An Introduction On How To Cut Garden Landscaping Costs

In Ireland, gardens have become an extension of our living space. There is a great desire to have outdoor areas in our home where we can relax, play and entertain. However, the price of garden design and landscaping can be costly.

If you are seeking to redesign your garden or create a garden layout that allows you to use your garden in a new and improved way, then following are a few ideas to help you get started and maybe save you a few bob along the way.

Start with a Plan

A plan will help you decide the style, planting, and resourcing for both labour and materials. This plan will also help determine the amount of money you'll need to get the job done.

Search the internet, books and magazines for garden images that appeal to you and represent the size, shape and position of your garden. Visiting open gardens and garden shows are places to get inspiration, but keep in mind your garden size and garden aspect, as this will determine your garden’s layout and planting.

Garden styles vary greatly, from formal styles complete with hard landscaping to informal styles with curves and relaxed planting. Your goal when designing your landscaped garden is to achieve an aesthetic balance as well as taking into account your garden’s intended use. Is your garden going to be a place to kick a ball or a quiet place to relax?

As you don't want to be a slave to your finished design, consider the level of maintenance required to keep your garden looking great all-year-round. Also remember the more complex your design, the more labour and materials will be required - which will likely increase the cost of your project.

Garden Landscaping Costs

An important aspect of garden landscaping is creating structure and flow. Planting is just as important, but is a secondary consideration and can be phased according to your budget.

Possible landscaping costs may include hard landscaping options using materials such as brick or stone slabs to create features like patios or borders. Alternatively, you can also achieve structure and flow by creating garden edges and borders with a digger or spade.

When setting your budget you'll need to consider demolition of existing structures and removal of unwanted surfaces. Some gardens may need drainage added, perimeter walls built, trees removed or excess soil removed from the site before landscaping can start.

If your design includes adding irrigation systems or running utility lines like water, gas or electrics then this may require specialist trades and also add to the required budget.

Be sure to check the soil quality before you start your project, as poor soil can impact the successful growth of your plantings. Budgeting for added fertilizers and topsoil will ensure any investments made in flowers, shrubs or trees is not wasted.

The average costs of garden landscaping will vary depending on the size of your garden and design objectives.

If you wish to add hard boarders or a patio, expect to spend between €1500 – 4000+ including materials. A skilled landscaper will usually have two-three men onsite as well as require a digger and skip to get the job completed to specification.

If you are seeking a full design service, expect to pay a designer between 10-15% of your budget.


A Garden Landscaping Case Study

Following is an example of a simple, low maintenance garden design for a long narrow garden in South Dublin. The garden is east north-facing with evening sun towards the middle of the garden during the long summer evenings.

The owners wanted to keep the garden as low maintenance as possible and allow space for young children to play as well as a paved patio area to relax or entertain.

The owners searched the internet for ideas and using grid paper, a garden design idea took shape, taking into account the long narrow aspect of the garden.

The design added straight-edged cobble sett block borders and limestone grey slabs for both stepping-stones and the patio. To minimise garden maintenance, setting borders and stones flush to the lawn allows a lawnmower or strimmer to easily ‘scalp’ the grass without careful cutting as required by soft edges.

cut landscaping costs with DIY garden design

Trellis was used to add balance and interest to the garden, dividing the areas of the garden as well as reducing the cost of paving and planting the entire length of the garden.

With a plan defined and materials sourced this helped when discussing requirements with landscape gardeners. The final garden project required the removal of three mature Ash trees and their rootballs, removal of a concrete path, cutting back and removal of ivy, moving shed and moving excess garden compost.

The following is a summary of costs for the South Dublin landscaping garden project complete with paved garden borders and patio.

If you too have a landscaping plan, Onlinetradesmen can help you find skilled contractors or accredited Garden Landscapers in your area to quote or help you get started.


Garden Landscaping Costs South Dublin
Job Details Price
Moving garden shed Approx size 3 x 6m – concrete paver foundations €150
Tree removal x3 Including stump removal - larger wood left onsite in 1m lengths – if you want wood to be chopped for fire wood purposes expect to pay more €450
Skip hire

4 Cubic Yard Skip

Garden Patio

4 x 4 meters – includes labour and concrete and sub-base. Includes

large paving slabs (600x300cm) with framed edging using cobblesett block paving flush with lawn


Labour & materials 7 panels and stakes and batons


Garden stepping stone path

Paving slabs (600x300cm) flush with lawn

3 stepping stones per square meter – approx. length 8 metres
Garden borders

Cobblesett block paving flush with garden bed -– approx. length 8 metres 

Compost removal or soil removal Labour to move from back of house to location of skip at front of house €150



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