How much should a garden cost?

Many of us look at inspirational, beautiful designer gardens or RHS flower show gardens and hope to re-create the look in our own outside space. However many starting out to transform their gardens don’t really know how much to budget for or how to get started. Here are some common questions answered:

How much should a garden cost?

My experience is that most people underestimate what a new garden will cost. How much should your budget for? This depends on your budget and what you hope to acheive. For a great garden , it is recommended that you should estimate £100 as a minimum per square metre of garden. This may sound like a lot to invest but beautiful garden can cost as much to build as a new kitchen.

Do I need a garden designer?

If want to give your garden a completely new look, it is  worthwhile hiring an experienced, fully qualified garden designer to help. They’ll help you to make the most out of your space and budget. The cost of a designer is much smaller that the overall cost of building a new garden and is a worthwhile investment to get the most from your outside space. By hiring a garden designer who is a registered member of the Society of Garden Designers you can be confident of getting the best service and expertise.

Do I need a landscaper?

If you are doing garden construction you will need a landscaper. They will take the garden design, including elements such as garden levels, hard landscaping, power and lighting requirements, water access, planting plan and so on from the garden designer and will  complete the build work in your garden. We recommend that you hire members of the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL). All members are inspected annually and must adhere to professional standards to ensure they provide you with a high standard and a professional service.

Capturing that essence

By Carol Sharp Photography

How wonderful it is that ‘capture’ devices are so easy, and we can endlessly snap our favourite plants endlessly.  But do we really capture that special feeling we experienced when we were lit up with joy or fascinated at the sight of a plant, so we can share it and re-live it in the darker days of winter? So many images are hardly above average, great for a quick look but they don’t invite us to stay with them for a while. It’s a bit like fast food and slow food. The latter takes care and attention but is well worth the effort.

Like anything, its takes skill to do it well. I have been photographing flowers as a professional and as an artist for 20 years, and would like to show you how its done.

Join me for a workshop giving you the tools to make those special images that stand out from the crowd.


Smarter Plant Lists and Care

The smarter way to provide plant lists and care advice to clients

I’m a professional garden designer or landscaper. Why would I use Shoot Professional membership?


Working with Shoot’s online plant database of over 15 000 varieties can literally save you hours of work in compiling and researching planting schemes. You can select varieties at the click of a button and add them to a client planting list. Every variety has both a photograph and extensive variety information for you to present to your clients. If a plant is missing from the database, our experts will add it for you. Tweak the list until your client is satisfied, then upon the project’s completion, Shoot allows you to
hand over a detailed plant list online.


You simply send a plant list on Shoot to your client, and Shoot’s unique plant maintenance software generates a bespoke plant care calendar with timely email advice reminders on what to do when to keep their garden in tip-top condition. You can offer a Shoot membership as a costed extra part of your contract or include it as a free additional service.

VisionMaintain your vision

When you leave a site, equip your clients with the essential knowledge to care for their new garden. With a personalised Shoot planting plan you are giving clients the confidence and the tools to look after their garden and helping to maintain the garden vision you designed.

ProfileDevelop your profile

Profile your work in Shoot’s ‘Inspirational Gardens’ section, be listed on the ‘Gardening Services’ directory, and contribute guest blogs and views in the active gardening forums.

Matt“Time and value for money are Shoot’s huge benefits to my business. I am logged in a lot! I use Shoot in the preliminaries when I’m proposing planting schemes to customers and researching new plants and fresh ideas. And at the end of the project, I either sell Shoot membership and the personalised plant maintenance programme or, for larger projects, provide it as part of the package.” Matt Nichol , MSGD MBALI Matt Nichol Garden Design, Cheshire

Helen B

“Shoot’s plant information and image database is so comprehensive that it saves me a huge amount of time. I use Shoot when I am proposing a design, and as part of the closing package upon completion. Our customers really love it. Shoot is an important selling point for the Haskett’s service to the client.” Helen Boem, BSc (Hons) Hort, Haskett Ltd, Essex

Helen ES“We use Shoot to give our clients monthly maintenance advice and the clients that sign up for it have been very happy. We also contribute guest blogs and finished projects for Shoot’s featured gardens and Pinterest boards.” Helen Elks-Smith MSGD, Bsc(Hons) Dip(GD) Cert(Hort) Elks-Smith Design Ltd,

The bottom line: just £130* per year

As a Shoot Professional Member you can give unlimited number of one-year Shoot membership accounts to your clients during your subscription period. Many designers and landscapers choose to earn their membership fee back by charging £50-£120 per client account. *pricing as of April 2013 subject to change

Vectorworks Landmark teams with Shoot

Vectorworks Content ProviderNEW! If you are a Vectorworks Service Select member using Landmark 2013 and a Shoot Professional membership, you can associate a Shoot plant with any native Vectorworks Plant Objects within your designs, and then export your plant lists from Vectorworks software into the Shoot website to create online virtual maintenance schedules for clients. This exciting integration saves you even more time!

Join Shoot as a Professional Member here

View PDF version here

Vectorworks teams with Shoot

Press Release: Computers Unlimited, on behalf of Nemetschek Vectorworks Inc, has partnered with award-wining gardening website, Shoot ( to provide integration between Vectorworks Landmark – the market leading software for landscape design – and Shoot’s award winning online garden design resources.

The new partnership allows Landmark users to generate personal garden design plans using Shoot’s unique offering, which includes information, maintenance and care advice for 13,000+ plants.

“This is such an exciting initiative where customers will be able to quickly add any plant from the extensive Shoot Plant List into their Vectorworks plans, generate plant schedule reports for their customers and send specific project lists back to the Shoot website to create online maintenance plans” said Martyn Horne from Computers Unlimited, the exclusive distributor of Vectorworks in the UK.

The Shoot plant list is available to Vectorworks Service Select Members using Vectorworks Landmark. The plant list will contain the Botanical Name, Common Name, A summary of the Plant Characteristics and the Shoot Database Unique Plant ID. Having added the Shoot plant list to the master Vectorworks Plant Database, users will be able to add the specific Shoot plant to plant objects within their Vectorworks drawings in the usual manner. Users will also be able to export their plant list schedules from Vectorworks back into the Shoot website to create online maintenance schedules.

Vectorworks Landmark software is the industry standard for Landscape Architects, Garden Designers and Urban Planners.  It provides everything needed to design, manage and visualise projects – enabling efficiency, reducing delays and growing businesses.  Its flexible tools and intuitive interface provide superior 2D/3D modelling and design to create accurate site plans.  Features include digital terrain and shadow analysis and cut and fill calculations to maximise soil reuse.

To view the Shoot Plant List you need to be a Vectorworks Service Select Member.  To write an article about what is available you can view the How To Movie.

About Nemetschek Vectorworks Inc
Nemetschek Vectorworks Inc, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nemetschek AG and has been developing software since 1985.  The Vectorworks line of software products provides professional design solutions for more than 450,000 designers in the AEC, entertainment and landscape design industries.  With a tradition of designing flexible versatile, intuitive and affordable CAD and Building Information Modelling (BIM) solutions, Nemetschek Vectorworks continues to be a global leader in 3D design technologies.  More information.

About Shoot
Shoot is an award-winning website for garden designers.  With a Shoot membership, you can create your own personal ‘my garden’ space online.  If you add to your account which plants are in your garden, you will receive care reminders each month by email.  Conceived by Nicola Gammon, a ‘self-taught’ gardener who wanted a simpler way to approach the planting and care of her own garden, Shoot is your gardening resource.  Here you will find the tools to help you create and manage your own garden without the need of heavy reference books.  More information.

About Computers Unlimited Design Department
Computers Unlimited Design Department are the exclusive Vectorworks distributors in the UK.  We distribute a range of 2D, 3D, BIM and CAD solutions for professionals working in architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, urban planning, garden design, lighting design and event design.  More information

Vectorworks Landmark

Update for all garden design professionals.  The latest  version of Vectorworks Landmark has been released with a link to Shoot plant data. See screenshot below.

Shoot plant data tab search

Still to come is the integration to export plants lists from Vectorworks into Shoot. Watch for updates.

Altons Plant Information

Altons Garden Centre is now making great use of Shoot’s plant finder in their own website. As part of the Tillington Buying Group of Garden Centres Altons has licenced the use of our plant data using the group magazine brand ‘Beautiful Gardens’. Along with Altons, Squires Garden Centres and Frosts Garden Centres also have licenced the use of our plant A-Z to allow their own customers to research plants in their own websites.

Altons Garden Centre Online will also be participating in Shoot’s new marketplace to bring our members great deals on gardening products. Coming Spring 2012!

Shades of Green Garden Design

Belinda Macdonald, owner of Shades of Green Garden Design, has been a full professional member of Shoot since September 2010 and in that time has created 12 client gardens and plant lists. Most of Belinda’s client gardens contain between 50-100 different species of plants, and the list for her own garden is fast approaching 200 plants!

If the specific plant or cultivar is not available on the Shoot database I either select a similar cultivar and add a note on the plant list, or I ask Shoot to add the plant to the database. Shoot adds new plants for me on a regular basis.

Before purchasing a professional membership with Shoot, Belinda provided her clients with a plant care and maintenance file.  Clients sometimes found it cumbersome to cross-reference the maintenance instructions with the plant listing and then to recognise the various plants in the borders. Providing clients with an online plant database using Shoot has proved to be an excellent solution to this problem.

Clients who are keen to maintain their new gardens but who lack confidence or gardening expertise are particularly impressed with their new Shoot garden accounts.

Shoot’s plant photographs help Belinda’s clients to recognise the different plants in their garden and the monthly garden care calendar and ‘how-to-do’  pages provides a timely reminder for the various maintenance tasks and throughout the year.  Belinda’s clients can also research plants to add to their gardens as in Scotland plant hardiness ratings are a particularly important consideration!

The feedback for the Shoot resource has been very positive, with some clients becoming instantly addicted to the site and its wealth of gardening knowledge and plant information.

Belinda makes a small charge for the time it takes to set up the online garden, as she did when she provided a paper-based plant care resource, and her professional membership allows clients to enjoy the benefits of Shoot for no charge for 12 months. Belinda keeps a copy of all her client gardens on Shoot and often finds herself tapping into the online plant lists rather than rummaging in the filing cabinet to remind herself of particular plants used in different gardens.

Belinda renewed her professional membership with Shoot and is looking forward to another year of being able to offer the added value of this service to my clients. To read more about this service please click here.