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‘Beyond the Borders’ Garden and Landscape Design offers you a full range of design services, tailored to your individual needs and preferences.

From one-off consultation, planting schemes, to full garden design, construction monitoring or management, plant sourcing, planting and styling. Other services include specialist maintenance, restoration and rejuvenation of both small and large gardens and comprehensive plant cataloguing.

For an initial conversation to discuss your garden, contact Aylwin Nissen on:

Landline: 01420 541683

Mobile: 07989512321

Beautiful orange flowers

1 / Consultancy
Consultation without design plans

Aylwin is available for general advice and discussion of options for your garden, including design, layout or horticultural advice. This can include a written report with recommendations and an action plan if required. The fee for consultancy is based on an hourly rate plus travel expenses.

Pink summer flowers
Iron spheres in cottage garden
Flower meadow

2 / Full Garden design
Garden Design Consultation

Aylwin offers an initial free consultation for prospective full garden design and larger planting designs in Alton, Winchester, Guildford and Farnham areas.

The first step will be to visit your garden, assess the site and discuss your ideas, requirements, likes and dislikes and the style of garden you desire.

Together we will formulate the parameters of your brief, by exploring different ideas, considering the potential and possibilities inherent in the site, tempering this with your budget.

You will be sent a summary of our discussions (the Client Brief) which will include the level of service and a quote for the proposed garden design.

At most stages, amendments to the brief and build can be made; if additional time and materials are needed, the design and build costs will be adjusted.

Once commissioned, an accurate survey of the existing garden will be undertaken. Aylwin usually carries out his own surveys, however larger and more complex sites might require a specialist topographical survey.

A survey includes detailed mapping out the site, boundaries, levels relative to the house, identifying existing plants, taking note of soil type, aspect, views, and architectural features, existing building materials and local styles. The essential character of the site will emerge.

At a second consultancy visit, the design concept is presented; the draft proposal is discussed, amended and developed further together with you as the client, where necessary.

Aylwin provides traditional hand drawn designs which can be converted to digital drawings such as Sketch Up or Cad, for an additional fee.

Once the Concept Plan and proposed amendments have been agreed, the final scaled presentation plan and specifications can be drawn up. This outline plan indicates the main details of the design, such as hard landscaping structures and architectural planting.

Landscaping materials will be chosen for quality, aesthetics and relative association with the site.

As part of the design service, a full specifications document is provided, including any necessary structural drawings. This document enables you to put the project out to tender, should you wish.

The Presentation / Outline plan includes the key architectural planting, which is part of the underlying structure, the ‘bones’ of the garden, while the Planting Plan contains the main body of the plant fabric to flesh out and dress the ‘bones’. The detailed planting plan will be unique to your garden; Aylwin will work closely with you to achieve the right balance, form and colour. A great deal of consideration goes into this plan, a file with a picture gallery of all the plants, their needs and maintenance requirements will also be provided to help you care for the garden so that it reaches its potential.

The design plans can be used to obtain quotes from contractors. This work can be overseen by you or Aylwin as project manager. Project management by the designer entails providing a shortlist of contractors, negotiating quotes, and briefing chosen contractors, and overseeing the build at key stages to ensure quality of work.

Aylwin started out building all his own designs, and has progressed to limiting his input to specialist aspects of the build if necessary. Nowadays he works instead with trusted local landscapers for the hard landscaping. He will undertake the planting and soft landscaping himself and finish the gardens to the envisaged design.

There are a couple of ways to approach this:

1/ A full project management service is offered on all designs, where Aylwin oversees the whole process, from putting the project out to tender, to completion. This service is quoted for separately.

2 / You can oversee the process, liaise with the contractors and request Aylwin to visit the site as needed. This service is quoted for separately.

For the build of small uncomplicated projects, the recommended contractors usually manage well on their own, with the drawings and detailed specification documents. The few questions that arise can normally be dealt with on the phone and are included as part of the overall design fee.

Using a range of specialist nurseries, plants will be sourced, supplied, and planted as per the design. After sourcing, a current plant cost can be given, which is normally discounted from normal retail prices.


3 / Planting Design

You may be pleased with your existing garden layout and only wish to change the planting. As with the full garden design, the first step is to visit to your garden and discuss your ideas, requirements, likes and dislikes and style of planting you desire.

The detailed planting plan will be unique to your garden; Aylwin will work closely with you to achieve the right balance, form and colour. A great deal of consideration goes into this plan, a file with a picture gallery of all the plants, their needs and maintenance requirements will be provided.

Walled garden

4 / Restoration & Rejuvenation

All gardens become stagnant with time and need rejuvenation, however good the original planting design.

Beyond the Borders has restored and rejuvenated large country houses to small town gardens, an initial consultation would establish the level of services required.

Lawn care

5 / Specialist Maintenance/ Aftercare

Beyond the Borders offers aftercare on designs once they have been completed, to support the garden become established and reach maturity. Often, a few seasonal visits is all that is required, especially with cottage style planting and traditional borders. Making minor adjustment and essential plant care over the first few years can make all the difference. Specialist pruning and maintenance are also undertaken.

Garden flowers

6 / Cataloguing

Beyond the Borders can undertake comprehensive surveys of gardens, recording all plants with names and accession numbers. The location of all the plants with their numbers can be recorded on a grid reference map and metal numbered tags put on all recorded specimens. The combined results can be entered into a database. This follows the system used by Botanic Gardens to curate their collections.

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