Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

First Put Some Thought into a Plan; Nick Alderson Has Been a Practising Landscape Architect for Nearly 30 Years and Is Now Based at Goolmangar. Today's Article Is the First in What Will Be a Weekly Item Focussed on Landscape Architecture, with an Emphasis on Garden Design

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

First Put Some Thought into a Plan; Nick Alderson Has Been a Practising Landscape Architect for Nearly 30 Years and Is Now Based at Goolmangar. Today's Article Is the First in What Will Be a Weekly Item Focussed on Landscape Architecture, with an Emphasis on Garden Design

Article excerpt

A CHINESE proverb captured the universal appeal of the garden with its advice on how to attain lasting happiness. Having listed the various pursuits that might lead to a short-lived happiness, it states: aIf you want to be happy for a lifetime, then plant a garden.a

Such wisdom may have been improved by the additional advice to aplan it firsta.

The great care and thought given to the planning and construction of a house is often abandoned when it comes to the development of the block of ground on which the house will stand. This may be due to the fact that the landscaping usually coincides with the moment the budget has all but disappeared.

This doesn't bode well for garden-making, and often the reaction to budget and building burnout is a hastily conceived program for covering the raw site with an assortment of elements such as soil, turf, plants, paving a loosely defined as landscaping.

The first realisation is that none of this activity is cheap. In fact it can be horrifyingly expensive. A later insight is that what has been done is not working, either in terms of form, function or aesthetic appeal.

The results can be visually disastrous and, in extreme cases, the hastily installed landscape may have ended up on the neighbour's block!

It is better to adopt a slightly different perspective and to consider the house and the block together as the ahomea and to apply a more considered approach to the development of both as a unit. …

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