Posts by callum

Landscaping Balwyn North

5 tips for Drought Tolerant Landscaping in Melbourne

To understand Drought Tolerant landscaping, we need to first understand some of the technical terms in the world of soil chemistry and how that affects drought tolerance.

 

  1. “Plant Available Water” “PAW” Is the amount of water in the soil that is available for the plants and is between the water capacity and the plant wilting point or crop lower limit.
  2. “Plant Available Water Capacity” PAWC is the maximum amount of moisture that can a particular soil can hold 

 

1.     Organic Matter helps drought tolerant landscaping.

 

Whether you have a clay soil or a sandy soil, your garden will benefit from organic matter.

The soils ability to hold moisture will increase with the addition of organic matter. The additional organic matter works in two way. Firstly, organic matter has a higher water holding capacity than mineral soils. Secondly, the organic matter improves the soil structure allowing moisture to pass through the soil to the plant roots. In some cases, doubling the amount of organic matter in the soil can result in around 25% more water storage capacity.

Drought tolerant landscaping and the effect of organic matter.

Drought tolerant landscaping and the effect of organic matter. Increasing organic matter increases the amount of moisture that can be stored in the soil.

Soil Texture and Composition

Soil texture and composition also has a big effect on water storage capacity. Sandy soils with low percentage of clay and low percentage of organic matter are very poor at storing moisture.

Soil texture and the amount of moisture that can be stored in the soil.

The relationship between soil texture and the amount of moisture that can be stored in the soil.

Imported Topsoils

Often imported topsoils purchased to landscape your garden will be sandy loams. These are great soils for high traffic lawn areas, especially for the top 50mm of soil. If using imported topsoil for garden beds, mix the soil with some of the existing soils by cultivation of the subsoil to boost the clay content. This can also be done with the subsoil layers of the lawn areas. Also, order imported topsoils with a good percentage of organic matter included in the mix. Always use imported topsoil to Australian Standard (AS4419 Soils for Landscaping & Garden Use) and use mixes with higher levels of organic matter for garden beds.

 

The Effect of Clay in your garden soil

Clay soils can hold much more moisture than sandy soils. The fine clay particles are less than 2 microns, but there are so many clay particles in clay soils that the total surface area is much higher. The fine particles however, make it more difficult for the plant roots to penetrate the soil to extract the moisture. This results in the increase in the plant wilting point in high clay soils. Again, organic matter will help improve the texture of the soil so that roots can penetrate to access the moisture. If you have a reactive clay soil, then cultivating gypsum into the soil will also help.

 

Negatively charged clay particles repel each other.

Negatively charged clay particles repel each other.

 

 

2.     Mulch

According to a study by the University of Florida, mulch can reduce water losses by evaporation by up to 30%. Mulch however, does much more than just reduce evaporation. By rotting down into the topsoil, mulch adds to the organic matter in the top layer of soil. Mulch also greatly reduces erosion of the topsoil and helps to keep plant roots cooler by reducing the sun’s heat radiation into the lower layers of the topsoil. Mulch also plays a role in suppressing weeds, but if weeds do grow, they are much easier to remove.

Using Mulch for Drought Tolerant Landscaping

Using Mulch for Drought Tolerant Landscaping. Mulch also reduces erosion and weed growth as well as adding to the organic matter as it rots down.

 

Groundcovers

Groundcover plants can play a similar role to mulch in reducing the heat penetration into the soil and reducing evaporation from the soil.

Myoporum parvifolium or creeping boobialla is a ground cover that makes life difficult for weeds.

Myoporum parvifolium or creeping boobialla is a ground cover that makes life difficult for weeds.

3.     Drip Irrigation System

There was a time when an irrigation system meant garden sprinklers spraying huge amounts of water everywhere. This led to a great deal of wasted water with much of the spray landing on paths and driveways. Evaporation of the water from the surface of the garden was another cause of waste. Modern computer controlled closed loop drip irrigation systems are much more efficient.  With modern irrigation systems, water be delivered directly to the root tips.

Drought tolerant landscaping - Irrigation drip system

Drought tolerant landscaping – Irrigation drip system delivers water to the right place.

 

Water supplied to where it is most needed.

The plant uses osmosis to absorb water from the soil. The root hair cells, which are mostly near the root tips, are adapted for taking up both water and mineral ions. Part of this adaption is the large surface area of the root hairs exposed to the soil. Older root hairs tend to die off, so most of the living root hairs are concentrated near the root tips. Placing the irrigation drippers near the root tips means that water can be absorbed more efficiently.

 

Drought tolerant Landscaping -Osmosis and transpiration

Drought tolerant Landscaping -Osmosis and transpiration. The Root hairs near the tips take up the water and nutrients.

 

Closed loop computer control irrigation systems

Modern computer-controlled systems use feedback from remotes sensors to determine the water requirements for plants on each channel. Depending on the systems, sensor measure soil moisture, temperature, humidity and rainfall to estimate plant water requirements. Some new irrigation systems in agriculture are using Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning to irrigate crops more efficiently.

irrigation system

 

 

 

4.     Drought Tolerant Plants

Many plants have evolved to cope with dry conditions or the occasional drought. This includes many Australian Native Plants, Mediterranean Garden plants or plants from the dry parts of America and especially Mexico.

 

Drought tolerant Australian Native Plants

Amongst the Australian Native plants, Xanthorrhoea (Grass Tree) and Anigozanthos (Kangaroo Paw) have outstanding ability to survive in dry sandy soils.

Australian yellow kangaroo paw flower (Anigozanthos pulcherrimus) in front of a grasstree

Australian yellow kangaroo paw flower (Anigozanthos pulcherrimus) in front of a grasstree

 

There are also many Australian Native grasses like Lomandra that are great for dry conditions.

 

Our favourite plants dry conditions in Melbourne gardens are the following;

Star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) – The Star Jasmine is moderately drought tolerant once it gets established. This evergreen climbing plant can be grown either as a vine, that can grow to more than 6 metres high, or as a ground cover. It can be grown in either partial shade of full sun.

Star Jasmine Trachelospermum jasminoides

Star Jasmine Trachelospermum jasminoides

 

Climbing Fig (Ficus pumila) – The fast growing climbing fig is tolerant to salt spray, drought and partial shade. This makes it a great plant for coastal gardens in suburbs like Hampton. It will grow to more than 5 metres under ideal conditions and can also be grown as a ground cover.

 

Drought Tolerant Landscaping Climbing Fig (Ficus pumila)

Climbing Fig (Ficus pumila)

 

Waterhousia floribunda or Weeping Lilly Pilly – Generally, the Lilly Pilly is a hardy and drought tolerant hedging or screening plant once it is fully established. It is a great Australian native alternative to the buxus hedge or Murraya. Despite being a rainforest plant, Waterhousia floribunda will survive a few dry spells once it is fully established. This is one of our favourite Australian drought tolerant plants.

 

Weeping Lilly Pilly Waterhousia floribunda

Weeping Lilly Pilly Waterhousia floribunda

 

Salvias like Salvia Leucantha (Mexican Sage Bush) are generally very drought tolerant. There are only a couple of salvia varieties that are not drought tolerant. The Leucantha is an Autumn flowering perennial which can add colour to your Melbourne garden in early May. Salvias can handle subtropical as well as temperate climates. This makes them a good plant for temperate climates like Melbourne.

 

Salvia leucantha purple flowering shrub

Salvia leucantha is a purple flowering shrub growing to around 1 metre tall.

 

 

Lomandra longifolia “tanika” is a hardy Australian Native grass that looks great and is tough as well as drought tolerant. With attractive blue-green foilage and yellow flowers in Spring, it is ideal for mass planting, but can also be planted in individual tufts.

The green lomandra makes a great contrast with this grey stone wall.

The green lomandra mass planting makes a great contrast with this grey stone wall.

Poa labillardierei (Common Tussock Grass) is another hardy Australian Native Grass. It will grow well in most soils, but will enjoy some moisture during summer. It can be cut back hard then heavily watered to create new growth. The long green leaves will turn a little silver in dry weather. It will flower from October to March with purple-green flowers.

 

 

 

 

 

Poa labillardierei (Common Tussock Grass)

Poa labillardierei (Common Tussock Grass)

 

 

5.     Soil Wetting agents

 

The breakdown and decomposition of some organic matter will result in a waxy coating on some soil particles. This makes the soil hydrophobic. This is much more prevalent on sandy soils than clay soils. The obvious solution is to treat the garden with a surfactant or wetting agent before rain.

Drought Tolerant Landscaping hydrophobic-hydrophilic

Hydrophobic versus hydrophilic

 

A less obvious solution is to spread a little garden lime on the hydrophobic soil. The garden lime will do two things. Firstly, the increased PH will encourage bacteria that will break down the waxy material. Secondly, it will add fine particles to the soil. Some types of clay are also useful for reducing surface tension in the water droplets.

Drought Tolerant Plants in Commercial Landscaping

As part of the move towards greater sustainability, Landscape Architects are looking at methods to reduce fresh water consumption in commercial landscaping. These methods include rain gardens, blue roofs, rainwater storage with irrigation drip systems and, perhaps most importantly, drought tolerant Australian Native Plants.

Potted Plants for the commercial landscaping.

Sustainable commercial landscaping using drought tolerant plants. Establishing smaller Australian native drought tolerant plants early will save you money and water.

 

 

Related Landscaping Ideas from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne

 

7 Great Salvia plants for your Melbourne Garden

 

5 top Landscape Design trends in Melbourne

 

Salvia Leucantha or Mexican Bush Sage

 

5 top tips. Landscaping Melbourne with Lomandra.

 

Coastal Garden Design

 

Melbourne Topsoil – 9 Great Money saving tips.

 

© Copyright Red’s Landscaping and Design – Melbourne Commercial Landscaping Specialist

 

References and further reading on Drought Tolerant Landscaping

 

The Impact of Mulch on evaporation – University of Florida

 

The Garden Professors – Mulch for reducing Evaporation.

 

Drought Tolerant Australian Native Plants

 

Royal Botanical Gardens Victoria Growing Indigenous Plants.

 

Water repellency – Soilquality.org.au

 

Help your garden survive a drought.

 

Drought Tolerant Plants

 

Read more
Outdoor Entertainment Area Design

Outdoor Entertaining Area Designs.

The Outdoor Entertaining area is the ideal addition to the Melbourne Garden. Melbourne’s climate and lifestyle makes this a very practical part of the landscape design.

 

The Outdoor Entertaining area kitchen

The outdoor kitchen trend is a welcome part of the landscape design. Combining this with a vertical gardens with fresh cooking herbs is ideal for the Melbourne Outdoor Entertaining area design. The “Space to Grow” gold medal winning garden by Tony Woods of Garden Club London displayed many of the practical landscape design features for outdoor entertaining.

Landscape design Ideas Urban Flow by Tonny Woods

An outdoor kitchen design using a concrete bench with cooktop, wooden paling fence and vertical kitchen garden. Urban Flow by Tony Woods. RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018

The Outdoor Kitchen

The Kitchen was supplied by Dade Design a Swiss high end designer of architectural concrete products for indoors and outdoors. Dade Design is at the forefront of concrete design and manufacture and their products, manufactured in the Rhein Valley in Switzerland, display the perfection of Swiss precision.

Outdoor Furniture

The Outdoor furniture was supplied by Italian furniture designer and manufacturer Ethimo, a specialist high end supplier of outdoor decor and furniture.

Landscape Design of the Outdoor Entertaining Area

Using modern landscape design tools, the outdoor entertaining area can be designed and checked for aspects such as access, visibility, privacy and shade. Different landscape design concepts can be explored and fine tuned to achieve the optimal landscape design outcome for the client.

Shade over the outdoor entertaining area.

Shade over the outdoor entertaining area. Using the landscape design tools, the outdoor entertaining area can be checked for shade. If the shade is insufficient, then shade cloths can be added to the design. The optimum position for the outdoor kitchen bench can be designed in.

The outdoor fireplace is also a useful part of the landscape design in Melbourne. A chimney can be used t carry the smoke away from the guests.

Using the landscape design tools, the views from various angles can be checked for fine tuning the details of the design.

Outdoor Entertainment Area

Outdoor Entertainment Area

The landscape design tools can also be used to check the outdoor areas at night. The outdoor fire is a feature of many new outdoor areas.

Outdoor Entertaining Area

Outdoor Entertaining Area

Children’s play areas should also be considered in the landscape design.

Poolside entertainment area

Poolside entertainment area.

Outdoor entertaining areas and swimming pools go well together. The landscape design makes best use of the usable space and ensures the design themes are carried through the garden. Access to the swimming pool, seating areas and outdoor fire can be checked.

 

Swimming Pool Entertainment Area

Swimming Pool Entertainment Area

Pre-Cast and In-situ Concrete seating and furniture.

Outdoor furniture can be designed in a range of shapes to either maximise the usable space or soften the design with rounded shapes and adjacent lush planting. In-situ Concrete allows a range of shapes as well as durable permanent furniture.

Pool and Outdoor Entertaining area.

Pool and Outdoor Entertaining area.

Curved outdoor seating

Curved outdoor furniture with close planting softens the look of the hard landscaping. This type of furniture also makes it easier for groups of people to face each other and have a chat.

Curved Garden Seat

Curved garden seat with irregular stone paving by Naomi Ferrett Cohen Chelsea Flower show 2018.

Sunken and partially sunken areas.

Seating and colour themes that match the garden plants can be used to great effect when landscaping seating areas of the garden. Carrying a colour theme from inside the home, to the patio and then to the outdoor room areas will create an illusion of greater size in the landscape.

Fast growing Hakea salicifolia screening out the rear fence.

White sweet alyssum Lobularia mariti is a colour match for the white outdoor furniture and sandstone lawn pavers.

A sunken garden  is another way to create the illusion of greater space. In the  award winning landscape design, LG Eco City by Hay-Joung Hwang, the colours and textures of the seat cushions are match the lupins and foxgloves in the garden. This colour theme is carried on to the garden kitchen behind large opening glass sliding doors.

 

Garden idea - Sunken Garden

Great colour coordination with the natural concrete colour with matching outdoor couches. Note how the cushions match the colours of the garden. Chelsea Flower Show 2018. Landscape design by Hay-Joung Hwang.

 

Concrete Architecture

Concrete Architecture can be softened with garden plants and garden furniture. Chelsea Flower Show 2018.

Outdoor Entertaining Areas in Commercial Landscaping.

Modern Melbourne commercial landscaping of public places feature outdoor entertainment areas. Often these will consist of a permanent Barbecue with tables and seating benches. The seating benches can be made of a recycled plastic fibre composite.

 

Commercial Landscaping of Public Spaces

Commercial Landscaping of the Entertainment areas of public spaces often includes barbecues and sports facilities like table tennis tables.

 

 

Contact us for design and construction of your outdoor entertaining area or commercial landscaping projects.

 

 

Related Landscaping Ideas from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne

9 great reasons for Pool and Landscaping Packages

 

5 top Landscape Design trends in Melbourne

 

5 Top Custom Swimming Pool Designs and trends.

 

Gardening Ideas From The Chelsea Flower Show

 

Commercial Landscaping of Public Spaces.

 

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil quality commercial landscaping Melbourne

 

More reading on Outdoor Entertaining Areas.

Urban Flow Garden by Tony Woods of Garden Club London

 

Dade Design Switzerland

 

inspiring outdoor areas

 

Home Beautiful Outdoors

 

Better Homes and Gardens – Outdoor Spaces

Read more
ladybird eating aphids

Insects that benefit your Garden

The current decline of insects.

It was alarming to read recently of the decline in populations of flying insects in Europe. Studies in Germany alone has seen a reduction 76% since 1989 in nature reserves. The reasons for the die off are thought to be manifold. Although the exact cause of the die off is not known, amongst the theories are an increase in the use of nitrogen fertiliser as well as the over use of pesticides.

Bumblebees are beneficial insects

A Bumblebee pollinates a flower.

Insect Habitat

Loss of habitat is probably also a factor. Not only is this a reduction in pollinating insects but also the loss of a valuable food source for many animals especially birds. In the USA it is estimated that wild insects contribute $57 billion to the economy due to their role in the ecosystem and as pollinators. It is important to consider the role of insects in your garden both as pollinators and in attracting birdlife keeping win mind the fact that many of the insects in your garden have a direct benefit to your plants.

Pollinating Insects

In urban environments, as well as rural and semi rural, domestic gardens have been identified as important habitats for animals and especially insect diversity. Domestic gardens are a large proportion of land use in urban areas and contribute greatly to urban green space.Gardens and other urban green spaces , as well as providing valuable ecosystems, also help with habitat, cooling, flood mitigation, and support human health and well-being.

 

A well known beneficial insects. a bees pollinates a flower.

A well known beneficial insect a bee pollinates a flower.

Pollinators are not just bees

habitat for insects

Not all pollinators are bees. Some plants are pollinated by beetles or birds.

There is no doubt that the primary driver for plant selection in the urban gardens is the attractiveness and aesthetic appeal of plants and flowers. Flowering plants provide valuable food resources including both nectar and pollen for invertebrate insects as well as birds and mammals. Some of these animals might, but not necessarily, pollinate the plant. Most of the flying insects, not just bees, that visit flowers are potential pollinators.

 

Supporting Pollinating Insects

Scientific studies in the UK have shown that gardeners can support pollinating insects in gardens by planting a mix of flowering plants from different regions. This might not be the case in Australia with its unique ecosystems. In some cases using a mix of plants may give your garden a steady supply of flowering plants all year round.

butterfly

Supporting Bees

Studies also found that in the United Kingdom with its short summers, the more flowers a garden can offer throughout the year, the greater the number of bees, and other pollinating insects it will attract and support. This is  regardless of whether the plant was native or non-native. In South East Queensland, it is probably better to select a higher quantity of indigenous plants and smaller numbers of exotic plants for colour contrast.

 

Densely Packed flower gardens

A densely planted flowering garden with a variety of local and exotic flowering plants will provide both food and habitat for insects and small animals.

A densely packed flower garden provides food and habitat for insects.

A densely packed flower garden provides food and habitat for insects.


Non pollinating Insects

 

Are non-pollinating insects also important in the garden? The invertebrates in your garden are either predators, omnivores, herbivores or detritivores. The detritivores play an important role in your garden as they are animals which feed on dead organic material helping to break it down to feed the plants. The predators, like the lady bird but also including other beetles, wasps and spiders, help to control some of the garden pests.

ladybird eating aphids

A ladybird eating aphids

Coccinellidae, ladybug lady bird or lady beetle. This carnivorous insect loves to fest on your garden pests such as aphids and scale insects. It even lays its eggs in the pest insect colonies. Where possible, aphids should be controlled by using the garden hose rather than insecticide. Any insecticide spray used on aphids will probably harm your ladybirds as well.

 

Other insects in your garden will attract birdlife, so consider planting at least part of your garden with insects and animals in mind.

A blue fairy wren

Birds like blue fairy wrens are attracted to gardens with insect life.

Related Landscaping ideas from Melbourne Landscaper Red’s Landscaping and Civil Pty Ltd

Wildlife In The Garden. Choosing Plants To Help Create Food And Habitat

 

3 Living Christmas Trees

 

Eco Pools: Nature pools for the eco conscious

 

13 Best Reasons To Preserve Balwyn Urban Wetlands

 

Neonicotinoid Pesticides Banned by Bunnings and the EU

 

7 best Eucalyptus trees for your Melbourne garden

 

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil quality commercial landscaping Melbourne

 

 

 

 

 

 

References and further reading.

 

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2664.12499/full

 

 

A list of Beneficial Insects

 

Beneficial Insects

 

How to encourage the good bugs in your garden

 

Enticing Insects into your Garden

 

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0185809

 

http://www.sueddeutsche.de/wissen/insektensterben-dramatischer-insektenschwund-in-deutschland-1.3713567

 

https://www.ehow.com/how_2164042_use-peppermint-oil-as-insect.html

 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/18/warning-of-ecological-armageddon-after-dramatic-plunge-in-insect-numbers

 

Garlic and Mint Insect Spray

 

https://www.hometalk.com/4223173/garden-tips-doy-organic-insect-spray

 

 

Read more
pool and landscaping packages

9 great reasons for Pool and Landscaping Packages

Integrated swimming pool and landscaping packages are a cost-effective solution for Melbourne homes.

 

1.     Landscape Design

The swimming pool or spa should be the landscape design focal point for the home landscape. Creating the design as a swimming pool and landscaping package is a great way to make this happen.

pool and landscape design package

Landscape design with the pool as a focal point. The access paths and poolside entertainment areas are part of the design.

The swimming pool as a landscape design focal point.

Using the Landscape Design 3D design tools, the focal point for any viewpoint in the landscape can be designed. The design of water features as a focal point in the landscape is a landscape design principle that goes back as least as far as the ancient Babylonian paradise gardens. Water was an important focal point in Islamic, Roman and Italian gardens of the High Renaissance.

 

Ancient Pool Canopus. The ruins of Hadrian's Villa near Tivoli has influenced landscapers and architects for centuries.

Ancient Pool Canopus, surrounded by greek sculptures in Hadrian’s Villa (Villa Adriana, 2nd century AD), Tivoli, Italy
UNESCO World Heritage Site

2.     Cost Effective Landscape design with pool and landscaping packages.

Digging separate trenches for swimming pool infrastructure, like swimming pool plumbing and electrical wiring, and landscaping infrastructure, such as drainage, irrigation, and garden lighting, is a waste of money. Integrating the pool and landscaping means that infrastructure trenches are shared. It also saves the labour of having to run pipes and wiring under paths and paving.

Installation of Swimming Pool Infrastructure.

Installation of Swimming Pool Infrastructure.

Materials required for both the pool and landscape can be bought in bulk to save money and materials removed from pool dig can sometimes be reused in the landscape.

3.     Design of Garden Lighting

With integrated swimming pool and landscape design packages, there is a great opportunity to harmonise the design of garden and pool lighting. The shared infrastructure is also an opportunity to save money.

Landscaping and Pool design package. Checking the garden lighting.

Landscaping and Pool design package. Checking the garden lighting with the landscaping CAD model.

 

pool and landscape design package

Integrated Pool and landscaping lighting

4.     Lower Swimming Pool Maintenance.

lap pool design

Careful pool landscaping plant selection reduces pool maintenance and may save your pool pump.

Careful selection of the plants around pools in Melbourne can save money in swimming pool maintenance. Selecting the wrong plants next to your home swimming pool can result in continually cleaning of the pool skimmer box. A blocked skimmer box can lead to cavitation in the swimming pool pump leading to much shorter pump life. The landscape should be designed with plants that will not block the skimmer box.

 

5.     Swimming Pool Privacy with the pool and landscaping package.

Using modern 3D landscape design tools, the privacy of the swimming pool can be checked from any viewpoint. These viewpoints can even be your neighbour’s window or the footpath at the front of your home.

Pool and Landscaping Package. Checking the Privacy.

Pool and Landscaping Package. Checking the Privacy. Fast growing screening plants or climbing plants can be added if any deficiencies are found in the CAD model.

6.     Swimming Pool Supervision and safety.

Young children need to be under close supervision at all times and this should be close to the pool. Sometimes parents like to keep an eye on older children as well. Using 3D design the view from the windows and balconies of the home can be checked when designing the landscape. This also ads emphasis to the use of the swimming pool as a landscape design focal point.

pool and landscaping packages

Pool and landscaping packages using 3D CAD and photorealist rendering. Checking the view of the pool from the balcony.

The view of the pool and landscape can also be visualised from inside the home.

Pool and Landscape viewed through the window of the home.

Pool and Landscape viewed through the window of the home.

 

7.     Hiding the Swimming Pool Pump and Filter.

The pool and landscaping packages can be used to find the optimum position for the pump and filter. These less attractive parts of the pool design can be hidden away from view and placed in a location where noise from the pump is less noticeable. Access to the pump and filter can be checked for ease of access for maintenance.

lap pool design.

Lap pool design. Checking the view from the entertainment area using 3D CAD Landscape Design.

 

8.     Designing for Swimming Pool Shade

Using the 3D landscape design tools, the shadows of buildings can be factored into the design. If there is insufficient shade for the swimming pool, then a pergola can be added to the design. This is a much cheaper option than adding the pergola later.

pool and landscaping design. The view from the pergola.

The view from the pergola. Shade can be designed into the pool and landscaping package. Note the partial shade from the Pergola over the spa.

9.     Putting it all together as a Pool and Landscaping Package

The pool and landscape design package can be brought together and presented as a virtual fly through for the client. This makes the overall client approval process much easier.

 

lap design

Lap Swimming Pool design

 

The view of the entertainment area.

The view of the entertainment area.

 

Outdoor Play Area

Outdoor Play Area

 

CAD Design

A View generated with CAD.

Pool and Landscaping Packages

In summary, there are many reasons for choosing Pool and Landscaping Packages for you home landscape design. Amongst theses are the opportunities to save money through reduced waste and economies of scale. More importantly, an integrated package will result in a better outcome for your home landscape design.

 

Related Swimming Pool Landscaping Ideas from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne

5 Top Custom Swimming Pool Designs and trends.

 

Concrete Swimming Pool Construction and Design.

 

Custom Swimming Pool Design and Construction

 

Eco Pools: Nature pools for the eco conscious

 

Concrete Swimming Pool Construction and Design.

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping Melbourne

 

 

More Reading about Swimming Pools and Landscaping

 

Swimming Pool Inspiration – Better Homes and Gardens

 

Swimming Pool Deck Ideas

Read more
Concrete cantilevered steppers floating steps Modern Contemporary

5 top Landscape Design trends in Melbourne in 2021

The Landscape Design trends we are seeing in Melbourne owe much to practicality as well as the aesthetic. These trends reflect the lifestyle of summer in Melbourne but are also provide a practical landscape design with drought tolerant plants and low maintenance gardens.

 

1. Mid-century Palm Springs landscape design style.

This is a landscape design style associated with Cacti, Granitic Sand, Concrete Paving, and Breeze-blocks. Often this takes the form of hard landscaping in light grey or stark whites contrasting with splashes of colour from the plantings. The result is typical Palm Springs glamour with a low maintenance and drought resistant gardens.

landscape design palm springs style

Palm Springs style landscaping often features cacti, and succulents such as agave with plants to provide a splash of colour.

The dry desert climate of Palm Spring, with warm winters, and the abundance of space, is ideal for outdoor entertaining areas. Often, these will feature a fire pit area or a swimming pool as a focal point.

Custom design lap pool

Outdoor entertainment areas with a swimming pool and a fire are often features of the Palm Springs design style.

Despite the low rainfall, the courtyard swimming pool in Palm Springs is a “must have” even in the smaller landscaped gardens.

Palm Springs gardens often provide a splash of colour with hot torch lilies, geraniums, roses, and bougainvillea.

Palm Springs Landscape Design Style with Agave and Colour.

Palm Springs Landscape Design Style with Agave and Colour contrast provided by red hot poker plant (Kniphofia uvaria)

 

For the drought tolerant gardens, succulents, ornamental grasses and especially barrel cacti proliferate. The Palm Springs landscapers also make use of the local gravel, abundant boulders and the native palms from the area.

 

Palm Springs Landscaping Style with Barrel cacti and boulders.

Palm Springs Landscaping Style with Barrel cacti and boulders.

 

Rancho Mirage near Palm Spring in California.

Rancho Mirage near Palm Spring in California is an example of Palm Springs resort style landscaping. Agave and palms with contrasting splashes of colour contrast with the white walls of the buildings.

 

Indian Canyon Palm Springs.

Indian Canyon Palm Springs. The abundance of boulders and the indigenous palm trees heavily influence the Palm Springs landscape design style.

 

2. Tuscan Mediterranean style

The design style of the Mediterranean or Tuscan  garden is rooted in the choice of landscaping materials, textures and colours. Garden features such as cobbled paving, tiles, stones, bricks and especially terracotta will enhance the Mediterranean feel. Neatly clipped hedges, gravel mulch, and soft colours contrasting with brightly coloured tiles are often features in the Mediterranean and Tuscan gardens. For landscaping Melbourne gardens, consider mixing this with less formal ,drought tolerant plants and plants which give off a pleasant aroma.

Tuscan garden landscape design style.

Tuscan garden landscape design style with vines growing over a rustic pergola.

The rustic Tuscan garden are often associated with the Italian rural villas and are much less formal than the Italian Renaissance gardens. These gardens often feature deep blues complimenting the terracotta pots or roof tiles as well as olives, agaves and deep green mosaics.

Landscaping with olives in pots on a white balcony.

Landscaping with olives in pots on a white balcony. Olives are often a feature of Mediterranean Gardens.

 

The Boboli Gardens in Florence are an example of a more formal Italian design style.

The Boboli Gardens in Florence are an example of a more formal Italian design style, but the crushed granite and earthy colours are also features of the rustic Tuscan gardens.

3. Modern contemporary landscape design

This design style features concrete cantilevered concrete steps and black steel water features with lime green structural planting.

Concrete cantilevered steppers floating steps Modern Contemporary

Concrete cantilevered steppers floating steps Modern Contemporary

Balance and symmetry are features of this design style and it is the ideal design style for contemporary homes. In contrast to the design and colours of the Tuscan garden, industrial style raw concrete is common in this style of garden as well as stone and wooden garden ornaments.

Landscape design with structural lime planting.

Landscape design with structural lime planting and Italian pencil pines.

 

Patio with Lime green structural plantings.

The symmetry and balance of contemporary landscape design. Patio with Lime green structural plantings.

Modern Contemporary landscape design style video

 

4. French Provincial design

The French Provincial Landscape Design Style features Hedges, Ornamental Pears, Cobblestone driveways and anduze pots. The hedges are often box hedges (buxus) and flowering plums (prunus).

anduze pottery

Anduze pottery has been made in the Anduze commune in the south of France since the early 1600s. The design style influenced by Florentine pottery.

 

A French Provincial garden with patio and Anduze pots.

A French Provincial garden with patio and Anduze pots.

The French Provincial style has many similarities with the Tuscan landscaping design style.

French Provincial house

The French Provincial house is an influence on this landscape design style.

 

 

French Landscape design is influenced by the cobbled streets of France.

French Landscape design is influenced by the cobbled streets of France.

5. Coastal Garden Design Style

This design style feature loose plantings of native grasses like Lomandra, native shrubs and whitewashed timber batten screens.  Local boulders are also a big part of this landscape design style.

The coastal landscape design style is often used for hardy, low maintenance, commercial landscaping of public spaces.

 

Coastal Garden design style is often used in commercial landscaping.

Coastal Garden design style is often used in commercial landscaping.

Hardy Australian native grasses make an attractive and drought resistant garden.

Australian grass Swamp Foxtail, Cenchrus purpurascens

Sunlight shining through the feathery flowerheads of the native Australian grass Swamp Foxtail, Cenchrus purpurascens. Also known as Fountain Grass.

Coastal Gardens often require clever solutions to protect plants from the fierce ocean winds. One solution is to use a white washed timber batten screen. The gaps in the screen allow some of the air to move through the screen, so minimising the turbulence that occurs with a solid fence. The white batten screens can be used as a design feature and provide contrast with grasses or Xanthorrhoea and Anigozanthos in the garden.

 

White timber batten screen

White timber batten screen

Coastal garden plants have to endure salt spray, wind and often not very fertile sandy soils, so Lomandra is ideal for landscaping coastal gardens as it is a very hardy and drought resistant Australian Native Grass with attractive foliage.

 

The green lomandra makes a great contrast with this grey stone wall.

The green lomandra mass planting makes a great contrast with this grey stone wall.

 

Lomandra plants

Lomandra plants being planted in a new coastal garden in Hampton.

Commercial Landscaping Design Trends

In the commercial landscaping of public spaces the design trends are towards sustainability through the use of drought tolerant plant and the handling of rainwater through rain-gardens and permeable concrete. Modern Public Space Design also requires a welcoming and accessible area where people can relax with a range of activities. As with residential landscape design, there is a strong trend towards outdoor entertaining areas where people can relax around a public barbecue.

 

Related Landscape Design News from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne.

Landscape Design Melbourne

 

5 Top Custom Swimming Pool Designs and trends.

 

11 Best landscapers of all time.

 

Eco Pools: Nature pools for the eco conscious

 

Commercial Landscaping

 

Commercial Landscaping of Public Spaces.

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil – Quality Melbourne Landscaper

 

More information on Landscape Design Styles and Plants

Red Hot Poker or Torch Lily

 

The Anduze Vase

 

Sustainable Landscape Design

 

How to study Landscape Architecture

Read more
Eco friendly fly ash blocks are made from power station waste.

4 types of Eco-Friendly Concrete

Eco-friendly Concrete, as the name suggests, is a kind of concrete that is relatively environment friendly. It is not just a single type of Concrete, rather one of at least four different types of Concrete.

Is Concrete Eco Friendly?

Concrete is a major contributor to the production of the world’s greenhouse gas through the production process of Cement. As per some research, almost 1 ton of Carbon Dioxide is produced for 1 ton of Cement production. Researchers, in order to make construction a sustainable industry, have been coming up with a number of solutions. Some of which are discussed today.

Using Waste Products in Eco-Friendly Concrete

This includes the usage of waste materials like Fly Ash, Blast Furnace Slag, Husk Ash and much more. These waste products are difficult to recycle and therefore scientists and civil engineers started to partially replace the portland cement content with these waste products.

 

fly ash dump.

Fly ash dump. Waste Fly ash is a waste product produced in the chimneys of coal-fired power stations.

 

This strategy is effective in two ways. Not only they are using these waste products but also reducing the production of portland cement. A concrete mix, for instance, uses 20 % Fly Ash by the weight of cement translates to 20 % less Portland cement used in that product. A simple logic of ‘lower demand = lower production.

 

Eco Friendly Cement from Fly Ash

The spherical particles of the fly ash acts as a lubricant. This improves the workability and pumping of the concrete.

Research studies show that the resulting concrete, especially when made with Fly Ash (FA) and Blast Furnace Slag (BFS), results in a stronger and more durable concrete since it has better resistance to chemical attacks,

Eco-Friendly Concrete Bricks made wi

Eco-Friendly Concrete Bricks made with Fly Ash. The spherical fly ash particles improve the flow of the workability of the cement. This helps it to be moulded into complicated shapes and helps concrete pumping. According to the US DOT “Fly ash use in concrete improves the workability of plastic concrete, and the strength and durability of hardened concrete. Fly ash use is also cost effective. When fly ash is added to concrete, the amount of Portland cement may be reduced.”

 

The concrete made with Blast Furnace Slag also has a lower pH which is ideal for artificial reefs. Recent research has shown that concrete made with BFS can host higher alga on the surface as compared to conventional concrete when used as an Artificial Reef.

The concrete made with Blast Furnace Slag also offers a lower pH value which is beneficial for artificial reefs

The concrete made with Blast Furnace Slag also has a lower pH which is ideal for artificial reefs

 

Self-Healing Eco-Friendly Concrete

Eco-Friendly Concrete which is also known as ‘Green Concrete’ or ‘Environment Friendly Concrete’ is much more than using waste products. Innovative materials like Self-healing Concrete can also be a part of it. Self-Healing Concrete is also known as “Live Concrete” for it fills its own cracks by itself. This healing of cracks is achieved with the help of Bacteria, Fungi and/ or chemicals promise a longer service life. A longer service life means the structures are going to stay for a longer tenure and therefore reducing the construction life time costs. Less reconstruction means less production of cement.

SELF HEALING CONCTETE

Before and after pictures of self healing concrete shows how limestone fills the gap in the concrete.

 

Cracks in concrete provide a passage to water and gases which can make their way inside the concrete. The problem with intrusion of fluids is that it can take other chemicals along with it. Sulphates and Chlorides being prime examples. They tend to attack the Concrete and Steel – Sulphates are common to trigger Sulphate attack while Chlorides together with oxygen can cause steel corrosion.

Carbon Dioxide ingression on the other actually makes Concrete stronger. Such concrete in which Carbon Dioxide has made its way deep is called Carbonated Concrete. This reacts with Calcium Hydroxide – the alkaline part of Concrete – and produces Calcium Carbonate that is actually stronger than the former. But, the latter is not as alkaline as former and therefore reduces the pH of concrete and consequently its resistance to acid attacks.

Self-Healing Concrete is currently being utilised in a number of projects is finding practical uses in many different applications.

Carbon Dioxide Absorbing Eco-Friendly Concrete

Similarly, there are other concrete types like Carbon Dioxide absorbing Concrete. This Concrete type absorbs Carbon Dioxide that comes into contact with its surface and therefore making this environment a bit better.

Carbon Dioxide Absorbing Concrete is still under research. Carbon Dioxide gets its way inside the concrete and produces Calcite (Calcium Carbonate). Although this reaction makes concrete stronger but reduces the PH. The alkaline layer around steel reinforcement protects the steel from acid attack which can cause corrosion of steel. Once corroded, the steel would expand and cause stresses inside the concrete and therefore might result in cracks.

The applications for such kind of concrete are still under discussion and the scientists are currently working to come up with a viable option.

Recycled Aggregate Concrete

On the other hand, it is also important to realize that demolished concrete is also been recycled since landfill is not a viable option anymore. The demolished concrete is crushed and then used again as aggregate in new concrete – the resulting concrete is called Recycled Aggregate Concrete.

Eco-friendly concrete using Recycled Aggregate Concrete

Eco-friendly concrete using Recycled Aggregate Concrete

 

Recycled Aggregate Concrete usually has a little lower strength, less workability and lower resistance to chemical attacks as compared to conventional concrete. But with recent research, the gap is getting smaller and soon recycled aggregate concrete would be as good as conventional concrete.

Another kind of recycled concrete is currently under research at different universities. The University of Tokyo, Japan, for instance, is currently working on using demolished concrete with zero cement. The demolished concrete is crushed and brought into powder form which later is compressed with the right amount of water for lubrication. The powder is compressed into the desired shape which later can be used for a number of purposes.

The compressive strength of such kind of concrete is not comparable to conventional concrete since most of the strength comes from mechanical compression and hardly any chemical reaction occurs between the particles. The cement particles from the demolished concrete is usually unable to hydrate – hydration is reaction of cement and water which in turn produces hydration products like Allite, Bellite and Portlandite which provide strength and alkalinity.

Commercial Landscaping with Eco-Friendly Concrete

Melbourne Concrete suppliers Outwest Concrete have a range of more sustainable concrete products using materials that would have otherwise ended up in landfill. Outwest Concrete make clever use of  blast furnace slag, recycled aggregates, fly ash and recycled water to make a more sustainable Eco-Friendly concrete that is ideal for Commercial Landscaping Applications.

 

Related Information from Red’s Landscaping and Civil

Concreting Melbourne

 

Eco garden: Gardening Made Easy

 

Concrete Swimming Pool Construction and Design.

 

5 Reasons For Using Recycled Plastic Composites

 

Plastic Roads, the next step for Australia?

 

Concrete – 9 things Melbourne Landscapers need to know.

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil quality landscaping Melbourne

 

References and more reading about Eco-Friendly Concrete

 

References

Self Healing Concrete

 

Recycled Aggregate Concrete

 

Portland Pozzolana Cement

 

US DOT

 

Boral Bulk Cement Fly Ash and Slag

 

Engineers Australia – New Cement Durable and Eco-Friendly

 

Wagners – Earth Friendly Concrete

 

Bayside Group – Eco Friendly Concrete

Read more
Custom Swimming Pool Design of a Lap Pool

5 Top Custom Swimming Pool Designs and trends.

The pool designs we are now seeing as the trend or fashion for residential swimming pools were once only seen in exclusive holiday resorts. Swimming pool construction using concrete offers a wide range of bespoke design possibilities that can even be designed to suit small gardens with odd shapes.  This is especially the case with the design of plunge pools, which are a great way to cool off after a day in the hot Melbourne sun.

Occasionally these swimming pool designs would be seen on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, but rarely as a residential suburban swimming pool. This is especially the case with our first pool design trend, the infinity edge pool.

 

1.    Infinity Edge Pool Designs

The infinity edge pool design is so named as the edge of the pool is invisible to the eye and the pool appears to extend forever. The delineation between the water in the pool and the surrounding landscape features are difficult to discern. This pool design works brilliantly if the background landscape is a large body of water with which the pool water appears to blend.

Infinity edges swimming Pool designs

Infinity edges swimming Pool designs. The far edge of the pool blends in to the scenery.

2.   Lap Pool Designs

The lap pool design is ideal if you have a narrow garden and enjoy swimming for exercise.

The long narrow lap pool is generally designed to have a have a swimming length between 15 to 30 metres and a flat bottom with a depth of around 1.5 metres. The width of the swimming pool can vary between 2 metres wide to 5 metres wide.

Lap swimming pool designs go along luxury house

Lap swimming pool Designs are ideal for the sports enthusiast.

Using CAD landscape design, we can create an integrated landscape and pool design package to suit your home and show you how it will look from any angle.

Custom design lap pool

A custom designed lap pool photo-realistic visualisation using landscape design tools.

3.    The Kidney Shaped Pool

The Kidney shaped pool design is ideal for a naturalistic landscaped garden. They are more a design for landscape aesthetic appeal rather than the serious lap swimmer. None the less, they are still a great pool for the kids to have fun and cool off in. the design of the kidney shaped pool has been credited to modernist landscape architect Thomas Church. Church was a pioneer of the landscape design style that became known as the “California Style”. People often associate this pool design with California and Palm Springs style and elegance.

Kidney shaped.

Kidney shaped pool designs are a statement of modernist landscape architecture.

The kidney shaped pool can be custom built to an almost limitless number of shapes, sizes and colours.

Blue Kidney Shaped

A Blue Kidney shaped pool with spa and waterfall.

4.    Beach Bench Swimming Pools

These pools are designed with a shallow ledge in part of the pool which is great for getting a tan whilst cooling off in the water. In fact this design style is also know as the “sun shelf” or “Tanning Ledge”. The ledges themselves can be free formed shapes or a geometric design to suit the pool. These can be circular, semi-circular or rectangular with rounded edges.

The ledges can be designed a little deeper for the placement of sun-lounges in the pool.

The ledges are also a great place for the supervised play of both dogs and children in the pool.

A shallow ledge for sun-lounges.

Swimming Pool design with a shallow ledge for sun-lounges.

The Beach Bench Design can also incorporate part of the swimming pool internal steps for ease of getting in and out of the pool. This design is also a good solution for people with mobility issues who might find getting in and out of the pool difficult.

Pool steps incorporating a swimming pool ledge.

Pool steps incorporating a swimming pool ledge for ease of getting in and out of the pool.

The swimming pool bench can be designed in to most pool shapes without too much difficulty.

Swimming pool bench

A swimming pool bench can be designed into most pool shapes.

5.    The Plunge Pool Designs.

A great pool for the small garden that still gives you a way to cool off after a day in the hot Melbourne sun. The plunge pool is a deep pool but with reduced length and width. Another advantage of the plunge pool is that they are a little cheaper to heat and maintain. They can also be custom designed to fit into an unusual or small space in your garden.

Plunge Pool.

The Plunge Pool Design often has stainless steel stairs to save space in a small garden.

Contact Us for Pool and Landscaping packages

Contact us to discuss a bespoke swimming pool design for your Melbourne Garden. 

We can show you how our CAD team can create a photorealistic custom swimming pool design or pool and landscaping packages for your home. Of course, a simple and quick design concept using sketchup is a great way to kickoff the design process.

Designing your Swimming Pool for afternoon shade

Using the 3D landscape design tools, the shadows of buildings can be factored into the design. If there is insufficient shade for the swimming pool, then a pergola can be added to the design. This is a much cheaper option than adding the pergola later.

pool and landscaping design. The view from the pergola.

The view from the pergola. Shade can be designed into the pool and landscaping package. Note the partial shade from the Pergola over the spa.

Putting it all together as a Pool and Landscaping Package

The pool and landscape design package can be brought together and presented as a virtual fly through for the client. This makes the overall client approval process much easier.

 

 

Related Swimming Pool Landscaping ideas from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne.

9 great reasons for Pool and Landscaping Packages

 

13 Best Pool Landscaping Design ideas

 

Custom Swimming Pool Design and Construction

 

Concrete Swimming Pool Construction and Design.

 

Eco Pools: Nature pools for the eco conscious

 

Landscape Design Melbourne

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil quality landscaping Melbourne

 

More Reading about Swimming Pool Design

 

40 Swimming Pools from House Beautiful.

 

22 Stunning in-ground Pools from Country Living

 

Home Design Lover – 25 of the finest Pools

 

Read more
Swimming pool design with Pergola

Concrete Swimming Pool Construction and Design.

The Swimming Pool, as the name suggests, is a man-made pool which holds water for the family to swim in. Swimming pools can be made with a variety of different materials depending on the application and location. A roof-top swimming pool, for example, looks better when one of its sides is made with Reinforced Glass or fibre Glass. Container tank swimming pools are also pretty common these days. These are swimming pools in which an old container is made water tight and then converted to a swimming pool. This construction technique makes the construction and relocation of swimming pool easier.

By designing the swimming pool using 3D CAD all of the material thickness and strength requirements can be checked prior to the pool construction starting.

By designing the swimming pool using 3D CAD all of the material thickness and strength requirements can be checked prior to the pool construction starting.

In all other cases where swimming pool is usually made on ground level, Concrete is the most preferred material – thanks to its durability, straight forward construction techniques, lower cost and easy availability. These kind of swimming pools last much longer than the other kinds and give a classic look which we have seen in movies.

The Concrete Swimming Pool is the most popular choice for in-ground pools. They initial costs are soon paid back with the longer life of the swimming pool Also, unlike other kinds of pools, concrete pools are serviceable and therefore can be repaired and even enlarged afterwards.

Concrete Swimming Pool Construction and Design

Concrete used in the construction of swimming pool has to be reinforced, usually with Grade 60 Steel. Reinforcement is required as he concrete experiences bending stresses produced from water – and soil, when constructed in-ground.

Concrete swimming pool reinforcement for a shallow pool.

Concrete swimming pool reinforcement for a shallow pool.

The greater the depth of water, the stronger the swimming pool walls need to be. A normal strength Concrete, M20 or higher grade would work fine for the swimming pool. Reinforcement and Concrete should be designed in detail prior to beginning construction of the swimming pool.

As it can be seen from the illustration of the masonry wall, greater strength is required in the bottom of the wall. The floor of swimming pool, on the other hand, experiences the same vertical pressure at every point and therefore requires the same reinforcement in every part of it.

Steel reinforcement of a concrete swimming pool

Steel reinforcement of a concrete swimming pool

If constructed in-ground, as already mentioned, Reinforced Concrete doesn’t only have to bear the loads of water but also of the surrounding soil. The reinforced wall acts as a retaining wall, retaining the load of soil at two different levels. The load of water and soil counteract each other as the loads of soil are distributed in the same manner as of water.

However, the swimming pool should be designed in a manner that it can resist the soil loads even when the pool is empty. An empty pool would lack the pressure from water that would help counteract the soil pressure.

Swimming Pool Design considerations

When designing a Swimming Pool which is only partially in-ground and extends above ground level, soil pressure is not considered for the part which is above the ground level. Only, water pressure is considered for that part of the design.

The design of such Reinforced Concrete walls is always based on standard regulations which define the minimum strength of Concrete and Steel which should be used for the construction – M20 Concrete and Grade 60 Steel with a minimum wall thickness of 6 inches are American Concrete Institute (ACI) Requirements for example.

The reinforcement can be steel or any other material such as CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer) or GFRP (Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer). These Polymer based Reinforcement types usually have higher tensile strength and make Reinforced Concrete a relatively ductile material. They are usually expensive than Steel but since these reinforcement types are stronger, a lower amount would be used.

Concrete Swimming Pool Construction

  1. Selection of Land and Design
    This includes the architectural as well as structural design. The depth of Pool affects the amount of steel and the thickness of concrete wall.
  2. Excavation of Earth
  3. Compaction of Soil
  4. Construction of Swimming Pool Base
    A lean concrete base is provided before the actual construction of floor. This should be done at a gradient so that the emptying of swimming pool would be easier at later stages.
  5. Steel Cage placement
  6. Pump and Filter System Placement
  7. Concreting – This can be done using Shotcrete technique or formwork. Shotcrete eliminates the chances of gaps.
  8. Waterproofing of Concrete – This can be done using Tiles, Glass, Ceramic or Epoxy or any other water-proofing method.
  9. Coping Construction.
Shotcrete of the swimming pool

Shotcrete of the swimming pool. Note the extra steel reinforcement at the bottom of the pool wall. This as well as the blended radius makes the pool wall even stronger at the bottom.

 

Concrete complete and pool tiling begun.

Concrete complete and pool tiling begun.

 

There are a number of questions that usually arise when one talks about Reinforced Concrete Swimming Pools. Some of the frequently asked questions are answered below.

Do concrete pools need waterproofing?

If Concrete, is not sealed properly, it would leak water to the surrounding soil. This causes problems as the soil in the surrounding would get wet. The soil would exert a higher pressure since water and soil would act together now.

This also poses the risk of uplift water pressure.

Piping and Soil erosion is also possible which would leave a hollow space in the underlying soil and therefore it wouldn’t be able to bear the loads and would have chances of collapse.

How long do concrete pools last?

It usually depends on the conditions it is exposed to. A structural designer mentions the service life of the structure he designs. On average, the Reinforced Concrete Pools survive 40-60 years. Salt water Pools survive shorter than Fresh Water Pools since Salt intrusion in Concrete causes some complications.

What type of Concrete is used for Swimming Pools?

Conventional Concrete can be used for the construction of the pool. Usually M20 Grade concrete or higher can suffice the structural needs. However, it is preferable to use to water proofing admixtures in the concrete.

The resulting concrete would have lesser or almost zero infiltration of water and consequently, a longer service life.

Are Concrete Pools Better?

It actually depends requirements and location of the  pool. But in general, Reinforced Concrete Swimming Pools are cheaper and easier to construct.

If necessary later in life, the repairing of Reinforced Concrete Swimming Pools is much easier as compared to other materials like fibreglass pools.

Design of Swimming Pools using 3D CAD.

By designing the swimming pool using 3D CAD all of the material thickness and strength requirements can be checked prior to the pool construction starting. Additionally, the pool can be viewed from any angle to ensure the privacy and aesthetic design goals are met from any possible viewing angle. This is a great design tool when designing an integrated landscaping and swimming pool package. The 3D swimming pool and landscaping fly-through is a great way for the customer to visualise the finished product before pool design sign-off.

Related landscaping ideas from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne.

9 great reasons for Pool and Landscaping Packages

 

13 Best Pool Landscaping Design ideas

 

Eco Pools: Nature pools for the eco conscious

 

Custom Pools by Red’s Landscaping Melbourne

 

Concreting Melbourne

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil quality commercial landscaping Melbourne

 

 

More information about Pools

 

Pool Design as a Masonry Retaining Wall

 

Read more
Building a Asphalt road. Will plastic be an important ingredient in the future.

Plastic Roads, the next step for Australia?

After hugely successful installations in Zwolle and Giethoorn in the Netherlands, plastic roads and paths are about to become mainstream. Now, two years after the concept was first tested, a team of plastic road specialists are taking the idea global, with Australia the next step on their journey.

Plastic roads? Is it as simple as it sounds?

There’s more to this concept than first meets the eye. Yes, the roads are made using plastic rather than asphalt, but it’s actually recycled plastic that elevates this product to the next level. As well as the plastic surface that road users will see, Aussie engineers will be able to access the prefabricated hollow space that is carefully designed for a whole range of purposes, like cable transiting, piping, road heating, generating energy, and moving water through. The circular economy played a major part in the design, and so these roads are both recycled and recyclable, not that they have a short life span, in fact, their designers expect that plastic roads will perform for three times as long as asphalt.

Plastic Road -

The hollow space that can be used to hold water to help prevent flooding or for the transit of cables and pipes.

 

What are the advantages of plastic roads for Australians?

● The lightweight and prefabricated hollow space allows more road to be built and faster, with ease of transport, and easier maintenance that is required less frequently
● With the lifespan being 3 times longer than asphalt, Australian roads and tax dollars can go further, for longer!
● Almost no deterioration from weeds and bad weather, and can handle constant traffic and safely drain water
● Noise-reducing, as the material absorbs more sound than asphalt
● Highly sustainable design using mostly recycled plastic, reusable and recyclable components, and based on the Cradle to Cradle and Circular Economy principles
● Effective hollow space design which appeals to civil engineers, with the increased functionality also making it plausible to innovate the roads for renewable energy capturing in the future
● Helping to tackle the problem of plastic waste, which is just as big a problem in Australia as in other countries

 

What problems are plastic roads tackling?

Of course, primarily the roads are tackling the faults of asphalt, but the secondary benefits go way beyond and contribute to a better society. Issues such as plastic waste, extreme weather, better mobility, quality urban development, crowded subsurfaces, and more can be addressed. Asphalt is not terrible, but it does not offer modern solutions to modern problems, and contractors, municipalities, provinces, and water authorities want more functionality and innovation from their roads.

Cyclists on a new road.

Cyclists on a plastic road.

 

How sustainable is this idea?

Here at Red’s Landscaping Melbourne, we’re keen to vet our supply chain, to assess our products, processes, and materials, and to ask big questions about sustainability to find better answers. When we heard about the plastic road concept, naturally it caught our attention.

The sustainability factor is high, because:
1. Plastic roads source a lot of recycled plastic for their manufacturing. In one of the trials in the Netherlands, 1,000kg of recycled plastic was used for a 30m cycle path. Scale that into a decent length of road surface and millions of tonnes could be sustainably utilised high up in the chain
2. The carbon footprint of recycled post-industrial plastic is much lower than asphalt, with manufacturers arguing a 50-70% reduction in CO2 emissions. As the production of the roads increases and processes scale, this percentage will improve even further
3. The innovation is based on the Cradle to Cradle philosophy, with elements of the Circular Economy also used as inspiration
4. The roads can be recycled at the end of their lifespan and turned into more plastic roads!
5. Plastic roads can be built directly on top of sand, saving the resources that would usually be used for a foundation. Australia has a lot of sand, so this is a big plus
6. Transporting the components for a plastic road is much easier and less energy-intensive than asphalt, and in fact, requires 85% less transport overall

Who is making the product?

Australia will welcome a collaborative team from PlasticRoad, KWS, Wavin, and Total in the first quarter of 2021 to begin industrial manufacturing.

 

Plastic Road infrastructure

Plastic Road infrastructure

 

Is this project unique, or is Australia trialling other road innovations?

In New South Wales, another plastic road project is underway, with the NSW Environment Protection Authority approving the use of Downer’s Reconophalt road surface product. This material also uses some recycled plastics and has been extensively tested to ensure that there is no release of microplastics or BPA leaching into the environment. As well as recycled plastic, the road mix contains toner, glass, and reclaimed road.

Building a Asphalt road. Will plastic be an important ingredient in the future.

Roller and workers on asphalting and repair of city streets. Will plastic soon be an important ingredient in road construction?

 

The recycled plastic is post-consumer, with a community network sourcing material from Coles, Woolworths, schools, councils, and businesses, with the help of RedCycle and Plastic Police. The first trials back in 2018 were a big victory for sustainable road surfacing and since then, roads have been laid in Australia Capital Territory, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia.

Downer’s General Manager of pavements, Stuart Billing, is quoted as saying:

“We have invested significantly in research and development over a long period of time and I am incredibly proud of our team’s commitment to deliver a product that is environmentally safe, sustainable and outperforms standard asphalt. Even after a road has been laid with Reconophalt, the pavement is perpetually recyclable, providing a truly circular and sustainable solution for communities and generations to come. To us, it’s all about pulling products, not pushing waste.”

Final thoughts

Red’s Landscaping Melbourne are keen to see more and more sustainable innovations popping up around the country, giving a good indication that the construction and engineering industries are looking at their projects and asking tough questions.

 

Related Landscaping Articles from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne

Tennis Court Construction Balwyn Community Centre

 

5 Reasons For Using Recycled Plastic Composites

 

Eco garden: Gardening Made Easy

 

Eco Pools: Nature pools for the eco conscious

 

7 Great Reasons to choose Permeable Concrete

 

13 Best Reasons To Preserve Balwyn Urban Wetlands

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil quality commercial landscaping Melbourne

 

More information on Plastic Roads

 

Building the Future

 

Downer’s Reconophalt road surface product

 

More information on plastics recycling

Boroondara Council A to Z recycling and waste guide.

 

 

Read more
Composite Plastic Enviroslat Bench with cast in-situ concrete base.

5 Reasons For Using Recycled Plastic Composites

Melbourne Landscaping companies are now turning to an unlikely material for some of their wood finishes. The material: recycled plastic composite. Why not use wood itself? Here are the five best reasons…

 

Reason One: Toughness and Durability of Recycled Plastic Composites

Plastic is tougher than wood, and of course, that’s not to say wood isn’t tough, wood is an amazing and versatile material, but the facts don’t lie. Wood has a habit of splitting, snapping, splintering, grazing, and chipping, and through no fault of its own, it’s also a tasty snack for insects. Mould also loves wood and shows this love by growing all over it. Finally, wood is highly porous by nature, meaning it has to be covered in waterproofing oil to make it suitable for landscaping finishes. This lack of water resistance is the ultimate undoing for wood.

 

Here at Red’s Landscaping Melbourne , we’ve found that recycled plastic composites is pretty much the opposite. It’s nonporous, insects and mould aren’t interested in it, chemicals don’t bother it, and it requires a huge amount of force or professional tools to snap it.

Our recent commercial landscaping project at Balwyn Community Centre made great use the Futurewood products Enviroslat and CleverDeck

Being man-made is a huge advantage for plastic , as it gives an opportunity for engineers to re-master the material, to make it stronger, more shock absorbent, better reinforced (often with fibreglass) and it also gives control over colour and design.

CleverDeck Composite Recycled Plastic decking from Futurewood.

CleverDeck Composite Plastic decking from Futurewood looks just like timber on this deck.

Reason Two: UV Resistance of Recycled Plastic Composite Wood

In wet and humid countries, wood is known to quickly rot and break, so what happens in a country like Australia where the biggest weather challenge for wood is the sun? UV radiation is an invisible threat to wood fibres, rendering them less resilient and more prone to cracking, warping, or cupping. An entire decking or fence section can be destroyed by failing to protect them with a waterproof sealer and UV light sealer.

 

Plastic Composite Wood doesn’t suffer from the same problem, in fact, recycled plastic wood is UV resistant, meaning the performance, quality, and appearance will decrease much more slowly over time than real wood.

Recycled plastic composite decking looks like real wood.

 

Reason Three: Waste reduction

The construction industry accounts for more than one-third of the world’s waste, if some experts are correct. This is a big problem, so the construction industry, engineering industry, and other connected sectors like landscaping are responsible for finding new ways to recycle these materials and ensure they avoid the landfill. The recycled plastic ‘wood’ that we use takes post-industrial HDPE and makes a waste-reducing product that also saves rainforest timber from being felled.

Recycled plastic wood composites on this brown enviroslat fence looks great in contrast to the green bamboo leaves.

This brown Enviroslat fence looks great in contrast to the green bamboo leaves.

 

Reason Four: Cost effective

Here at Red’s Landscaping Melbourne , we are happy to provide a cost-benefit analysis for plastic wood in comparison to wood, showing that there is a high hidden cost in maintaining timber year after year. As a side to that fact, the oil used to protect timber slats contains a number of chemicals that can be harmful to the environment.

 

Over the entire life span, plastic lumber more than makes up for its higher purchasing price, providing a truly economical option to those who want quality and longevity.

 

Reason Five: Expert Science

The final of our five reasons (though we could give plenty more) brings us to the science behind the plastic lumber’s composition. As you see in the list below, the ingredients are either eco-friendly natural materials, post-industrial waste, or small quantities of carefully selected chemicals to make sure the resulting material is perfect for landscaping (and other applications). The products are made from over 90% recycled and reused plastic and rice husk mixed with some pigments and fillers as well as UV absorbers to ensure the material remains tough for a long time.

How recycled Plastic Timber Composites are made.

How your recycled Plastic bottles become Timber Composites park furniture.

Landscaping with Enviroslat and CleverDeck recycled plastic Composite Timber slats

The recycled plastic composite timber slats have a wide range of uses in landscaping. It is the ideal material for pergolas, decking of to improve the look of your backyard shed. The low maintenance, toughness, and aesthetic qualities make it a great material for the commercial landscaping of public places like the Balwyn Community Centre. The urban wetlands boardwalk is a fantastic example of how this new landscaping material can be used.

 

Recycled Enviroslat Cladding on a shed at Balwyn Community Centre.

Enviroslat Cladding on a shed at Balwyn Community Centre

The Boardwalk at Balwyn Community Centre

 

Park Furniture from recycled plastic composites

The toughness of recycled plastic composites, also makes them great for the manufacturing of Park Outdoor Furniture for landscaping public spaces. For this reason, commercial landscapers are now seeing these materials specified more often by the Landscape architects.

Outdoor Park Furniture Marrickville library outdoor furniture using recycled plastic.

A round outdoor seat. Marrickville library outdoor furniture – Photograph courtesy of botton + gardiner

The materials used are engineered for longevity meaning no need to replace and consume additional resources. Park furniture manufactured from recycled plastic composite wood are very low maintenance. The composites on these outdoor park furniture pieces require no sealing, or oiling.  There is also no risk of termite destruction when these materials are used. The long chain polyolefin molecules mean that the materials are also very resistant to warping.

S - Shaped outdoor seat. Marrickville Library.

S – Shaped outdoor seat. Marrickville Library. Photograph courtesy of botton + gardiner

 

Manufacturing of Outdoor Park Furniture

The manufacturing process for making outdoor park furniture with recycled plastic composites is similar to making park furniture with wood. The process is however more efficient as there is no need to oil or paint the timber composites. An added bonus is the slats are manufactured straight and with uniform thickness and width. This is hard to achieve even with the best kiln dried timbers. This can be seen in the photographs below of the park furniture manufacturing at botton + gardiner.

 

 

Commercial Landscaping with recycled composite timber.

The toughness and durability of recycled composite timber makes material like Enviroslat ideal for commercial landscaping applications. The toughness and the use of HDPE in the material makes the outdoor furniture resistant to vandals. The Ultraviolet Stability means that the colour does not fade much or peel meaning that repainting is rarely required. The absence of wood splinters and warping are even more reasons what these materials are great for commercial landscaping.

 

Want to learn more about our recycled plastic timber projects?

Get in touch with us today or check out our landscaping case studies page.

 

CleverDeck and Enviroslat are Trademarks of Future Wood in Australia and the UK

 

For More information on recycling Plastic take a look at the UK Plastic Expert Website.

 

Related Landscaping Articles from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne

Eco garden: Gardening Made Easy

 

Balwyn Landscaping – Commercial Project

 

Commercial Landscaping

 

Commercial Landscaper Melbourne

 

 

© Copyright Red’s Landscaping and Civil Pty Ltd – Quality Commercial Landscaping Melbourne

Read more