When we had our first house completed more than a decade ago, ours was the first house in the street. It was heady days as we contemplated garden designs from coffee table books. To our dismay, we found that most photos were from classic English gardens filled with plants that needed vast amount of watering, hence not quite suitable for the dry climate in Victoria.
Watching TV shows like “Better Homes and Gardens” helped us to envision a garden design that would not require too much maintenance or watering. We like the feel of natural grass under our feet and the sight of flower blooms BUT we also do not really want to spend every precious weekend weeding, mowing or trimming branches. So, we decided on installing lawn (versus the alternative of having fake grass or simply concreting of the entire back yard) and having a mix of natives and other flowering and fruiting plants that can tolerate dry spells.
Armed with these requirements, we thronged through the local nurseries to get inspiration and most importantly the prices of plants. We mainly looked at plants with bright flowers, ground covering plants, hedges to hide the fences as well as fruiting plants like apples, oranges and lemons.
But could I do the landscaping works myself?
If you have the necessary knowledge, tools and skills, you may have a go at doing it yourself. It may save you a fair bit of money but do so only if you are confident of your own workmanship.
For a new migrant then with no history of ever doing any gardening work under the hot Australian sun (yes, it was midsummer then), we very quickly gave up the idea of doing landscaping by ourselves. Watching how it is done on TV is one thing but we weren’t about to invest time or a whole lot of new tools just to have a go at it.
As luck would have it, we came across the name card of a landscaping company at one of the local nurseries and decided to have them quote for the job. The guys proved knowledgeable and after confirming costs, the scope of works and the time frame, we placed a deposit with them to kick start the works.
Was it smooth sailing and done on time? Of course not!
See Part 2 for the continuing landscaping adventure!