If you've recently moved into a brand new, freshly built home, then you are no doubt keen to get your new garden space looking the part. Many homeowners feel a little shell-shocked when they see the barren ground surrounding their beautiful new home and you may have found that it still the resembles the building site that it was not so long ago.
It's easy to feel overwhelmed with the enormous amount of work that it will take to transform this blank and unattractive canvas into a garden that does your gorgeous new home justice. Fortunately, if you take a systematic approach to landscaping, you'll find the whole process less intimidating and maybe even enjoyable. Here are the two initial steps you should take before you even turn over the first spadeful of dirt.
1. Make a plan
No sane person would attempt to build a home or complete any other major project without a plan. Yet, a surprising number of people will begin to landscape without giving any forethought or planning to the overall design they'd like to achieve. Planning makes the project more efficient, more cost-effective and more attractive at the end of the project.
If you're struggling to design a garden plan that you're happy with, it's worth using the services of a landscape contractor. Even if you'd like to complete some or all of the physical work yourself, having a professionally designed garden will mean that you're not working blind or a slave to a costly and time-consuming trial and error approach.
2. Make a budget
This is another important aspect of any project that is often overlooked when it comes to landscaping. However, it's important to understand from the beginning what you can afford and what you can realistically expect to achieve within the confines of this amount. Without a proper budget, you may find you get part way through the project and then run out of money to finish it.
Don't forget to factor in site preparation when you create your budget. An even and flat surface is essential as a base for your lawn, garden beds and seating areas. Depending on how much work is required, you can either hire a small backhoe for DIY site preparation or you may need to hire an excavation contractor if the work is significant or difficult for a novice.
To stretch your budget further, look for wholesale nurseries that sell plants for a lot less than garden centres or hardware stores. You can also save a large amount by choosing inexpensive seedlings and saplings instead of more expensive mature plants and trees.