Looking out over a bare grassed garden with no inspiration and no direction can lead you to think that creating a lush inviting space is almost impossible.
The first step is to find out what gardens you like and work out what sort of garden you want and the way to do this is through research. Trawl the internet and glossy magazines and create a mood board of things you love.
All great gardens start the same way - with a design.
You need to measure all your boundaries and plot all your features such as trees, garden beds, level changes and services so you can draw a scale base plan to scribble your ideas down on. Don't forget to make a few copies.
Once you have a base plan you need a list. Think about everything you want to use your space for - entertaining, growing vegies, somewhere for the kids to play, growing plants and hanging out the laundry. However big or small, write it down as you will need to fit it into the garden.
Now you need to translate the list to the base plan. Before any style is added think about the layout of the areas and plot them with shapes such as circles and squares. This will give you an idea of scale and proportion. It will also let you know if you can fit everything you want into your garden or if you need to start eliminating some of the elements.
Don't try to fit everything in if you are tight on space, work to a scale and be realistic - a 2x1 metre area may be big enough for a dining table but there will be no space to move around and enjoy it.
The space between each element is the space you will be in so it's as important as the element itself.
Now you can add some detail to the plan. What shape will the entertaining area be? What materials will you use?
Will there be any vertical elements? Go through each element and try to think in detail about how you want the final product to look.
By carrying out the previous stages of basic planning, your mind is in the right frame to start thinking about the detail - and once you are thinking about the detail you are no longer worried about where to start.
(source: Charlie Albone - News Ltd)