As with all designers, our process begins with a conversation with our client and establishment of a design brief.

Each landscape project is different and this conversation gives us an understanding of what is important to our client and how the garden will work for them.  It may be a family with young children who are looking for a safe but exciting play space.  Or it could be a property developer who is looking to sell and needs the garden to provide wow factor to entice buyers.

What the team at Genus finds however, is that there are some key requirments that regularly appear in our design briefs.

What are the most common design brief requests?

1.  Looks after itself

By far the most common requirement for both private gardens and developments is that the garden be low maintenance.  The modern family is busy with everyone working, going to school, playing sports or generally doing activities that don’t allow time for weekends spent in the garden.  Not everyone can be out watering and pruning all the time, so plants that can look after themselves are eagerly sought after.


Locally indigenous plants are well suited to a drought tolerant garden, however it is impossbile to have a landscape that is ‘no maintenance’, so finding the right mix of self sufficiency and aesthetics can be challenging!

2.  Outdoor rooms

Can we thank Jamie Durie for the phrase ‘Outdoor Room’?  Outdoor entertaining and Al fresco dining are a huge part of Australian life and creating spaces in the garden that extend the living rooms is high on the list for many clients.


The concept of a blended inside / outside space has been around for many years, however modern spaces now include cooking facilities, a bar fridge, televisions and even the kitchen sink.



3.  Narrow gardens

Today’s block of land is getting smaller and it is more and more challenging to create amazingly planted gardens in the narrow space left between building and boundary.


Narrow spaces require a selection of plants and materials that are suited to limited (or sometimes concentrated) sunlight, high foot traffic as a side access way, and the need to be tall and thin.  And not everyone is a fan of bamboo!

4.  Something to look at

As a result of narrow setbacks to the boundary, we are often faced with windows from main living spaces or bedrooms that look straight at a fence.


Feature screens, ornaments or specialised fence treatments are high on the list of requirements to provide pleaseing views from these windows.


Contemporary kitchens with splashback windows have created a whole new angle for views of the garden and it’s important to have something great to look at.

5.  Grow from home

Finally, many of our clients are keen to return to the days of the humble home vegie patch.  Growing your own vegies and being more self sustainable is a great activity for a family in their garden and helps to reduce the weekly grocery bill!


Vegie & herb gardens can be expansive or as small as a few pots outside your kitchen door.  What is important is the personal choice in what you grow and harvest.

What do you want from your landscape?