As a Landscape Designer, I am often asked for guidance and suggestions on outdoor living and garden design. The one biggest trick or item of advice I could give would be to arrange an onsite consultation with a qualified Landscape Designer.

However, if you’d like the satisfaction to do it all yourself, here are my top strategies for designing the garden of your dreams…

Whatever and wherever the setting, landscape design needs to be considered as the art of beautifying.

A nicely constructed garden must balance the aesthetic using the functional. Reflect and incorporate and complement immediate atmosphere the the home, and, above all else, it requires to reflect the kind of its own owner. It needs to: frame the stunning; conceal the unsightly; fulfill the practical needs of its own users; create interest, imagination and enticement; evoke feelings of romance, relaxation, sophistication, elegance and wonder; and add value to the house. It needs to be a very sensory sanctuary – perfumed, visual, acoustic and tactile.

So my very first thought when designing any new garden is functionality. You then need to work out where you are planning to set every thing and how much room you want for furniture, pools, health spas, play equipment, clothes lines, sheds, compost bins, etc. The size as well as dimensions of your furniture, play equipment, the perspectives from the different windows of your dwelling and the way the sun and darkness trail across your yard is largely going to dictate the size, shape and placement of different components in your garden.

Now that you simply have created the functional skeleton in your garden, it’s time to release your inner garden designer. This really is the stage where looking at magazines that showcase beautiful gardens will allow you to attract on inspiration. It truly is also at this stage which you have to contemplate the financial and, if you’re thinking about a D.I.Y. setup, the labour investment that you’re prepared to make.

Your selection of construction techniques and materials are able to make a substantial impact regarding how much you will be taken by your investment. Once you have calculated just how much time you think you will be taken by it and how much you think your job will cost, multiply each of these by 3 – for what is likely to be project timeline and your real project cost.

Regardless of the particular kind of garden that you pick (i.e. tropical, native, Japanese, bungalow, Mediterranean, etc), here are a few hints to help you beautify the practical:

• Try and incorporate recurring themes – carry elements from the front garden to the back garden and use feels and similar colours from as part of your house in your garden.

• If you’d like to make your garden feel bigger, use large format pavers set in a simple pattern; espalier climbing plants to produce lush green walls, without giving space (try espaliering citrus trees to get a Mediterranean courtyard); paint a bright feature wall and use mirrors or hanging wall artwork.

• Redirect or redirect attention – redirect attention from it by creating/setting a characteristic near by to attract the eye if you can’t easily screen something unsightly. Make use of the sound of dripping water or soft music to divert attention from road noise.

• Attempt not to include too many characteristic elements – implement the ‘less is more’ main. If there are a lot of characteristics clamouring on your attention, you appreciate and almost certainly won’t really notice any of them.

• Make sure the plant is right for the spot, before you get it. Browse the plant labels carefully and match the plant to the location it’ll be most joyful in (i.e. part shade, well-drained soils), take note of its growth habit and plant accordingly.

• Apply about 50mm of high quality mulch to your garden (a good rule of thumb to use is – if you can walk on it in bare feet, it’s not mulch), making sure you maintain it 10mm – 20mm far from the bottom of your plants. Note – while rocks and stones appear fine in garden beds, they store heat and can cook the roots of your smaller plants in particularly sunny places.

• Routine maintenance is then the secret to ensuring your dream garden doesn’t become a nightmare – doing a little bit often is much better than doing a lot rarely. It also helps you join together with your garden and you’re going to enjoy it more.

A garden is much like any living creature, it takes time to grow and develop, so don’t be afraid to put some ‘sacrificial’ plants that fill space while the more permanent plants in the garden fill out. Make sure the plant is right for the place, before you purchase it.