We have spent a good amount of time in gardens over the years and have learned some valuable lessons along the way. Whether you are revamping your current garden or you are starting from scratch, these wonderful tips will stand you in good stead.
Quality not quantity
Poor quality plant stock often needs replacing after a few months in the ground. Start with smaller stock and ensure quality. You end up with a much better outcome when smaller plants are able to establish.
This also means you get to watch the garden grow and evolve over time – satisfying and rewarding in equal measure.
Installing an irrigation system is something you will never regret – the Australian climate is unforgiving at the best of times. A correctly set-up irrigation system will reduce the risk of over and under watering, and result in lower maintenance demands.
Sprinkler systems are great to establish a garden, while a drip feed is ideal for an existing garden.
A timber pergola will last for ten to fifteen years, whereas a fine steel frame pergola will last fifty years. Save yourself money and time in the long-run by using durable building materials.
Our preference is for light steel frames, allowing the creeper to become the dominant feature. A deciduous creeper – such as Virginia Creeper provides shade in the heat of summer and essential sun in the depth of winter.
A clean slate
We always aim to retain mature trees – provided they are suited to the site and are in good condition. Trees take many years to mature and we simply cannot put a price on what they bring to a landscape. Sometimes it is necessary to start afresh.
Trying to reuse plants or hard surfacing in the garden (just for the sake of it) can often put constraints on the design. It can also make old problems worse and create new ones. We recommend sounding out friends and family who can take these off your hands. When in doubt you can always try listing items on Gumtree – waste not, want not.
Go for a comprehensive approach rather than piecemeal. We aim to create cohesive designs that complement the house and surroundings. This requires a holistic style.
We always start with a ‘masterplan’ concept of the entire site that gives you an idea of the ‘look and feel’ of the garden. Once you have this overall plan you can then tackle the design in stages. This is a cost effective way to ensure your garden and budget stay on track.
The future is now
As much as your kids may love a soccer pitch or fairy garden now, in five years time it’s likely to be ignored. You can still incorporate the needs of pets and kids without having to design purely for them.
A garden that can be enjoyed all year round and by all ages is ideal. Design for the future by providing flexible, multi-use spaces which can evolve with the needs of your family.
Every planting palette needs a good base colour. Rich greens are a timeless option – you can add interest with a variety of textures. Boston Ivy for walls, Prostrate Rosemary to spill over garden beds and Kidney Weed for ground cover are some of our favourites. Once the base tones are established you can add bursts of colour – personalising your garden without it looking fragmented.
Trial and error is a part of any garden – giving it a go is half the fun. We hope these tips encourage you to get stuck in and get greening!