Gardening to change your landscape
With your new home finished, your dreams have just about all come true. You have a home not only the envy of your friends, but best of all, with all the fittings, furnishings and colours exactly as you always wanted. It’s perfectly comfortable — literally made just for you. Now it’s time to turn your attention to the block itself and how your brand new home nestles into its new landscape. The next set of questions that arise — how should I go about it, what should I plant — are a little more openended, as your garden can change with the seasons or even with your mood. Talking to a local landscaper or horticulturist would be a good place to start, and be guided by their expertise as you have done with the rest of your home. Let their guidance help you lay out your garden so it doesn’t affect any natural drainage or underground pipes, avoiding plants with large invasive root systems that may affect your foundations, your driveway, fences, or your neighbours. They will be able to advise you on the ideal plants for your climate zone and the adult size, height and root systems of different species. They can also suggest whether a particular plant can be used as a screen for western sun, and which deciduous tree would allow more northern winter sun into your home and is therefore best for summer shading. This local knowledge of the different varieties of plants will not only make it easier to beautify your yard but will, when strategically placed, also help with the energy efficiency of your home. Armed with this knowledge, mark out your gardens, defining areas of garden from areas of lawn. This will help with later maintenance. This is the time to consider if you need to import soil to raise garden beds or if top dressing soil is required. Check the condition of your soil and see what you can do to improve it to give your garden a flying start. This is the perfect time to lay the pipes for your trickle or drip irrigation systems. These types of irrigation systems will help with water conservation, guarantees each plant receives a drink, and dramatically cuts back your own ongoing maintenance workload. With plants selected, place your plants in position and check coverage and proximity to structures. It is wise not to plant any trees or shrubs right against your home. Upon completion of planting, a layer of mulch — like hay, pine bark, etc — should be applied over the garden to help retain moisture and reduce weed growth. Then just sit back and enjoy watching your whole garden bloom.