8 Simple Tips for a Successful Garden Makeover
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Published by TOP4 Team
Feel like your garden needs a makeover? Here are eight tips that will make your garden makeover a success.
1. Walk around your garden and jot down what you like and don’t like. Write down what you need your garden to do for you, then make your dream garden wish list.
2. When you already have your wish list and budget plan, consult a garden designer, landscape architect or landscape contractor to devise a workable plan. A skilled designer can save you money by coming up with clever suggestions for maximising space, and substituting materials and plants to ensure you achieve your goals cost-effectively.
3. If you will go DIY, draw a to-scale outline of your existing garden and start sketching. Include the location of proposed garden beds, water features, paved areas, decking, lighting, plants etc. The design needs to make the best possible use of the available space, highlight attractive views and hide unsightly ones, as well as provide for all your shade, privacy, entertaining and storage needs.
4. Create a design that is low-maintenance and water-wise. Consider native plants indigenous to your area because they require less water than introduced species or exotics. When creating new garden beds, group plants with similar watering needs, add water-saving crystals or liquid to soil before planting, spread a thick layer of organic mulch to reduce evaporation, and install a drip-line irrigation system with a tap timer for more efficient watering. You can also consider the makeover the ideal time to install a tank to harvest rainwater for irrigation needs. There are plenty of tanks that can fit discreetly beside, even beneath, your home.
5. When working with landscape contractors, have a contract or works agreement that clearly spells out the work to be undertaken, contract price, process for dealing with variations, and insurances the contractor has in place.
6. If you’re building a new deck, pergola, poolside pavilion or conservatory, you’ll probably need council permission, so check before starting work. And if you live in a heritage listed property, you’ll need permission before you can make any external changes.
7. A simple makeover involving replacing a lawn area with paving, creating new garden beds, cladding an old fence and installing a water feature and some lights should take less than a week. If demolition or structural work is involved, add another week or two.
8. Even accomplished DIY-ers need expert help with some tasks -- such as an electrician to install any outlets or cabling for lighting or water pump, a licensed irrigator for more extensive sub-surface irrigation systems, a licensed builder for structural works over a certain amount. Before hiring any contractor, check that they are properly insured and licensed.
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