Garden makeover programmes of the 1990s and early 2000s showed a wider audience that planning a garden led to a more desirable outcome than a piecemeal approach.
More recently, websites such as Pinterest and Houzz have exposed customers to the many styles and images posted of high-quality private gardens, fuelling inspiration and the desire to replicate such schemes.
Tendercare saw a further obstacle to bringing garden design and build to many potential customers in the shape of engaging a professional and managing the consultation process with a garden designer, architect or interior designer. It sought to demystify the experience, packaging common scenarios into defined parcels of work that allow the customer to see the costs and stages before making a commitment to buy.
A site visit is a low-cost entry point where a horticulturally trained Tendercare employee visits to make an assessment and identify where planting can be improved. This is followed up with visuals to show how the homeowner's outlook can be enhanced. Around 70% of visits, costing £145 + VAT, lead to sales of plants and planting with a value usually around £2,000-£12,000 but sometimes up to £25,000. In many cases clients come back for a second project.
The concept design service provides a plan layout, mood board suggested materials and finishes and visual representations produced as overlays on photographic images of the exiting garden. Costing £495-£995, it leads in most cases to a garden build of £10,000-£120,000 carried out by in-house staff or former employees.
There is also a bespoke service for gardens that require more complex solutions. This is delivered by independent garden designers, one of whom works from the nursery offices. Projects range in value from £50,000 to £450,000.
Chessington Garden Centre