Frequently Asked Questions


A list of frequently asked questions from our clients:

Why do I need a design?

Design is the first step in creating a beautiful, landscaped garden. A well planned design allows you to conceptualise what your garden will look like before installation, and helps to ensure that the hard and soft (plant) landscaping materials have been calculated correctly. Our designs also provide our installation team with an accurate template to work from, ensuring that everyone on our team is ‘on the same page’ when it comes to your garden.

Here are some other benefits of designing your garden before installation:

  • Avoiding overplanting
    Overplanting is a common problem in gardens that have not been planned. It often occurs when home owners try to fill their garden space during installation, neglecting to take into account the full grown height and width of their plants. Sometimes this problem is exacerbated by visiting a show garden and trying to replicate it. Many show gardens use plants that are still in their bags, and if these plants were to be planted out in a home they would quickly outgrow the available space.
  • Avoiding too many different species / or a garden that lacks a theme
    Designs help to avoid the creation of a “liquorice allsorts” garden. Without a plan and a theme, it can be tempting to incorporate many different plant species, especially if they are all in flower at your local nursery! By planning your garden, and taking into account a preferred theme, we choose and group your plant species accordingly.
  • Avoiding poor plant growth & damage to property
    Perhaps the most important point of a design is to ensure that the selected plants are placed appropriately in your home. We frequently encounter homes where shrubs and trees have been planted too close to boundary walls, resulting in squashed plants, poor growth habits, and potentially damaging effects to the property.

How much does landscaping cost?

As a rough guide, a fully landscaped garden might cost between 5-10% of the value of your home. This varies based on the size of your garden, how much of it you want landscaped, and the additional elements you require, such as lighting, irrigation, building, paving, decking, ponds etc. Each of these dictate the materials required, as well as the specialist labour skills on our team.

Rather than an expense though, a landscaped – and thereafter, well-managed – garden, should be seen as an investment in your home. Real estate studies suggest that an investment of 5% in your garden can increase your property value by up to 15%. Consult with your local real estate agent to find out if this may be relevant to your area or property, and balance your investment with the potential increase in value of your property. At Grounded, we see each of our gardens as not only beautiful outdoor living spaces, but also as an investment in your home.

You’ve sent us a cost estimate, can we reduce it?

Yes, there are a number of ways we can reduce a cost estimate for you, without compromising on quality. The first option is to reduce the initial size of the plants that we will use in your garden. So, for example, we could change all 20 litre plants down to 4 litre plants, thereby reducing your plant costs by up to 80%. Normally we recommend a mix of plant sizes for our clients in order to strike a balance between cost and the initial ‘look’ of the garden. But by reducing the initial size of your plants we can reduce your costs quite significantly, and although these younger plants will take longer to reach an equivalent size, the quality of your garden layout will not be compromised.

Another way to reduce a cost estimate is to eliminate any building work that may be part of your project. Building – which may include edging, paving, vegetable gardens etc. – requires the use of our specialist building team, so eliminating building reduces both material costs and labour, and can reduce the overall cost estimate by up to 50%. If you were planning on installing a vegetable garden for example, but wanted to reduce your costs, consider portioning off a section of your garden for this purpose rather than building a physical structure.

Can we do it in phases?

Yes. We can save you some transport and delivery costs if your garden is completed in one phase, but we can also split your project into phases and install it as your budget allows.

Is this all the plants I get?

One question we often get asked – when the plants arrive – is ‘is this all the plants I get?’. When we plan your garden we take into consideration the full grown height and width of each plant, and budget your plant quantities accordingly. It’s tempting to overfill a new garden with lots of plants – as one would do in a show garden – but this soon leads to an overgrown garden and is a waste of plant material. Planning your garden with its future growth in mind is very important, so although your garden may look a little sparse to begin with it will soon fill out as your plants grow.

If I have an existing garden, will you remove all my plants?

No. We consider the overall future plan of your garden, so if you want specific plants to remain in place we will incorporate them into your new design. In addition it’s worth keeping large trees and shrubs as these provide an already established structural element – provided they are not weeds, invader species, are not damaging your property, and fit in with your new design. Some perennials such as clivias and agapanthus can also be split if they are overgrown, so if you have such species we will do this for you.

Can you use our existing pavers/pebbles?

Yes, we can, provided they are of a quality that is enhancing your garden and not taking away from it. Pavers and pebbles can often be used in a different section of the garden, and if we can incorporate them in this way we will do so. Sometimes though, pavers can be so old and broken that changing them to a new and modern style will transform your garden.

Do you do container gardens?

Yes. We have a broad range of options for container gardens and can advise on what style of pots and plants would be appropriate for your home.

Will my garden be difficult to maintain?

After completion of your garden we provide you with detailed instructions on how to manage the optimum growing conditions for your plants. We also provide a weekly, monthly, or seasonal management service to help ensure your garden remains healthy and grows and matures correctly.

How often will I need to water my garden?

It depends on the plant material used, and your soil type. Initially it is ideal to water every second day immediately after we have completed the garden, and thereafter we will provide advice on how best to water your new garden. If we have installed irrigation we’ll advise on the watering cycles to use.

Will my garden be pest-free?

We use predominantly indigenous plant material, which will attract natural predators to your garden to keep the pest numbers under control. In exceptional cases where intervention is required, we will recommend appropriate methods, with a preference for organic products which will not have a negative impact on the environment.

Will I have to remove weeds after installation?

Yes. Because we are enriching your soil with compost and fertiliser, and creating new beds or altering old ones, you will likely find additional weed growth after your garden has been completed. This is especially common in new gardens where the seeds of these weeds can lie dormant in the soil for months or even years, and only germinate when we have created the ideal growing conditions. Over time, your ground covers will crowd out the weeds, but initially you’ll need to spend a little time weeding your garden.

Must I turn my soil?

No. We use mulch to cover the open surface areas of your new garden, which helps to keep the soil moist. By keeping your soil moist (but not water-logged), you are increasing the growth of micro-organisms which help break down dead plant material and help to feed your plants. Turning the soil interferes with this process by exposing the moisture beneath. It causes your soil to dry-up faster and could cause soil erosion and dust around your home.

What is the difference between garden management and a garden maintenance service?

Garden management is a service we provide to help manage the growth of your garden over a long period of time. It involves regular visits from both our gardening team and a supervisor, during which time we work to ensure that your garden is growing and maturing correctly. With garden management we take over the management of your garden, which helps home owners who may not have the time to manage it themselves. We use our landscaping experience and plant knowledge for this service, and think about your garden in terms of its future growth 5-10 years ahead. A garden maintenance service on the other hand focuses on maintaining your garden the way it currently is. This usually involves the mowing of lawn, pruning and trimming of hedges and shrubs, and possibly weeding. A garden maintenance service does not usually have the flexibility in their budget for new plants, the transplanting or splitting of plants, or the design of new areas – changes which may be important to the future growth of your garden.

Comments (3)

  1. Elize Fourie-Hendry / Reply 24th April 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Hi, I am a student at the Irene Garden School in Landscape Design.

    I live in George / Mossel Bay. I would love to be a trainee on your projects to observe or do anything you need if you have any projects in the Garden Route area (from Riversdale to Plettenberg Bay). I do not require any remuneration, as this will form part of my practical experience. I will use my own transport.

    Please let me know.

    Kind regards

    • Glenice Ebedes
      Glenice Ebedes / Reply 13th August 2017 at 6:07 am

      Hi Elize

      I trust your studies are going well. You’ve an amazing environment in George and such awesome plant material that’s naturally found in that area.

      Unfortunately we don’t do work in that area, but I’m sure a local landscaper would value your services.
      All the best.

  2. Penny / Reply 19th November 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Hi – I am interested in your garden management service. Could you provide a quote.

Leave a Comment


View our full testimonials

African Birdlife

Read Glenice’s latest gardening article in African Birdlife

Guild of Landscape Designers


Landscape Irrigation Association

Landscape Irrigation Association

City & Guilds


Grounded on Houzz

DIY articles

Recent DIY article

Top 10 irrigation system problems & solutions

Over the years we’ve visited hundreds of gardens in Gauteng, and have seen

Current Weather Conditions