DIY Landscaping Tips for Beginners

Whether your backyard needs a few new plantings or a complete overhaul, redesigning the landscape can be overwhelming. With so many things to consider and choices to make, if you’ve never tackled a landscape design before, you might not know where to begin. At Bittern Garden Supplies, we are the centre for landscape supplies Mornington locals trust for high quality service and materials. If you want to take the DIY option to tackle your landscaping makeover, here are a few landscape design ideas and tips for beginners.

Assess Your Yard

Spending some time in your yard will allow you to see certain things you may not have considered could impact your landscape design. Understand how the wind moves through it, find out the path of the sun and note the areas that are always shaded or always in full sun. Your design should take into account what the sun and wind do at different times of the day and year. If you are creating a sitting area, then it might be best to move it out of the line of prevailing winds or block and direct winds with shrubs and trees. It’s ideal to have a place to relax and play that is sheltered from the heat of the day but also takes advantage of the sun’s warmth on cooler days. Choosing the right plants will also be largely determined by the sun and wind patterns.

Draw a Plan of Your Property

One of the first things a professional landscaper would do is draw up a plot survey of your property, including your backyard and front yard. This is something you can easily do yourself, simply draw a bird’s-eye view of your property, noting the placement of all the man-made features (called hardscape) such as buildings, fences, driveways, retaining walls, etc. Boulders, trees, and large shrubs combine with your hardscape to form the bones of your landscape. If this step is a bit intimidating, don’t agonize over exact measurements, a quick sketch that is roughly in proportion will be sufficient.

Determine Your Wants and Needs

Note down and make the most of what you’ve got already. For example, don’t try to change a dry, rocky spot into a vegetable garden. Instead, use it for a rock garden planted plants which can thrive in the tough conditions. Once you know what you’ve already got and what you need to work with or around, you can move on to making a wish list of what you’d like. Start by asking yourself a few simple questions:

  • Do you want privacy from your neighbours?
  • Do you want to screen an unsightly view?
  • Is your top priority curb appeal/resale-value?
  • Are you hoping for a place for the kids to play, a quiet place for reading in the sun, or a combination of both?
  • Do want to grow your favourite vegetables and herbs for cooking?
  • Do you want a welcoming front garden that directs visitors to your door?
  • Do you want low maintenance plants or do you have the time to spend pruning and weeding?

Once you have your wish list sorted, grab your plan from the above step and map out how you’d like everything to fit together.

Get to Work

Start by removing any dead or unwanted plants, foliage and weeds and then level the area either by hand or by hiring machinery such as a Bobcat.

Ensure your soil is in top condition for new plants to establish roots and thrive. There are many soil additives available to help give your soil the required nutrients to support new plant growth.

When it comes to planting, start with trees or shrubs and begin from the house and work outward. (Remember to plan for the mature size of the trees and shrubs to avoid having to move them later, when they outgrow their space).

Lay out potential flowerbeds with a hose or rope. A few gentle sweeps look more natural than many sharp curves.

Focus on scale and layer plants according to height. There should be variations in size, shape, texture and colour, with tall plants against a building or in the back of a flowerbed, and paths that lead people through the space.

Repeat drifts of similar plants throughout the garden to create a sense of cohesion, but make sure you find a good balance between repetition and new elements. You don’t want it to look monotonous, and an occasional new element is better than having all different elements throughout.

Anyone can tackle a landscaping design project, just start with a well-thought-out landscaping plan, keep it simple take it one step at a time to keep your project from becoming overwhelming. If you need professional advice or high quality landscape supplies in Mornington to complete your landscaping project, get in touch with Bittern Garden Supplies today online or by calling 5983 9779 .