Landscaping for your new home can be a challenge — where do you start? You could employ a landscape designer, but for many homebuyers this is out of their price range. However, there is a more budget-friendly option. Did you know that your local nursery may be able to assist you? They will often help you with a basic garden design if you buy your plants from them. Take along some photos and a plan of your block of land showing where the house is located on the block, which will make it easier for them to recommend the right plants and they’ll also be able to give you a few landscaping ideas for the front yard and rear garden. But first, take a look at these handy tips to help you landscape your new home.
1. Allow a budget for landscaping
Landscaping is usually the first thing to be cut from the budget, as it’s the last thing to be done. While it’s sometimes an afterthought, landscaping can have a huge effect on the look and feel of your home. It can also add value to your home, so it’s important to set aside a budget for landscaping, even if it’s only small. It will definitely pay off in the long run.
2. Decide if you want a high or low maintenance garden
Do you love pottering around in the garden for hours? Or do you want a garden that looks great, but requires very little maintenance? If you don’t want to spend every weekend tending to your garden, make sure you choose the right plants when you’re planning your landscaping. And be honest with yourself! You might start out with good intentions, but the novelty will quickly wear off if you’re not a keen gardener. So be realistic and choose plants that suit your lifestyle.
3. Soil preparation makes all the difference
It’s really important to prepare your soil before you plant as it can be the difference between your whole garden dying or thriving. Plus it will give you more time to explore garden landscape ideas. While soil preparation is hard work, it’s so worth it! First, make sure you have good drainage and your soil isn’t compacted. If you’re turfing, you’ll need at least 100mm of quality top soil. For your garden beds, you’ll need to add good compost and nutrients. Your local nursery can advise you on this. Preparing your soil properly will also ensure that you have an attractive garden for a lot longer.
4. Pick the right plants for your conditions
Make sure you choose plants that will do well in your garden, rather than just picking ones that you like, but aren’t really suitable. This will be a total waste of money in the long run, as your garden will almost certainly suffer. There’s only so much you can do with some soils, so it’s best to acknowledge this at the start. For example, if you live in an area where natives thrive, go for natives. Your garden will reach a mature stage much more quickly and look healthy and thriving, rather than sad and struggling.
5. Just add grass
If you’re on a limited budget — or stuck for garden landscape ideas — laying turf is a quick and easy way to make your home look fantastic, without spending a fortune. Nothing beats a lush lawn, and it makes a great play area for the kids too! Turf can be laid at virtually any time of year and creates an almost-instant lawn.
The most important rule when buying turf is to lay it as soon as possible after it arrives. Don’t have it delivered until you’re ready to lay. It’s crucial that the turf doesn’t dry out. Ideally, your turf should be laid on the day of delivery and then watered immediately. Dried out turf that’s been left in the sun too long will struggle and may not recover. Your climate, soil quality and location will determine which grass variety best suits your needs, so make sure you ask the experts for advice.
6. Define lawn edges
Edging your lawn makes your garden look tidy and well-kept. Creating an edge is easy and can be as simple as using a sharp spade to create a neat separation between your lawn and garden beds. Or, you may prefer to go for a physical barrier such as concrete, timber, brick or stone. This is an effective way to make your garden look great, without spending a fortune!
7. Strategic planting
You’d be surprised how many problems can be solved by strategic planting. If your home is on a busy road or you need privacy from your neighbours, one of the best side and front garden ideas is to choose plants you can make into a hedge to create a visual barrier and reduce noise. It may take a little while to get the result you want, but there are plenty of fast-growing plants that are perfect for hedging. Talk to your local nursery about your needs, and remember, they can also source mature plants for a quick result, if you just can’t wait.
8. Mulch your garden
Mulching your garden immediately makes it look well-finished. Make sure you choose a mulch like pine bark, rather than lucerne or sugarcane. It will look neater and complement your new home and garden perfectly. Mulching will also help your garden retain water, provide protection against weeds, prevent soil erosion and improve drainage.