designing your new garden

designing your new garden

Let’s say you’re in the process of designing your new garden, and you’ve managed to get all the not-so-exciting but essential preparation work done. In other words, you’ve taken a deep breath, pulled out the weedy trees and shrubs, and you now have a clear space to work with. This is the moment when it all starts to get very interesting. This is when you start to design your new garden…   

Some people already have an idea of what they want, and how that might end up as a new landscape wrapped around their home. Others have no idea and they’ll be looking for inspiration, here is where we help. Whether you have some ideas or not, there are lots of places to go and get good ideas or at least fine tune your existing ones. The Australian Garden at Cranbourne is one of the best – especially inspiring for coastal gardeners – as is the Geelong Botanic Gardens. Open Gardens in your area are also great because they are examples of what works under your growing conditions. When you are out and about, be systematic in your information gathering. Take photos of what interests you; note down plant names if they’re labelled. Pay attention to materials: what’s been used as the paving; where there are retaining walls, what are they made of; are the decking timbers narrow or wide; where there’s a change in levels, how is this sorted?

professional garden designer

See something you like? Then look at it closely at the design to see why it works. Here the tall grasses screen the neighbouring roof; the carefully placed boulders draw the eye and give the steel-edged gravel path a reason to meander.

Engaging a professional garden designer is a smart move at this early stage. Even if you just want some support for your ideas, having a professional coming in will help you see with fresh eyes what your site needs and help show you how to achieve it. The trick is to work with someone who is not only a good designer – if you see a garden you like, find out who designed it – but also a good listener. You want someone who hears what you’re trying to achieve and responds to that, rather than just imposing themselves and their style on your site.

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