I am often asked: "How do we save costs on our landscaping?" A smart way of approaching this is by thinking about reducing long-term expenses, even if this means that the initial costs of your garden might be higher.
A good approach to designing a low-maintenance, low-cost garden is a combination of hardscape and softscape. The garden can be 70 per cent hardscape (water features and paving, for example) and 30 per cent softscape (plants and trees).
Flamed granite, which is sturdy and not very porous, can be used for tiling and will last for years; slate and porcelain are also good options.
Keep trees and plants to a minimum. If you want a lawn, consider artificial turf - some varieties look natural and help save on water. Install an automatic or subsurface irrigation system, which is eco-friendly because it returns water to the soil.
Don't forget to add a barbecue grill, comfortable seating, and spike or pole lights. Remember: LED lights might cost more initially but consume less electricity. Make your garden an extension of the home - which the whole family can enjoy.
* Sejal Nagjee, founder of Milestone Gardens & Interiors, www.landscapingdubai.com