How To: Landscaping Your Yard

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Everyone wants the great Australian dream, but sometimes it’s a little hard to know where to start. Does your backyard require a spruce up through a touch of landscaping and you’re not quite sure where or how to get started?

Taking a blank canvas of builders rubble through to a backyard oasis can be a massive undertaking, particularly if the garden may as well be out of space for you. Follow these easy planning steps to help you plan your landscaping project and take your yard to the next level.

Baliness Style Garden. Landscaping.
Balinese Style Garden. Source: Inside Out Magazine.

Create a concept

The average suburban block can be fairly uninspiring. Turning a square of dirt into something amazing needs vision and a concept. Take inspiration from books, magazines, social media and houses around the area you have seen and love. A definite direction or concept helps with planning and quoting. Take cuttings, images and printouts and collate them into a file to start pieces together your style. Look at what you like, what you don’t like and all the elements you want to fit into your space.

Plan it out

Start basic, grab a graph pad, pencil, eraser and ruler from the newsagent and start mapping out your space. In the initial drawings, don’t get too caught up with exact details. But look to get rough measurements to ensure everything you want will fit into your space.

Check out local landscaping supply stores, nurseries and hardware stores to see what’s available locally and start collecting some rough pricing for your must haves. If you’re not so handy on the creative front, it might be a good initial investment to hire a professional garden designer or advisor to help sketch your thoughts.

Check the bank account

It’s best to start all home improvement projects with a clear budget, but be realistic. If you require huge retaining walls and earthworks a thousand dollars won’t get you very far. Cost everything out from your requirements through to your desirables and don’t just try and fit the numbers to your ideas. If you price your project accurately to what it will actually cost, you can then look to prioritise your requirements and structure your project accordingly. Larger jobs with budget constraints may be completed in stages to ease the pressure.

Remember, A quality finish will always outway a budget design and remember, quality will live on long after the budget pressure is forgotten.

Shop around for materials

Shop around for the best materials. Your initial idea may be manipulated to include a product that is on special or available at a cheaper rate. Think outside the box, check out classified sites such as Gumtree as well as Second’s outlets for extra savings.

Many of the big box hardware stores and landscaping supply stores can supply you with similar products at similar price points. Choose local companies that offer great customer relations and personalised service. Often the staff at these stores can offer you plenty of free DIY advice to help you along in your project.

Trade it for the trade

You’ve got to know when to hold them and, know when to fold them. Sometimes the best results will be reached by contracting the professionals. Professional landscapers and landscape designers will take your project to the next level. They have access to a broader range of materials, suppliers and concepts and the quality a professional can produce is rarely attained through doing it yourself.

Of course, if you do tackle elements of your project on your own, there will always be times when professionals are required. From earthmoving to electrical, make sure your budget has accommodated these expenses to avoid sacrificing the design to get the project complete.