Know everything you need to know about your garden

This first step is one of the most important aspects of planning your landscape design. Knowing your garden includes knowing the topography of your garden, the climate your garden will be exposed to, and the soil type(s) within your garden. Based on the sun and shade exposure, your garden may also create its own microclimate that you will need to be aware of. Effective landscape design will take all of these elements into consideration to begin with.

Think of how your garden will be used

Before you divide the sections of your garden on your landscape design plan, consider the different ways you and those around you will use the garden. Do you need a section for outdoor entertaining and furniture pieces? Do you want a kids’ play area? Do you need open space for your dog to run around?

Within this vein, consider how you might want to repurpose the garden in the future. Landscape design plans can be slightly altered in years to come, but be careful not to plan anything permanent or concrete that could limit your flexibility in the future.

Select plants that will thrive in your climate

It’s worth doing considerable research into the types of plants that are best suited to your home’s climate. For instance, the city of Perth has a Mediterranean-style climate, so plants that don’t need a lot of water to thrive, like agapanthuses, kangaroo paws and spider flowers, often grow well here. The Water Corporation has a useful directory for waterwise plants, where you can input your suburb to determine what plants would grow best within your garden, based on climate and watering needs.

Link activity spaces in your garden

Think of your garden like your house. Every house needs doorways, doors or hallways to connect rooms to each other. Within your garden, consider how you’ll move around. Do you need to factor in pathways to improve access? Will you have sections of lawn that connect areas, or would you rather something quirkier like a hedge or bespoke stepping stone path?

Consider style and aesthetics

Once you’ve got the ‘bare bones’ of your landscape design together, it’s time to have a think about how you’d like your garden to look. If you’re not sure where to start with styling, consider creating some unity between your indoor home styling and your soon-to-be outdoor areas. There are some great resources and inspiration online, for example, of cottage-style, Japanese-inspired or modern garden design styles.