When I produce my planting plans, I start by putting together a photo album of flowers for the client to look at which gives me an idea of what they like.
I will already have established if there are any colours or particular plants they are especially keen on or really don’t want. It’s amazing how many people don’t like orange or roses!
Once I have the plant palette organised I draw, by hand, a scale drawing of the beds and, using circles of various sizes to represent the spread of each plant, fill the plan in. It is then accompanied by a plant schedule which is basically the quantities needed, with a short description. I can add maintenance notes at this point, such as when to prune Clematis or shrubs etc. This plant schedule then becomes the shopping list as I can send it to my suppliers for prices and availability, or the client can use it to buy the plants themselves if that is how they wish to proceed.
This is the normal way to proceed with planting but I have had a few jobs where I have accompanied the owner to a nursery and we’ve chosen plants together and I then put them in the garden for them. This is more fun for those people who have been keen gardeners but perhaps don’t have the energy or ability to do it all themselves any more but they still want to be as involved as possible.