Planning the key to good landscape design

Planning the key to good landscape design

New Look Landscapes, Dunedin, owner Andrew Perry says having a professionally landscaped garden is an investment multiplied in both the pleasure it brings and in resale value.
The company is a landscape construction business, working to plans provided by designers, however with his experience, Andrew can also provide much practical input into any plan.
Research in the United States has shown a kitchen would typically add 25% to its actual cost, whereas landscaping would return double, he says.
“The importance of a good landscape plan cannot be over-emphasised; developing a sound framework enables all elements of a garden to work in synergy.”
Andrew says a well designed outdoor area effectively adds another living area to a house.
“Landscaping a garden is really like decorating a room in your house. “Nowadays people want indoor/outdoor fl ow and it pays to plan for that.”
An understanding of the way shapes relate to each other is at the very heart of garden design and it is the underlying abstract shapes that give a garden its visual strength.
Andrew says that when designing outdoor living areas it is important to have well proportioned spaces to allow plenty of room to move once items such as tables, chairs, seating and a barbeque are in place.
“Whether starting from scratch or adding to an existing garden, a cohesive plan establishes a clear course of action.”
Andrew says the benefits of professional landscaping to a property and the enjoyment created for its owners is “massive”.
“This is a key consideration for people having a new home built,” he says.
“It is not uncommon for money to run out at the end of a build, but if possible, this should be a priority factored into the construction budget.
“When you’ve spent all that money on your biggest asset, landscaping will either let your house down or it will add value.”
Andrew describes professional landscaping as “art on the ground” and the palette available includes a great variety of materials, from natural and artificial grass, to fencing, timbers, gravels, paving, trees, shrubs and water features.
He is an advocate of using artificial grass in some situations, for which Palmerston North company Unreal Grass is his supplier, particularly when low maintenance is important and mowing is not an option. And he says a landscaped area does not have to be large.
“Small areas are great for creating a courtyard effect. I enjoy smaller gardens because they can be creative and enjoyable to work on.”
They can incorporate paving, raised garden planters, furniture, heating and outdoor lighting for night ambiance to create as stunning addition to any new or existing house.
A project completed in Maori Hill, Dunedin, is an example of New Look Landscape’s work. The house is on a sloping section and the clients wanted to create indoor/outdoor fl ow to their renovated cottage.
Two retaining walls were constructed to allow a level patio area to be created, screened off from a utility area. The result is low maintenance outdoor living which the clients love to make the most of.
The quality of New Look Landscape’s work seems to be resonating among many looking to enhance their outdoor environment, with Andrew describing his work load as “flat out”.
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