Creating the Perfect Outdoor Living Space

Have you ever wanted to create that perfect little niche outdoor living or working space? Perhaps complete a courtyard renovation that you never got around to. Is your outdoor yard looking tired and dated! Landscaping services are there to help with exactly that. They can combine many elements of gardening and bring them together to create that perfect outdoor living space. So you may be asking, where do i start? With so many services out there, how do i find the right one for me. Undertaking some google image searches is a great way to get inspiration and find something that fits your style. You could try Searches like: “Landscaping Design Ideas” or “Modern Landscaping Designs” and adjust your search based on your requirements. While everyone’s unique and opinions differ on what style they like, it’s important to help the landscaper get a grasp of the ideas you have before you take on their services. This was they can narrow down your choice and help you refine design elements and offer recommendations on what else will work well with that, perhaps something that you hadn’t thought of. They can also give you a better indication of cost estimates and advise of alternatives that may achieve the ‘look’ you want for less. 

Questions you should ask before undertaking landscaping works:

  1. Are you insured? This includes public liability in the event someone is hurt on site for the duration of the job.
  2. Have you completed jobs like this before?
  3. Are your tradespeople skilled and certified to carry out these works?
  4. What happens if you damage underground utilities? Who covers the costs?
  5. How long have you been in business?
  6. Can i see some example of other work you have completed?
  7. Do you draw a landscape plan including plant selection?
  8. Do you offer fixed priced quotes?
  9. How long will the works take?

All these questions are perfectly suitable to ask a landscaper and any hesitation to provide answers to these should be taken with caution. Unfortunately, there are many unskilled and untrained 

businesses that exist in the landscaping field and they give a bad impression on the rest. As a guideline, ask for examples of their work and seek out online reviews. It doesn’t hurt to ask for addresses if they are willing to provide them at the customers approval. 

Set Aside the Space for Landscaping Works

Find the area you wish to work with and define the parameters. It’s important to define the scope of your works at the beginning otherwise you may be in disagreement with the landscaper about the area that was meant to be covered. Ensure the landscaper accurately details the scope of the works in the initial works plan. Doing this at the start will avoid any unnecessary misunderstandings down the track.

Be Open Minded

Allow the landscaper to offer their opinion, you’ll be surprised by what they will know. There are unlimited possibilities with any job and input from experienced landscapers can only help! A great way to get inspiration for your new project is to drive around your neighbourhood and take photos of elements you like. This may include pavers, trees or retaining wall systems that you saw. A a landscaper designer can help with options for your work space and ultimately provide ideas that you may not have considered.

Landscaping Plan – 2D Layout

In some cases the Landscape designer may draw up a 2D landscaping plan. This will outline the scope of works to be completed in a visual manner. The landscaper will outline the tree planting schedule, the style & colour of any pavers and in general the overall ‘look’ of the design. Most landscapers typically charge anywhere between $500 to $1000 for the 2D layout design. It is highly recommended to undertake these works as it will help visualise all the elements together. You may see that the pathway is too narrow or there is insufficient tree coverage in a certain spot. Whilst the outlay for this plan may come at a price, it will help avoid any misunderstanding or pitfalls that may arise from miscommunications.

Selecting the Right Plants & Materials

Ideally, selecting plants that grow in your area is the most important aspect of any landscaping plan. Is the soil sandy, wet, moist, full shade or part shade? The right plants need to be selected for the right environment. If you experience high frost, then durable & frost tolerant plants are essential. You will find that most Australian native plants are hardy and can tolerate extreme heat & cold climates. They are suitable for long periods of drought and can tolerate days of rain. These plants will create the perfect habitat for local animals and insects along with needing little to no care or maintenance. The right materials is subjective and there are many alternative options that will all ultimately look great. It’s about getting a balance for what fits your budget but also looks great in the end.

Inspiration can come in many forms, whether it’s art, a classic car or just nature. In much the same way garden landscaping can be art and can also be admired in the same way.