Landscaping Design
By following some simple design principles you can create a well planned outside space that will bring you enjoyment throughout the different seasons.

Things to consider

Starting a landscape job can be a bit overwhelming. There are so many aspects to consider: the path of the sun, views, the current garden layout, the prevailing elements, soil types, drainage, plant types, garden style, predominant use and so on.

So why not start by doing what the professionals do - document everything. Imagine you were decorating a room in your house. You would consider every aspect of the room layout and plan what you were going to do. Approach your garden the same way.

So planning and visualising are essential if you are going to achieve the end
result you want. 

Planning

The following steps are a guide to help you finalise your plans and ideas for your garden space. It's really a quite simple process:
  • Make a list of the items that already exist, including the location of the house, the fences, the driveway and trees and shrubs you wish to retain.
  • Now make a scale drawing of the space with all these elements included.
  • The next step is to look for other practical considerations. For example: what are  the prevailing weather conditions, where does the sun rise and set throughout  the year, what do you want to highlight (such as views) and what do you want to hide?
  • Now start to think about the style of garden you want: will it be tropical or a  formal English garden? What about a native garden or do you want open spaces where the children can play? Once you have thought this through you can start to make a list of things the garden must have. For example, certain types of  trees and shrubs, garden beds and perhaps a deck or outside structure.
  •  Another key ingredient is how people will use and interact with the space.  Think  about the social focus, outdoor seating, and interesting accessories to tie the space together.
  • Now that your space has a goal and a style, decorating it will be an extension of  your personality and preferences. There are many things available that can add  interest and comfort to your new living space.  Have fun with it, a garden is an  ever-changing space that can be improved as the seasons change. Try to be  creative, plan well and enjoy its many benefits.

A final word on climatic variations. The climate immediately surrounding your home is called its microclimate and you can alter it by making this area sunnier, shadier, windier or calmer than your average local conditions.  These factors (along with others such as water availability and soil quality) help determine what plants you can grow around your home.
Depending on which State or broad climatic zone you live in, the following considerations may help you make desired changes to your microclimate.

 
Temperate zone:
  • maximise the warming effects of the winter sun;
  • maximise shade in summer;
  • deflect winter winds away from buildings;
  • funnel summer breezes toward the home.
Cool zone:
  • use windbreaks against cold winter winds;
  • allow the winter sun to reach north-facing windows.
Hot-arid zone:
  • provide shade to cool roofs, walls, and windows;
  • allow breezes to access naturally cooled homes;
  • deflect winds away from air-conditioned homes.


Hot-humid zone:

  •  channel summer breezes toward the home;
  •  maximize summer shade with trees that allow low-angle winter sun;
  • avoid plant beds close to the home if they need frequent watering.

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