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Frequently Asked Questions

Below you'll find answers to the questions we get asked the most about garden design & our gardening services.

Garden Design FAQ

How much is a garden design?

Prices range between $2000 - $4000, for smaller properties, with minimal changes to the structural layout of your garden, to larger properties, entirely new structural layouts, pool landscaping and more complex building requirements.  An average plan is around $2750.

To take a look at a selection of our design work, click HERE.

what does a garden design look like

What is involved in an initial garden design consultation?

During your initial garden consultation, we walk the garden, share garden design ideas, discuss differing layouts, plant options & the best suppliers to work with.  During the hour meeting, you will get solutions on how to resolve specific garden design issues & suggestions on how to improve the look of your garden.

This appointment is usually 60 minutes and is a working appointment where we supply you with valuable information, providing you with clarity and direction for your project. 

After this consultation, if you would like us to design a landscape design for your garden, we send you a tailored quote. 

If you decide to move forward and retain us for your garden design, we apply the garden consultation fee against your future professional garden design services - thus making the initial garden consultation essentially FREE.

How will you design my garden?

First, we listen. What do you need and want from your outdoor space?

Next we take into account family considerations, and any practical requirements.

This will likely take place during your initial consultation though we may need to pop back to chat to you again.

We’ll take a look at your home, existing garden & neighbourhood, to completely understand the canvas we have to work with.

After the initial garden consultation, we email you a quote with a description of your brief for you to accept.

Then we create. Our landscape designers are influenced by creative solutions, artistic direction and the pull of design. If you have diagrams of your section, we will utilise these as a base for the plan, else we will measure up your garden during a further site visit.

Finally, your garden designer will present the finished plan to you in person so you have a chance to ask questions & make any changes.  We allow 1 set of revisions to the design free of charge.

The final design will then be sent to you both in hard & electronic copies for future use.  At this stage, we can then quote to install the garden, working with your own builders or introducing you to the companies we work with.

Can Sculpt Gardens install & plant the garden too?

Here at Sculpt Gardens we can source, deliver, place & plant your garden design.

For the initial hardscaping component of your design - (the decking, pathways, concrete, fencing, edging, retaining walls etc) we work with landscape construction companies such as Folium Landscaping.

How long will it take to get my garden design?

Garden designs are currently taking around 5 weeks to create, from our initial meeting to presenting your first design version.

Do you do swimming pool landscaping?

Yes, Sculpt can help you with landscaping your pool area.

If you are thinking about putting in a pool, we can create a design that positions your pool perfectly for maximum sunlight & indoor/outdoor flow from your home. 

We consider fencing & pool gates so that your pool is safe & compliant.  We suggest positioning for the pool pump & its housing, so it is tucked away out of sight. 

Our plans come with suggested material surfaces & fencing styles.

Finally, we suggest soft landscaping - the plants that surround the pool area & soften it into the landscape, remembering you want to minimise leafdrop.

If you have already engaged a pool contractor, we can work alongside your pool company, take your plans & add further detail around planting & the flow to the rest of the garden to ensure a beautiful final result. Alternatively, we can recommend pool companies depending on whether you are wanting a concrete or fibreglass pool.

To look at some of our pool landscaping designs click HERE.

To learn more about pool landscaping, read our guide on Swimming Pool Landscape Design'.

Swimming pool designed by Sculpt Gardens

Swimming pool designed by Sculpt Gardens

Would I be able to use a Sculpt garden design to do it myself?

Our designs are easy to follow so you would be able to understand what plants go where.  Our designs can be given to builders & landscape construction companies to quote from because they have all the construction notes and materials suggested.

We can help sourcing plants for you, delivered straight to your door from our trade nurseries, saving you time & money.  Sculpt often places plants for our clients as per their design, so they can feel confident that the plants are the correct distance apart & the garden will look amazing, once established.  

How long does it take for the garden to look amazing?

Normally it takes 2-3 years for the plants to establish themselves and fill the space around them.  With ongoing care and feeding, you can increase this growth & contribute to the overall health & appearance of your garden.  

We recommend to our garden design clients that they get their new garden cared for by our maintenance team, if they don't have the time or inclination to maintain their new garden.  

What should I expect when I use a garden designer?

Here are the following tips when choosing a garden designer.

  1. Are they familiar with the local conditions?  The North Shore has clay soils but other areas of Auckland are sandy or even volcanic.  This greatly influences what thrives or just survives.
  2. Does the garden designer ask you about lifestyle, family, pets & how you entertain?  All these factors will dictate the best use of your outdoor area.
  3. Ask to see examples of their work, both in plan form but also completed gardens you can go & look at a few years after completion.
  4. Talk about a broad budget, so that the finished design is within your budget and expectations.
  5. Ask if they are able to install & plant the garden for you.  Some garden designers are only able to provide you with a plan & may not have established relationships with contractors who can actually build the garden for you.

How do you design the best garden?

Our garden designers ask many questions so we really feel we understand what you want from your garden.  

The best gardens find creative solutions to the challenges of each site to make the most of an outside space.  They reflect our client’s personality and style through interesting & bespoke garden spaces.

how to design a garden

My garden just needs rejuvenating, can you still help?

Often after several years, a garden can look a bit tired.  Plants have grown out of shape & bits & pieces have died.  This can be a great time to do some additional planting & bring a new lease of life into the garden.  

We would be delighted to help with this, so please book an appointment to discuss your next steps.

I already have a plan from another designer, can you help plant that?

Yes - we are delighted to help plant other designers' work as long as the garden is local to us here on the North Shore, Auckland.  We love to see the work of others & the plants they use.

Do you design NZ native gardens?

We design gardens to suit the 'wish list' of our clients & the brief they have given us.     

New Zealand native plants are hardy and often low maintenance.  We use these plants in our designs to give texture & structure.  Native plants also attract birds such as Tui into our gardens too.

We love to design NZ native gardens.

Read our most popular blog - 'Your Ultimate Guide: Design A Native New Zealand Garden'

Can you look after the garden once it is done?

Our team of gardeners are able to care for your garden after it is planted to ensure your plants thrive & your garden continues to look its best. 

We will check in via phone/email 3 months after we plant to see how everything is going and do a 6 month in person garden check and feed if you want.  6 monthly fertiliser reminders are then emailed to you.

Please note, our gardening team care for gardens on the North Shore only.  Read more about our gardening services HERE.

What kinds of gardens do you design?

We tailor our garden designs to each one of our clients - no two gardens are the same.  

We have designed purely NZ native, subtropical gardens combing tropical with native, purely tropical gardens, English cottage-style flower gardens, picking gardens, bee & bird attracting, self-sustainable gardens, modern contemporary style, drought-tolerant using more South African & Australian planting, courtyard gardens, front entrance gardens.

What all our gardens have in common is that the plants are chosen to both suit the conditions, the client's wish list & the house style.

Take a look at our portfolio, to see our work.

Gardening Services FAQ

What is your hourly rate for gardening services?

We charge $45+gst per hour plus tip fees & any materials required to care for the garden such as fertilisers & sprays.

What gardening services do you offer?

We focus on plant care & health, feeding the soil to encourage strong & healthy plants. We aim to encourage each plant to be its best, both in health, appearance & form.  

We use garden mix and compost to feed the earth and mulch to suppress weeds & create healthy soils.

We weed, trim & prune.  Where possible Sculpt uses organic sprays to control insects & fungal problems.  Organic fertilisers such as sheep pellets & liquid seaweed nourish the plants to create healthy growth & a lush appearance.

Do you do treework & hedge trimming?

Our team keeps their feet on the ground.  We outsource these specialist tasks to the experts.

We recommend & regularly work with the following: - Hedge trimming & treework - Arborist & stump grinding - Stump grinding

Do you install lawns & artificial grass?

To successfully install a great lawn either real or artificial requires an expert.  Sculpt Gardens works with local experts to ensure a beautiful lawn.  Contact us for a referral.

My lawn looks awful? Do you care for lawns?

Lawn care requires specialist knowledge of grass types & the fertilisers required to keep the lawn free from weeds.  We use local specialist lawn companies to help our clients keep their lawns looking perfect such as Total Turf Services.

Do you do waterblasting?

We work with specialists to help our clients keep their outdoor areas clean & tidy.  We are plant & design experts.  For water blasting, we recommend Frog Property Solutions.

When is the best time to plant a garden in NZ?

The best time for planting is the autumn - when the temperatures drop and regular rain is falling.
We start to plant in late March - April depending on the weather & plant through winter until around late October / early November. 

The greenest socials you've ever seen.

Follow our garden design work along the North Shore, plus helpful tips and guides.


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