What Are The Essential Tips for Landscaping a New Construction Home?

Landscaping for your new home can be a challenge — where do you start? You could employ a landscape designer, but this is out of their price range for many homebuyers. However, there is a more budget-friendly option. Did you know that your local nursery may be able to assist you? They will often help you with a basic garden design if you buy your plants from them. Take along some photos and a plan of your block of land showing where the house is located on the block, which will make it easier for them to recommend the right plants, and they’ll also be able to give you a few landscaping ideas for the front yard and rear garden.

Handy Tips To Help You Landscape Your New Home

Allow A Budget For Landscaping

Landscaping is usually the first thing to be cut from the budget, as it’s the last thing to be done. While it’s sometimes an afterthought, landscaping can have a huge effect on the look and feel of your home. It can also add value to your home, so it’s important to set aside a budget for landscaping, even if it’s only small. It will pay off in the long run.

Decide If You Want A High Or Low Maintenance Garden

Do you love pottering around in the garden for hours? Or do you want a garden that looks great but requires very little maintenance? If you don’t want to spend every weekend tending to your garden, make sure you choose the right plants when you’re planning your landscaping. And be honest with yourself! You might start with good intentions, but the novelty will quickly wear off if you’re not a keen gardener. So be realistic and choose plants that suit your lifestyle.

Soil Preparation Makes All The Difference

what are the essential tips for landscaping a new construction home (2)It’s really important to prepare your soil before you plant as it can be the difference between your whole garden dying or thriving. Plus, it will give you more time to explore garden landscape ideas. While soil preparation is hard work, it’s so worth it! First, ensure good drainage and that your soil isn’t compacted. If you’re turfing, you’ll need at least 100mm of quality topsoil. For your garden beds, you’ll need to add good compost and nutrients. Your local nursery can advise you on this. Preparing your soil properly will also ensure that you have an attractive garden for a lot longer.

Pick The Right Plants For Your Conditions

Make sure you choose plants that will do well in your garden, rather than just picking ones you like but aren’t suitable. This will be a total waste of money in the long run, as your garden will almost certainly suffer. There’s only so much you can do with some soils, so it’s best to acknowledge this at the start. For example, if you live in an area where natives thrive, go for natives. Your garden will reach a mature stage much more quickly and look healthy and thriving, rather than sad and struggling.

Just Add Grass

If you’re on a limited budget — or stuck for garden landscape ideas — laying turf is a quick and easy way to make your home look fantastic without spending a fortune. Nothing beats a lush lawn, and it makes a great play area for the kids too! Turf can be laid at virtually any time of year and creates an almost instant lawn.

When buying turf, the most important rule is to lay it as soon as possible after it arrives. Don’t have it delivered until you’re ready to lay. The turf mustn’t dry out. Ideally, your turf should be laid on delivery and then watered immediately. Dried out turf that’s been left in the sun too long will struggle and may not recover. Your climate, soil quality and location will determine which grass variety best suits your needs, so make sure you ask the experts for advice.

Define Lawn Edges

Edging your lawn makes your garden look tidy and well-kept. Creating an edge is easy and can be as simple as using a sharp spade to create a neat separation between your lawn and garden beds. Or, you may prefer to go for a physical barrier such as concrete, timber, brick or stone. This is an effective way to make your garden look great, without spending a fortune!

Strategic Planting

You’d be surprised how many problems can be solved by strategic planting. For example, if your home is on a busy road or you need privacy from your neighbours, one of the best side and front garden ideas is to choose plants you can make into a hedge to create a visual barrier and reduce noise. It may take a little while to get the result you want, but there are plenty of fast-growing plants that are perfect for hedging. Talk to your local nursery about your needs, and remember, they can also source mature plants for a quick result if you can’t wait.

Mulch Your Garden

Mulching your garden immediately makes it look well-finished. Make sure you choose a mulch like pine bark rather than lucerne or sugarcane. It will look neater and compliment your new home and garden perfectly. Mulching will also help your garden retain water, protect against weeds, prevent soil erosion and improve drainage.

Essentials for a gorgeous garden

Level up your lawn

Tiered lawn areas and large square pavers complement the modern cantilevered façade of the Chelsea display home. Downer Chelsea Facade Blog

Go big on the borders.

Lush border shrubbery transforms the Portland display home’s alfresco dining zone into a tropical oasis that can be enjoyed year-round. Portland Blog

Embrace curves

Curved decking plays up the rounded edges of the pool in the Oxford display home, and an oversized pot provides an interesting focal point. Rawson Homes Oxford Marsden Park

Create verdant views

Consider the role your garden plays inside your home. These mature shrubs create a peaceful outlook for the bathroom in the Metford display home. Metford Home Design Bathroom

Built-in is best

Bench seating in our Mayfield display home is a practical addition that works with the relaxed Hamptons-style interiors.

Visit A Display Village For Inspiration

Not only are display villages a great place to find your new home builder, but they’re also the perfect place to get some landscape garden ideas and inspiration, especially for low-maintenance gardens. Visiting a display home is one of the most important aspects of the home building and landscaping process, so be sure to visit a few display homes to get ideas and inspiration, not to mention ensure you choose the right floor plan for your new home. Be sure to plan your display home visit and don’t overlook the benefits of virtual display home tours, especially if you’re pressed for time or live far from the display homes you’d like to visit.

If you’re thinking of building a new home in South East Queensland, the team at Hallmark Homes is ready to help. Come check out some of our stunning new home designs for yourself at one of our display centres, including our acreage display home at Mahoney’s Pocket in Woodhill. 

FAQs About Tips For Landscaping A New Construction Home

We’ve long used flowers as aids to ailments, manicured symmetrical lawns to induce feelings of order and calm, and looked to rippling water features for relaxation. But the task of creating green spaces that revolve around the individual, rather than the latest trends, still leaves many unsure of where to start. Cottage-style or formal, native or coastal, the best gardens all have one thing in common: they, like homes, reflect the lives of those who live in them. Effective garden designs – arrangements that don’t just address the aesthetics but thoughtfully respond to the lifestyle of dwellers.

Do you want a backyard where you can kick the football with the kids? Or do you spend your downtime entertaining outdoors? Will it be a sanctuary for you to relax and unwind? Do you want an area to grow vegetables? These questions will help you create a wishlist for your outdoor space. One feature proving popular across the board is creating an ‘outdoor living space such as a deck or garden terrace. These can act as an extension of your home’s footprint, particularly in the warmer months, so make sure you give it careful consideration, no matter how big or small your garden is. 

The Essentials Of Good Landscape Design

The ideal garden design considers several factors:

  • the style of the home
  • the people who live in the home
  • The yard’s aspect – does it face north or south?
  • The block’s terrain – is it sloping or flat?
  • the site’s climate
  • Pre-existing features, like pools.

Tallying up these elements gives landscapers a guide for what’s possible within your space. 

Knowing which design ideas will work in your garden and which may not be quite right doesn’t have to be a case of trial and error. Jamieson suggests reverting to the designer’s ultimate cheat sheet for functional, well-rounded outdoor spaces. These are the principles of landscape design can be summed up in six areas:

  • unity
  • balance
  • proportion
  • harmony
  • contrast
  • rhythm.

One of the main things to consider when choosing plants for your outdoor space is maintenance: how much time do you want to spend looking after your garden? If you love to spend your weekends getting your dirty hands pruning, watering and composting, then you can fill your gardens with plants that need a little bit of TLC.

By contrast, if you often find yourself too busy on the weekends to even think about picking up a hose, then stick to species that are lower maintenance. You will also need to consider climate, light and location. Most plants need about four hours of natural light per day, but some thrive in full sun, and others are better suited to shady, moist environments. If your area is prone to particularly cold mornings, you will also need to ensure the plants you select can withstand frost during the winter months.

“According to research, good landscaping can add up to 28% to your home’s overall value.”

Landscaping is worth the money if you get the cost-to-value balanced. This means spending up to around 10% of your home’s value on your garden ideas, to be as sure as you can bet that you haven’t over-spent and that you will recoup a good percentage of your spend when you sell your home.

Landscaping Tips To Increase Your Property’s Value

Define Lawn Edges

At the very least, mow and edge your lawn. Edging your lawn makes a garden (or yard) look restrained and tamed, which gives it the appearance of lower maintenance – a popular selling point. Creating an edge is easy and can be as simple as using a sharp spade to cut a neat separation between your lawn and garden bed, path or fence. Alternatively, you can use a physical barrier such as timber, steel, brick or stone.

Solve Problems With Plants

By planting out your gardens, address your property’s shortfalls, such as overlooking neighbours or busy roads. While the plants may not initially create a full visual barrier or any real sound improvement, the perceived improvement from a buyer’s point of view will be worth it.

Talk to your local garden centre about your garden’s particular environment (shade, light, soil and proximity to the coast). And remember, if you are selling, your nursery can order in mature hedging for an immediate result.

Limit The Number Of Plant Species

Minimising the number of plant species in your garden will make it appear easier to maintain and give it a more uniform look. However, don’t be too dogmatic about restricting your choices. In general, Carroll encourages some plant diversity as it encourages biodiversity, is good for the local ecology, reduces pest impact, extends flowering times and generally looks more interesting!

Lay New Lawn

what are the essential tips for landscaping a new construction home (1)A lush lawn will make any home sparkle. However, if you cover a large area and want a cost-effective option, try Kikuyu. It is about 50 per cent cheaper than Buffalo grass. For example, replacing 100 square metres of lawn in Sydney using Premium Buffalo (Sir Walter or Kings Pride varieties, for instance) will cost approximately $8.50 per square metre. In contrast, Kikuyu will cost $4.50 per square metre.

If your lawn is looking a bit patchy or has browned-off over winter (this often happens with couch grass), you could oversow with a lawn seed blend typically made up primarily of fescue and ryegrasses. This will thicken up and green the lawn.

Add Colour And Form

Add welcoming planters to entranceways featuring clipped topiary, and fill any other pots in garden areas with bright flowering annuals or perennials to give your garden an immediate lift. IOf course, if you are selling, you can always take the potted plants with you for your new garden.

Prune Conservatively

The aim is to make your home look well-maintained and cared for, and pruning or tidying up plants and trees will achieve great results. That said, Carroll strongly recommends restraint. 


Outside entertainment areas are a necessity for any backyard in the sunshine state. Every Queensland home needs a space where the owners can relax outdoors and enjoy the beautiful tropical climate. 

When buyers are looking for a home, a functional outdoor area is positioned high on most people’s lists. If you’re low on space, keep in mind that your paved area only needs to be large enough for a table and chairs – 4m x 4m should do. An appealing outdoor area can be achieved even if you’re on a budget. Recycled pavers can be purchased for under $300 at your local Bunnings, demolition yard or even from Gumtree.


If people are looking for a house in the suburbs, then chances are a lush backyard is at least on their wish list, if not the main priority for most families. Generally, they’re after a place where the kids can play safely or for pets to enjoy. Turf is relatively inexpensive and can be purchased for about $6 per m2 from most landscaping yards. Green grass looks very appealing to buyers during an open inspection. In addition, it will help them imagine their kids running around, so it’s worth freshening up your lawn if it’s looking worse for wear.

Screening Plants Around The Perimeter

Screening the garden is a great way to soften the outdoor space and make the garden look bigger. IIn addition, it gives you privacy as it stops you from seeing your neighbours and blocks them from looking into your yard. Both you and your neighbours win here!

The following plants are the perfect plants for screening your perimeter as they grow well in most Australian conditions, require minimal care and pruning and grow to roughly fence height: Orange Jessamine, Lilly Pilly and Sweet Viburnum. These plants look great all year round and can be purchased from your local nursery. 

Garden Plants

Some fresh plants go a long way when you’re selling. It makes the garden look well cared for and inviting. So if you’re thinking about selling soon, consider visiting a nursery and selecting some shrubs that are flowering and looking good now. For bonus points, opt for a variety with scented flowers to boost the garden's overall look and add to the appeal.

When selecting plants for your garden, make sure they look great, are low maintenance, and are hardy for our tough Queensland environment. The following plants achieve all of the above: Flax, Star Jasmine, Giant Mondo Grass, Variegated Liriope and Cordyline varieties. They can be bought from your local nursery. 


Amid all the excitement of building a new home, landscaping can often become an afterthought. But great gardens don’t happen by accident; each design is reactive – responding to climate, spatial considerations and the life and style of the homeowners.

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