10 great tips when considering landscape design
When designing and building a new home, the landscaping is often overlooked. This can cause greater expense and inconvenience later.
Think about these things when you are initially arranging your build, and you will be able to get the outdoor living space you’ve always wanted.
- How will you use your outdoor spaces? Do you want a swimming pool, entertainment area, play area for the kids, storage shed, pet areas, vegetable garden, compost bins, clothes drying area, rubbish bin storage?
- Think about the limitations of your site – Size, block shape, surrounding landscape and trees, aspect (is the block open to sun for most of the day or is it shaded?), slope of the block, a need for terracing, steps.
- Maintenance of your outdoor area – How much are you able/willing to do? Hedges need clipping twice a year; Lawns need frequent care; Deciduous trees lose their leaves twice a year.
- Perth soils are typically sandy and hydrophobic, requiring the addition of organic matter. Hills soils may be high in clay, requiring gypsum.
- If you want a garden, what style do you like? Natives, tropical and lush, cottage, minimialist?
- How will you water the lawns and gardens? Bore water; rain water tanks (above or below ground); gray water systems, retic systems with timers.
- Power and lighting – where will you need them? Outdoor entertaining areas like pergolas, cabanas, sheds, ponds and water features; Swimming pool lighting, pumps and heaters; Feature lighting for trees, sculptures and paths.
- Stick to your budget! Consider staging the landscape, starting with “hard” features first, such as: retaining walls, steps and paving. Plants, pools and garden features can be added later.
- Can you do some or most of the work yourself? While the built features will probably need to be done by experts, most people can lay reticulation systems, dig in compost and plant trees.
- Consider employing a landscape designer. Most provide initial design sketches for a fee with the option of then developing a detailed plan for the preferred option including: hardscaping; plantings; features and costing.