Benefits of well-conceived green spaces are documented the world over. They provide engaging social settings, improve air quality, decrease noise, offer privacy and natural surrounds for relaxation.
Landscaped gardens can also dramatically increase property value and curb appeal, so it’s no surprise that residents often decide to finess their green thumbs in an effort to refresh more than the front lawn. But there are some drawbacks to the DIY approach.
Landscaping is serious business, and seemingly minor tweaks can require licensed construction under the watchful eye of trades. The Illawarra also has a distinct climate with significant seasonal variances, which can make plant selection challenging.
This is where an experienced landscaper can help. Great landscapers will take your brief along with cues from your home’s location and surrounds to conceptualise, design and construct the ideal outdoor space. They are also expert horticulturalists with an intimate knowledge of plant species, ensuring that you reap seeds sowed.
But since the market is often awash with gardeners come landscapers, finding an experienced and qualified professional with all the right credentials can be challenging. To help you navigate, we’ve provided some points to keep in mind along with our recommendations for the best landscapers in the Wollongong region.
What makes a great landscaper?
The best Wollongong landscapers create breathtaking surrounds with strong structural forms, that speak to soul of their inhabitants. Great landscaping not only expands liveable space, it also adds significant value to any property.
Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting a landscaper:
- Green philosophy. In many ways landscape design is an art form, with artists aplenty and equally as many styles out there. Understand your own style, and seek a landscaper who specialises in this area. Is your landscaper an innovator creating sculptural delights, or do they prefer natural organic flows? A shared philosophy and clear expectations will ensure your vision is translated properly.
- Qualified, licensed and insured. The best landscapers have completed formal training in horticulture and all aspects of landscaping, including construction and design. A licensed tradesperson will be required for any projects which need planning or permits – including those with structures like patios, porches, decks, electrical installemnts and pools. Always ensure your landscaper is professionally insured.
- Impeccable project management. A fully landscaped space is a feat in production – dealing with live assets subject to changes in weather, soil composition, pollution and more is no easy feat. A great landscaper will have superior project management skills, including clear timelines and agile delivery, and have contingencies in place if something goes awry. Request references from past clients for peace of mind that your project will be delivered on time and on budget.
- Quality installations. Years of experience set the best landscapers aside from the rest. Look for evidence of quality installations that have been delivered to the highest standards. Also ensure your landscaper is well versed with the variances in the Illawarra’s climate, and is prepared to guarantee their products and their work. Enquire about the locations of their past projects and be sure to pay them a visit to see how their work holds up over time.
- Contracts and maintenance. Good landscapers provide clear contracts to detail all terms. Ensure you agree upon inclusions, responsibilities, prices, payment terms and guarantees. Caring for a newly planted landscape can make even the most confident gardeners uneasy. Agreeing on a maintenance plan beforehand will ensure your garden will be nurtured once laid. Also check on liability for any plants that do not survive, as replacement can be a costly exercise.
The best landscapers in Wollongong
Region Illawarra’s editorial team has compiled a comprehensive list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best in Wollongong series, each business needs to have maintained a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google and Facebook, and have plenty of positive reviews.
South Coast Landscapes is a family owned and operated residential landscaping company, based in the Illawarra.
This business has a great reputation for getting the job done expertly, with minimal fuss. Owner Ryan believes that gardens are a true expression of customers and their families.
South Coast Landscapes can improve the value of a property and quality of life for those living inside. The team is fully licensed in landscape design, construction, and finishing touches like irrigation and continued maintenance.
Some landscapers offer only general services. Jarod Cunningham is not one of them. Alongside a stunning portfolio of general garden work, Harbourside Landscaping & Paving covers retaining walls, irrigation and drainage systems, water features, garden lighting, decks, pergolas and more.
Jarod's business was built on four core principles; structural integrity, practical solutions, tackling difficult job sites, and 100% project focus.
The team's commitment to these values has awarded them a solid, loyal customer referral base across Wollongong and Sutherland Shire.
Craig's Coastal Landscaping Services (CCLS) is a full-service landscape provider that offers top quality design, hard and soft construction, and horticultural programs to residential, commercial and municipal clients throughout the greater Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Highlands regions.
CCLS team members pride themselves on keeping up to date with the latest trends, technologies and innovations in the wider landscaping industry. They believe that landscape design is all about balance, and each element plays an important role in making the final product appear effortless.
Homes are in good hands with Shaw Landscape Group. Hand-selected for their skill, passion, creativity and work ethic, the team holds valuable knowledge in horticulture, landscape design, landscape construction and maintenance.
In August 2022, Shaw Landscape Group was announced as a finalist in the 2022 IMB Bank Illawarra Business Awards for ‘Excellence in Customer Service’.
They are also heavily involved in their local community, taking part in pro bono projects like painting ‘The House that Convoy Built’ for the Illawarra Community Foundation.
Boston Design Co has serviced clients in Wollongong and surrounding NSW for over a decade.
Owner Ryan Boston found his passion for landscaping and horticulture as a child, helping his dad on his own landscaping projects after school.
An award winning landscape design and construction provider, Ryan says Boston Design Co is a 'turnkey solution' that helps clients create a 'truly unique garden'. Services also include swimming pools, landscape lighting and residential maintenance programs.
Your experience with landscapers in Wollongong
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Do you have experience with any of the Wollongong landscapers listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is landscape design?
Landscape design is the integration of planning and construction phases of a garden, with its overarching design and plant selection therein.
What should a landscape plan include?
Landscape plans should include any required structural aspects such as retaining walls, pavers, irrigation and lighting, along with natural elements like flowers, trees, grasses, and any introduced elements such as benches, fountains or sheds.
What are the basic principles of landscape design?
A visually aesthetic landscape can be created by following six core principles of landscape design: balance, focalisation, simplicity, line, proportion, and unity.
What questions should I ask a landscape gardener?
What services do you offer? Can I see examples of your past work? Do you offer garden consultations? What ideas do you have for our yard? What is your usual process? What is your estimated cost for our design needs?
How much should I budget for landscaping?
As a general rule, average landscaping costs are between 5 and 10 percent of the value of your home when driveways, patios, decking and other hardscaping works are included.