landscaping 101: top tips from apg

There are plenty of ways to make a new two storey house feel more like a home, and landscaping is a major one. However, if your thumbs aren't as green as you would like, or you have no idea what a reticulation system is, you might want to take some advice from apg's landscaping experts.

Opus Alfresco

Why should I plan out my landscaping?

A simple question with a simple answer. An effectively landscaped outdoor area can essentially extend your living space from indoors to outdoors. At the end of the day, it's like adding another room to your house.


Creating flow with your home

To truly make your outdoor area an extension of your home, you need to consider your line of sight. For example, when standing in the kitchen or dining, looking through your big, north-facing windows, what do you see? Are you looking through a nicely finished alfresco towards a swimming pool and beautifully planted trees? Perfect.

How can I create a good plan?

Divide and conquer! If you ask an interior designer how they create flow inside a house, they'll tell you it all comes down to zoning. The same applies outside. Follow these simple steps to create a good landscaping action plan:

  • Create a physical drawing of your outdoor area, divided into functional zones or spaces
  • Determine which hardscape features are necessary (such as retaining walls)
  • Decide on ground coverings for each zone, e.g. concrete under the alfresco, a deck off the lounge, etc.
  • Incorporate reticulation, plants and other soft touches
  • Throw in some bonus items to really finish the space off

Make it a space worth living in

The aim here is to create an outdoor living area, so you need to make it as enjoyable as possible. For some, this means a focus on the barbecue, while for others, plenty of space for footy is the goal. Here are our top three bonus items to make your exterior living area a well-rounded space:

  1. Chiminea - these awesome little outdoor furnaces are both visually appealing and extremely functional. Not only can they warm up your alfresco in winter, but you can spend many a long night cooking pizzas and having a couple drinks with friends in comfort and style
  2. Lounging items - love seats, day beds, hammocks - they all invite you to sit down and relax
  3. Water features - while a fountain or pond can be visually appealing, they have an equally pleasant auditory affect. Listening to the breeze through the leaves on a still evening can be enhanced with the trickle of water or the soft sounds of wind chimes

Create a secret hideawayOpus outdoor sitting

Our two storey house plans are focused on family living, which means great open areas are complemented by brilliant private spaces. Create your own getaway at home by working outside of the home's line-of-sight. Installing a spa under a Bali-style gazebo can mean many romantic evenings for two. Even if it's just on the other side of the garden - it can feel like it's a million miles away.

At the end of the day, what you want to create will determine the look and feel of your outdoor area - but don't forget to plan ahead! For example, if you don't like all sorts of maintenance, plant for year-round stress free living with native, water-wise plants. You can also make good use of deciduous trees on your boundary for shade in summer and light in winter.

There are plenty of ways you can create a house and garden that you feel like a home, and building with apg is a great start.