From pools to plants, these expert landscaping tips will help you create a practical and beautiful outdoor space.
Looking to landscape your garden to get the most out of the space you have? Before you begin, it’s best to get a clear understanding of the site and don’t fight its parameters. These include the topography, the site conditions and the neighbouring conditions.Always keep your needs and wants for the landscape in mind. Good design will serve these needs and wants and add beauty and practicality to your great outdoors.More than ever gardens are becoming an extension of the indoors, so plan well, be patient and you’ll get it right. These expert tips will help you design the garden of your dreams.
DRAW YOUR PLAN
When planning your new garden, think about your wants and needs from the project. Do you want to grow fruit and vegetables? Do you have kids and, if so, how much space do you want to preserve for them to run around in? How will pets fit into your new plans? Once you have your wish list, draw a plan, considering how it flows in relation to your home’s entrances, driveways and side passages.
Mark up where you want the main kids’ play area to be, where you think the dog will be most happy, where your sun-loving plants should go, where you want your vegie patch and your fruit trees, and what you will put in the darkest corners. Do you require paths or gates? Where will the shed be? Map it all out and have a play around, taking into consideration things like sunlight and shade, wind, views or the level of the land.
If you have the opportunity to use design elements or structures to have your interior and exterior merge seamlessly – to bring your outdoors, indoors and vice versa – then embrace it. Consider whether an internal feature wall could be built to extend past your back wall and into your yard as a feature wall for a deck, patio or outdoor kitchen. Can an attractive beam protrude from inside your home to outside it, and become a practical or aesthetic feature for your yard as well as your living room?
Swimming pools were once sought-after items in suburban yards that were also highly valued by prospective property buyers, and there are some signs of that reputation returning. People are working out that pools don’t have to be grand in scale to do a job, and that helps with water conservation, cleaning duties and size constraints.
Pick a sunny corner where the pool won’t clutter your yard and select the right size for your space. Also, check with your local council before proceeding with a pool or a spa for the permits required as they can vary state to state.
PLAN YOUR PLANTS
Plant choice is not only insurance against wasting money on the wrong type of greenery for your climate, it is essential to get the most out of your yard space and your plants themselves.Ask yourself: how many trees do you want, what size do they grow to and how long will it take them to grow to full height? Do you want a hedge and, if so, how many bushes will you need to accomplish it and how frequently will you need to trim it? What is the acidity and drainage of your soil, and which plant species like those conditions? What are the water, light and shade needs of your chosen plants? When will they bloom and will two colours you want to see together actually be in bloom at the same time of year?Ensure the trees and plants fit the overall style of your yard too – you probably wouldn’t create a full cottage garden in a garden full of tropical trees.
TAKE YOUR TIME
You’re not on a television program completing a major task in three days, so don’t rush the landscaping process. It’s likely that you will change your mind on several aspects of your original plan, anyway. Your trees and bushes will grow, changing the look and feel of your yard and therefore changing the way you want to use the rest of your space. Commit to the tasks you definitely want to do initially, and then let your plan evolve in time, enjoying the results as you go.
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