A Sustainable Approach to Garden Design in Central West NSW

Would you love some garden inspiration?

Your home says a lot about who you are, so too does your garden.

Outscape designs harmonious and natural blends of home and garden using beautiful design suiting the character of your home and well-chosen plants suitable to your climate. Based in Central West NSW, and being a mobile business, we come to you and develop the design from inside your home moving out so spaces flow comfortably and naturally. On a new house, Catriona is often engaged early on a project and can assist with locating the house as well as ensuring the movement betweeen inside and outside the house is ideal before the house is even built.  Also Catriona can help beyond the garden to farm tree planting locations to best preserve views out  and create privacy while remaining natural.  This ensures your garden can be appreciated from the areas you live in.  Sometimes a garden is designed to be viewed mainly from inside and is a natural extension of the home.  Catriona enjoys incorporating her clients individuality into her designs as it is their expression of themselves that makes it their own.

What ever approach and style is decided for your garden by you, it is important to consider time, as what we design is for the future and is a long term venture, not just for now.

How We Approach A Garden Design

  • We visit your property at a time to suit you, to perform a detailed on-site consultation
  • A usual site consultation takes a couple of hours and we can produce rough sketches and ideas on your design during the consultation.
  • We can advise you about plant species, which suits many clients who do not need accurate to-scale plans but are keen to get ideas or need confirmation
  • Clients keep a copy of sketches and have free access to follow up phone calls relating to the site visit
  • Consultations are carried out on an hourly basis and full payment is required at the time of the visit

Examples of the information produced during onsite consultations are shown below (the yellow plan of a courtyard garden is showcased in the garden photo gallery, which shows just how helpful on site advice can be)

After the on-site consultation further design services are available:

  • A to scale Master plan shows the extent of hard surfaces, trees and plant groupings, and a suggested plant list with mature size guide suitable to the site and soils.  Copious notes describe the design intent and before photos and after sketches are provided to bring the design to life.
  • A detailed Planting Plan shows the exact number of plants required, their spacing and location, with notes on plant requirements.
  • Documentation to display dimensions of hard surfaces, levels (if surveyor's plans are provided), drainage diagrams, construction details and construction specifications.
  • Planting plans can be oorganised to use plants sourced locally if required or using a nursery of your choice.   Planting is always climate tolerant and specific to your site taking into consideration your microclimate, soils and water. 
  • We can suggest Landscape Contractors to build your garden and make site visits to supervise the work.

Garden designs are always begun as hand-drawn on a drawing board as the computer is too exact for this stage and pencil is entirely more fluid. It is the clients choice as to whether they require their plans hand drawn or produced using CAD at the final design stage.

Master Plan Examples Both CAD and Hand Drawn

Documentation Plan Examples ( can not enlarge)

Testimonials for Private Gardens

Catriona was recommended to us by a previous client with an established garden.  When I met Catriona at the opening of the Girra Girra Retreat Garden near Forbes I was keen to sound her out and talk about her work.  She is very approachable, knowledgeable and has a great understanding of our climate and needs of rural gardens.

The scope of our brief was to take a mature farm garden and plan more zones in the garden by usage and maintenance asw well as plan the best location for a new pool.  Catriona understood our needs, as well as complimenting the homestead and existing garden.  She easily drafted a design after our walk around the garden and discussion of how we want to use the garden and linking outside and in.

We wanted a master plan to chip away at in manageable stages over the years as our family grows.  Catriona seemed to read my mind and selected plants and trees I love, which also tie in well with the existing garden.  She also used her knowledge and design expertise to suggest plants I hadn't heard of which are perfect for the conditions, tricky areas in the garden and linking the garden with farm and river landscapes.

We would not hesitate to recommend Catriona at Outscape to anyone needing help with their garden plans and projects.

Catherine Morgan (Forbes, NSW)

For many years Outscape has been delivering professional landscape and design advice around our traditional country garden.  The consultation is often over a number of hours and advice is always prctical, while keeping with the objective of maintatining an 'easy care, no fuss' garden.  Outscape possesses a wide knowledge base and is particularly aware of providing drought tolerant  plants that matches the landscape.  Outscape is always on time and works within budget.

Clemence Matchett (Grenfell, NSW)

Catriona has designed two separate gardens in different houses for me.  I feel very confident in her expertise.  I love that she doesn't create expensive plans that can't be executed.  She has an amazing flair and appears to be able to look at a space, either big or small and come up with a mud map that contains every detail that will be required.  The designs have always been very suitable for the space.  I have then enlarged and laminated the plan for long term use.  I can then work with who ever is available at a pace that suits my budget to implement the plan.  It is always possible with her plans for it to be a work in progress.  She is not trying to sell anything other than her creative  and informative advice per hour.

Helen McGroder (Forbes, NSW)

In 1997 we bought a very run down property with no garden.  I did not know where to start and we engaged Catriona to design a garden which would fit into and enhance the natural native landscape on the banks of the Lachlan River.  It was wonderful to have a plan to work towards over the years and avoid the husband/wife disagreements about what goes where.  We absolutely love our garden.  It has attracted beautiful birds such as blue wrens, kingfishers, kookaburras and finches and many other species.  It is a very peaceful and relaxing garden to enter with lovely shade (there was not one shade tree in 1997).  We have sweeping beds filled with plants that survive the tough climate.  The energy in the garden is a joy to enjoy and everything I want in a garden.  We do not have a lot of time to spend in our garden but because of the way it has been designed so skilfully by Catriona one does not notice the weeds so much.  The bones of the garden are so good that it looks lovely all the time.

Robyn Rolfe (Forbes, NSW)

Catriona, Principal of Outscape, has a rare skill set and we feel so fortunate to have benefitted from her expertise in helping us realise our vision for Girragirra.  With a wealth of experience behind her, both as a professional Landscape Architect and as a partner in a broad acre farming business, she brings a perspective shaped by experience and practicality.  Catriona comes to the design brief with an open mind, truely listens to your dreams and schemes and sets about helping you make them come true within the constraints of soil type. landform, climate and the all important budget.  We have always been impressed with Catriona's sense of scale and perspective - it's quite uncanny.  Her knowledge of plants and the conditions they require is encyclopedic and she's just as happy (and capable) of drawing freehand sketch onsite to get you going at minimum cost as she is delivering a meticulously thought through, beautifully presented master plan.

The Girragirra brief has been all encompassing, beginning in 2010 and involving close collaboration with our Architect on the house location right down to using an ancient River Red Gum as the central axis for house and garden.  Building on a floodplain naturally came with constraints and required careful, imaginative planning.  We added a further layer of complexity with the request that the garden design adhere to permaculture principals.  Catriona delivered on that brief in spectacular style which undoubtedly her beautiful plan for Girragirra has been a big part of the several awards we've been fortunate enough to win and more importantly we absolutely love it!  Working to the plan makes implementing the amazing garden and property wide tree plantings she designed and documented for us "discussion" free - always a bonus and five years down the track in 2015 Catriona's ongoing support and advice remains invaluable.

If only there were more Catriona's - the world would definately be a more beautiful, functional place!

- Kim and Wendy Muffet, Girragirra Retreat (Forbes, NSW) - info@girragirraretreat.com.au


Catriona was very friendly, knowledgeable and listened to our requirements carefully.  She organised a site visit very promptly (about 200km or so from her home), and quickly sketched out a few ideas.  A few days later we had a scaled conceptual plan for our backyard that was exactly as we had pictured it.  We are still in the process of completing our project, but Catriona's professional help is continuing to prove invaluable and she is very responsive to our needs.  We would not hesitate to recommend Outscape to anyone needing help with outdoor projects.

- Mike and Cathy Anderson (Dubbo, NSW) -


Building a new house comes with a lot of challenges, but it is one thing to get the house built.... where do you start with the landscaping on 1 acre of what used to be farm land??  We had a few ideas of what we would like and a few plant styles we liked, but didn't know where to start and how to make it work.  We contacted Outscape and organised for Catriona to come out and meet us on site, it was a great experience, to have someone that would listen to your ideas, but then with her professional approach and knowledge she transformed our few ideas into an interesting garden with a lot of character.  Within an hour or two we had a clear vision of what our garden would look like sketched up on paper and tree names we needed to know as well as spacings and everything else. 

We have now started our landscaping and with such a clear vision, and extra advice from Catriona when needed, our garden is coming along very smoothly and looking great.

I think it's essential for anyone that has built a dream home to get a professional like Catriona to help with your landscape design, the expertise and knowledge for the very reasonable rate, makes all the difference... helping turn a house into a home.

-Nigel Sandeman (Molong, NSW)-


I thought I would send you a few photos of the backyard and your plans coming to fruition!  It is looking amazing and I can't wait to get the yard put back together.  Thanks again.

- Angus Edwards and Leigh Haywood (Bathurst, NSW)


Many thanks Catriona.  We are so thrilled with your plans.

- Denise and Michael Yates (Five Hours West - Grenfell, NSW)


Many thanks for all your great ideas.  We are in reconstruction mode and will send you some pics later to see the changes you have recommended!!

-Jayne and Peter Hammond (Forbes, NSW)


Thank you for the wonderful plans for our garden.  I think they will keep us out of mischief for quite some time.

- Diane and Russel Turner (Orange, NSW)


Catriona is a wonderful lady. On a tight budget she took my granite gravel house block and converted it into a thing of beauty. She gave me an easy care native garden and for the house entry area a blue to mauve formal garden that seems to flower forever. Her garden enhances my house and as it develops it is going to be many things – pretty, grand, heart-warming and to me a place of joy. I commend Catriona to you.

- Noel Dobbs (O’Connell, NSW)


We engaged Catriona as a landscape architect early in the development of our ‘grand English country house and garden’ project. Catriona understood our requirements and used her experience and own ideas to produce an inspiring garden plan. It was a co-operative process throughout with many fruitful on-site discussions. We have been implementing the plan over several years to our own considerable satisfaction and the admiration of our garden visitors.

- Piers and Patricia Bannatyne, (Forest Reefs, NSW) February 2012


Catriona’s creativity has enhanced our house and its surrounds so much , giving us a usable area of beauty and visual interest to enjoy year round.

- Lawrence and Susan Mockler (Lucknow, NSW )


Thankyou very much for drawing up the plans and for working out a planting guide.  We are very happy with them and thank you very much for all your hard work.  You have some very inspirational ideas which will transform the look of our house and garden and I hope it will not be too long before we can get started on the transformation.

-Chris and Helen Anderson (Orange , NSW )


Six years ago Catriona designed my garden. At that time our home sat starkly in a paddock surrounded by dust in the summer and mud in the winter. I now live in a green oasis, with every room of our home looking out into beautiful gardens.

When we first spoke to Catriona, I showed her a picture of the sort of garden I wanted- native plants with different textures and heights, with shady under storey plants. I also wanted a low maintenance garden which did not need to be watered beyond the establishment stage, with native plants that would thrive in my climatic conditions with heavy frosts and long hot dry summers. But, as this was my first garden, I didn’t know how to achieve my vision for my garden.Catriona took my brief on board- and came up with a practical and delightful design, and she provided detailed documentation on what plants to plant and at what spacing to plant them.We planted this garden 6 years ago and we then had 5 years of severe drought. I planted in winter, and only hand watered my little tube stock plants in the first hot summer and the garden has not been watered since. It has been a delight to watch the daily changes in this garden, as it has thrived and developed over the past 6 years.  I have gone on to extend my garden all around my home, using the palette of plants Catriona proposed for the first Stage 1 garden. As you can hear- I am now a passionate gardener!

- Sue McGregor (Milthorpe, NSW)