Best 5 tips for your garden

Typically when our clients first engage us to design their garden they are embarrassed by their existing garden when they walk us through it!  Time and time again we see common mistakes that people do when they design their garden.  We have put together a list of our best 5 tips for how to design your garden to try and combat these common mistakes

 1. Get To Know Your Garden

 This is where you need to look at your garden and think about its current problems and then the great opportunities it has.  Current problems might be lack of privacy from your neighbours, bamboo that is going CRAZY and taking over the garden or a drainage issue.  Great opportunities might include room for a swimming pool, a sloping garden that you can install retaining walls into to create a terraced garden or an existing shady tree that would be perfect to place a seat under.  Once you have had a look at your garden start mapping out these problems on a plan to create a site analysis drawing.

 2. Get To Know You

Such an important part of your garden is you!  We design personally tailored gardens for our clients that reflect their personality – creating amazing unique spaces.  Think about what activities you would like to do in your garden.  This might include having a kick about space, outdoor entertaining for bbq parties or a quite corner to curl up and read a book.  Think about what is missing in your garden.  Is your garden super hot and lacking a cool shady spot? Maybe shade trees are missing!

 3. Style & Inspiration

Many times we have visited our clients gardens before we have started helping them with their design and their garden is a wild mess of tropical, coastal, cottage and random arid plants.  We get it, you see a cool plant at a nursery and you just have to buy it! STOPPP! Pick a theme! Choose to stay with tropical, cottage, coastal or another theme you love.  You can mix plants together of different themes to create interesting designs – we advise to leave this to the pros or ask them for advice!  For inspiration of garden designs you can use the internet, magazines or one of our favourite things to do is to go for a walk! Go for a walk in a neighbourhood  you love and look at peoples gardens or go to the botanical gardens.

 4. Design Layout

Yay time to start designing! To start grab your site analysis drawing from tip 1. Then sketch a garden plan by answering the problems to your site, one might be to hide the neighbours view into your garden by planting screening plants.  Think about the opportunities you thought of, draw in that swimming pool you always dreamed of!  Map out different areas such as where you would like garden beds to be and where you would like pathways to go

 5. Planting Design

Using your drawing from tip 4 start researching plants to place in your garden beds and to use as your screening plants.  When choosing plants make sure that you pick plants that suit the shady or sunny location you have.  Check how big they grow – will they fit in the space you have allocated for them?  When mixing plants together think about how you would like to use their different textures, colours and sizes to create a harmonious design

Tip 6!

Yes that’s right! An extra tip!  If this all sounds too difficult, you need help or would love guidance for your garden design – let us know!  We would love to help you design your garden to be a beautiful place live within and to create memories

Eva Porter

Eva Porter is the founder and director of Porter Designs a landscape architecture design studio. She has a bachelor of design with honours, majoring in Landscape Architecture. Eva is a Registered Landscape Architect with the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA). She is also a director on the national board of the Australian Institute of Landscape Designers & Managers (AILDM), helping to shape the industry nationally. Eva is also an award winning entrepreneur locally and regionally.

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