Garden design - Landscapingcreating your outdoor ambience
DURING the past 15 years, Living 4 Landscapes director Brad Fisher has watched the evolution of outdoor home design - become simpler.

The local resident, who carried on the family trade from his father at a young age before branching off to start his own business, said today's outdoor living areas were about maximising the space to its full potential, boasting a simple style with less maintenance.

"People would rather sit back and enjoy their outdoor area rather then working in it, that is why simplicity is popular," he said.

"The outdoor area of a home has become an extension of the house, like another room in the home."

The landscaping professional said residents had changed their tune when it came to incorporating a mixture of outdoor elements in to the area to give it a modern touch.

"Years ago the extra space was pigeonholed into just turf and plants, but today people step outside the boundaries with the addition of a whole construction, including water features, pavers, retaining walls, lighting and raised planter beds," he said.

When it comes to planting, Mr Fisher said because the weather had taken a toll on watering, residents had become aware of what drought-tolerant plants they could use.

"Cycads, yuccas and frangipanis have become popular because they require hardly any water, complement an outdoor area and are low maintenance," he said.

Mr Fisher said if you were thinking about redesigning or starting an outdoor living area from scratch, it was important to sit down with a professional and talk about what you want from the space.

"Have a chat with someone who has the right experience about the style direction you want to go in and the other possibilities available that you may not know about for the creation of the area. Then you can both create a design and begin the construction properly," he said.

"All construction times vary. They can start around two weeks to a month, depending on the size of the area.

"Being in a climate where we thrive on being outdoors, it is just as important to make your outdoor living area as beautiful as indoors.

"There is never a job too big or too small, which means anyone can have the outdoor they desire."