With the major focus in recent years being on ‘downsizing’ block and house sizes, larger property design and inspiration has been reserved for only a few. Luckily there has been a slow, but strong change in thinking and there is now a shift back to more rural larger properties for those looking for a ‘tree change’ or for families who want their children to grow up with space around them. For many who shift to larger property the sheer size of their backyard can be so overwhelming and daunting that results are often disappointing.

One of the hardest concepts to grasp for large property owners, who are looking at creating or revamping a garden, is the sense of scale. Everything from the size of the blocks or rocks used for retaining walls to the width of paths needs to be increased. Focal points and features such as sculptures and planters need to be oversized to ensure the outdoor space reflects a sense of balance for the visitor.

Tips to get started:

  • Be realistic and develop what you can manage, do not feel the whole property has to be developed.
  • Create a 5 year plan when establishing a new garden. A quality designed garden will successfully be able to incorporate future projects without the feeling of being unfinished in the meantime.
  • Be bold and confident with design intent, it’s the simple elements that will deliver the largest impact.
  • A single oversized urn or sculptural feature will create a visual interest at the end of a path, directing the visitor to take a turn to the left or right without overpowering the garden.
  • Select natural elements that are from the area. Creating simple features with local stone or rock will give the illusion that they belong in the area and have done for many years.
  • Create garden zones within the managed landscape areas. This is especially important in large gardens. Plants with high maintenance needs are planted in high traffic areas and grouped with plants with similar watering needs. It takes too much time to get water to the end of the garden for one plant.
  • Be honest with your water supply, how much do you have to spare for the garden is the quality suitable to all plants you want to grow? Plant varieties suited to the volume of supply and the quality.
  • Focus on structural plantings or background plantings. These form the backbone if the large garden and are often considered the ‘walls’ of the garden. Without these plantings the whole design intent will tend to fall apart.

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