A lot of people ask the question - "do I really need a landscape designer?"

A good explanation as to why the answer is a resounding "yes!" can be found here:




Paperbark Landscape Design is a garden and landscape design studio based just outside of Berry on the south coast of NSW. Specialising in country gardens, coastal aspects and other residential projects, Paperbark presents customised, practical and inspiring designs to rejuvenate or totally overhaul your outdoor space.

Led by creative director Michael Bligh, Paperbark will ensure your outdoor space achieves the appropriate functionality you need, whilst giving the look and feeling that you desire.

Michael grew up on a cotton and table grape farm in St George, Queensland. As a country boy, he has a long held love of the land and horticulture, having spent his childhood - and any spare minute since - getting his hands in the soil. His upbringing was farm jobs... growing crops, building gardens, fixing irrigation and operating tractors, cotton pickers and mini excavators... anything that needed to be done!

The call of the city came and Michael built a successful career as a director in digital advertising, working for clients such as Yahoo!, Samsung and Telstra in Sydney and London. But after 10 years in this space, he knew he needed to get back to his real passion for gardens and the landscape.

Michael holds a Design Degree from Sydney University and a Diploma of Landscape Design from Ryde School of Horticulture, but alongside conventional 'design' training he also brings a down-to-earth sense of practicality to his landscape design practice. So you won't just get a beautiful design, you'll get a design that landscapers and construction teams can actually follow - something that's creative and innovative, but also really works.



What sets Paperbark Landscape Design apart is that we truly listen to our clients - to you. We have a detailed briefing process to make sure that we capture exactly what you want to get out of your new outdoor area. If you aren't exactly sure - it's our job to help guide you through the process. Not just for your dream garden, but your dream garden within your budget.


Our working process is as follows:


The initial meeting + written brief questionnaire. We also request any relevant house and property surveys and details of services locations (gas, water, electrical, etc.). Agreement is sought on the specifics of the brief.



We will need to return to your property to determine existing plant material, verify site boundaries, conduct soil tests and investigate other relevant features. We will also investigate the existing trees to determine if an arborist is needed. On large or steep sites, we may request an independent site survey contour map from a registered surveyor.



We will bring together the components that we have discussed and observed to prepare a concept design that delivers maximum enjoyment, comfort, style and relaxation for you. This document will include a scaled CAD plan that includes the overall design style, functional analysis, construction materials, plant species, lighting, elevations, etc. We will also include relevant imagery to help bring the design to life. We will then organise a meeting to present this to you to outline our vision and how we can make it a reality.



Once you have signed off on the above Concept Design, we will prepare a Development Application (DA) and Construction Certificate and submit to council. This will also include a Statement of Environmental Effects, Site Plan & Analysis, Existing Planting Plan and Additional Planting Plan, Services (earthworks, drainage, excavation) Plan, Elevations and/or Sectional Plans, Erosion and Sediment Control Plans, Access Plans, Waste Management Plans. We can also help facilitate Engineering Plans, Bushfire Assessment Reports, Geotechnical Surveys, BASIX Compliance Certificates, Contour Survey Plan or anything else requested by council.



If required for obtaining construction quotations, we can prepare scaled black and white detailed construction drawings. We will also be able to recommend the best construction teams for your specific project.




Use the form below if you would like us to assess your garden design project and arrange for an initial consultation. We work with architects, builders, landscapers and residential clients to help bring your green dreams to life. Please note that we predominantly operate within the NSW South Coast and the Southern Highlands.

Let us know your ideas, questions or project details and we’ll handle the rest!

Thank you for contacting us. 

We usually reply within 1-2 days.