With so many aspects of a property to think about and care for, gardens are very often the last thing on a homeowner’s to-do list. But if you have the time and budget, landscaping is a worthy investment that you and your family will be able to enjoy for many years to come. We at Growing Well have done landscaping in Sydney for years would recommend that if you are thinking of having your garden area landscaped, there are a few questions that you should be asking yourself prior to sitting down for the first planning meeting with your landscape contractor. So perhaps start by asking yourself:
How do you want to use your outdoor area?
Are you someone who likes to entertain a lot and need more space for when your family and friends come around? You may like the idea of bringing the indoors outside, perhaps by extending a deck from the dining room out onto a patio. Or are you hoping for a quiet retreat with water features, lush plants and plenty of seating areas for peaceful contemplation? A family home may require child friendly play areas with built in sandpits, whereas for an older couple, easy access to the garden without a lot of steps should definitely figure in the plan.
By asking yourself this question, you start to build up a picture of the hard landscaping required, such as paving, decks, raised beds, etc., which in turn will bring up considerations such as the kinds of utilities access you might need for water and power. Once you have a better idea of what you want to achieve, you will also be able to start thinking about soft landscaping, i.e. the types of plants, flowers and foliage that you would like to have.
What are the challenges and the opportunities of the site?
Even the smallest garden or courtyard can be landscaped with vertical gardens or green walls. Steeply sloping gardens can be terraced, and there are a number of plants that thrive in the shadiest of plots. Make a list of all the opportunities found in your outdoor space, as well as the areas that you are unhappy about. An experienced landscape firm will be able to come in and look at your garden with a fresh pair of eyes, and have the expertise to find solutions and possibilities that you might have overlooked.
What is your budget for the landscape project?
This is perhaps one of the most important questions that you need to ask yourself. Garden landscaping is an investment – certainly one that is well worth your money, but only if your budget permits. When considering your budget, don’t forget to also include a budget for maintenance. This is often overlooked, but should always be factored into the equation because there’s no point in getting beautiful landscaping done if you’re going to let it fall into ruin.
What is the surrounding property and environment like?
What kind of look and feel are you trying to achieve? Your garden should always complement your property, so whether you’re aiming for a modern minimalist look to suit a contemporary build, or a traditional look to enhance the beauty of an existing, older property, do consider its surrounds when planning your garden landscaping. Think about the types of resources that you can use, not forgetting the use of recycled materials or upcycled containers where possible.