As part of the site survey I'll assess soil type (whether sandy or heavy clay, what pH it is) and aspect (i.e. which way is north and so work out which are sunny or shaded areas) as these dictate which plants will grow successfully. I'll also take photographs of the site to help me get a feel for the mood of the space and its surroundings. If your garden is very large or complicated, I may recommend having a professional land survey done.

When I produce detailed plans, I can produce plan views (seen from above) or elevated/3D images which will give you more of an idea what the finished garden will look like.

Having construction drawings helps you to get comparable quotes and helps the builder/landscaper to ensure that they remain faithful to the layout and design that you've approved.

With planting plans, you get detail of exactly which plants, trees and shrubs will go where. Without these it's all too easy to plant things with too little or too much space in between for growth. If you find it hard to visualise what a border will look like from a plan drawing, I can produce some to show how your border will look once the plants have established. I aim for year round interest and planting schemes to suit your taste and time available for maintenance.

Alongside this you may want a planting schedule, listing all the plants by Latin name including variety and by pot size, so you can give this to contractors or nurseries if you choose to get the planting done by someone else.