Garden Design extends your home to include outdoor living.
Designing your outdoor spaces
Great gardens in New Zealand
So much time and effort go into planning and building a quality home. Equally important is the setting. Landscaping, or exterior design, not only makes a huge difference to your enjoyment of your home but it adds value too. For interior and outdoor spaces to work well together, it’s important to start thinking about the garden you’d like early in the planning phase.
Adding value to your home
A good 20 percent of the value of the house is determined by the outdoor area. Think about “street value” in real estate terms and it’s easy to see that first impressions count enormously. Plus having homes in your street with beautiful grounds immediately pushes up the value of other houses in the area.
Imagine your reality
Think about what you’ll use the garden for and how much time you are likely to spend outdoors.
Do you have young children that need space to run around or maybe put up a trampoline? How about outdoor summer living? A large covered deck for entertaining with a dedicated barbecue area? Or perhaps you prefer a secluded spot to wind down at the end of a busy day.
The reality of winter means for a good part of the year you’ll be looking at your garden through the windows. Think about the view you’d like to see while you’re snuggled up inside.
Also consider future proofing your garden. For example, even if your budget falls short of installing garden lighting, having electrical conduits ready for use when you can afford this will save a lot down the track.
Hard and soft options
Hard landscaping refers to constructed elements like decks, retaining walls, drainage, paths, raised vegetable beds, pergolas, perhaps even a barbecue built into a stone wall.
Soft landscaping is all about the plants - the stuff that doesn’t need constructing - that improve the outdoor space. While this can be detailed later in the project, hard landscaping needs to be planned for early in the build to save time and money.
Whether your preference is for a native New Zealand plants, a woodland garden, a streamlined, modern design, or even an abstract art garden, think about how to complement your house. Whatever your preferred style, it’s important to consider factors like climate, topography, the soil, and weather factors such as wind and rain. No point trying to grow desert plants in a bog or fragile ornamentals where wind will pelt them.
How much time do you want to spend working in your garden? You might be the green-fingered type that’s happy to spend a few hours every weekend with your hands in the soil, or you may be after low-maintenance. It’s all fair and well wanting a traditional English border but without regular maintenance, it’s going to start looking like an overgrown wilderness before long.
If you know how you want to use your outdoor spaces when you are planning your home, make sure to let us know.