Can you create your garden paradise on your current block?

The city garden retreat – a modern miracle


For your next house purchase, you might be thinking about finding somewhere with a garden. Who doesn’t love the sound of birds chirping and the smell of flowers in spring? You may find it hard to actually buy a property with a big enough section for a garden, however, as suggests blocks are now on average between 200 and 350 square metres. Three decades ago, blocks were closer to 600 square metres.

In fact, a article from 2013 stated that the average block size in the country was 400 square metres. It’s changing quickly, because of how much our population is growing.

There are still properties that have enough land for a magical garden, however. A buyer’s agent from Cohen Handler is your best bet for finding the property of your dreams, and one that’s big enough to fit your garden as well!

Don’t let the crowded market take over your lifelong desire to have a beautiful garden paradise in the middle of the city.

Working with what you’ve got

Depending on where you live in Australia will change your garden design. For example, a beautiful, formal garden in Melbourne or Sydney will look out of place in Brisbane. The plants are likely going to be different due to the climate in the tropical north as well.

If you’ve got a dream garden in mind, and that’s the most important factor in your next home purchase, then looking to change cities might be the best way to implement that. Palms lining your driving will look incredible in Brisbane (where they will also be healthy), but won’t have the same effect, or growth, in the colder climate of Melbourne.

On the other hand, if you’re trying to create something special with the property you’ve already got, the below tips might just work:

Keep it simple

An overcrowded garden is bad for a number of reasons. Not only will it look too busy, thus not as relaxing as it could, but it will also be a hassle to maintain. You’ll have to stop all sorts of plants from crowding out the rest, and there will be a ridiculous amount of pruning required on a constant basis.

It’s also not going to allow certain plants to thrive. Some species require a lot of ground to get started, and then bloom. If you have too many plants in a small space, these species won’t have the space they need to flourish.

Don’t crowd the colours

One of the hardest things to do when starting a garden from scratch is choose the best colour scheme. Picking lots and lots of different coloured plants isn’t hard, but making sure they all look good together is another story.

A Japanese Maple tree has a beautiful pink trunk and branches, and purple flowers in the warmer months. However, this is going to look silly surrounded by sunflowers, for example, because the colours will clash (and not in a cool, contrasting way). Instead, a dark green hedge or even a dull red shrub around the bottom of the tree might look better.

A photo posted by Tyler Clary (@tylerclary) on

Don’t try to put every colour into the one garden, either. It can be hard, but choose something that will complement the aesthetic of the house, and go from there. If you have a white house, then colours are fantastic, but if you have a green house, there is more of a need to match the flower or tree colours with the paint.

Match the front with the back

However your garden is separated, be it with a front yard and a back yard or just a front yard, or any combination you can think of, you should keep the same design principles around the property.

If you’ve chosen bold colours out front, you should stick with the same bold colours at the back. If you’ve installed a water feature next to a path that can be seen from the street, you might get some nice synergy installing one out back as well.

Don’t jump between design principles across gardens.

Whatever you do, on a smaller block of land, don’t jump between design principles across gardens.

If you’re lucky enough to have a huge block, then you’ll have room to space out your landscaping and separate each principle properly. That way, you can have an English garden in one area, a modern, funky space in another and a Japanese garden elsewhere – all connected by one path.

If that is your dream, and you don’t have a property that would fit it, then you’ll have to move. Don’t fret, because you might not have to go very far.

Are large blocks of land still available in the cities?

According to the Domain Group, there are still a number of suburbs that haven’t yet felt the effects of the growing population on their block sizes.

An article from February 2016 states that a group of 62 home owners sold their land to make way for a development in Frenchs Forest. Most of these properties were 697 square metres, and while it’s a little out of the way, that’s more than enough room to have a big house and an even bigger garden.

Take a 700 square metre block – if you want 300 square metres of living space, and that’s plenty for a small family, then you could build on two storeys and use only about 200 square metres for the house itself. That leaves you with 500 square metres on which to create your garden paradise. You don’t even have to build, because someone might have already done the hard work for you.

A separate Domain Group report from the same month shows that there are at least 10 suburbs in the Northern Beaches of Sydney with average block sizes of over 400 square metres. Even 200 square metres for a garden is plenty, just don’t put in a 50 square metre water feature and you’ll be fine! There’s even a suburb called Riverstone where the average block size is over 900 square metres and the median value is less than $400,000. If you’re in the market for a brand-new home, Riverstone might be a brilliant option for a build.

Stick to your guns

If you have a dream for a beautiful garden in a convenient location with a perfect house, then don’t let your standards drop.

The property buying game is tough right now. There’s so much competition, and it can make the process drag on for months and months. But if you have a dream for a beautiful garden in a convenient location with a perfect house, then don’t let your standards drop.

Searching for even a few weeks without seeing anything you like can be demoralising. That’s why it’s so important to turn to a professional buyer’s agent early in the process. The team at Cohen Handler has years and years of experience, with a finger on the pulse of every major property market on the east coast. We’ll turn your dream into a reality, and usually within only eight weeks – that’s a lot faster than you’ll be able to do it on your own!

If you want to take the stress out of finding the perfect property, and have very specific land space requirements in mind, then make sure you enlist the services of a Cohen Handler buyer’s agent. We’ll take all the stress out of the buying process, so you can focus on designing your new garden paradise.

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