I live in a terrace in the inner city suburbs of Alexandria. For the convenience, I pay by having a smaller backyard. Like many Australian, our backyards are getting smaller. It’s now all about usable space, rather than land where children can run wild. To make it easy, my backyard was a blank canvas. In other words there was “nothing” – No garden, little soil and no structures. Much like many of the neighbours that surround me. In some ways, a blank canvas is great as there are no constraints and you don’t have to feel guilty ripping out existing growth/structures.
How to get started?
- Examine the site – What is the garden aspect, type of building, surrounding environment and soil condition. This provides your constraints (e.g. Tropical gardens would most likely need sun, a period house would suite a more traditional style, can a established tree become part of the design, are there any heritage laws you must abide to etc.).
- Determine the garden function. How do you want to use your space?
- Google and do lots of research (eg. magazines) to determine the style you like (eg. cottage, tropical, woodland, balinese etc).
- Draw a concept plan – Always looking at the hardscape first before looking at softscaping/plants. It’s much like designing a website where you would start with the wireframe before adding the design factors like look and feel.
Day 1 – Before shots:
After implementation shots (Nov 09):
3 months later this is what we have: