Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

A list of frequently asked questions from our clients:

Why do I need a design?

A design is the first step in creating a beautiful, landscaped garden. It 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. A design also provides our installation team with an accurate template to work from, ensuring that everyone 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 without taking 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 ‘fruit-salad’ 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 can choose and group your plant species accordingly.
  • Avoiding poor plant growth & damage to property
    Perhaps the most important part 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, or damage to property.

How much does landscaping cost?

As a rough estimate a landscaped garden will cost between R500 – R800 per square metre, or 5-10% of the value of your home. This varies based on the size of your home/garden, how much of it you want landscaped, and the additional elements you require, such as lighting, irrigation, building, paving, decking, ponds etc.

Rather than an expense though, a landscaped 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 property, and balance your investment with the potential increase in property value. 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, by how much can we reduce it?

Most of our cost estimates can be reduced by up to 30% without compromising on the quality of the installation. One way to do this is to reduce the initial size of the plants that we will use in the garden. So, for example, we could change all 20 litre plants to 10 litres, and 10 litre plants to 4 litres, thereby reducing your plant costs. Normally we budget for a mix of plant sizes in order to find a balance between the cost and the initial ‘look’ of the garden, but by reducing the initial size of your plants we can reduce the costs without compromising on the layout.

Another way to reduce cost estimates is to try to exclude building work. Building – which includes edging, paving, vegetable gardens etc. – requires the use of our building team, so reducing or eliminating building reduces both the material costs and the labour. If, for example, you would like a vegetable garden, but have budget constraints, consider planting your vegetables at ground level rather than building a raised structure. And if you’d like edging for your pathways consider using natural rock or plants rather than cementing cobbles into place.

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 account 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 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 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’ll 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, and are not damaging your property. Some perennials (e.g. clivias and agapanthus) can also be split if they are overgrown, so if you have such species we will do this for you.

Can we use our existing pavers/pebbles?

Yes, provided they are of a quality that is enhancing your garden and not taking away from it. Pavers and pebbles can sometimes be used in a different part of the garden, and if we can incorporate them we’ll 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 large range of options and suppliers 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?

Most indigenous gardens require minimal care, as the plants are hardy and waterwise and resistant to disease. Initially though you will need to ensure that your new garden is watered regularly (at least 2-4 weeks after installation), that weeds are removed, and that your trees are staked appropriately. After installation we’ll provide you with instructions on how to maintain your garden, including weeding, pruning, and watering cycles, and for high-maintenance areas such as lawns, water features and ponds we’ll provide further details on how to maintain these. We also provide a seasonal maintenance service to help ensure your garden remains healthy and continues to flourish.

How often will I need to water my garden?

This depends on the plant zones and micro-climate(s) within your garden, which we’ll advise on after installation. Initially you will need to water your garden every day for 2-4 weeks, and thereafter we’ll provide a detailed watering schedule. As a rough guide though you will require 25mm per week in summer for lawn areas, and 5-15mm per week for established indigenous plants. If we have installed an irrigation system we will set up the watering cycle accordingly.

Will my garden be pest-free?

We use indigenous plant material which attract natural predators which 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 find additional weed growth after your garden has been completed. This is especially common where we have removed lawn, as the lawn seeds remain in the soil and germinate after installation. Over time your ground covers will crowd out the weeds, but initially you will need to spend 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 protect the soil and keep it moist. By keeping your soil moist (but not water-logged), you increase the growth of micro-organisms, which help break down dead plant material which in turn feeds your plants. Turning the soil interferes with this process by exposing these micro-organism to heat, which kills them and slowly degrades the quality of your soil.

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
    Elize

    • 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.

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