At DIYdesigns we love to share our knowledge to help people who are designing their own gardens or thinking about getting started on a garden makeover or landscaping project. Our blogs are a wonderful resource for getting free garden design help and landscaping ideas to make the most of your outdoor spaces.

For a crash course in designing gardens and landscapes, check out this popular 4 week blog series written to help get people started on a DIY garden makeover. 


Successful garden designs and appealing landscapes tend to have a 'big idea'. This 'big idea' for your garden design underpins and links the smaller, individual elements of the design together to create cohesion and unity. 


Use the functional Items in your landscape, such as garden walls, retaining, fences and privacy screens, paving and decks to add wow factor to your garden. 

Designing Gardens - Decks and Decking Inspiration

New Zealanders just love their decks, and with good reason.  When designing gardens and landscapes with uneven or sloping ground, decks are perfect for creating flat, usable landscape areas. Keep the natural wood look or, if you want a deck with a difference, consider a dark stain or whitewash instead.

Tip: Rather than cut down that lovely tree or palm to build your deck, consider building around it and making it a feature of your outdoor living space. Decks look spectacular broken up with areas of planting. 

Designing Gardens - Fence Inspiration

Fences are important features when designing gardens that need to make a statement at the entrance to your property or provide a backdrop to your planting. They can also provide much needed, instant privacy and security. 

Tip: All that fencing can add up, so if you plan to cover it with foliage anyway, go basic on the structure and spend your dollars on fantastic feature fences in areas that will be seen. For a cost-effective fence makeover get brave and add a splash of colour. Picket fences and slat screens look spectacular painted in vibrant shades.

Designing Gardens - Paving and Patio Inspiration

Areas of hardscape can make your NZ garden space both beautiful and functional. When designing gardens and landscapes, paved areas offer a fantastic design opportunity to impart life and personality into your outdoor living space. Consider breaking up large expanses of patio and paving with a blend of permeable and impermeable surface materials, chosen to complement each other textually and colourwise.  

Tip: Keep plants lower than pavers or you might create annoying debris traps or trip hazards. To prevent movement and weed growth, lay pavers on a concrete slab rather than on grade.

Designing Gardens - Retaining Wall Inspiration

Retaining is one of the necessary evils of landscaping. It can really transform a garden and create flat, usable garden spaces and lawns. As retaining can also eat up a big part of the budget, when designing gardens it makes sense to use this functional item to create clever design features that will enhance your garden space.

Tip: Walls at seating height with wide caps create casual seating opportunities within the garden. If you have a small garden budget consider re-contouring with battered, grassy slopes instead

Designing Gardens - Productive Garden Inspiration

Productive gardens take many forms. Their design is usually driven by the available sunny space in your garden, and by the type of edibles you want to grow. When designing gardens, if landscaping space is tight a large pot on your deck or patio crammed full of herbs, seasonable vegetables and even some flowering colour makes a lovely petite potager.

Tip: Think vertical supports to maximise growing space. Use raised pots or planters  and for easy weeding don't make the vegetable beds too wide. Around one metre is good.


Landscape Design - Spring Project

Landscape design sales always nose-dive during winter, which is a shame as it is the ideal time to plan your spring landscape design project. What better way to spend gloomy winter days than to look Read more

Garden Planning : How to tell what sort of Garden Soil you have

Garden planning includes understanding your soil type. Here’s how to tell what type of garden soil you have. It’s quick, easy and best of all, free!  MAKE A SOIL SAUSAGE  Just scoop up aRead more

Low Maintenance Garden Plants

Cyclical garden trends make fashion victims of some great garden plants that are low maintenance and high performing, and therefore perfect for the low maintenance garden. It’s hard to keep a goodRead more

How to make a Low Maintenance Garden using Weed Mat

"How do I make my garden low maintenance?" When I have this conversation with landscaping clients, talk often turns quickly to their plans to lay down weed mat. In garden circles a fierce debateRead more

Landscaping for Indoor Outdoor Flow

Indoor Outdoor Flow - landscaping and gardens are an undeniable part of this and there are some very simple ways you can achieve indoor outdoor flow, regardless of whether you are building new orRead more

Online Garden Design New Zealand

Online garden design in New Zealand is an easy and cost-effective way to get your dream garden.  Wherever you live in New Zealand, you can work with an experienced designer and get their expert desiRead more

Small Garden Design New Zealand

Small garden design in New Zealand is a DIYdesigns specialty and we have created a few online options to help you get a great design for your small garden space, regardless of where in New ZealandRead more

Auckland Garden Design Consultation

In Auckland, garden design consultations are often suggested as a ‘next step’ when you get in touch with a potential garden designer. However, if you have made several garden design enquiries, itRead more

Working with Top Auckland Landscapers

Working with Top Auckland Landscapers is the dream of any aspiring Auckland Landscape Designer. Or at least it should be. Reflecting recently on my career as a landscape designer to date, I realise Read more

Plants for a New Zealand Coastal Garden

Auckland landscape design often involves the creation of a planting scheme that will survive the challenges of a coastal setting. Our previous blog on coastal gardens in Auckland focussed onRead more

Coastal Auckland Landscape Design

In Auckland, many landscape design projects I have worked on have had stunning coastal backdrops. With these gorgeous views, comes the challenge of putting together a landscape of plants or ‘plantRead more

Auckland Garden and Landscape Design - Privacy & Screening

Auckland landscape design professionals have long been experts at creating privacy for the garden and for many years have been lessening the impact of infill housing for Auckland homeowners with clevRead more

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