Landscaping your garden can seem like a daunting or an exciting task, depending on your point of view. Bear in mind that it’s not a finite task, but a lifelong task. Your garden is a living, breathing entity, and requires constant input and change.
Some of the items to consider are:
- What tools and equipment to use—for example, mini loader hire or the use of spades.
- Whether to add a barbeque or outside swing seat.
- Where to add trees and plants, or keep it simple.
- Whether paths should be straight, or should curve.
This article will give you a few tips and hints to help you on your journey as a beginner.
Make a Needs and a Wants List
There’s a difference between what you need and what you want. The list of what to consider is as follows:
- You may consider a vegetable garden as an option, but for others, it will be an essential part of their lifestyle choice.
- Do your children need an appropriate area to play in?
- Will you add trees and shrubs, and will you put in some flowers because you want regular bouquets in the house?
- Do you require something that’s water-wise?
Decide on Where You Will Place Items
You need to plan where you put trees, seating, lawn and other features. Make a realistic scale drawing, and sketch it in. It needn’t be too technical. A rough drawing will do in order to give you perspective and determine what will really work.
You may wish to create a focal point, or you could develop several focal points. For example, if you try the latter, you can place higher plants in the middle to separate the areas.
Consider where the sun is when you place your sections. Some plants like a lot of sun, some not. Furthermore, if you have a seating or barbeque area, you’re likely to seek the shade. Or create shade with a pergola or overhead trellis.
Another consideration is where to place your garden tools. They’re best kept in a small shed away from the weather and also out of sight.
Consider Hiring Machinery and Equipment
It’s hard work, digging and planting and removing rubble from the garden. Why not consider equipment hire Melbourne locals prefer? You may need a mini loader, log splitters, chainsaws, mulchers or chippers.
The reality is that to do it by hand will probably result in it not being done. After all, it’s a lot of work. Rather use technology that’s available. It will pay off long-term.
Spend Time in the Garden Prior to Landscaping
You have to walk around and sit in the garden for a while before you can decide where to place your design’s elements. You may not have thought of a certain area for sitting, for example. And then, during your walk, you realise the best place to view the sunset. Or perhaps you find that you get the glare of the sun from the neighbour’s window in the spot you wanted to position your garden bench.
Spending time in your garden will give you a better feel for placement. You may be able to change the design at a later stage, but it will be more difficult if you’ve implemented certain permanent elements. Rather get it right from the start.
Start in a Small Area
You can’t do the entire garden at once, unless you hire someone to help. If you’re doing this by yourself, it’s best you begin in a small patch, and do it thoroughly before moving on to the next area.
Don’t get overwhelmed. You can create your garden one hour at a time. You don’t have to spend hours every day. In fact, when you take it slow, it will give you plenty of time to reassess and prevent mistakes.
Look at Landscape Design Elements
There are landscaping principles to consider:
This is your canvas. Your living painting. As such, things like the form or shape of a plant matters. It can be tall and skinny, or long and fat. And the shape of the leaves creates the texture of the plant.
The line is developed by how the eye is drawn through the garden by positioning certain flowers and creating borders around the beds.
Keep everything in proportion. A giant tree may look beautiful in a large garden, but in a small one, it’s going to look out of place.
You also want to create harmony—the sense that the plants complement each other and suit the overall theme. For instance, if you repeat something, it promotes a sense of unity. Be careful though. You can’t go too far on unity, because it would look boring.
You also want to develop rhythm. Line can create rhythm. So, plants in a row that create a hedge can draw the eye toward a focal point.
Balance refers to the consistency of the basic principles listed above working together.
Building the garden of your dreams can take more planning and preparation that you realise. However, it’s worth it in the long run. Get out some pen and paper and start drawing today!