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BUG Design

Garden Architects


Garden Design


At BUG Design we want to create gardens that are perfect for you. During the design process we listen to you at every step on the way to ensure this aim is achieved.  Each garden is unique and the design should respond to the architecture and internal layout of your property as well as character of the surrounding area. This together with your personal requirements always results in a very individual garden design.  We can design gardens of any size and to any style that you prefer; modern or traditional, formal or wild.  

Our specialism is the contemporary naturalistic wildlife garden.

Planting Design


Planting design is about what plants to choose, how to locate and arrange them, and how to combine them with other plant species. This requires not only technical horticultural knowledge, but also artistic vision.  There are a range of different planting styles, and we can recommend one which suits your personal taste, and the appropriate level of maintenance required. We care about your wishes and favourites, and can weave this into our proposed planting schemes.   

Our planting design preference is the new naturalistic planting style.

Construction Detailing


BUG Design offers construction drawing services for any aspect of your garden design. This is normally part of the garden design service. However, we also offer this as a one-off service when you need an idea to solve a particular problem in your garden, such as a step and ramp arrangement to improve access to your entrance or a retaining wall detail that incorporates seating and an artistic screen to improve the boundary of your property.



Water is a fantastic element to add in your garden design. This can take several shapes and forms, from natural swim ponds to wildlife ponds to bird baths, from formal calm reflection waters to fountains, waterfalls or rills.  We also give advice on sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) and the design of natural swales. When it comes to managing your surface water run-off, we offer integrative design solutions that are practical and efficient and have the potential to become a designed feature if so desired.



Lighting is an important element of your outdoor spaces. It makes sure that your garden spaces are still usable at nightfall and it also adds a dramatic effect.  At BUG Design, we offer advice which outdoor light fitting to use where.  We can produce lighting plans that specify the product and its location and source the supplier. To illustrate what effects are achieved, we provide example pictures. We can integrate lighting features into the design of bespoke furniture or structures, such as seating walls or steps.

Furniture and Structures


At BUG Design we can design bespoke furniture and any structures for your garden. We source the materials and prepare detailed construction drawings for a manufacturer, local artist or specialist contractor to work to and produce the piece.  Examples would be integrated seating walls, swing seats, outdoor fire pits or barbeques, pergolas or canopies, decking, planters, play houses and climbing structures, retaining walls with screens, or anything else you can think of.

Garden Design

The garden design process usually starts with an initial conversation, a free site visit with walkover survey, and a brief ideas session.  The aim is to understand your personal needs, wishes and aspirations for your garden or any part of your outdoor spaces.  It then typically takes the following route, but this is of course adjusted to your particular needs.

  1. Brief
  2. Site Analysis
  3. Sketch Proposals
  4. Detailed Design and Construction Drawings
  5. Planting Plan
  6. Tender and Construction
  7. Management


1. Brief

At our initial meeting at your home, we discuss your aspirations for your garden and the budget you would like to set. I will offer my first garden design ideas to sound them out with you. After that, we formulate a written brief which forms the basis of a detailed quotation.

2. Site Analysis

We carry out a detailed site analysis, identifying main site constraints and opportunities. We take photos and measurements, which will form the basis of our design work. If a full topographical survey is needed due to the size of your property, this will be commissioned externally.

3. Sketch Proposals

We develop conceptual proposals and a scaled sketch plan for further discussion with you. This is normally a hand drawn, coloured plan, supported with example images to illustrate the tone and the character of the proposals. The sketch proposals include ideas for materials, planting, and lighting, and will enable you to visualise the garden design. 3D sketches and key sections and elevations are also prepared if required.

4. Detailed design and Construction drawings

Once the proposals are fully agreed with you, we develop the design in further detail and prepare a set of CAD drawings which are also used for fixing the budget.  The suite of technical drawings can include setting-out information, levels, drainage, detailed specification of materials, as well as technical drawings for any structures, such as walls, steps, fencing or water features. The set of drawings are used by the landscape contractor to build your garden.

5. Planting Plan

We agree the planting scheme with you taking into consideration practical factors such as aspect, light, soil type, and prepare detailed planting plans. A planting plan specifies the individual plant species at their detailed position, including size, quantity and spacing. A full planting schedule can be sent out separately to nurseries to check availability and to gain cost certainty.  They will also be used by the landscape contractor to implement the planting design.

6. Tender and Construction

With the suite of drawings and information BUG Design produces, you can get going at constructing your new garden. Depending on the complexity of your project, this can take a number of routes:  You can approach a landscape contractor or gardening company of your choice to construct your new garden, you can send out a competitive tender to get the most cost effective quote, or you can even build it yourself bit by bit! 

 BUG Design offers you advice whichever route you choose. We can take care of the construction process all the way, starting with recommending landscape contractors, and working with them during the build, supervising them on site if needed.  We can provide full contract administration services, or work in the background as advisors as when needed. In any case, we will collaborate with you and the contractor to achieve what’s best for you and your project.

7. Management

On completion of your new garden, we prepare a management document setting out all the tasks that need to be done to maintain your garden. Again, we can recommend garden maintenance companies and gardeners and will work together with them to ensure your garden matures and develops as envisaged.  

We like to visit your garden after completion to see how things have bedded in and to make sure you continue to be happy with your garden.

Planting Design

At BUG Design we believe that a planting design should favour sustainability and support biodiversity. Our planting design preference is the new naturalistic planting style. This is a direction in planting design, where plant combinations are inspired by plant societies in nature. Plant species are intermingled, layered and blended to create a lasting magnificent entity of a natural beauty. 

When choosing plant combinations, the architecture of the whole plant is most important: long lasting structure, its shape and form, as well as texture define its aesthetics. We then look at colour and seasonality to either create striking colour effects or harmonious colour combinations. Plants are also chosen for their value to wildlife, especially considering their importance as a food source for pollinators. The natural planting does not necessarily have to look wild in character.

Formality, order and repetition are all means to achieve a sense of beauty and an attractive planting scheme, where contrasts and harmony in structure and colour are carefully balanced with each other.