Landscape Design

At Nepean Landscapes we offer a comprehensive range of Landscape design and documentation service's. All design is completed in house, we do not use subcontractor's. Our point of difference is that we are not only Qualified designers, we are also Qualified and licenced in Landscape Construction and have over 20 years of on the ground experience.


A design is only theory until it is constructed, and we bridge the gap between theory and practical with working knowledge of how a landscape is planned, and constructed. Practicality and Functionality are important aspects and we have athe advantage over other designers because we understand what works. With an intimate knowledge of products and materials choices, we provide a design viewpoint, that can only be achieved by building landscapes for many years.

We create landscape plans, renderings, documentation and reports for residential, commercial and industrial purposes.

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What is Landscape Design?

Landscape design is where a new garden is born, ideas are merged into a direction to convey those ideas into drawing format so everybody can see what you are thinking. Good garden design requires a deeper understanding of the workings of a quality landscaped garden. There are many factors to be considered within a site before any designing is done.

Considerations of the site conditions will influence the possibilities of the landscape to enhance, on the other side the constraints will serve to hinder your ideas and require clever ways to combat them, finding solutions and a balance, will be an important aspect of the design process to maximise the potential of any space.

A thorough site assessment is required to understand the canvas you are working with, to understand how to proceed further and understanding of the end goal of the client. Just a few examples of analysis of the site conditions are;

  • Geology and Soils and Plant Selection: Yep, I got it, its clay, throw some gypsum in there and it will be all good. NO! Soils vary from house to house and there are many different types of clay which require different approaches to improve the soil conditions for optimal plant growth. Are there compaction issues? Are there erosional issues? Too wet? Too dry? Lack of nutrients? for example. An assessment of soils and geology condition's will determine appropriate plant selection for optimal growth. A plant at optimal growth with require less maintenance and have less chance of disease. Understanding the geology will determine different construction techniques for any structural elements to ensure structural integrity and longevity.  

  • Water: One of the first factors to be assessed. The site and how water reacts with it important. Water can cause expensive repair bills to buildings and homes if it is not controlled. Water pooling against buildings, insufficent drainage, boggy soils for example, all need to be rectified by controlling water. Adding landscape elements such as retaining walls for example, must consider how water interaction with the site will change as a result of the wall. Good design will take existing water issues, combined with the introduction of a new landscape elements, and create appropriate water control measure's to minimise water's negative impact's on the site.

Dog Walking on a Sunny Day
  • Climate: Local climate or microclimate conditions need to be analysed. This determines how the sun, wind, rainfall for example will effect the site. Consideration of these factors provides a more comfortable space to enjoy, and any design must take into consideration the micro climate to place elements in suitable locations to reduce any negative effects. The living elements of your landscape will thank you such as plants, grasses, pets and people, as the space provides adequate shade where needed, protection from howling winds, plants positioned in an appropriate location to recieve the correct amount of sun. 

  • Function: A vital aspect of any landscape is function, you could design the greatest garden in the history of the world, but if it lacks function, it's a failure. Function comes with assessment of your needs in regards to the use of the space. Forming the uses into a design that functions. The landscape must be accessible, have the basics incorporated such as a form of clothesline, storage, lighting if you will entertain at night, appropriate vehicle access and parking, smooth pathway transitions between spaces, lawn area for recreation to mention just a few.

  • Environmental legislation: Your local Council is responsible for enforcing the legislation in regards to what you can and can't do in relation to your landscape. It comes in the form of a DCP (Development Control Plan). You would not want to build that new deck and later discover that it is in an illegal position, and required council approval via a D.A. (Development Application). Consideration of the local laws need to be abided by and a good design will take these potential limitations and solution towards a positive result. 

We have shown above around 30% of the initial assessment that goes towards producing a design, and we have not yet drawn a thing! Hopefully you now have an insight into the depth of analysis and time it takes to produce quality, well thought through, combining a sound base of knowledge of the site and incorporating your requirements to produce a well grounded landscape design.

"Anyone can design a Landscape, not anyone can design a Landscape to fit seemlessy within unique site conditions considering Compatibility, Microclimate, Geology and Soils, Structural Integrity, Plant Selection, Budget Restrictions, Product Selection, maintaining Practical, Functional areas and creating an aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable space with good amenity whilst enhancing possibilities and combating negative site constraints"


Why do you need a Landscape Design?

You are crazy not to invest in a Landscape design.


The average cost of landscaping a home is on par with buying a brand new car. So, if you were buying a new car, would you buy it before you had seen it, read it's specifications, understand what features it will have ? Would you take the word of the car salesmen when he tells you, you will love how it looks and drives, you will love the features? without ever seeing the car, No!, you would not buy a car in this scenario. So why would you hand over your hard earned money to a landscaper on the basis that he has verbally outlined what you will get and determined a price, and told you that you will love it.


A landscape design can clarify in visual and written terms exactly what you will recieve, what it will cost, and what it will look like before you have invested a large sum of money. 70% of disputes between Landscapers and clients is a mis-communication from either party as to what they expected to recieve at the end of the project. The client and the landscaper will both be happier to have a set out of plan of what is to be built, leading to a happy customer in the end with no disputes. The landscape drawings clear up any chance of mis-communication before money has exchanged hands. And considering the design will only cost on average 3-4% of the total costs of the project, thats a very resonably priced insurance policy for peace of mind for your project.

Apples v Apples Landscaping Quotes

So, you have project in mind. You would like to landscape your backyard and you want to find out what it will cost. You have some firm ideas of what you want, some decking and the pool revamped. You contacted several Landscapers and you have recieved their quotes.


On reciept of some quotes you are now more confused than ever as to what the job should cost. One price is at 18k, the second price is at 24k, and the third is at 30k. How can the prices vary so much ? What has happened here is each Landscaper has come up with an idea on what different elements they believe should be included in the landscape, the 30k quote included a custom water feature, the 24k was close to the 18k but added more plants to the gardens and a nicer stone for the pool, and the 18k quote didnt even cover all of the elements you requested, has minimal plants of poor quality. This is very common in the industry, although they all told you what they have quoted, you should not be required to understand technical terms and if the stone needs sealing, or how many plants need to go in , or how the decking boards are fixed.


Landscaping projects have a lot of different variations in quoting. It is the biggest mis-communication but nobodys fault exclusively. A contractor performing a quote does not have the time to document the construction details and usually resorts to verball explaining what is included or provides a brief sketch, on why his quotes costs x $. And there within lies the problem, the first chain in the mis-communication has begun.

A landscape plan will put clarity to the project and avoid mis-communications, with a drawn plan of the exact layout, positioning and proportions of each element, the exact number of plants, the exact type of products, the exact type of soil and mulch for example. A landscape plan with technical specifications and construction details, will create no misunderstanding about what the project entails, and with what materials and methods it is to built. All Landscapers quoting with the design in hand are now quoting the exact same job, allowing you to trully see which contractor has the most competitive price as all prices will now be based on the exact same work.

"A landscape design can act as an insurance policy to ensure you project is built correctly, with a level of knowledge and understanding your environment to ensure a prospering landscape to maturity.

A few more reasons to design

Yes, a landscape plan will give you more apples v apples quotes and avoid mis-communications between you and your contractors. There are a few other things a design will help you with too;

  • Know what your getting: A landscape plan will allow you to see what you are paying for before committing to the costs. If you have trouble visualising via 2D plans, we offer 3D rendered versions to see your garden come to life before commitment.

  • Know what it will Cost: We can cost any job we design, this document will explain what you should pay for the design drawn, we will ensuring you are not overpaying for the project.

  • Maximising your money: A good design will utilise your budget to its maximum, scraping out every dollar to make your project the best it can be for the money you are happy to outlay.

  • Quality: Be assured in the fact your new landscape has been designed not only to look good now, but to mature into a great space for you to enjoy for many years to come.


Our Design Services

  Design services we can offer:

  • Landscape Concept Plans

  • Landscape Plans for Council Submission (DA)  

  • Landscape Plans for Complying Development Certificate (CDC)

  • Landscape Plans for Developer Approval

  • Landscape Documentation Maintenance Plans

  • Landscape Construction Plans

  • Landscape Renderings

  • Landscape Management

PDF Assessment 14 Landscape Concept Plan

Landscape Design Packages



Process: An onsite consultation for site assessment and completion of a client brief to compile your requirements and desires to a formatted approach. Undertake a site analysis and produce a Landscape Concept Plan drawn in CAD with technical specifications.

Why a Concept Plan: Included technical specifications which determine products, materials and their techniques of installation so you are recieving contractors quotes that are all based on the same job, therefore apples v apples quotes. Most cowboy contractors are cutting on materials to create seemingly cheaper quotes but are actually increasing their profits beyond the seemingly more expensive contractors who are operating with good Landscape construction practices, the concept will give you a point of reference to prove the work is not up to standard in the result of disputes.

Cost: Packages from $800


Process: Once engaged, we will prepare the documentation for submission and you will recieve a PDF file version ready to submit. Turnaround from engagement is usaully within 5 business days.

What is a DA Drawing: This is documentation in a drawn format for submission to your council or developer for approval. The document will meet the consent conditions of your local council (DCP) Development Control Plan and all relevant council legislation. The document will gain approval only for the landscaping component of your project. 

If you are looking for more than just a document, you would like to have more input to the plants used, style of the plan ect. Refer to DA/CDC Landscape Plan (Design)

Cost: Package from $400

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Process: An onsite consultation for site assessment and completion of a client brief to compile your requirements and desires to a formatted approach. We will prepare documentation for submission inline with your requirements and budget and you will recieve a PDF file version ready to submit. Turnaround from engagement is usaully within 7 business days.

What is a DA Drawing: This is documentation in a drawn format for submission to your council or developer for approval. The document will meet the consent conditions of your local council (DCP) Development Control Plan and all relevant council legislation. The document will gain approval only for the landscaping component of your project. 

With the DA/CDC Landscape Plan Design, this is not just a document to gain approval, it is a Landscape design which comply's with consent conditions to give your development the look and style that you want whilst gaining approval.

Cost: Package from $700


Process: An in depth onsite consultation for site assessment and completion of a client brief. Conduct a site survey, site analysis, and initial draft drawings for clients review. Recieve clients feed back and ammendments if any. Draw up Final Landscape Plans including:

  • A detailed Planting List with photos

  • Planting Plan

  • Construction Plan 

  • Construction details 

  • Planting Details

  • Landscape Technical Specification  

  • Selection of Landscape Surface finishes, furniture with photos

  • Materials List with quantities and photos


  • Lighting Plan

  • Irrigation Plan

  • 3D Renderings

Why a Design Suite: This suite is for a client who will engage a professional contractor to construct the Landscape. This is for those who want a clear understanding of every detail of their project and want well organised professional plans to minimise confusing between their contractor.

Cost: Packages from $1950