At DIY Designs we love to share our knowledge and to help people who are designing their own gardens, or thinking about getting started on a garden makeover or landscaping project. 

On this page you will find ideas or  'click throughs' to:

Get started by checking out this popular 4 week blog series written to help get people started on a DIY garden makeover. It's a crash course in designing gardens and landscapes.


TIP: 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, you can use decks to create flat, usable landscape areas. While it's common to keep the natural wood, if you want a deck with a difference, consider a dark stain or whitewashed finish instead.

Tip: If there's a lovely tree or palm right where you want to build your deck, you don't have to cut it down. You can build around it and make it a unique 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 and you can use these to make a statement at the entrance to your property, and to provide a backdrop to your planting. They can also provide much needed, instant privacy and security. 

Tip: All that fencing can add up to a considerable cost.  You can stretch your landscape dollars further by going basic on the bulk of the fence structure and covering it with foliage, and spend the savings on fantastic feature fences in key areas only. For a cost-effective fence makeover you can get brave and just add a splash of bold or unexpected colour. Picket fences and slat screens look spectacular painted in vibrant shades such as bright green or rich plums and purples.

Designing Gardens - Paving and Patio Inspiration

Areas of hardscape can make your NZ garden space both beautiful and functional. When designing gardens and landscapes, you can use those paved areas as 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 colour-wise, or add wow factor to your patio with a patterned tile or a checker-board layout. 

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 you can use this functional item to create clever design features that will enhance your garden space. Think beyond timber and consider rock walls and gabions too.

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.


Blossom Trees for Small Front Garden Designs

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Landscape Plans – When and Why You Need Them!

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Landscape a NZ Garden​ - How much does it cost?

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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 your Garden Soil type

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

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Small Garden Design New Zealand

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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 realisRead more


With their property about to go on the market, these Auckland homeowners needed good, fast and cost-effective garden design solutions.....


In just one year the garden of this Auckland property has been transformed, and the owners have done most of it themselves. By designing around the existing landscapes features, our garden design ideas have made the landscaping project achievable and affordable ...


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