Upon moving into a new residence the most important aspect of landscaping is patience.
Before creating new garden beds, importing soil or even planting all those pot plants you have owned for the past few years you should first do a site assessment.
what are the movements of shade and sun
where are breezes coming from
which directions have good or bad views
what trees and shrubs currently exist on the property
are there wet or dry pockets of soil
what type of soil do you have (texture, structure and pH)
are there any weed plants on site that need to be removed.
Many gardeners jump into re-landscaping a property before fully appreciating the features of the site. By allowing the garden to grow over a number of months, it is possible to identify many attributes that may otherwise have been destroyed.
For example:- perhaps there are dormant bulbs that have yet to flower; the garden may provide a key habitat for a local bird species during a defined season; in the wet season a natural spring may develop creating a terrific feature.
An unsuspecting average green shrub may burst into blossom 6 months later… this would be missed if it was destroyed when you moved in.
Two key elements of any established garden that you should aim to retain are:-
Established trees and shrubs are an asset to any garden. To otherwise buy mature plants would cost thousands of dollars.
However most landscape redesigns involve identifying unwanted plants and replacing them with others more suited to your style. Perhaps there is also the inclusion of paving, retainer walls, etc.
If moving from one climatic zone to another there is also the issue of learning about new plants and gardening techniques. Bringing plants from another climate zone may possibly result in plants dying as they may not be suitable.
If you live in a fire ant district you should contact Department of Primary Industries & Fisheries (Ph 13 25 23 or www.dpi.qld.gov.au/fireants) to find out what the regulations are.
Options on what to do with unwanted plants
(note: some councils have vegetation protection orders laws that may restrict you from destroying or removing plants. Contact your local council for advice)
Where to go for help on re-designing a garden