Philosophy

Garden making is our religion.

Bates Design is the culmination of a lifetime of creating breathtaking landscapes for owner Michael Bates. Our focus is on creating unique spaces informed by the lifestyle and aesthetic of our clients, as well as the features and nuances of each individual site.

A proud ‘garden agnostic’, for Michael gardening is akin to a religious experience. Our clients - who are lucky enough to live in properties where most people only dream of holidaying - are equally as devoted. They don’t believe in compromising when it comes to the vision for their homes and we’re privileged to make their garden dreams come true.

With six designers boasting a combined 40+ years of design experience, we have long appreciated the power of garden design to enrich lives. In partnership with Bates Landscape, we offer a complete solution from initial sketches to a living, breathing masterpiece.

PROCESS

Our design process sets us apart.

Landscape design is an intuitive and visceral process for Michael and the team at Bates. It takes place ‘on the ground’, and is an instinctive synthesis of our client’s garden dreams, the opportunities and possibilities of each site and Michael’s design inspiration.

Our design team meet with the client and key stakeholders (e.g. the architect) and explore the site. We determine our role and involvement, as well as site specifics. We note and discuss the direction of the sun, the natural features, surrounding buildings etc.

We return to the site for a brainstorming workshop. This part of the design process happens on the ground and in the flesh. Michael facilitates, synthesising the clients vision with what the site itself dictates and other stakeholder requests. No idea is a bad idea! Consensus is reached on essential inclusions and a design 'skeleton' is created.

Back at the office, we hand-draw our draft design on trace paper overlaid on the property plans. We refine this design through several iterations on paper, filling in the finer details. This is then drafted and documented digitally, and any further amendments made.

The completed garden design is presented to the client and other stakeholders, after which point there is usually another round of amendments before final sign off. The garden is now ready to be built!