As boundaries between inside and outside living continue to blur, many Canberrans are seeking ways to improve the use of their outdoor space.
Benefits of well-conceived green spaces are documented the world over. They provide engaging social settings; improve air quality and decrease noise; offer privacy and a welcomed natural surround for relaxation.
With landscaped gardens increasing property value and curb appeal; it is no surprise that residents from Forrest to Fadden are finessing their green thumbs. There are however some drawbacks with the do-it-yourself approach.
Landscaping is serious business; seemingly minor tweaks can require licensed construction under the watchful eye of trades. Canberra also has a distinct climate with vast seasonal variances which makes plant selection challenging.
This is where experienced landscapers can help. Great landscapers take your brief and cues from your surrounds to conceptualise, design, and construct your space. They are also expert horticulturalists, with an innate knowledge of plant species, ensuring that you reap the seeds of what you sow.
With the market 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 Canberra region.
What makes a great landscaper?
The best Canberra landscapers create breathtaking surrounds with strong structural form that speaks to soul of its 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 a plenty and equally as many styles. Understand your own style, and seek a landscaper who specialises in this area. Is your landscaper a classicist embracing formal tradition; are they innovators creating sculptural delights; or do they prefer natural organic flows? A shared philosophy and clear expectations will ensure your vision is aptly translated into a living reality.
- Qualified, licensed, and insured. The best landscapers have completed formal training in horticulture and all aspects of landscaping including construction and design. Whilst a landscaping licence is not currently required in Canberra, a licensed tradesperson will be required for any projects which need planning or permits; structures like patios, porches, and decks; electrical; and pools. Importantly, ensure your landscaper is professionally insured.
- Impeccable project management. A fully landscaped space is a feat in production, dealing with live assets and subject to Canberra’s extreme climate. A great landscaper will have superior project management skills, including clear timelines, agile delivery, and will be prepared for contingencies. 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 Canberra’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.
- Contracts & maintenance. Good landscapers provide clear contracts details all terms. Ensure you agree upon inclusions, responsibilities, prices, payment terms, and guarantees. Caring for a newly planted landscape in Canberra’s early summer 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.
Important essentials to check before engaging a landscaper
To ensure a quality installation that will stand the test of time a couple of minutes spent checking the following will help to give you peace of mind; and ensure you avoid a mediocre landscaper:
- Confirm that the landscaper runs a registered business through the Australian Business Registration website.
- If you or your landscaper are contracting individual trades for planning or permits; non-habitable structures like patios, porches, and decks; electrical; and any pools or water features; ensure they are appropriately licensed.
- Verify that the landscaper, and any additional trades are professionally insured with public liability insurance.
- Be clear on contracted inclusions, terms, and conditions.
The best landscapers in Canberra
Riotact’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on Riotact and Facebook as well as maintain a minimum of 4/5 stars on Google.
Botanica Landscapes is an award-winning family business with an experienced team of innovative designers and professional landscapers focused on delivering high-quality residential design and construction projects.
The company offers a complete start-to-finish landscape service, from initial consultation through to design and final construction. This ensures a smooth transition at every step.
Owned by the Rehwinkel family, Botanica Landscapes has a long and respected reputation on the horticultural scene in Canberra and region. Managing Director and landscaper Elliot Rehwinkel and his team use their deep local horticultural knowledge, combined with innovative design skills and expertise in construction, to bring landscaping visions to fruition.
Botanica Landscapes excels at tailoring landscape solutions which combine creativity with quality materials and workmanship.
With more than 40 years of industry experience, Botanica Landscapes continually exceeds client expectations. Services include paving, artificial turf, flagstone, planting and mulching, edging, garden beds, turf, irrigation, ponds and water features, retaining walls, as well as granite paths and driveways.
Satisfied client Alivio Tourist Park wrote on RiotACT, "Alivio Tourist Park Canberra, located in O’Connor has recently engaged Elliot from Botanica Landscapes to design and build a significant native feature garden at the entry of the property. The recently completed work speaks for itself and Elliot was a considerate and talented professional to work with. We are thrilled with the result and have no hesitation in recommending Botanica Landscapes for future projects. Please feel free to visit our park and see Elliot’s work for yourself."
Family owned and operated, Bonza Backyards services Canberra and surrounds. The company transforms backyards and outdoor living spaces into functional, great looking places to enjoy, each unique in its own right.
Bonza Backyards offers tailored design and detailed completion. Services include paving, edging, decks (timber and composite), retaining walls, gravel and granite installations, paths and driveways, artificial turf and natural turf installation. Bonza Backyards also provides advice on plant selection and creates high-quality garden beds. Local suppliers are used for all materials.
Urgent projects are backed by Bonza Backyards’ strong partnerships with sub-contractors, who can be available on short notice for excavating, concreting, bricklaying and tiling. All up, this makes Bonza Backyards a convenient one-stop shop.
Bonza Backyards caters for projects of all sizes, from small courtyards through to new residential builds, both hard and softscapes.
With a sharp customer focus, Bonza Backyards pays attention to detail and guarantees its work.
With total passion, Panacea Landscapes provides complete garden maintenance and soft landscaping services for private, commercial, strata and real estate projects.
With friendly, personalised service and attention to detail, Panacea Landscapes offers full landscape maintenance services for every type of garden, one-off or ongoing. It also provides small-scale landscape design and construction services, as well as planting advice. No job is too small or too hard.
Panacea Landscapes is run by a qualified Horticulturist and Landscape Designer with over 15 years' experience in the industry. Quality is assured by forming close client relationships, to determine needs, and following best-practice guidelines.
Free consultation and quotes available.
Clive Rodger wrote on Google, “Shannon has been our gardener for the last five years. Initially this was at in our award-winning, two-acre garden in Red Hill and more recently at our new house in Ainslie. She is fantastic: hard working; totally reliable; knowledgeable …”
Design. Build. Grow. This is what Landculture—a full design and construction company—is all about.
Landculture offers custom landscape design and construction solutions. Specialising in residential and commercial landscape, Landculture takes great pride in its showstopper projects.
Landculture’s fully trained and experienced team has been creating bespoke landscaping dreams for clients for over 10 years. The team works on small-scale projects for homeowners to large-scale architectural projects of all shapes, forms and functions. Landscape design and construction includes all steel fabrication, retaining walls, paving, decks, irrigation and other aspects of soft works.
The build phase is as important as design, with Landculture adopting a specialised approach to every project. The maintenance team supports clients to keep up appearances.
In addition to working with private residences, Landculture works with body corporates, architects and property designers.
Landculture is a member of The Landscape Association.
On Google, Gayle Roche wrote, “Landculture was assigned the mammoth task of landscaping my disaster of a backyard. They came up trumps ...”
True landscaping experts, In-Depth Landscape Construction makes outdoor spaces more comfortable, increases curb appeal and boosts property values. A locally owned and operated family business, In-Depth Landscape Construction services homes and businesses across the ACT. Qualified tradespersons deliver high-end landscaping, paving, fencing, decks, pool scaping and irrigation. In-Depth Landscape Construction is a one-stop shop for project management, masonry, plumbing and timber work.
Ben Sangster wrote on Google, “Quote process was efficient, price was great, and the quality of the work excellent.”
If your backyard just needs a tidy up, check out our article on the best gardening services in Canberra. Or, if you prefer to do it yourself, check out our article on the best landscaping supplies stores. You may also like our articles on the best bricklayers or the best concreters Canberra has to offer.
Your experience with landscapers in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the landscaping companies 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, and 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.
How much does landscaping cost in Canberra?
Landscaping costs vary significantly based on the scale, complexity, and ease of access for the works. Minor work on existing landscapes can cost from $20/hr up to $350+/hr for those which are more complex.
How much should I budget for landscaping?
A general rule of thumb when budgeting for complete landscaping services is to set aside between 5% to 10% of your property’s value.