketches or 3D images of planting concepts and elevations, plant palettes (a page of images of suggested plants, showing how they could look together) and images of similar plant effects and garden elements (ponds, pergolas, paths, hedges and so on).
Hard and soft landscape installation
We work with several landscape contractors and technical specialists for pools, carpentry and irrigation in different locations around the Algarve, to enable installation of any and all landscape elements. All works are personally supervised by Marilyn to ensure we fulfill your project to a high standard.
Correct aftercare for your garden
We are happy to work in partnership with existing gardeners or landscape maintenance contractors, but it is vital that there is an understanding from all sides that the maintenance of a drought-tolerant garden is very different from the standard scenario of irrigated lawn, sub-tropical shrubs and palm trees. Although we do not have an in-house maintenance team, we are happy to work together with clients to find the right gardener or maintenance company to care for their garden, and we offer a service of regular site meetings to ensure work is being correctly carried out.
While each of these services are offered individually, they more usually run sequentially over the course of a project, in the following order.
Step one: Site meeting
The first step will usually be a meeting on site with the client, where we will discuss the scope of works and the client’s wishes and needs for the garden. We will ask what they will be using the space for, what style/s of garden and planting they like, whether there are any particular plants, features or finishes they wish to incorporate (or avoid).
Step 2: Proposal
We then create a proposal based on this information, including concept drawings and / or 3D renderings, plant suggestions, descriptions of the work to be undertaken, estimated costs and an overview plan of the design. This process varies in length from garden to garden but is quite detailed – a lot of major design considerations and decisions will be taken at this stage – and usually takes 2-4 weeks.
We will then have one or more meetings to review the design with the client, then going back to the design to make any adjustments necessary, confirm prices with suppliers and so forth. A master plan will then be produced, along with a firm quote and predicted dates for construction.
Examples of the kind of material that would be included in a proposal can be seen below.
Step 3: Construction
The build time will naturally vary in length according to the size and complexity of the garden. At all stages, client contact, project management and supervision of work, plant and materials quality will be maintained by Waterwise Gardens.
Step 4: Maintenance
Our gardens are low maintenance, but they are rarely no maintenance! Getting it right can keep it to a minimum from the beginning, though, so we strongly recommend choosing a reputable and knowledgeable supplier.
We charge a one-off fee of 150€ for the initial consultancy on site, which lasts on average 1-2 hours and will already include a lot of information about the site, what kind of plants are growing there, and what sort of garden can be planned.
When the client is ready to go ahead, the design process is charged over two payments: 50% deposit to begin the work, and the remaining 50% on completion of the design phase.
Construction is usually charged the same way (50% on commencement of work, and the remainder on completion) but if the job is particularly large and likely to extend over more than a couple of months, we will suggest monthly payments over the course of the build.