Inspiring landscaping ideas
BEFORE designing and creating your garden, it is recommended that homeowners undertake a short planning process to clarify their requirements and gather ideas.
Try not to skip this step, even if you feel you know what it is you want, as there may be ideas that you have not considered before.
Good preparation is the key to a great garden, so if you’re going to spend time and money on it, then take some time to plan it.
Glenice Ebedes from Grounded landscaping shares some tips…
Entertainment and braaiing If you want to invite family and guests over for a braai, then you’ll need to decide whether you want to buy a mobile braai (that can be rolled into place when needed), or whether you want a custom-built braai.
Custom-built braais fit seamlessly into your garden design, while mobile braais give you the flexibility to move them around as and when needed.
Children’s play areas If you have young children, consider building a play area with sand pits and artificial lawns. You could even include playground objects like jungle gyms and rocking horses.
For safety reasons, you should always use playpen sand beneath the playground objects, and leave a space of 1.5m-plus between the objects and any hard landscaping elements such as paving and pots.
Swimming area There are many options when it comes to adding a pool to your garden. New ecofriendly options called eco-pools are popular, as they serve as a combination pool and natural water feature, and require less maintenance.
A swimming pool is a separate service to landscaping, and homeowners should choose their preferred pool supplier and pool location before moving on to the design of the garden.
If you are still in the process of building your home, then you will likely already have the pool drawn up in your architectural plans.
Once your pool has been placed and installed, the additional work on your garden can begin. Just remember to ask your pool installer where the piping is, so you don’t find yourself rupturing pool pipes while installing your garden.
Reading and intimate moments If you’d like to use your garden for reading or romantic, intimate moments, you’ll most likely want to incorporate benches and seating areas in your garden.
Search your local suppliers, DIY stores or outdoor furniture stores etc., for benches and seating that appeals to you.
You could also build a custom-made outdoor seating area, with a built-in braai. If you are going to use your garden for relaxation and reading, you might want to include a water feature, which adds the sound of flowing water to your outdoor experience. This will help to drown out extraneous noise from the surrounding neighbourhood.
A space for pets If you own pets, then you should take their needs into consideration and include some pet-friendly elements.
Consider using lawn or a hardy ground cover around the kennel instead of placing your pets directly onto paving. Soft landscaping materials will also help reduce the temperature of these areas, especially in summer.
Attracting wildlife It’s wonderful to know that your garden is a wildlife haven for birds, animals and insects. If you live near a reserve or park, then having an indigenous garden will help attract the wildlife living nearby.
Perhaps the most important design ele- ment to attracting wildlife is to ensure you include as many indigenous plants as possible. Ideally, the plants you choose should be indigenous to the area, not just indigenous to the country.
If you use plants that simulate your surrounding environment, then you will likely attract indigenous insects, which in turn will attract natural predators such as other insects and birds. Essentially, you will be creating a haven that all these species ‘recognise’, as well as extending the natural ‘green-belt’ of your area.
So if attracting local wildlife is your goal, make sure you include as many indigenous species as you can in your design. Other important design features for attracting wildlife include bird baths or ponds, bird feeders and bug hotels’.
Wedding venue If you plan to hold a wedding in your garden sometime in the future, then you might want to include features like a gazebo or water features, and space for seating your guests, preferably beneath the shade of some indigenous trees.
Perhaps you will only install the gazebo at a later date, in which case, take into consideration a possible location, and then consider planting trees or possibly paving that area with quality pavers. Remember that a gazebo can be used year round, so consider including outdoor furniture so that you can use it every day and not just once-off.
Sporting activities If you have a sports-oriented family, then provide sufficient space for sporting activities.
A large area of lawn can be used for all manner of sports, from football to cricket, putting to chipping and kids’ games.
Homeowners who own a large property may want to include a tennis court or minitennis court in their backyard.
If you have young children, consider building a play area.