Post Project Report
So we've come to the official end to the project. This is an impartial review of how I believe the project went.
The Garden Goddess - Client relationship
Although Emma is a friend, I am keeping this review on a purely client based relationship.
During the design phase, I was kept informed on a regular basis on the progress of the design, along with several online and face to face meetings to discuss planting and landscaping ideas.
This was made tricky by me not being able to make accurate measurements of the garden initially and also forgetting to pass on accurate information with regards to the patio and forgetting to mention the path down the side of the house.
Thus the design was adjusted on several occasions. It also didn't help when I had to continually change the budget available due to the moving costs to Warrington escalating beyond what I was expecting.
During the weeks immediately prior to the start of the project, I was asked to research suppliers with regards to plant availability and landscaping products. This is something which a client would not normally be asked to do, as this project was not only based outside of her normal work area, but also because I am a friend of hers, and thus was quite happy to do the research work.
This proved extremely difficult, as I've only just moved to this area, so had to start from scratch, which is why this process was still ongoing after the start of the project. This meant that I was not available for much of the week to assist with the work. Initially the timescales had been calculated based on two people working, which ended up not being the case.
As for planning during the project. For the most part, the schedule was kept to during the week. The only stumbling points, were the unexpected requirements for an additional skip, problems in finding topsoil, the fact that I was still locating materials and the arrivals of aggregate being later in the day on Friday than expected. It must be noted that the patio was additional to the original design and was therefore not planned to be completed by Friday.
I found The Garden Goddess to be extremely knowledgeable in all aspects regarding plants and how they complement each other. She was very approachable in all meetings and during the project itself. In my opinion, the fact that the garden was not totally completed by the end of the week, was down to circumstances which could not have been foreseen, and the fact the project was based away from her normal catchment area, and in no way reflected on The Garden Goddess who put in work well in excess than was expected.
If you live within her catchment area in London, I would thoroughly recommend her for any garden work, both large and small.
What would I have done differently?
In hindsight, with additional jobs being required on the house, and Emma's workload in London, I should have allowed more time between moving in, and beginning the garden project, possibly up to a month. This would have allowed me to complete the supplier research, and allowed all the plants to be available, and allowed Emma the time she needed to complete her preparation work.