What makes a good garden design?

Have you ever seen landscaped gardens that just look amazing and you just stop in awe? These gardens have been designed by someone with careful thought and knowledge to maximise the site function, aesthetic, as well as how people can use their garden.

Let’s dive into the important aspects of good garden design.

In this article we will look at;

How to make an entrance that announces “You have Arrived”

Creating an alluring entrance which is beautiful, tasteful, welcoming and which elegantly complements the architectural style of your home takes vision, skill and knowledge.

Your gate and fence style need to fit the architectural period of the home as well as the scale of the front facade of the home you are building or renovating. Choosing the right structure, landscape building materials, plants and paving and lighting features are all important.

You may need to think about the angle the land slopes. By knowing levels for drainage purposes, you need to make sure there is no water run off into areas you don’t need, like the garage. How will the slope of your street affect your entrance? Will you need steps and lighting? The slope of the land will affect the style of fence and gate you choose.

Good Garden Design Melbourne

Fence and Entrance Design for New Home Builders Melbourne

This new Dennis Family home in Parkdale, Melbourne Australia, shows how the style of the fence and gate was carefully chosen to match the architectural style of the home as well as providing a welcoming gate and clear entrance for visitors to see when they arrive. 

A talented designer will help guide you through the choices you will need to make regarding your property, its style and what you can achieve with your budget guidelines. Your entrance needs to be visible, well lit up at night,highlighted with a beautiful gate, an arbor, and well chosen plants to draw your home, so as to guide your visitors in with that feeling of being welcomed.

Creating structure in the garden

Have you ever noticed every garden you just love has a feeling of being “finished”? The reason is, these gardens have well defined boundaries, garden rooms or a visual structure. This is done by using carefully chosen fencing structures and materials, tall trees or hedges for privacy and shade as well as layered plantings to create interest.

Larger spaces may have garden rooms, hedges, gates or paths to invite you “somewhere beyond”, drawing the eye and enlightening your interest to explore further. No matter how large or small a garden is, it is important to create boundaries which enclose in all the right places, while creating an illusion of more space which can be done when designed carefully with the right plants or “Borrowed Landscapes’.

Pergola, Alfresco Design, Garden Design, Melbourne

Professionally designed patio and garden

The Image to the above shows how structure in this Beaumaris garden has been achieved with a layered Olive hedge along the back fence with lavender below, an ornamental grape vine on the new pergola and ornamental “Cleveland” pears along the fence line to the right which also provide shade in the hot summer months.

Drawing the eye with a curved path

No matter the size of your garden, a designer trick is to use the path to draw the eye toward the place you want people to move, which can be achieved in an alluring way with a curved path. Gardens are a journey of exploration for your family and friends, and the way you move through the garden space can be an adventure in itself.

Good Garden Design, Landscape Design, Melbourne

The curved garden path at this Houston home backyard, is blended into the paving which turns into a path, the soft curve itself draws the eye to where guests are supposed to move around to the spa area. The balance of the grass area and the paved / path area along with the stones are balanced, being both functional and easy on the eye for aesthetic purposes.

How to create a private space

As our cities become busier and our homes are built closer together, our need for a little privacy at home where we can all relax and enjoy our leisure time with family and friends becomes evermore important to us. Our home is our sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of city living.
Boundary fences, well thought out pergola placements, specially selected plants and trees can help us achieve our growing need for a quieter space to relax. I like to use vertical planting structures and trellises in my designs to address open spaces which may need some attention.

Pool and Backyard Design, Melbourne

This Bentleigh home is surrounded by townhouses, however the tall layered hedges and neighbours trees create a sense of complete privacy around the pool area.

The destination

Where do you want to draw the crowd in your home during the summertime when you are entertaining? Well to the dining and pool area of course.

Every area around your home is in fact a functional space, whether it be a utility area, you still need to move through the space to go there, or your BBQ area, is often a meeting place for the cooks enjoying a cold drink and a chat. Each space around your home takes you somewhere to a functional space or a shared community zone, so the choice of hard landscaping materials or the plantings is important to help guide you along your journey in creating intrigue and interest along the way.

Drawing in the elements

Good design uses a balance of the four elements in the garden; water, stone, fire, and air to create a sense of peace and serenity.

Water can be brought into any garden large or small with a beautiful water feature or a swimming pool. In the Middle East water fountains are used to cool the air in courtyards which is an age old “Air Cooling” method they used before good old air conditioners were a thing.

Water Features Direct have a lovely selection of water features for any budget or sized garden like this Ellipse Bowl Package Water Features Direct.

Stone is one of the all important hard landscaping products we expect to see in a garden, either in the paving or pool area, but beware you can overdo the amount of hard surfaces in a garden. Most new homes are allowed only a certain percentage of the whole site to have hard landscaping so to allow green space for balance.
The choice of stone is important for various areas – for example around a pool a designer or landscaper would need to make sure your choice of stone is stain, slip and mould resistant, as well as robust enough for the function it is servicing. I like to use manufactured porcelain stone pavers which are suitable for all traffic foot and car as they are slip, stain, corrosion and mould resistant.

Our local Pave World, here in Mordialloc has a great product which looks like the amazing stone we love to see in gardens.

Good Garden Design, Landscape Design, Melbourne

Fire is one element we sometimes forget to bring into our backyard landscapes. The fire pit is a huge family hit in our house, if you can find one you can cook on as well it has a double purpose during those cooler seasonal months.

Remarkable furniture has a huge range of fire pits for any budget or taste, so get out the guitar, and enjoy time with the kids making toasted marshmallows around the winter fire. Our family loves this winter activity and so do their teenage friends.

Air being the fourth element can be felt in your garden with the plants you choose to surround you by the wind moving through your spaces. Plants like clumping bamboo are a lovely choice for privacy and for the simple reason the wind rustles through the leaves creating a gentle soothing sound in its wake.

Wind chimes are another gentle instrument you can hang in a tree which creates sounds when the wind moves through them (as long as it doesn’t disturb the neighbours).

How to create ambiance in a garden

Ambience is all about how the garden makes you feel: ideally it is all about relaxation and peace. With a carefully balanced selection of hard and soft landscaping, soothing sounds of wildlife, gentle lighting elevating a feature tree or path, the choice of soft vegetation, or the sound of running water your garden can all create a sense of a soothing escape from the busy world around you.

If you need help creating a relaxing escape in your hidden garden world, please reach out and call us to discuss what you would like help with at home. We are passionate about helping everyone achieve the garden of their dreams no matter how small or large your space may be.

Therefore, with careful planning, a thoughtful balance of hard and soft landscaping can enlighten the senses while drawing you along your garden paths. You too can have a beautifully designed garden which just welcomes you, friends and family home to share many happy memories together.

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