We all want a beautiful outdoor space to call our own, a personal haven that carries us away from the stress of everyday life with its lush greenery and gently nodding flowers. At the same time, if you have never done any landscaping before, the prospect of transforming your garden and balcony area can feel very daunting indeed—so much so that you may put the task off for years and miss out on a great deal of enjoyment. Rather than falling into the aforementioned rut, start proactively planning your outdoor space today with the four tips below:
1. Begin with a list of needs and wants. Your outdoor space likely has to serve a variety of practical functions in addition to being a recreational area. In order to fit everything in without over-crowding the space, make a list of the things you and your family absolutely need, e.g. a shed to store tools, a play area for the children, patios or glass balconies for entertaining guests, and so on, then make a list of ‘wants’ as well. Choose a reasonable number of ‘wants’ and begin drafting rough sketches of your backyard plan.
2. Aim for optimal visibility. As you refine your landscape plan, remember to envision how your setup will look not only from above, but from the ground: A design that looks neat and organised on paper but obstructs your view of the garden when you are, for example, sitting on the patio, is likely to prove dissatisfying. Avoid placing tall plants or trees in the middle of the yard and choose glass balconies and enclosures where possible to permit a full view of the yard from any vantage point.
3. Don’t forget to factor in environmental conditions. It’s hard to enjoy glass balconies and pristine patios while the sun is beating down on your head or the wind is lashing your face. As such, you should spend some time observing the environmental patterns of your outdoor space, noting areas where the sun exposure is high and the wind blows particularly strongly (for instance, around the corners of the house). If the environmental conditions will conflict with your current plans, revise them to ensure that your garden will be a comfortable place for you and your guests.
4. Start small. While numerous ‘home and garden’ television shows have given us the expectation that an entire outdoor area can be completely transformed within a week, in reality, landscaping tends to be a big job, one which can take months to complete. In order to minimise stress, remember that it’s best to start with small changes and work your way up to bigger projects gradually. Likewise, don’t try to tackle large projects all on your own; call in professionals if complicated or dangerous work needs to be done.
With time, patience, hard work, and the assistance of trained landscaping professionals where required, you will see your outdoor space transformed before your eyes, becoming an oasis of calm respite that you and your family will enjoy for many years to come.