Landscaping is something that many of us like to try our hand at some stage. And let’s put it out there: it’s not difficult to purchase a few plants, some weed mat and a trailer load of pine bark chips and give your garden a pretty impressive face-lift!  However, there’s a lot more to a successful landscaping project than that! Before we put spade to dirt, we must understand the science behind successful landscaping: it takes forethought, planning and systems thinking to ensure that you create a garden that is happy, healthy and sustainable.

The Organic System

An existing garden is a living thing; an organic system.  It’s important to understand that as soon as we start making changes to what’s already there, we’re messing with an existing ecosystem.  Whatever we do is guaranteed to have either a positive or negative effect on the environmental balance.  Does that make landscaping wrong?  Of course not!  Provided it’s done properly, landscaping Mornington peninsula gardens is a great way to improve the street appeal, create beautiful and functional outdoor spaces and improve personal quality of life.

The key to successful and harmonious landscaping is understanding and working with nature.  At Jim’s Landscaping, we partner with nature to make positive changes and shape the existing ecosystem to achieve the results we want.  It’s not a case of luck or trial and error: this type of development is a process which involves strategic planning and systems thinking to ensure that beautiful landscaping is achieved with minimal disruption to nature.

Look, Listen, Learn

Nothing in nature happens by chance, and a lot can be learnt from simply taking the time to study the existing landscape.  As they plan their landscaping, Mornington peninsula homeowners need to think about what’s already there, and why.  Consider:

  • the local climate – prevailing wind direction, amount of sunlight etc
  • the existing water drainage systems
  • the soil type
  • plants that do well in the area

It’s important to consider the various relationships between natural elements such as sunlight, soil and water, and implement systems to ensure that this delicate balance is not negatively impacted by human actions.

Implementing Systems Thinking into Landscape Design

There are several key areas where systems thinking will effect the longevity of a landscaping project.  Approaching your landscaping project methodically will ensure that you don’t rush the project and overlook any of the vital steps which could make or break it’s a success.  See below for a few of these points:


Soil is life.  And good soil will go a long way towards a happy and healthy garden! Start your project from the ground up (excuse the pun) and begin with a soil analysis.  Determine the soil type, the stability of the soil and any other features which may influence your landscape design.  Take time to build up and enrich the soil with extra nutrients if needed.


Sustainable landscaping is a hot topic, and one of the main elements in this discussion is water usage and conservation.  Achieving an adequate and sustainable water supply to every part of your garden requires a systematic approach.  Without enough water the garden will die; if you apply too much water the garden will suffer too.

In today’s climate-conscious society, watering your garden with a tank or bore water is the way to go. Remember, some plants don’t appreciate ‘wet feet’ while others need a constant water supply.  If catching and storing rainwater won’t work for you, consider landscaping with water-wise plants.

Planning and installing suitable drainage is super important: the last thing any homeowner wants is a flooded yard because the water drainage wasn’t properly thought out!  Recycling water and ensuring that any run-off from your garden is clean and suitable to enter the environment also requires methodical forethought.

Plant Choice

Excellent plant choice will be influenced by personal taste, budget, application and climatic constraints. Your landscaping project is a long-term one, so take time to plan your planting layouts to avoid overcrowding: 10-20 years down the track those little trees will be big ones; bushes will have filled out and lawns will be well established.

Aftercare and Maintenance

A systematic approach to landscaping maintenance will ensure that your garden is kept healthy, vibrant and manageable.  A regular schedule for fertilizing, pruning, mowing etc will ensure that you get the best out of your project all year round.

At Jim’s Landscaping, we work with nature to create beautiful, healthy and highly functional landscaping projects. Call us today