Please Call or email to discuss your requirements:

Mail: wam@gardenexpert.com?subject=Enquiry

wam@gardenexpert.com


+44 (0) 1400 272068


+44 (0)7932 000856

Home Blog About us Our Experts  Our Services   Our Rates  Case Studies  Contact us  Newsletter   
Home Blog About us Our Experts  Our Services   Our Rates  Case Studies  Contact us  Newsletter   


The Association of

Senior Garden Advisors

Back Blog

Click here to go to our blog!

Case Study - A garden in France, planting project.

The house. A contemporary architectural design using glass and timber to allow maximum light.

The garden.

1.5 hectares on a gently sloping site on the banks of the river Erdre near Nantes in France. Half of the area is native woodland. A beautiful natural setting.

The client’s requirements.

The French client had already engaged 5 garden designers to create a scheme for him. In his words “none excited me!” After visiting a garden in France designed and created by Alan Mason, he invited Alan (an Englishman) to visit. After a successful initial meeting and outline design, Alan then put together the outline below as phase 1 of a longer term project. This gives an idea of costs for such a project whether at home or abroad as the travel costs are easily seen in the breakdown.

 

Suggested dates

Travel to Portsmouth,

Ferry overnight 17th March

Arrive St Malo and travel to Nantes to be on site midday 18th March

We will need a place to organise our own breakfasts and lunches (very simple) but we would eat out in the evening.

 

Four persons in total. We will arrive in one car with a trailer and our equipment. We will bring as many herbaceous plants (les plantes vivaces) as we can fit in the trailer as they are easier to source in England than France. Trees and shrubs (les arbres et arbustes) will be sourced in France. You will pay the wholesale nurseries direct. You will receive all plants at wholesale prices. They do not go through our business books and we add no commission. Also, we keep below the VAT (TVA) level, so there is no further tax to add to our figures.

 Commence work,

March 18th. We expect to arrive around midday, have a simple lunch and then make our initial preparations. We expect to work up to and including 23rd March. We will depart on the 24th March.

 The team

Alan Mason and three others.  

Outline of aims and objectives.

This is to be phase 1 of a project which we expect to continue over a three year period. This initial phase has a budget of £16,000. We would anticipate working with you for six days. In this time we would expect to mark out the shapes of beds and borders with a rope and then remove the unwanted turf (pelouse) from the side of the house and near the fence where we are to create the borders for planting. We would then use this turf at the entrance to the woodland where we wanted to enlarge the lawn. We would then prepare the soil for planting.

We will require 10 tonnes of well rotted manure to be sourced locally in advance. We will have our trailer available if delivery is difficult.

 While we have the turf lifting machine, we would also remove turf near to the tennis court and swimming pool to enable planting of the Photinia Red Robin hedge and the David Austin roses. All these areas will then be prepared for planting. Obviously with garden projects we are often dictated to by the weather, but normally we work for 4 hours in the morning and 4 hours in the afternoon. We will be flexible and may work some evenings if the situation requires us to do so. We have a generator and lighting.

 

Day 1  

I would expect the preparation of the beds (borders) around the house and near the fence for the grasses to take about one day. Secteur 3 on your plan.

 Day 2

I would expect the preparation of the beds (borders) at the garden side of the tennis court and swimming pool to take about 1 day. Secteur 2

 Day 3

I would expect the preparation of the beds (borders) near the river and the area behind the swimming pool and woodland entrance to take about 1 day. Secteurs 7 and 4

 Day 4

I would expect the planting of the beds (borders) around the house and near the fence for the grasses to take about one day.

 Day 5

I would expect the planting of the beds (borders) at the garden side of the tennis court and swimming pool to take about 1 day.

 Day 6

I would expect that we would have completed the work outlined above in less than 5 days. We should therefore have this extra time plus day 6 to spend in the woodland area and completing other areas

 

Plant list to follow.

 

Costs

Alan Mason, 6 days @ £500 per day = …………………………………….£3000

Man 1, 6 days @ £100 per day =………………………………………….... £600

Man 2, 6 days @ £100 per day =…………………………………………..... £600

Man 3, 6 days @ £100 per day =…………………………………...……….. £600

 Total labour costs including subsistence =…………………………………..£4800

 

Ferry crossing (around)……………………………………………………......£350  

 Accommodation. Free of charge, use of two rooms at your home.

 Subsistence allowance (Food / living expenses)

We would charge for the days we worked, not for the days we were travelling. I would like to charge a subsistence allowance (food, etc) for each day the men are away from home.

This would work out at 10 days x 4 persons x £20 per day= ………………£800

 Insurances……CAR and PERSONAL        Later……………………………….?

 (Vehicle / trailer) included in Alan Mason fee.

 Fuel  for car (estimate) …………………………………..……………………£350

 Machinery hire

Turf lifter (not our own)…………………………………………………………£140

 Rotovator, Chainsaws, Mantis tiller, strimmers, cutters, fuels / oil etc………… £300

Generator and extra lights in case of evening work. These are our own and we make a nominal charge.                                                                              

                                                                                                 Total to this point £6740

 

I will enclose a separate plant list nearer the time.

I do not yet have a price list for the nurseries in France, but would expect the prices to be similar to England.

 

If we think in terms of a £16,000 budget, I suggest that we put aside £1000 as a contingency.

 This leaves……………. £15000

Wages/Fees/Expenses …..£6740

This leaves, for plants.. …£8260

 

With a budget of around £8000 for plants, I would expect to be spending around £2000 in the borders near the house,

around £1500 in the border near the fence,

around £1000 in the border near the swimming pool,

around £1500 in the border near the tennis court, including roses.

around £1250 in the woodland area,

around £750 on trees

 


Sourcing plants. We would use an agent in France who I have contacted through a nursery I work with in England, to supply trees and shrubs. I will bring herbaceous plants from England.

 

I hope this helps you to see how the budget might work at this stage.


Footnote.

These figures were agreed. A contract signed and the work completed within the allotted time and well under budget. More development work then took place in the woodland area. The client was delighted and the project continued for the expected three years. Alan Mason still returns each year to advise and to oversee further garden developments. This garden is now visited each year by students from The École nationale supérieure d'architecture de Versailles or ENSAV (a French architectural school located at the ancient stables of the Versailles Palace)