E X P R E S S I O N
12 landscape solutions to common problems
24 April 2020
We've put together a short list of landscape solutions to pesky landscaping problems. Hopefully this can give you some inspiration to take to your landscaper or DIY project.
1) Small yards
If you have a small space, it is a must to play with shapes and contrast. Keep it light and bright! Some ideas to bring colour to your yard without sacrificing space is vertical gardens and water features. Accent these stunning features with solar lights and your on your way to creating a stunning garden that won't draw attention to its size.
Don't be afraid to include an entertaining space! Even though your yard is small, you can still make it practical with outdoor nooks to spend your time in. Stunning feature timber swings are also a great way to add seating without enclosing your space. See more small yard ideas here.
2) Narrow walkways
These spaces often get left and aren't used much. Utilise this space by creating a stunning pathway from steppers, decking or stone and highlight the path with beautiful lighting and feature rocks and plants. Make your path the feature using patterns, colour and contrast with your steppers and use negative spaces for turf or pebble features.
Create a beautiful sitting area at the end with vertical gardens and built in bench seating. Add water features and fairy gardens to change the mood of the area. Simple and affordable solar lighting can completely change a space. Use decorative pebbles to create contrasting frames to the walkway.
3) Sloped or eroding land
Depending on the level of slope you have, there are different options to finding a landscape solution. Plants or grass are a great way to stop your land from eroding. Or for a steeper slope, create terraces with steps. These tiered yards create more usable space and stunning features. These can be done from blocks, rocks, slabs or decking. For information on options with retaining walls, see this post.
Retaining walls can contain the slope and be used to create feature gardens behind the walls. Create a stairway to heaven! Check out some of our sloped property solutions we have done for our clients here.
4) Drainage problems
There is nothing worse than having a flooder on your hands! Especially here during rainy season! Manage drainage problems by talking to a landscaper about drainage. Make sure to use an experienced landscaper who works with grades to reduce drainage problems. Use specific drainage to target your drainage problems and if your whole yard suffers from flooding get a drainage plan installed by a landscaper.
Use high flow water areas to create ponds or creek beds using decorative rock. Certain plants thrive in extremely wet conditions and can be used to create a feature area. Use drainage gravel and pebbles in your gardens to spruce it up!
5) Lack of privacy
If you are looking to stop your nosy neighbour seeing everything that happens within your own yard, you're probably after a privacy solution. There are many options for privacy screens such as fencing, certain plant options such as hedges and feature panels.
You can choose screening fences to stop you from being completely boxed in. Hedges, vines and established plants can all be used as screens. Do some research into the plants you are selecting and check their growth rate, height and width. Feature panels and wood panels come in different styles or designs and can used endlessly. Use a gazebo or lean-to to create privacy if your neighbours have the height advantage or use it to create a private outdoor room. Create a focal wall with vertical gardens or features. Blinds or curtains can also be used in your outdoor rooms.
6) Noise reduction
Quality fencing can be a great way to limit noise from the street, your neighbours or even you! Other great ideas include using water features to create a tranquil setting or even wind chimes (if that's your thing). Tall plants or plants used for screening as discussed above are great options for noise reduction.
Another great landscaping solution is to sink in your outdoor place. In ground outdoor spaces great an amazing feature and limit noise. Add a stunning fire pit and let the relaxing crackle of your fire be all you hear!
Weeds are invincible! Or at least that's how it feels! There are some great ways to tackle weeds and limit any future problems with them. Kill weeds at their root and remove carefully so you are leaving the soil alone, the dormant seeds won't be exposed to continue their destruction. If its recently rained, pull your weeds out however in dry conditions, slice weeds just under the soil. Leftover roots will quickly die. If you can't remove a root, chop off the top, this will limit its opportunity for spreading.
Mulch not only promotes your plants healthy growth by maintaining the soil's environments but they stop the weeds from getting light and therefore their growth. Keep your plants close together, this blocks the sun and the ideal conditions for the weed. Water your plants and avoid watering void spaces.
8) High maintenance
Are you a slave to your yard? With the busy lives we live today, your landscape should be a place for you to enjoy not another thing to add to your to do list. When picking landscaping solutions for a low maintenance yard, your options are abundant depending on what style you like and your budget.
Composite decking is a great solution that will give you the timber look without all the upkeep. Creating outdoor living spaces from composite decking, tiling or paving, this will reduce maintenance and adds value to your everyday living and your home.
9) Not child or pet friendly
Depending on the area that is causing you problems, there are many solutions to creating child and pet friendly landscapes. Consider your boundary fences and how you can achieve both privacy and security. Balustrades should be used to secure high areas. There are also regulations on how your fence is built so make sure to do some research or use a landscaper. Many landscaping companies offer retaining walls with fencing on top, this can secure sloped areas and create new outdoor spaces.
Other child and pet friendly solutions include turf and native gardens. Again its best to do your research or check with a nursery when selecting plants because some are poisonous when ingested. If you've got a little digger on your hands, choose rocks over soil or mulch. There are also products that you can purchase that deter toileting in certain areas once applied. It is also a great option to chose raised planters or sturdy plants or trees that can handle a trampling or two.
10) Low budget
If you're seeking a professional landscaper, it is helpful to provide your budget and they can tailor landscaping solutions and designs that stay within your budget. If you're worried about... without a better way to put it... being ripped off, only choose reputable landscaping companies with testimonials, licenses and insurance. See advice on how to choose the right landscaper here.
Landscaping considered softscaping is cheaper than hardscaping. Decks and retaining walls increase your budget. When introducing plants, check with nurseries to get plants that grow well and steer clear of aged trees or plants. The scale, access and excavation needed also increases the price. Stick to small landscapes and ensure you provide easy access for your tradesmen and the property is cleared as much as possible before your quote.
Businesses have to pay for disposal so if possible use local tips to remove as much waste as possible. For more ideas on keeping your costs low see how pricing post.
11) No design or plan
The internet is a blessing and a curse in one! There are so many options out there but it is easy to become lost. A great place to start is Pinterest, this can give you simple ideas and it is easier to narrow down your style. Once you have a clear idea of what you want, grab a tape measure and start measuring out your spaces. Draw yourself up a plan with your measurements and where your elements will go. Don't worry you don't have to be an artist, even just shapes with labels and measurements will do the trick! We recommend working on a 1 to 1 scale to avoid any confusion. We have more details on landscape plans here.
From here, you can start talking to your local landscaping yards and nurseries. Some materials will be in stock, others you may have to order in. Another great solution is to send your ideas, whether they are images, descriptions or drawings to a landscaper and they can help you with landscape design, supply and installation.
12) Body corporate or renting
If you live in a body corporate complex or you are renting, there may be restrictions to what you can and can't change about your landscape. Often there are permissions you need to seek before you can start any project. We recommend contacting your landlord or committee and reading over your by-laws, this should give you an idea of what you are allowed to add or remove and your best chance of getting approval.
A landscaper can help you create a design to meet these needs and will work with body corporate or your tenant to get permissions for access and adhere to by-laws.
I hope I gave you a landscape solution to your problem, if not drop a comment and suggest a topic to address!