It’s Only A Phase!

Monday, 07 September 2015

Clients commonly ask us if it is OK if they can phase their garden build. We ensure there is complete flexibility with all our designs and how they are built. If it’s something you are considering read our blog about the benefits and downsides to this approach.

A phased garden

A garden in Perth which was built over two phases

Sometimes it’s not possible to build your newly designed dream garden at the one time. Maybe budget doesn’t allow it or perhaps other building work going on in the house might impact on the garden. By building the design in phases, though, it is still possible to eventually get the dream garden over a longer timescale.

Planning Process

The most important thing is to be organised and draw up a masterplan of everything the final garden will contain. This masterplan will ensure that the phases marry together neatly and produce a cohesive overall feel once all stages are complete. The master design also becomes roadmap for every cable and pipe to be laid above or below ground and the identity and position of every tree and plant. For example if you’re laying a patio in an early phase it will be important to know if you’re installing a lighting feature at a later stage so that electrics can be properly located and the patio doesn’t need to be lifted temporarily.
It is useful to also have a mood board of the different soft and hard landscaping to be used in each phase to give a greater appreciation of how those will work together too.


A mood board shows all the areas of the garden which will come together

Building Process

In order to get as much instant gratification as possible the larger surfacing work should be done in phase one. This includes laying patios and lawns further away from access points. Not only will you be able to enjoy these spaces but getting the soil covered will help keep your house clean! Another priority should be getting shelter from wind or sun and some privacy/security. This could be boundaries such as fences and walls or trees. If you’re including any “grow your own” areas you might wish this to be done earlier in the build too so you can start to re-coup money savings on shop bought produce.

A design for a phased garden in Stirling

A design for a phased garden in Stirling


If you’re redesigning front and back gardens it can be tempting to start with the front garden to get best kerbside effect. But all the hard work can easily be damaged if there are subsequent access issues getting materials into the rear garden and waste out. It’s best not to “paint yourself into a corner”!

The last thing you do is seed the lawn or lay turf. Newly planted lawns need time to germinate or root and that’s hard to do if they’re being trampled all over by gardeners lugging other plants around! It’s also best to plant up the ornamental flowers and trees in the latter phases as they’ll need maintenance and pruning so you may as well put that off until the end.
Phase 2: This back garden was phased to tie in with the new house extension

Phase 2: This back garden was phased to tie in with the new house extension


The main benefit is that work can be done as and when budget allows (it can be done over however many months or years as suits you.)  You can perhaps spend a little bit more getting the best quality plants and some bigger specimens. This can be offset by buying smaller trees in the first phase which tend to cope better with the shock of being moved. Spreading your budget means no corners will need to be cut and you won’t have to settle for something you are not 100% sure about.


Plan each garden phase well

It’s important to think how the phasing will work so no damage is done to areas already completed

Before Your Design

Once your design is complete, whilst there is flexibility in when to do the build, it’s better to stick to your design plan. Small tweaks are fine but it’s better to make sure you 100% happy with your design before doing any work on it. To make this happen there are a few things to consider before you ask us to design your garden:
If you’ve not long moved into the property, spend time to work out just how your existing garden works for you.

  • What existing plants do you like/not like?
  • What other features would you like to keep or introduce?
  • Who will we using the garden?
  • What do you use your garden for and at what time of day?
  • How much growing space do you want for fruit and veg?
  • How much time do you have to maintain the design?

So if you are considering a new look to your garden please get in touch and we will be round to help you plan a master design so you can get everything on your “essential”,”nice to have” and “dream” lists.

All at Vialii

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