Considerations before you embark on a Landscape Project

Considerations before you embark on a Landscape Project

So you have decided you want to make some improvements to your home and garden, before you engage a Landscape Designer or Landscape Architect it is useful to consider what you are wanting to achieve with your landscaping.

I find a good place to start is to get a good understanding of how the property is currently used and what the clients longer term plans are for it. Is the property it a first home, a home for a growing family, a forever home, a do-up for rental or gap filler? Are you planning future renovations that should be allowed for? This makes a huge difference to the scope of work, budget considerations, planting (establishing plants takes time) and staging of work. For example if it is your forever home, then go for what you want and stage it to work within a comfortable budget.

It is important to understand how the house and garden are currently used and why. Where is the sun (in winter and summer), the prevailing wind, the views that you just don’t want, and those that could be enhanced? Which doors do you use and how do you currently circulate around the property? Where are the bedrooms and where are the living areas? What are the soil and ground conditions like? Do you enjoy entertaining outside and if so how many people are you typically hosting? Do you use your garden at night, in which case outdoor lighting is important. This all helps to work out the opportunities versus the challenges in designing a new landscape.

It always pays make a wishlist for your project, one that reflects all the occupants and users of the property and will ultimately form part of the design brief. Is a spa critical to your long-term enjoyment of the property or do you really want to get the groceries in from the garage without getting soaked in the rain? Privacy and or shelter may be essential to your using your new landscape. A lot of clients are non-negotiable about have a large clothesline in a sunny position and others might just use a dryer. Have a think about all the different ways you currently use your garden, and what for. Then break this down into the ‘must haves’ versus the ‘nice to haves’.

And finally, work out what your budget is before you start the design process. Your Landscape designer should be able to guide you on what is realistic based on your wishlist or whether you need to prioritise some items.