Helen Young Horticulturist

Garden Consultation Ideas & Advice

Expert Garden Advice - In your garden
Garden Design and Renovation Tips

The garden consultation provides two hours of advice, ideas and planning with you in your garden. It is particularly suited to people who aren't sure what they could or should be doing to upgrade their garden, and want some help on how to proceed. During the consultation Helen can:

  • Identify plants in your garden and answer your questions about them.
  • Discuss ideas to improve or redesign your garden- whether you're working to a budget or want to be inspired by new possibilities.
  • Suggest solutions to your garden problems - how to screen the neighbours, what to do where the lawn won't grow or how to add more colour.
  • Discuss water issues such as planning a low water use garden, using water efficiently, irrigation systems, rainwater tanks and use of grey water.
  • Suggest new plants for your garden– what will grow where, choices for colour, fragrance, shade, screening, bird-attracting etc. Her extensive photo library has pictures of plants that do well in the local area.
  • Answer questions about pruning, pests and diseases, fertilising and weed control.
  • Advise on how to make your garden low maintenance.
  • Assess your soil, with pH testing available, and advise on how to improve it.
  • Suggest the best turf types to choose and discuss lawn care.

Helen doesn't "do" a particular style of garden, but believes every client should have the garden they love and that fits their lifestyle and their site. She has created successful gardens that are native, formal, cottagey, tropical, Mediterranean and contemporary minimalist in style. For many clients, the needs of family life take precedence and the design is worked around kids, dogs and minimal maintenance, while still achieving a garden to give pleasure and enhance the house. It's your garden after all.

Notes are written during the consultation and are left with you so you have a record of what was discussed and suggested.

The two-hour garden consultation costs $395, including GST. One hour sessions are also available.

Following the consultation, Helen can recommend trusted contractors to quote on the work discussed. The consultation will provide you with a brief to allow you to obtain competitive quotes for the same work, so you can compare the quotes easily. Helen can also supply plants at competitive prices, which she personally sources and picks so you get the best quality (see the our plants supply section).



Garden Design

While the garden consultation service can discuss design principles and suggest design ideas for you, and usually covers what to plant where, it does not include a formal plan. If you have a base plan, Helen can follow up the consultation with preparation of a planting plan at an agreed fee. Or if you need a plan drawn for a DA or construction, Helen can recommend dedicated landscape designers to assist you.

The cost varies considerably, depending on the size of your site, what base plans available to start work on, the complexities of the design and the type of plans required.

Types of plan include:

Concept Plan – how your outdoor space is to be utilised, identifying areas such as lawns, garden beds, utilities area, swimming pool, paths, paving, retaining walls, steps, screening etc.

Landscape Plan – a fully drafted plan of the design framework with details of the above elements.

Planting Plan – showing details of all plants to be used, including a Planting Schedule, specifying sizes and quantities of plants.



Hand-picked Plants and Accessories

Helen supplies plants that are not only hand-picked to ensure the best quality but are also cheaper than most retail garden centres. Because she is buying plants every week for clients, she knows what is available, where and who has the best quality. By selecting direct from local growers and from wholesalers that carry plants from interstate growers, she has access to the widest choice of stock and will shop around for the best quality plants available. She can track down even rare and unusual plants, and all sizes from small to super advanced specimen trees.

Clients are given a written budget for the plants, with options depending on the size of plants chosen. When buying large specimen trees she can often email pictures of possible choices to you.

Other items such as pots, garden ornaments and water features are also available at competitive prices.



Water Efficient Gardens

Water restrictions, when they're in place, don't mean you have to give up any plans for having a beautiful garden. Your garden is still very important in terms of your quality of life, your family activities, your property value and the environment at large, but it makes sense for it to be water efficient.

Water restrictions do mean we have to rethink how we garden, how we "spend" water and how we save and recycle water. We can help you create a beautiful garden that is water efficient by advising you about:

  • Choosing low water use plants
  • Garden design that groups plants according to their water needs
  • Thorough soil preparation, adding organic matter to increase your soil's water- and nutrient-holding capacity
  • Use of soil wetting agents and other new products to help water penetrate and hold in your soil
  • Choosing the right mulch
  • Efficient irrigation systems that comply with current water restrictions
  • The pros and cons of lawns
  • Use of rainwater tanks and grey water

Phone Helen to discuss how she can help you plan a more waterwise garden during a garden consultation.

Water Restrictions

In the Sydney area, there are currently no water restrictions in place.

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