5 things to consider when planning a landscaping project

It’s a great feeling when you finally complete the renovation of your home. You’ve probably gone over budget (and taken far longer than expected!) but you’ve created your dream home at long last! Unfortunately the work isn’t quite finished; you need to take a look at your garden and work out how best to landscape it to match the impressive home you’ve created. Here are 5 things you should consider when planning a garden landscaping project:

1 SURVEY THE GROUND

If you’re considering a complete landscaping overhaul, with terracing and ponds, you’ll need to have a survey with a ground penetrating radar before you even start drawing up the plans. This will provide you with a map of what’s under your garden. While rocks and boulders can be worked with, round or even removed; you may not be able to do anything about utilities running through your garden. The survey will highlight what, if any, pipes or cables are running across your land. You’ll then need to find out who has right of access and ensure the access is possible after you’ve landscape the space. Plus, knowing where any utilities are will also ensure you don’t accidentally dig into them!

2 STUDY THE SITE

Your next step should be to evaluate what other obstacles may cause you an issue; such as slopes or boundary lines. You should also look at the drainage of your soil and where plants will thrive best. This will help you to draw a plan that is both realistic and achievable. This step is also important to confirm where the sun is and the shade at various times of the day – you want your plants to grow, right?! You should note what elements are already in your garden that could be reused, such as a brick wall or fencing. This is the fun stage where you can draw out your dream landscape design and could even use 3D software to visualise it properly.

3 DEFINE YOUR NEEDS

Most people want to have a seating and entertaining area and this is usually connected to the house in some way to provide easy access to food and drink. However, this doesn’t mean it has to be the only seating area. You may want to create your own private garden within the garden! If you have children you’ll need space for them to play; ideally where they can’t damage your plants, so a lawn is a good element to include in your design.

4 MAINTENANCE

The more plants you have and the larger your lawn space the more time you’ll have to spend maintaining your garden, so it is also worth considering whether you like gardening. This will dictate the type of plants you need and, if you’re not that keen, you can add more architectural features such as brick paving or patios, and only use easy-to-care-for shrubs. It’s worth considering the enjoyment factor as, no matter how good your garden may look, if you don’t like gardening, you’ll soon get fed up of working in your garden and it’ll become untidy. If, on the other hand, you find gardening relaxing and enjoyable, you can add as many borders and planters as you like!

5 LIGHTING

To really appreciate your garden throughout the year you might wan to add lights in various locations. You can use solar powered lights (like the fairy lights I added to my DIY upcycled shed) or use the mains electricity in your home to power outdoor lighting. Consider which areas need subdued lighting and which parts you’ll want to see well enough to walk, talk or even read, such as the patio or driveway. Thinking about this will ensure your garden doesn’t just look stunning, it will also be a pleasure to use.

Let me know if you’ve recently given your garden a makeover and share your tips in the comments below. I’m currently working on my own garden makeover so I’d love to see photos of your garden – please feel free to tag me in your photos on instagram @Cassiefairy.

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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