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How to Landscape Your Garden
Your garden is a reflection of your personality, and your design for it should be to make the most of the features you love or want to have in your special place.
Step 1: Decide Your Landscape Priorities
The first step in landscaping your garden is to stop and really think about what it is you want, and how you envisage the different area of your garden will be used.
Make a list of your priorities. It could be something like this:
- Tranquillity and peace
- Children's play area
- Recreation (swimming, tennis etc)
- Entertaining - barbecues, alfresco dining
- Growing food - fruit, vegies
- Keeping poultry, pets like guinea pigs and rabbits
- Growing flowers, shrubs, trees
- Growing specialist plants like succulents, orchids
- Extra storage space
- Climate control - to make the home cooler
- A buffer from the outside world
- Increasing property values
Step 2: Draw Up Your Plans
When you've decided the major points that will make this garden perfect for your needs, you can start daydreaming, drawing up plans.
The first thing to remember when planning your landscape design, is that it doesn't all have to be done at once. In terms of time, work and money, it's preferable not to try to do it all at once.
Sometimes other work has to be done first before a stage can be begun - for example, an extension to the house needs completing.
So your plan needs to show what you expect at various stages, as well as the final effect of the finished project.
Calculate the cost of each stage of work and how long you think it will take - or how long before you can afford to do the next stage.
Note: when calculating costs bear in mind the landscape experts' advice - it is better to pay more for quality products and workmanship during the construction, than to save on cheaper stock or shoddy work that needs replacing or upgrading relatively quickly.
Step 3: Get Expert Advice
Even if you intend to do all the work yourself, get expert advice on the things to expect as you progress through your landscaping projects. For example, you may need council approval for your alterations; there may be plumbing difficulties; neighbours might object to the height of the trees you intend to plant, or the trees that you remove; there maybe soil erosion issues with steep blocks; etc.
The trick is to be prepared and plan ahead. Then, when any of these eventualities arise, you can take them in your stride and keep focusing on your dream design.
While some areas of your block are awaiting their final design, there are some simple tricks to make them look good in their temporary state.
Undeveloped, or underdeveloped parts of the garden can be screened with fast growing plants climbing over a temporary fence or trellis.
Areas set aside for paving, garden beds or water gardens could be grassed with either instant lawn or artificial turf, to provide a quick lawn until you are ready to move on to the next stage.
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