You’ve just moved into your dream house, and its big backyard is planted with nothing but grass, grass, and more grass. At one time that would have been considered the height of urban style, but for you, it’s a blank slate, an opportunity to match that dream house with your very own dream garden! With some careful planning and a bit of imagination you can create a garden that will provide you with the pleasures of an inviting outdoor oasis, as well as grow the value of your home (and maybe a few tomatoes)! Today we will focus on infrastructure:
- Patios – This is where you rest after a hard day’s toil to admire your green thumb’s triumphs. My advice is to put in the biggest patio you can without compromising the overall design of your garden. This is because people tend to congregate on the patio, it’s the place to set out your lawn chairs, picnic table, benches, party umbrellas, and firepit- you’re going to need some space for all that, so plan ahead! Any hard surface will do, but natural stone looks the nicest and stands the test of time.
- Paths and walkways – Speaking of natural stone, here’s another great place to put it to use! You’re going to need to get around your garden space, sometimes carrying heavy, bulky items in a wheelbarrow, so make sure you have a surface that’s easy to walk or roll on and give yourself enough elbow room.
- Garden sheds – Your house needs closets to store things in, and so does your garden! That’s where garden sheds come in! This is the safe, dry place you can store the necessities, such as garden tools and equipment, bags of seeds and fertilizer, watering cans and wheelbarrows. Make sure you have plenty of shelving and wall brackets to reduce the clutter and keep your space safe and easily accessible! I remember clambering over Grandad’s riding lawnmower just to get at the rake, so don’t make that mistake! Plan your garden shed carefully to be spacious enough, and well-organised to suit your garden’s needs.
- Lawns – Yes, I know I said lawns are out of style these days, but that referred to vast swaths of thirsty grass in constant need of mowing. A modest-sized lawn creates a space for kids and pets to play without treading on the flowers and satisfies a kind of primal predilection we have for the veldt. Arrange your lawn so it’s easily accessible from the back door and border it with hard-to-damage features like fences and sidewalks for when the kids play a bit rough, so no one chases a ball into the begonias!
Whenever you plan a building or landscaping project it’s important to check with your local government to make sure you stay within their codes. Your garden is your special place, so take the time to design a space you can enjoy for years to come.