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chinese pagoda Kew Gardens

Chinese Landscaping and Melbourne Gardens

Chinese Landscaping (中国园林) is well known for its use of decorative design elements and the use of the concept of the “ideal miniature” as a landscape design tool.

The Chinese garden culture has more than three thousand years old design tradition. It is a unique phenomenon in landscape architecture and human cultural history. It is the oldest continuous garden and landscape concept in the world, dating back to the Shang dynasty in the 2nd century B.C when the transformation of natural landscape arrived at the phase where gardens for pleasure, recreation, happiness, and laugher could appear.

豫园 Yù Yuán /yoo ywen/ 'Happiness Garden'

Yu Yuan (豫园) Gardens or Happiness Gardens , Shanghai, China. These gardens are thought to be more than 400 years old and may date back to the Ming Dynasty.

The Yu Yuan Garden (豫园) is compromised  of six different scenic areas. These are the Inner Garden, Sansui Hall, Wanhua Chamber, Dianchun Hall, Huijing Hall, and the Yuhua Hall. These gardens are a great example of the Chinese landscape design concept of the idealised miniature,

Amongst the many highlights of the garden are; exquisite sculptures, classical Chinese architecture and beautiful chinese carvings.

The Chinese garden converted and improved natural landscapes with deep symbolism. The level of garden spaces is strictly bound, giving substantial importance to hills, rocks, and water.

Suzhou chinese garden

The Suzhou Chinese garden. According to UNESCO, “The classical gardens of Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China date back to the 6th century BCE when the city was founded as the capital of the Wu Kingdom” The Chinese garden design seeks to recreate natural landscapes as an idealised miniature and the Suzhou gardens are a great example of this.

The Chinese garden emulates a deep understanding of nature and its procedures. They are composed of a series of landscape portraits, a picture from individual points from window frames along corridors of a set of buildings. Chinese landscape is an idealised miniature, which is meant to express the harmony between man and nature.


The planting design of traditional Chinese gardens does not apply to a wide variety of ornamental plants. Not so much in the variability, but the decorative appearance and the deep symbolical meaning are forefront in Chinese planting design. Trees with the irregular arrangement, meadow or pasture, but huge water surfaces instead, always with lotus plant cover representing purity and admired in the Buddhist philosophy.

A typical Chinese landscape is enclosed by walls and includes:

  • One or more ponds.
  • Rock works.
  • Trees and flowers.
  • An assortment of halls with the garden provides a carefully composed scene to the visitors.
Landscaping with rocks, paths and gravel.

Landscaping with rocks, paths and gravel.



Feng Shui is a system of the earliest Chinese practises that aim to increase the happiness and comfort of the human inside a home, an office, or a garden. It stimulates the good flow of energy in that space. Chi is a term used in Feng shui to refer to the universal energy present in and around us. Feng shui aims to direct the flow of Chi within our space to contribute to a good flow of Chi inside ourselves as well. Because due to this energy, humans connect to the area.

Feng shui means knowing how to choose the right colours and decorative elements and use them in the specific areas of your home to bring about nourishing energy to your space and the different areas of your life. Feng shui is not an imposition of strict rules because no strictness breeds a healthy flow of energy. There are five elements of feng shui: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. These five elements’ correct position and placement in our space can stimulate Chi and promote our wellbeing.

Feng shui 5 elements

The five elements of feng shui: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. These five elements’ correct position and placement in our space can stimulate Chi and promote our wellbeing.


The wood element withstands vitality, health, and growth. Wood is also an element of abundance. The use of wood encourages wealth and prosperity. It is expressed in green and brown colours. Decorative elements that add wood to your space are lush and healthy plants, green pillows, and vegetation. The element fire brings energy from the sun and with it a sense of joy and creativity. It is also an element of love, romance, and passion. To add this element to your space, use candles of different colours, fire images, yellow lampshades, etc. The element earth stand for nourishment, protection, stability, and support. It provides us with an inner sense of ground and space. It is a crucial element to add to our hectic and stressful modern lives. This element is expressed in beige, sandy, and taupe colours. The fourth element of Feng shui is metal. It brings discipline, structure, productivity, and efficiency. Metal eliminates distraction and helps in creating a sense of clarity, calm, and lightness. Its colours are white and grey. Use the metal to balance out overly warm and sensible places, but don’t overuse it. The fifth and final element of Feng shui is water, one of the most important and influential elements. Water brings the refreshing energy of ease and harmony. Water provides us a sense of renewal and flow. It is also a symbol of abundance and is always used in Feng shui to cultivate wealth. 

Advantages of Feng Shui 風水 in Chinese Landscaping

Feng Shui plays a crucial role in enhancing wealth. Many businessmen used it to attract clients. Proper Feng shui can greatly improve your health. It is used mainly for sickened and older people and is trusted to have potential health benefits. Feng shui principles boost mental health. By adding flowering and decorative plants, your mental health will be improved. The accidents and unwanted events can be reduced by Feng shui.


The natural garden style proved to be the symbol of liberal philosophy and the enlightened way of thinking. The modern landscape garden, which can be seen as an idealised view of nature, is inspired by classical landscape painting and the classic Chinese gardens, which European travellers have described. The interest in Chinese culture, architecture, and garden design spread around the British island and inspired talented gardeners and designers. The gardens created in the chamber made a new section in the picturesque landscaped gardens. In these so-called anglo-chinoiserie gardens, eastern, mainly Chinese architectural motivates garden elements have been used in most cases without integrating the Chinese nature philosophy. These first, more or less formal effects of Chinese garden design on modern landscape architecture were written by garden designers and horticulturists during the gardens period, where great variety in plant design was taken into the focus of landscape architecture.

The uniqueness and exoticism of Chinese art and architecture in Europe were managed in 1738 when the first Chinese house was constructed in the English garden (Stowe House Garden).

Chinese house was constructed in the English garden (Stowe House Garden)

Chinoiserie garden pavilion called the Chinese House. Thought to be the work of architect William Kent (c. 1685-1748), commissioned by Sir Richard Temple, Viscount Cobham (1675-1748), by 1738. Enclosed wooden rectangular structure, painted with chinoiserie designs, with latticework windows and with a gabled roof with lead covering and two gilded fish finials.Due to William Chamber, who lived in China from 1745-1747, the style became more popular . He built a Great Chinese pagoda (A Chinese house) in London (Kew Garden). After that, Chinese pagodas began to appear in other English gardens. Subsequently, the term Anglo-Chinese garden for this style of landscaping.

chinese pagoda Kew Gardens

The Chinese Pagoda Kew Gardens.

In the 19th century, the gardening interests of the west had turned towards the display of rare and exotic plants. Plant collectors discovered a paradise in China. Garden borders and woods started to blossom soon with species of azalea and rhododendron, which are found in the wild foothills of the Himalayas.


From 1970, the Chinese traders were visiting the north coast of Australia. After the British settlement (1788), many Chinese people came as workers, prisoners, and fee settlers. After that, the Chinese arrival to Australia was not significant until the Victorian (the 1850s) and New South Wales gold rushes. From the Victorian gold rush, the number of Chinese people in Australia reached 50,000.

Avoca Chinese Garden (阿沃卡中国花园)

Avoca Chinese Garden

Sign at the entrance to Avoca Chinese Garden

The Avoca Chinese Garden, also known as  The Avoca Garden of Fire and Water, is a well known commemoration of Chinese heritage in Victoria’s Goldfield region. This beautiful park features a tranquil pond and an attractive wooden pagoda. The plantings feature Australian native plants as well as plants such as bamboo, which is more typical of a traditional Chinese Garden.

chinese landscaping pagoda

A pagoda at the Avoca Chinese Garden.

Opening officially on 11th October 2014 the Avoca Chinese Garden has continued to grow and transform into a place of beauty, art and tranquility. It is a credit to the volunteers, who have worked hard to establish the gardens and provide maintenance.

tranguil pool

A tranquil pool with slate rocks at Avoca Chinese Garden of Fire and Water.

Construction of the gardens began in January 2014 after months of planning and landscape design work. Lyndal Jones, Lindy Lee and Mel Ogden were the chief artists according to an information sign by the gardens. Expertise on soils and plants was provided by local soil expert Martin Wynne and local tradesmen and local materials were used where possible.

kangaroo paw and xanthorrhoea amongst the more typical chinese plants.

Kangaroo paw and xanthorrhoea amongst the more typical Chinese plants.


Garden boulder in Chinese landscaping

Garden boulder in Chinese landscaping

Rocks, a pagoda and a tranquil pool are all typical features used in Chinese landscape design.

Chinese landscape design

Chinese landscape design.

Melbourne’s Chinatown has a long and memorable history starting from the Victorian gold rush in 1850-51 when the Chinese immigrants came to Australia for the gold rush in search of gold. In late 1854, the first Chinese lodging houses were created in Little Bourke Street and Celestial Avenue. This specific place was considered suitable for the settlers, as it was a staging post for new Chinese colonists and supplies en route to the goldfield. It is known to be the oldest Chinatown in Australia. The goldfield ultimately diminished, which caused a shift from rural living and the arrival of people migrating into metropolitan Melbourne.

chinatown melbourne

Dating back to the gold rush era, Chinatown in Melbourne is the longest continuous Chinese settlement in the western world.

After the fading of the gold rush, when the mining of gold became far less profitable, market gardening became the subsequent most common Chinese occupation, especially in Victoria. Up until the 1900s, almost one-third of the Chinese population in Victoria was involved in market gardening. Even during the goldfield era, the Chinese grew their vegetables, in many cases earning more money than mining in the goldfield. In Melbourne, there were market gardens along Merri Creek and in Suburbs such as Brighton and Caulfield. Chinese used handmade tools for work gardening work.


China is known as the “mother of gardens.” Being marginally larger in mass than the United States, the number of native species of higher pants of China is close to 30,000, of which 7000 are trees around one-eighth of the world’s total. The majority of the garden around the globe possibly comprise at least one plant originating in China, more likely many. Following are the five best Chinese plants.

1)   DOVE TREE (Davidia involucrate)

The dove tree, also known as the handkerchief tree, belongs to the family Cornaceae. The dove tree is native to Chine but can also cultivate in other parts of the world. This tree has come to be a famous decorative tree in gardens in Australia. This plant is temperately fast-growing. The height of this plant ranges from 15-20 metres.

Davidia involucrate handkerchief tree DOVE TREE

Flowers of a dove tree or handkerchief tree, Davidia involucrata .

The leaves of the dove tree are small and heart-shaped. Its flower cannot be seen easily and has two attractive and big white bracts suspended from the stem-like handkerchief. Ta’s why this plant is also known as the handkerchief plant. The flower is located between these bracts. This plant requires a temperate and cold climate. Dove plants grow well in full sun or semi-shade. This plant requires Well-drained and rich soil.

2)   CHINESE PISTACHIO (Pistacia chinensis)

The Chinese pistachio is a lovely small and medium deciduous tree used as an ornamental shade tree. This tree is drought tolerant and has a neat hemispherical appearance. Chinese pistachio grows well in full sun to partial shade on moderately fertile, well-drained soils. This plant provides good Autumn colour, with leaves turning beautiful shades of orange and red.

Chinese Pistachio

The Chinese pistachio This plant provides great Autumn colour for your Melbourne garden, with leaves turning beautiful shades of orange and red

The Chinese pistachio produces panicles of greenish flowers in April and May. The female tree of the Chinese pistachio attracts birds by bearing small white flowers.

Chinese Pistachio (Pistacia chinensis)

Chinese Pistachio (Pistacia chinensis) is drought tolerant and has a neat hemispherical appearance. Chinese pistachio grows well in full sun to partial shade on moderately fertile, well-drained soils.It also produces small round orange to red drupes that ripens in October. The bark of growing Chinese pistachio is grayish brown and, if peeled from the tree, reveals a shocking salmon pink interior.

3)   Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)

Ginkgo, also known as maidenhair tree, is a deciduous tree native to China. Since ancient times, this plant has been planted in Chinese and Japanese temple gardens and is now valued in several parts of the world like a fungus and insect-resistant ornamental plant. This plant can tolerate cold weather and also can survive in adverse atmospheric conditions of urban areas.

gingko tree, maidenhair tree

Ginkgo biloba tree in yellow , golden leaves of Ginkgo Biloba autumn colours (gingko tree, maidenhair tree)

The ginkgo tree is pyramidal in shape with a sparingly branched trunk up to 30 metres tall. Ginkgo has been used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Ginkgo, also known as maidenhair tree, is a deciduous tree native to China

A young Ginkgo Tree, also known as maidenhair tree, is a deciduous tree native to China.

At the end of the 20th century, the extract of ginkgo was used for its supposed memory-enhancing property. Many varieties are also available for landscape use, including columnar types and others favoured for better growth habits, fall colour, and other desired qualities.


Bamboos are a woody perennial plant that belongs to the true grass family Poaceae. The plant size is different from species to species, from giant timber to small annuals. Bamboo species are mainly divided into two main types such as runners and clumpers. Running produce shots several metres away from parent plant whereas clumpers trees grow into a slowly expanding tuft. Planting bamboo in the ground requires minimal preparation of soil. Just dig the soil and plant the clunking varieties.  Bamboo grows best in well-drained soil. Bamboo is a versatile plant but choosing a suitable variety is essential when growing it in a garden.

5)   CHRYSANTHEMUM (Chrysanthemum indicum)

Chrysanthemum is a member of the Compositae family and is available in a wide range of brilliant colours, shapes, and sizes. Chrysanthemum is first cultivated in China as a flowering herb back in the 15th century B.C. The chrysanthemum flower ranges from dazzling whites to dep bronzes, and the plants are highlighted with full dark green leaves.


Chrysanthemums have been bred to produce flowers in a range of beautiful colours.

Chrysanthemums prefer full sun therefore, keep them away from shady trees and large bushes. It requires well-drained and evenly moist soil. This plant does not like standing water and will quickly rot if lifted too wet. This plant is a heavy feeder and should be fertilised monthly. Sprinkle a balanced fertiliser at the rate of 10:10:10 around the plant. Maintain good air circulation around the plant. Stop fertilising when the flower bud emerges.




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© Red’s landscaping Melbourne


Further Information on Chinese Landscaping

Qidi Design Group creates tranquil landscaped garden for property development in Danyang


Yu Yuan Gardens Shanghai



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commercial garden maintenance

7 tips for better commercial garden maintenance

Commercial garden maintenance of landscapes and green gardens provide us with a multitude of environmental and ecological benefits. While beautification of our neighbourhoods is one of the most appealing surfaces of green spaces, the commercial garden also provides physical and psychological benefits that contribute to our quality of life and sense of well-being. Through landscapes, we connect with nature, even in the most urban settings.

commercial landscape garden maintenance

Public space commercial landscaping designed for low maintenance. Mill Park Leisure Centre.

Green spaces and vegetation facilitate personal relaxation, transformation, and socialisation by attracting people outdoors to engage in their community. Landscapes can also serve as informal meeting places for group and individual activity. A single tree can be the landmark where groups will get together. These benefits extend to both genders and all ages and cultures.

commercial garden maintenance for low maintenance.

Designed for low maintenance. Mill Park Leisure Centre.

A well-designed and well-maintained commercial landscape will strengthen the image of your business. The commercial garden will help your business to attract new clients and retain existing clients. Commercial landscape services guarantee a better and beautiful working environment for your employee and clients. Commercial landscape improves the aesthetic value of your building. Studies showed that the workers of the office are more productive in the natural environment.

commercial garden maintenance services

Low maintenance design at Mill Park Leisure Centre.


A commercial garden needs attentive care and consistent maintenance to stay green, bloom, and healthy. Ignored lawns can begin to get dry, irregular, and weedy. The commercial garden should be safe for employees, customers, and the general public with proper maintenance. Maintenance of the garden is necessary because the unchecked plants and bushes can grow out of control and make it difficult to see and move around. As bushes and shrubs grow larger and tree branches start to grow out and down, they can encroach on walkways and block driveways and parking. Weeds will be grown out, which can destroy the man decorative plants. Sometimes the maintenance will be costly; therefore, the low maintenance garden is essential. Here are the eight (8) helpful tips for better commercial garden maintenance.

  • Xeriscaping for better garden maintenance

Xeri comes from the Greek word xeros means dry combined with landscaping. It is also known as drought-resistant landscaping. Xeriscaping is a landscaping philosophy that uses as many native, drought-resistant plants as possible to arrange them in practical, water-saving ways.


Xeriscaping for an arid landscaping.


Depending on the property set up and design preferences, xeriscaping can be done in several ways. You can choose to plant drought-resistant greenery and make sure to group plants with similar water needs together. Several materials are used in xeriscaping, such as mulch, to prevent moisture loss from the soil.

low maintenance drought resistant planting

Low maintenance drought resistant plantings at Mill Park Leisure Centre.

Advantages of Xeriscaping for better garden maintenance

The most significant advantage of xeriscaping is to save water. Due to xeriscaping, we can significantly decrease water use because water will be very scarce during the hot and dry summer. Because of this property, you can also save money on your monthly utility bill. With xeriscaping, you can also save a significant amount of time from continuous weeding, lawn mowing, and watering the lawn. To know more about drought-tolerant landscaping (xeriscaping), you can visit

  • Plant Native Species for better commercial garden maintenance

Native plants are those that occur naturally in a region in which they evolved. They are the ecological basis upon which life depends, including birds and people. The native plants and trees tend to reduce the maintenance as compared to non-regional and exotic species.

Trees and shrubs from the region are already familiar with the weather pattern and climate of the area. Therefore they need little maintenance to stay healthy in their native environment. With a bit of study and research, you can decorate your property with various native plants and trees that supplement each other both beautifully and symbiotically without putting in a lot of effort.


Native plants do not need fertilisers and require minimum pesticides. Native plants familiar with their habitat can hold water better than non-native plants, saving a significant amount of water. The water expenses will be lower and increased saving. Native plants help in preventing erosion significantly. Native plants also help in reducing air pollution and provide shelter and food for wildlife. Native plants also tend to survive the environment better as compared to non-native plants. Maximum native plants are not aggressive and will allow all other plants to grow freely in your garden or yard.

  • Planting Evergreen

Evergreen is a plant or tree that maintains its leaves throughout the year. Whatever the season, the leaves of evergreen are always green. The team of workers in landscaping should be at the start of the procedure when you are primarily putting in all your new greenery. Selecting to include perennial flowers and trees that bloom year after year as a substitute for annuals that need regular cultivation in your landscaping will save you a lot of maintenance work later on.


Planting evergreen trees like conifers, ficus, and other tropical hardwoods can also help, providing a constant source of green and shade throughout the year. When deciduous trees lose their leaves, evergreens maintain their leaves green all year. Evergreen plants provide the same summer shade benefits that we require on the hottest days of the year. They also do excellent work of protecting our homes in the winter when the deciduous trees have dropped their leaves to hibernate. Evergreen plants look good and do not require a lot of maintenance. Evergreen trees are great for the environment and provide enough oxygen, clean air, save water and prevent soil erosion. Evergreen plants help sustain populations of birds and other creatures that help to maintain a balanced yard ecosystem. Birds used their regularly green branches to find shelter in the winter. To get beneficial knowledge about the evergreen ficus plants, you should read the blog on

  • Mulching

Mulch is a layer of material applied to the surface of the soil. There is no need to cover every inch of your outside space in grass or plants. Your plants need some space to be able to grow. Space out your plants properly and fill the remaining adverse space with mulch or a block cloth. These will help lock in moisture and inhibit weeds from the emergent. You can use these techniques to carve out or create paths throughout your property with minor maintenance required.


The great advantage of mulch is that it improves the fertility and health of the topsoil. Topsoil is the top layer of soil high in organic matter and nutrients, formed by the slow weathering of rocks and decaying organic matter over thousands of years. It is often necessary to utilise quality topsoil to balance out the nutrient content for a project. Mulch improves the quality of your topsoil by breaking up clay and allowing better and air movement through the soil. Mulching reduces the cost of the fertilisers because mulching of plants residues acts as organic manures, which adds several macros and microelements in the topsoil, due to which the physical, biological, and chemical properties of the soil increase, which directly improves structure, aeration, micro-organisms, and water holding capacity of the soil.

Mulch provides nutrients to the topsoil and the water holding capacity of the soil. Mulch also act as an insulating layer on the topsoil and keeping it cooler in the summer. Mulch is important for the survival of garden during drought. Mulch decrease the water which evaporates from the soil. Weeds growth will also be inhibited with mulching.

  • Maintenance of irrigation system

One of the essential things you can do to confirm a healthy landscape is to cheque the water system. The maintenance of an irrigation system is critical, and its care should never be forgotten. Without a suitable volume of water, your flower, bushes, and shrubs will turn brown. Checked the irrigation system and ensured that the water was getting to all those places where the plants were present. Make sure that there is no disruption in the underground pipes. Otherwise, you could save wasted water or save money. Problems current in the irrigation system should be resolved quickly, specifically during the summer season. You cannot leave your commercial garden without a suitable amount of water during these hot days of the season. Install that type of irrigation system, which can save the amount of water you use and also back on wastes and water bills. Such an irrigation system will also keep your time, and their maintenance cost will also be low because watering is the most time-consuming in garden maintenance techniques. To know about the best irrigation systems for the commercial garden, you should read our blog “5 best commercial irrigation systems” on because proper commercial irrigation systems have several advantages which you can read in this blog in detail.

  • Pruning and trimming

Pruning and trimming are always used interchangeably, but this is surprising that there is a difference between these two. Pruning is defined as removing the dead, loose and infected branches or stems from their respective plant whereas, it is known as the cutting and removing of overgrown parts of the plants.


Pruning and trimming are always essential for your trees and bushes because it keeps their shape. Overgrow branches of a tree or bush can damage your property; therefore, their cutting is necessary as soon as possible.


Pruning and trimming can control the insects and diseases related to plants because there are several types of insects that build nests in your trees, eat the surrounding foliage, spread disease, and weaken the plant. So by cutting the extra branches, their colonies will be destroyed. Death and diseased branches create a severe problem in your home. Clients and visitors are also susceptible to the danger of falling death branches. By pruning correctly, you can ensure that your clients, workers, and property is safe. Plants and trees require correct maintenance for satisfactory growth. By pruning and trimming the overgrown branches of trees and shrubs, the health and strength of these plants will be increased.

  • Plant flowers tactically

Flowering and ornamental plants always need more care as compared to evergreen trees and plants. Make the best use of your landscaping energies by firmly placing flowers and attractive greenery at the most regularly seen spots on your property while using more hardy plants substantially. Consider placing flowers at your buildings gateways, office buildings, and near services you provide, such as clubhouse or pool. Tactically plantation of flowers limits your usage and makes it easier to maintain your commercial garden design in the long term.

tactical planting

Tactical planting of attractive cycads in a raised garden near a buildings main entrance. Plenty of mulch is provided to keep the moisture in the topsoil.


Thoughtful landscaping that incorporates low-maintenance options such as drought-resistant plants, xeriscaping, and strategically placed flowers will go a long way toward beautifying your property and making your occupants feel more pleasure. Planting drought-resistant flowers is also a good option for low-maintenance gardens. Additionally, it will also use minimum water and reduce water bills.



  • Rocks Installation: it is also a part of nature

 Landscaping does not mean that it contains greenery. Stones and rocks are also suitable materials to structure your outdoor area naturally that needs nearly no maintenance. Including stones and rocks in your landscape design will enable you to highlight several areas and help to preserve the shape and moisture level of your garden. Choosing rocks and stones obtained from your local site is a low-cost option that can add further detail to native landscape design. Natural stone landscaping provides an attractive to improve the beauty of your commercial garden.


Decorative landscape rocks can help bring out the aptitude to your outdoor space through attractive styles and patterns. The cost to maintain the garden is incredibly high. The decorative landscaping rock is almost maintenance-free. Natural stones prevent the growth of weeds, eliminating the need for regular mowing. Traditional garden settings demand a lot of preparation before setting up your garden whereas, landscape stones are easier to put in place. Incorporating ornamental landscaping rock into your commercial garden may enhance drainage within your property.

Related Landscaping Information from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne

5 Best Ficus Plants for Melbourne Landscaping


Commercial Landscaping of Public Spaces.


5 tips for Drought Tolerant Landscaping in Melbourne


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© Red’s Landscaping Melbourne – Quality Landscapers Melbourne


How to establish a low maintenance garden.

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Contractors installing concrete curbing Boulevard Gardens Melbourne

Commercial Curb Construction Techniques

Commercial Curb Construction Techniques are a vital part of commercial landscaping.

Before even starting to discuss apropos the construction techniques of commercial curbs, it is pertinent to ask a simple yet important question: what is a curb?

What is a curb?

Curb is a short wall or a barrier constructed usually of bluestone, concrete or asphalt. Technically speaking, a curb along with gutter is provided to strengthen the pavement of the road as this holds the pavement from either side. However, there are multiple advantages that come along with it. It separates the yard and/ or footpaths from the road; it guides water for the proper drainage through gutter; it increases the runoff preventing the water seepages which might affect the road itself [1]–[3].

concrete curb construction

Concrete curb construction

Now that we understand what a curb is, let’s get into its types and the materials they use. Most curbs are constructed with concrete and asphalt – concrete being the most commonly used material. Concrete curbs can be

  1. Vertical Curb
  2. Flush Curb
  3. Mountable Curb [3].



Figure 1 Types of Concrete Curbs [3]


How are curbs made?

Contractors installing concrete curbing Boulevard Gardens Melbourne

Contractors installing concrete curbing Boulevard Gardens Melbourne


Concrete curbing can be done using two techniques:

  1. Traditional Way – i.e. using stationary forms
  2. Slipforming – i.e. using a slipforming machine

The traditional way of constructing a concrete curb is no different to any other concrete structure construction. The forms of steel, wood or any other material – depending on where you live – are placed and tightened before the pouring of the concrete.

concrete curb formwork

Concrete curb wooden formwork. Boulevard Gardens Melbourne

The concrete formwork is later removed the next day after the concrete hardens and is ready for curing.


Concrete curb construction using insitu concrete construction techniques.

Concrete curb construction using insitu concrete construction techniques.

Slipforming, however, is a new method of concrete curbing. The concrete is placed using a machine which has set dimensions of a curb. The concrete is then placed and the machine moves to form the second part of the curb.

insitu concrete curb

A freshly constructed curb using slipforming construction techniques.



New Concrete curb

New Concrete curb

This type of concrete curbing depends on the setting time of cement used in the concrete. Additional admixtures such as accelerators are usually used in the concrete to achieve a speedy construction process.

Video 1 Slipforming [4]

Decorative concrete curbing is no different, it can be done using both traditional and slipforming techniques – what changes is the type of aggregate in the concrete.

There are some additional things to take care of when constructing the curbs. The curbs – since they are made up of concrete – require joints in order to avoid stresses caused due to thermal expansion. Steel reinforcement can usually be avoided if proper expansion joints are provided at suitable intervals. Curing is another important thing to consider for a good quality concrete curb. The concrete tends to gain its strength over the course of years. However, most of its strength is gained during the first 28 days and therefore proper curing should be provided. The curing time can be shortened in case any accelerator or curing agent is used.

New Concrete Curb curing

New Concrete Curb curing. Joints are provided in order to avoid stresses caused due to thermal expansion.


Now that we are done with construction techniques and important things to consider when constructing a concrete curb, let’s talk a little about the application of different types of curbs.

Vertical Curbs serve as barriers in addition to their basic purpose of strengthening and holding the pavement from either sides. The vertical curbs are usually constructed with monolithic gutters which drain off the storm water in order to prevent the pavement from any damage.

Flushed curb is usually serving its main purpose of holding the pavement without affecting the drainage of storm water. The curb is flushed so it doesn’t stop the storm water from making its way to the yard and/ or footpath where the drainage is usually taken care of.

Mountable curbs are designed so as they not only hold the pavement, and guide the storm water but also allow the cars to drive over them. They are usually constructed with vehicle crossovers to allow the vehicles to access private properties which later connect to driveways.

Mountable Concrete curb. Boulevard Gardens Melbourne.


We have already come across the vehicle crossovers, let’s take some time to understand what a vehicle crossover actually is and what goes into their construction.


concrete driveway crossover

Concrete curb crossover terminology.

The vehicle crossover, as the Town of Cambridge describes it, is a part between your private property and road kerb [5]. The vehicle cross over is usually designed in order to provide support to the pavement and at the same time allowing the passage of vehicles from road to the private property without hurting the people walking or cycling on the footpath.

Figure 2 A Typical vehicle crossover [6]

The vehicle crossover has a trapezoidal plan with splays on its side to allow the vehicles to mount from sides. The vehicle crossovers, very similar to driveways, can be constructed using decorative aggregates. Multiple methods which can used to construct decorative concrete driveways can be used for the vehicle cross over construction as well.

Similar to driveway, the base of the vehicle crossover shall be strong enough to take the loads of vehicles without any damage. A compressive strength of 30 MPa shall be able sustain the loads. Additionally, the concrete provided shall be impermeable so as to allow the runoff of storm water. The drainage of the road should not hinder with the construction of crossover and therefore proper drainage system should be provided. In order to avoid the skidding of cars, an exposed aggregate concrete driveway should be preferred – exposed aggregate concrete provides better skid resistance with reduced traffic noise.


Related Landscaping News from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne.


7 pluses for Exposed Aggregate Concrete Driveways


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In-situ Concrete



[1]      “What Are Curb and Gutter | Types of Curb and Gutter| Advantages & Disadvantages of Curb and Gutter.” Civil Jungle (accessed Oct. 31, 2021).

[2]      “What is the Purpose of Curb & Gutter? – Asphalt Paving Company: Uniform Paving & Sealcoating.” Uniform Paving (accessed Oct. 31, 2021).

[3]      “Multi-modal Handbook.” Multimodal Handbook (accessed Oct. 31, 2021).

[4]      “GOMACO GT-3600 Concrete Curb & Gutter Slipform Machine, Tight-Radii Island Paving With 3D Guidance – YouTube.” (accessed Oct. 31, 2021).

[5]      “Vehicle Crossover Specification.” (accessed Oct. 31, 2021).

[6]      “Vehicular Crossing | Hornsby Shire Council.” (accessed Oct. 31, 2021).



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Climbing Fig (Ficus pumila)

5 Best Ficus Plants for Melbourne Landscaping

The genus Ficus, also known as fig, belongs to the family Moraceae and includes about 850 species distributed in tropical and subtropical zones. Figs are woody trees, shrubs, climbers, epiphytes, and Hemi-epiphytic. Ficus are native to the tropics of Asia, Africa, Australia, and Central America. Many Ficus are tall forest trees that are supported by great spreading roots, while some are planted as ornamentals.

Physiology of Ficus

Many Ficus species are evergreen. There are few deciduous members in non-tropical areas. Their leaves are generally waxy and simple and mostly emanate white or yellow latex when broken. Several species of Ficus have aerial roots, and many are epiphytic. The unfamiliar fruit structure, called syconium, is hollow, enclosing an inflorescence with tiny male and female flowers covering the inside.

Fig Wasps ficus fruit

Some native Australian fig trees need fig wasps for successful pollination and the wasps rely on the tree to complete their lifecycle.

An exceptional pollination syndrome describes members of the Ficus genus. Each species is pollinated by and houses a specific wasp. This unique pollination system has an important influence on the tropical forest ecosystem.

Ficus Wasp Fig

In the USA a Hornet (Dolichovespula maculata) feeding on ripe fig (Ficus).

When a pollen-bearing wasp leaves a Ficus plant, the fruit quickly ripens, providing an ironic banquet that fascinates a host of mammals and birds However, as a sign of a short lifetime of adult wasps, some trees receive and release fig wasps during the year. The outcome of this pattern results in a steady supply of fruit, making Ficus fruits a critical resource for many animals when other foods are unavailable.

Importance of Ficus

Amongst the species which are cultivated, the Ficus afzelii, F. elastica, F. benghalensis, F. benjamna, F. infectoria, F. lyrata, F. pumila, F. microcarpa, F. ottoniifolia, F. parasitica, F. macrophylla, F. religiosa, F. pyriformis, F. platypylla, F. platiboda, F. laurifolia, F. roxbughii, etc. are grown for their ornamental values, either as landscape plants in the tropics and subtropics or foliage plants used for interiorscaping. Additionally, the Ficus species have also many useful and important natural products which are widely used as food and as medicine.

Medicinal Uses

The Ficus plants are revealed to possess antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-epilepsy properties. The species of Ficus are a significant source of compounds such as tannins, phenols, alkaloids, steroids, flavonoids, vitamin K, stigmasterol, β-sitosterol-d-glucoside, methyl oleanolic, and octacosanol, which are useful in immune-modulatory, hyperlipidaemia, hyperglycemia, anti-oxidant, anti-tumour, and anti-bacterial. Here are the five (5) best Ficus plants which you can grow in your garden for ornamental purposes in Melbourne

1) Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

The common name of Ficus elastic is Rubber plant. It is native to Southeast Asia. They are not related to the rubber trees (Hevea brasiliensis) from which rubber is derived. They contain a latex-like substance similar to the latex-derived Hevea brasiliensis. The latex derived from Ficus elastica is toxic if ingested. It is also harmful to the skin and eyes and irritates them, so be careful when handling these plants. It is a good idaea to wear gloves whenever you handle this plant.

Ficus Elastica

Ficus Elastica (Rubber Plant) is an attractive indoor plant. Very easy to propagate, they are also tolerant of low light and dry air indoors.


Due to the large and glossy leaves, the Ficus elastica is the exotic and decorative choice for outdoor, but its limited hardiness makes it too delicate to plunk in a sunny yard. Ficus elastica is relative to the banyan tree and grows aerial roots like a banyan. The height of this plant is up to 100 feet tall. The tree has broad oval-shaped and shiny leaves about 12 inches long. Most leaves were of dark green, but due to new cultivars, some variation was observed. Small white flowers are common when the trees are grown outdoor but rare when grown indoors. The trees do not produce fruits outside their native range because the fig moth pollinated the flower is found in Southeast Asia.

  Caring for elastica

The plant requires full sun or partial shade to grow outdoors. They favour heat and humidity, so covering the roots in the 2-inch layer of mulch should be good for it, due to which the sol will moist for a longer period. Watering the tree in the morning is best because water on leaves during the night is an invitation to diseases. After three months with a balanced fertiliser such as 10:10:10 NPK during the growing season, fertilising the tree is better. Remove the dead leaves and branches to avoid diseases and insect infestation.


The rubber plant (Ficus elastica) is attractive. In addition to that, there are several benefits which this plant can provide you.

  • Air purifiers: Rubber plants can absorb and convert airborne chemicals into harmless ones. It increases the breathable oxygen and eliminates microbes from the air.
  • Air Cleaning: Due to the large surface area of the rubber leaves, they absorb air-containing pollutants and chemicals.
  • Inexpensive: The rubber plant is not expensive. You can easily afford and manage it.
  • Anti-Bacterial: Studies showed that about 1800 kinds of bacteria are present in the air. The rubber plant can reduce bacteria from the air up to 50%.
  • Waxy colourful foliage: You can decorate your garden with these eye-catching plants. Their leaves are waxy and slippery to touch.

    2) Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina)

Ficus Benjamina, commonly known as Weeping fig, is a native species to tropical Southeast Asia which is generally grown indoors, but I can grow up to 60 feet tall and 60 to 70 feet wide when grown outdoors. The dense, rounded canopy and elegantly drooping branches of weeping fig made it relatively famous as a landscape tree.

Ficus benjamina

Ficus benjamina as an indoor plant is great for interior decoration.


The thick, shiny, two to five-inch long, evergreen leaves kindly cover the long branches, and the small figs ultimately turn a deep red. Branches will weep towards the ground, making a canopy so thick that nothing rows below it.

Caring of Ficus Benjamina

Weeping fig needs full sunlight and fast-draining, productive and loamy soil. With the proper attention, these evergreen trees will flourish outdoors. When the 1-2 inch of the topsoil becomes dry, then water is necessary for this tree. Keep the soil equally humid, avoiding dryness but never damp. Fertilise the tree once in the growing season with 10:10:10 NPK slow-release fertiliser. Pull the weeds growing around the tree and eliminate any dead plant material on the ground beneath the tree’s canopy. Prune the weeping fig each year in the late winter just past to when vigorous, fast-growth starts. Checked the leaves consistently for whiteflies, brown to white scale, green aphids, etc. Spray infestation with insecticidal soap or neem oil to eliminate pests.

Uses for Ficus Benjamina

  • Weeping fig contains some bioactive substances such as flavonoids, vitamin A and C, sugars, and enzymes which show anti-microbial, anti-pyretic, and anti-dysentery properties.
  • This tree is an air purifier and particularly filtering formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene.
  • Indigenous communities use the extract of weeping fig leaves and fruits to treat respiratory and skin diseases.
  • It is also used for anti-inflammatory, vomiting, piles, malaria, and cancer treatment.
  • Weeping fig is inexpensive and easy to take care of it.

3) Climbing Fig (Ficus pumila)

Ficus pumila, usually known as climbing fig or creeping fig, is a general vigorous, fast-growing evergreen ground and wall cover vine that can climb up to 20 feet or more when grown outdoors. The presence of dense, fast-growing small dark green and overlying leaves on fat stems makes the climbing fig a preferred vine to grow on the walls, where it gives to a delicate shape in its early growth stages.

Climbing Fig Glen Iris

A Climbing Fig (Ficus pumila) growing on a brick wall in Glen Iris.

Climbing figs can also be grown as a ground cover growing to around 50mm high. It is later developing larger leaves and woody growth. Creeping fig developed as a ground cover needs consistent pruning along the ends to keep it well-ordered and within the boundaries.

Caring for Ficus pumila

The partial shade or sun is suitable for Ficus pumila to grow outdoors. Full sunlight or complete shade is not always the best choice for this plant. A few months are required for the newly planted Ficus pumila to establish before sending out vigorous shoots. Young growth can cover a wall in two to three years. Ficus pumila does not need frequent water during the cold season. During summer, it should be watered regularly. The main trick is to avoid over-watering. Climbing fig will latch onto a vertical surface with tiny tendrils and be trained by pruning to stay flat. Two or three times a year, clip away new layers to encourage ore growth and prevent leaves from dark green colour.

Uses for Ficus pumila

With the addition of ornamental uses, Ficus pumila has the following medicinal benefits.

  • The frit of Ficus pumila is used for the production of jams and jellies.
  • Their latex has anthelmintic (the group of anti-parasites that expel parasites worms from the body) properties.
  • Stems and leaves are used in traditional Chinese medicine as a tonic and to treat fever.
  • Leaves are used in Japan in beverages to treat diabetes and high blood pressure.
  • A decoction of fruit, stem, and leaves is used to treat joint pain due to arthritis.
  • Roots used to treat bladder problems and persuade urination.

4) Moreton Bay fig (Ficus macrophyla)

Moreton Bay fig (Ficus macrophylla) is one of Australia’s most widely planted natives, growing naturally in coastal New South Wales and southern Queensland. Moreton bay fig is a huge extensive spreading, broad crowned evergreen tree growing to a height of 10-15 metres and a similar canopy spread.

Moreton Bay fig

The inclined roots of the Ficus Macrophylla create a dramatic garden feature when lit with garden uplighting.

The trunks are frequently strengthened, and the roots incline to grow along the surface. In moist or humid conditions, aerial roots form. The leaves, the tree’s main feature, are 15-25 cm long by 5-10 cm wide and dark silky green above and lighter and rusty coloured below.

Ficus macrophylla Morton Bay Fig

Ficus macrophylla Morton Bay Fig in Royal Park Melbourne.


Caring of Ficus macropyla

Although it is quite easy to care for and is generally resistant to numerous pests and diseases, it does not mean that we can leave it without any care at all. Ficus macrophylla develops in good condition. You will require well-drained, moist soil and in an area where there is plenty of natural light. It has a huge root system; therefore, it is necessary to have a plane for big space where it will be located. It does not need too much watering since it is a drought-resistant plant. So it is perfect for those places where rain is not very frequent.

Uses for Ficus macropyla

  • The Moreton Bay fig plant has been extensively used in public parks and big lawns in frost-free areas.

5) The Common Fig (Ficus carica)

Ficus carica, the common fig, is a rapidly growing tree spread by both seeds and cuttings. It is known to be invasive to Australia. It has been cultivated since ancient times and is now widely grown worldwide, both for its fruit and ornamental plants.

Ficus carica

Ficus carica, the common fig, is a rapidly growing tree spread by both seeds and cuttings.

This fig plant is a small deciduous tree or large shrub growing up to 7-10 metres tall. The leaves of this plant have five deep lobes. The fruit is tear-shaped, having green skin which turns purple or brown when ripened. The fruit is sweet soft flesh containing numerous crunchy seeds.

The Common Fig

The leaves of The Common Fig have five deep lobes. The fruit is tear-shaped, having green skin which turns purple or brown when ripened. The fruit is sweet soft flesh containing numerous crunchy seeds.


Caring for the carica

A warm, temperate region is favourable for Ficus carica. Porous soil having good drainage properties is suitable for this plant. A minimum of 8 hours of direct sunlight is required for this plant to flourish. The dry season, as well as the cold season, is also suitable. A young tree can die in chilly temperatures. The requirement of water can be completed with rainwater or underground water. However, do watering if you notice the signs of drought stress. The water requirement is dependant on weather and soil nutrients. The tree requires regular pruning but only during the first years. Ideally, it would be best if you pruned it before the spring blossoms. Once the tree is established, avoid pruning it.

Uses for carica

Some of the important uses of fig (Ficus carcia) are given below.

  • Fruits are a great source of phosphorus, iron, calcium, and fibre (when dry)
  • Studies showed that fig fruit is used worldwide to treat several diseases such as gastric problems, cancer, and inflammation.
  • Ficus carica represents an important source of biochemically active compounds, which are practically used to treat and prevent various ailments like anaemia, cancer, diabetes, liver diseases, paralysis, skin diseases, and ulcers.
  • Fig fruit can be used as the main ingredient for fresh smoothies.


Related Landscaping News from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne

Xanthorrhoea The Australian Grass Tree


Commercial Landscaping of Public Spaces.


Banksia Coccinea Garden Ideas


References and more reading about Ficus

Fig Wasps – The Australian Museum



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Drought tolerant landscaping - Irrigation drip system

5 Best commercial irrigation systems

Commercial Irrigation is the method of watering plants, crops, and pasture by using water. This water is supplied through several ways such as sprinklers, canals, pipes, pumps, sprays, and other artificial methods instead of only depending on rainwater. It can also be defined as the technique of advanced watering system for helping plants grow because it is practiced as an alternative to rain-fed farming.


Commercial sprinkler system watering a green lawn.


Irrigation is the method used to fulfil the requirement of water of the plant or crop because water is essential for their growth. Additionally, irrigation water also provides vital nutrients to the plants, which are dissolved in this water, resulting in plants remaining green and producing maximum and better quality yield.


Commercial irrigation systems

Commercial irrigation systems are designed for a broader scope. This type of irrigation system is usually used at schools, apartments, complexes, etc. Often, commercial systems irrigate those lawns and landscapes that experience heavy traffic and need more water. The commercial irrigation system is particularly prominent in sports complexes and golf courses.


commercial irrigation sprinklers

Automatic lawn sprinkler watering green grass. Sprinkler with automatic system. Garden irrigation system watering lawn. Water saving or water conservation from sprinkler system with adjustable head.

Why is commercial Irrigation necessary?

Your lawn is a reflection of your property. It would be attractive, like a green carpet. With the help of Irrigation, you can keep your landscape alive throughout the year. Fixing an irrigation system confirms that your lawn is green, attractive, and healthy. A proper irrigation system makes it possible that to irrigate your lawn without overwatering or watering concrete footpaths.


Drought tolerant Landscaping -Osmosis and transpiration

Drought tolerant Landscaping -Osmosis and transpiration

Additionally, there are several other advantages of commercial irrigation systems. Due to this, we conserve water and save money in the long run because manual Irrigation wastes a tremendous amount of water and increases the water bill. Commercial irrigation systems like the drip irrigation system can prevent weeds’ growth because the drip irrigation system waters the root systems of flowers, trees, and plants. With drip irrigation, you can also decrease the number of weeds popping up on your commercial lawn.

Drought tolerant landscaping - Irrigation drip system

Drought tolerant landscaping – Irrigation drip system delivers water to the right place, the root systems of flowers, trees, and plants. With drip irrigation, you can also decrease the number of weeds popping up.


With the help of commercial irrigation systems, we can save time because running a business is time-consuming. If you irrigate your lawn yourself, it will be more time-consuming and headache for you. The benefit of having a programmed irrigation system is suitable. It allows you to set the irrigation schedule daily or weekly, depending on the season. Due to programming irrigation, you can be guessing out that how much water your commercial landscape requires.

Five Best commercial irrigation systems

The design of the landscape was incomplete without the proper irrigation plan. Because depend on rainwater is impossible, specifically in Australia where the rainfall is insufficient and unreliable. There are a lot of options for commercial irrigation systems, and each has its benefits. In all these systems, which method is better? The answer to this question depends on numerous aspects such as soil, planting, climate, and exposure. Planning your irrigation needs is a critical part of landscape design. These are the five best commercial irrigation systems that can fulfil your lawn water requirements and keep them healthy.

commercial irrigation system scematic

Schematic of a commercial irrigation system with both sprinklers and drippers.

Sprinkler irrigation system

It is the application of water in a spray formed from water flow under pressure through small nozzles and openings. The flexibility of present-day sprinkler equipment and its efficient control of water application make this method more useful for commercial lawn and landscapes, agronomic crops, and vegetable production.

commercial irrigation popup lawn sprinkler.

Automatic commercial irrigation sprinkler system greening the grass.

The most common determined of sprinkler irrigation is to put on water uniformly on the soil surface to replace water extracted by plants. The pressure is generally obtained by pumping, even though gravity might obtain it if the water source is high enough above the irrigated area. 


Advantages of sprinkler irrigation system

Some of the essential advantages of the sprinkler irrigation system are

  • It is reasonable and completely set up. You would not have to spend much on labor costs for setting it up.
  • There is no necessity to utilize many areas of your field for setting up sprinkler irrigation.
  • The intervention with cultivation for setting up the sprinkler irrigation is pointedly less. So, you will not face a huge loss.
  • Frequent application of water can be provided to the plants. You will not need to do it yourself.
  • The dispersion will consistently be equivalent.
  • The amount of water being provided can be controlled, so you will also be able to save water subjected to the necessity and requirement of plants.
  • The sprinkler irrigation is appropriate for setting up in all types of soil.
  • This system can be utilised for different purposes as well as cooling during high temperatures.
sprinkler irrigation system

Smart garden automatic sprinkler irrigation system working early in the morning in green park – watering lawn and colourful tulips narcissus.

Disadvantages of sprinkler irrigation system

Following are the disadvantages of sprinkler irrigation system

  • The investment cost required for buying the apparatus of the sprinkler irrigation system is high.
  • Spraying water droplets uniformly, there is a requirement for a constant water supply.
  • The nonstop power supply is essential for operating sprinkler irrigation systems.
  • The chance of evaporation is maximum if the environment is windy.
  • Due to the presence of debris and other deposits in the nozzles, it can get clogged.


2)   Drip Irrigation System

In this irrigation system, a network of pipes is laid in the area you want to irrigate. The tubes have emitters or holes at intervals that help deliver water to the roots of the plants. Drip irrigation is best for garden and commercial lawns. It can also be used in high-value crops, including vineyards and orchards.

For drip irrigation, you can place the pipes underground or above the ground. Drip irrigation is trending because it uses 30 to 50 percent less water than other irrigation system. The water drips slowly and only targets the roots of the plants.

drip irrigation system

Drip irrigation for flowers.

Advantages of drip irrigation system

Following are some advantages of a drip irrigation system.

  • In this system of Irrigation, water is used at the optimum level.
  • As water is applied locally and leaching is reduced, the leaching of nutrients is also reduced.
  • Water will be unavailable for weeds, so their growth is less because it cannot absorb moisture.
  • The yield of the crop will be maximum because of maximum water and nutrients use efficiency.\
  • It also prevents the erosion of soil
  • Energy cost is minimal as it is operated at a lower pressure than other irrigation systems.
  • In uneven lands, the drip irrigation method can do balance irrigation.


Disadvantages of drip irrigation system

Following are some demerits of drip irrigation system

  • It may be expensive.
  • It needs extraordinary practical knowledge for successful operation.
  • In heavy soils, it makes difficulties of movement and water blockages.
  • Plants can get nutritional elements in a minimal area.
  • Maximum attention has to be taken for holes of drippers since the soil may come along with water at any time, which will prevent water dripping smoothing from holes.


Surface irrigation system

In a surface irrigation system, water is applied and distributed over the soil surface by gravity. It is the most common form of Irrigation throughout the world and has been practiced in many areas virtually unchanged for thousands of years.

In this type of Irrigation, water is supplied to the top end of the lawn, and it will flow or advance above the field size. After the water spreads to the end of the field, it will run off or start to the pond. Surface irrigation is also known as flood irrigation. Surface irrigation comes in three major types such as level basin, furrow, and border strip.

furrow surface irrigation

Surface irrigation using the furrow method on a field of corn.


Basin irrigation: Irrigation of land by surrounding it with barriers to form a basin and flooding it with water.

Furrow Irrigation is a method of laying out the water channels in such a way that gravity provides just enough water for suitable plants.

Border strip irrigation is a type of surface irrigation where the field is divided into strips separated by border ridges, and the area between the ridges is flooded during irrigation.

Advantages of surface irrigation system

Following are the advantages of a surface irrigation system

  • The management of surface irrigation systems is relatively easy, and you do not need any recent machinery. If you have limited traditional information, you can do it.
  • You do not need the proper economic support. You can be advantageous with small lands too.
  • If you have short-time water supplies, then this is the best process for you.
  • You need longer tubes if the drainage system is far from you.
  • The surface irrigation system is nature friendly. Due to surface irrigation, you can also utilize rainwater.
  • The surface irrigation system can also work efficiently at the minimum rate of filtration.
  • You can use this type of irrigation process in sloping lands and long commercial landscapes.
  • Energy requirements for surface irrigation systems come from gravity. It is a significant advantage in today’s economy using negligible energy means.


Disadvantages of Surface Irrigation

The followings are the surface irrigation disadvantages.

  • Level lands require high accuracy, and you cannot use them there.
  • Not appropriate for soil with a great rate of filtration.
  • Plants are continuously enclosed with water even when they do not need it.
  • Sometimes limited space gets more water than required.
  • No drainage outlet.


Centre Pivot Irrigation System

A Centre pivot irrigation system refers to using a mechanical irrigation system that can help irrigate crops by maintaining a circular pattern around a centre pivot. It essentially consists of a long radial pipe that is supported by sprinkling towers. These towers pivot around a centre point of the whole mechanism. The tubes consist of equally spaced nozzles to supply water to the surroundings. As the lines rotate, the water is uniformly released from the nozzles.

The centre-pivot irrigation system is the most popular globally because of its high efficiency, high uniformity, ability to irrigate uneven terrain, and low capital, maintenance, and management costs.

Centre Pivot Irrigation

Centre Pivot Irrigation System in a green Field of lush lawn.


Advantages of centre pivot irrigation system

The centre-pivot irrigation system has many advantages, including

  • The system can apply the prescribed volume of water to match crop water requirements. It reduces the opportunity for surface runoff or deep percolation.
  • It has been reported that the efficiency of the new design machine is 80-95% compared to 50-90% for the surface irrigation system.
  • The requirement of labourers is generally low as compared to the surface irrigation system.
  • This irrigation system may also be used to apply herbicides and pesticides.
  • It May operate at lower pressure, thus may conserving energy.
  • There is no need to level the land, saving a lot of money and environmental damage.

Disadvantages of centre pivot irrigation system

There is no perfect irrigation system. Every type has advantages and disadvantages. The negative associated with the center pivot include.

  • High initial cost
  • High maintenance cost
  • The field surface should be flat.
  • Not suitable for Irrigation in windy conditions. Uneven water application may occur, and applied fertilizers may be carried away.


Subsurface Commercial Irrigation systems 

In this irrigation system, water is applied beneath the land surface through a network of buried perforated or open jointed pipes. As water is passed under pressure in these pipes, it comes through open joints. The depth of pipes should not be less than 40 cm so that these do not cause any interference to the cultivation. The water used in this type of Irrigation should be of good quality, so the perforation does not get clogged. The subsurface irrigation system is growing in importance today. It provides numerous opportunities for large-scale and small growers alike.

subsurface drip irrigation

Soaker hoses installed in trenches for water irrigation to a garden flower bed

Advantages of subsurface commercial irrigation systems

Some advantages of subsurface irrigation systems are

  • There is an immediate reduction in coat simply because there is no need for a worker to water plants since the subsurface irrigates the field automatically.
  • It costs less to water plants more fully. Less water is lost in the process, and there is no runoff and evaporation.
  • Excellent performance in the windy and arid location
  • Plants grown in these conditions may grow more uniformly. The water is evenly distributed across all plants, improving the overall growth level.
  • Frequent Irrigation allows for optimum soil moisture content in the root zone.


`Disadvantages of subsurface commercial irrigation systems

Some disadvantages of the subsurface irrigation system are given below.

  • Driving vehicles over a subsurface irrigation system will likely damage piping.
  • Bacterial slimes and algae growing on the interior walls of the laterals and emitters combined with clay particles in the water can block the emitters.
  • A lot of repair work is caused by rodents chewing the tubes.
  • Storage facilities for effluent must exist for extended periods when the ground for subsurface irrigation systems is wet or frozen.

Related Information from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne

5 tips for Drought Tolerant Landscaping in Melbourne

9 Reasons to choose a commercial rooftop garden


Commercial Landscaping of Public Spaces.


Commercial Landscaping Melbourne


© Red’s Landscaping Melbourne – Quality Landscapers Melbourne


Irrigation References and Further Information

Drip systems


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exposed aggregate driveway

7 pluses for Exposed Aggregate Concrete Driveways

Exposed Aggregate Concrete Driveways are made from one of the most versatile construction material available.  Researchers and scientists from all around the world have been studying and experimenting to make concrete a better and more sustainable material.

The Durability of Concrete

Its durability and ease of construction makes concrete a first choice for designers and constructors alike in an array of projects. Construction of exposed aggregate concrete driveways is no different. Gone are the days when the driveways were only bituminous i.e. flexible which requires a very good base to transfer the loads to the soil. Concrete Driveways/ pavements are rigid which use the slab action to transfer the loads and therefore work fine even if the base has flaws.

Contrasting Exposed aggregate concrete

Creating some shade with a tree in the concreted area. The tree roots are protected with a slotted stainless steel grate. The lighter colour Hansen Galaxy forms a geometric pattern around the grate.

With time, concrete driveways have evolved to exposed aggregate concrete driveways which now are pretty standard in a number of countries due to  the benefits they provide.  Exposed aggregate concrete driveways and/ or pavements are, simply speaking, concrete pavements having aggregates exposed on the top layer. This brings a beautiful yet rugged feeling to the pavement along with the required friction that a driveway needs.

A plethora of research studies suggest that Exposed Aggregate Concrete Driveways offer better skid resistance with less traffic noise (What Is Exposed Aggregate? Exposed Aggregate Concrete Explained, n.d.; Zhang et al., 2014). Although there are multiple other reasons to choose exposed aggregate concrete driveway over the conventional ones, the two mentioned above sets this kind of driveway apart for it deals with noise pollution and provides safety more than its counterparts. Not only has it been used in driveways at private properties but in highways all around the world. Some countries like Australia and UK have even gone as far as creating highways and studying its benefits over years long research projects.

skid marks concrete pavers

A set of skid marks concrete pavers. The skid resistance of exposed aggregate concrete makes it a safer choice.

Figure 2 Skid Marks (What You Should Do When Tyre Skid Marks Appear in Your Street, n.d.)

7 reasons to choose Exposed Aggregate Concrete Driveway over a conventional concrete driveway.

  1. Skid Resistance – a safer choice.
  2. Less Vehicular Noise – environmentally sustainable.
  3. Reduced Glaring
  4. Versatile – can be produced of different colours with different aggregate textures
  5. Durable – it is as durable as conventional concrete and can last for around four decades
  6. Cost Effective – Although a little expensive than conventional concrete, it offers a cost effective package considering the benefits it brings along with it.
  7. Ease of construction – It is easier to construct as compared to other options which offer an aesthetic value to the driveway.


As noted above, exposed aggregate concrete offers a more aesthetic yet safer alternative to a conventional concrete driveway. It brings in the options of multiple textures and colours that one can get with the usage of different kinds of aggregates to be exposed on the top layer. Further, variation in colour can be achieved using pigmented cements to create a contrast between the construction and the driveway.

Exposed Aggregate Concrete, although first utilised in 1990s in Australia and UK ,is still a recent trend for many residences and in commercial landscaping.


exposed aggregate concrete

Alternating colours of exposed aggregate concrete.


Q: How is an exposed aggregate concrete driveway constructed.

Different exposed aggregate concrete installers will have slightly different construction techniques. Technically speaking, there are four methods to achieve an exposed aggregate concrete finish for your driveway.

  1. Brushing and Washing: The oldest yet simplest method. After some time, the surface of concrete is washed and brushed using a broom to a desirable depth where the aggregates are exposed.
  2. Using Chemicals: Chemicals – retarders to be specific – are sprayed on the top surface which slows the setting and hardening time of the upper layer which later becomes easy to remove.
  3. Seeding the decorative aggregate: This is rather easy and provides the finishing of one’s own choice. Right after placing concrete, one can seed the decorative aggregate on the top layer.
  4. Topping: This method is used when an existing conventional concrete is upgraded to an exposed aggregate concrete driveway. A small layer of exposed aggregate concrete is poured over the already existing slab.
  5. Mixing the decorative aggregate: Mixing the aggregate to be exposed in the concrete would expensive but less labour intensive task.

Q: Is exposed aggregate concrete expensive?

Yes, but not by a huge percentage. Decorative aggregates are usually required in this case which cost a little higher than conventional aggregate. So, is the case with retarding agents – if used!

Q: Is exposed aggregate concrete strong?

Exposed Aggregate Concrete is as strong as conventional concrete. It is no different than conventional concrete except for its surface. It can take vehicular loads just as good as conventional concrete even during extreme weather conditions.

Q: Should you seal exposed aggregate concrete driveway?

Yes, the exposed aggregate concrete driveway – very similar to conventional concrete driveway – requires sealing after every 4 to 5 years.


Related Concrete Information from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne

7 Reasons to Choose Concrete Pavement


Commercial Concreting


4 types of Eco-Friendly Concrete


3 Best Types of Concrete Retaining Wall


9 Concrete facts for Melbourne Landscapers.


3 Best Concrete Path Construction Techniques


7 Great Reasons to choose Permeable Concrete



© Red’s Landscaping Melbourne – Quality Landscapers Melbourne




5 Incredible Advantages of Having Exposed Aggregate Concrete in Your Home – TechSling Weblog. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2021, from

Exposed Aggregate Concrete – Decorative Pebble Finish – Concrete Network. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2021, from

Exposed Aggregate Concrete Driveways Melbourne & Concrete driveways Melbourne | Exposed aggregate driveway, Exposed aggregate concrete, Aggregate concrete. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2021, from

Nakhi, A. Ben, & Alhumoud, J. M. (2019). Effects of Recycled Aggregate on Concrete Mix and Exposure to Chloride.

Perth’s Best Exposed Aggregate Driveways – Decorative Concrete WA. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2021, from

Understanding the Meaning of Exposed Aggregate Concrete. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2021, from

What Is Exposed Aggregate? Exposed Aggregate Concrete Explained. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2021, from

What You Should Do When Tyre Skid Marks Appear in Your Street. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2021, from

Zhang, J. P., Liu, G. Q., & Wang, P. Z. (2014). Skid-Resistance and Noise-Reducing Characteristics of Exposed-Aggregate Cement Concrete Pavement. Advanced Materials Research, 1052, 352–357.


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rooftop garden

9 Reasons to choose a commercial rooftop garden

The Rooftop Garden is now a common site in modern commercial landscaping. This is not surprising as there are many great reasons for having one.

The Rooftop Garden

It is a type of garden which build on the roofs of the buildings. It means that roofs cover with plants such as trees, shrubs, bushes, and grass. We can also say that a roofs garden is the environment or nature in the sky. The rooftop garden is an excellent technique to improve the urban areas of the building by using the landscape design, which can convert the outmoded site into a valued space that delivers ecological and economic facilities. The possible solution to the urban crisis is a rooftop garden.

Types of Rooftop garden

There are three types of rooftop gardens.

  • Extensive Roof Garden

The extensive roof garden is suitable for those roofs that bear little capacity. The cost of an extensive roof garden is lower as compared to other types of the roof garden. The plants used in this type of garden are not very deep, and their nutrients demand is low. This type of garden is familiar with residential homes.


Aerial view of rooftop garden in urban residential area

  • Intensive Roof Garden

In this type of garden, all the ground garden things such as bushes, lawns, perennials, and trees, can be planted. In this type of garden, there is no limitation of design and individuality except a few things that must be considered. The intensive roof garden is expensive as compared to the extensive roof garden. These types of gardens are mainly found in commercial buildings.

skyscraper rooftop garden

Green corner with chairs and potted plants and trees on rooftop of skyscraper

  • Semi-Intensive Roof Garden

This type of roof garden falls in between extensive and intensive roof gardens. The cost of this type of garden is higher than an extensive roof garden but lower than an intensive roof garden. Various grasses, herbaceous perennials, and shrubs can be planted in a semi-intensive roof garden whereas, bushes and trees are missing.


Roof garden with green plants and silver which balls and wooden terrace with rest chairs

Roof garden with green plants and silver which balls and wooden terrace with rest chairs


9 Reasons to choose a commercial rooftop garden

A rooftop garden provides a smart and easy way to enjoy a good environment, stunning view, and satisfaction in the city’s heart. Beyond the decorative benefits, several other significant and inspiring reasons force you to establish a rooftop garden on your building. Some of these reasons are given below.

  • Energy saving for cooling

“The urban heat island effect” is a phrase used to define what occurs to an urban building as it speedily absorbs heat from the sun. The rooftop garden significantly decreased the use of energy. Roofs of concrete and tarmac retain heat and increase the temperature up to 10ºF than the surroundings, whereas green roofs decrease the heat gain by shading, transpiration, insulation, and thermal loss. Research showed that the green tops of Chicago’s buildings reduce the need for air conditions up to 10% (Liu and Baskaran, 2003). In another study, green roofs decreased solar heat gain by as much as 95% and reduced the cooling needs from 25 to 50% (MacKenna).

  •  Reduction of emission from power generation

The primary harmful emission from electric power generation includes carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (NO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), small particulate matter and volatile organic matter. In these, some are greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming and climate change, while some contribute to the degradation of air quality. Studies showed that electricity’s total carbon emission factor is 422 g/kWh, including 418 g/kWh for CO2, 0.006 g/Wh for CH4, and 0.014 g/kWh for NO2. Conserving energy due to green roofs reduces the emission of these harmful gases.

  • Storm Water Runoff Management by a Rooftop Garden Installation

Green roofs significantly decrease the runoff of the rainwater by retaining it, as a result, the risk of urban flooding is reduced. The retaining water capacity of the green roof depends on climatic conditions (i.e., frequency, volume, and intensity of rain) and the substrate of the garden (i.e., depth, drying rate, and saturation). Research showed that the rates of monthly water retention varied between 40% and 100% on two green roofs in the Neuse River watershed (Moran et al., 2003). In another report, Simmons et al. (2008) stated that among six different extensive green roofs vegetated 4 inches, the highest runoff between 88% and 44% for medium and large rain events.

  • Air Quality Improvement

Green roofs significantly improved the quality of air through adsorption. Nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, airborne particulate, and ozone levels have been presumed to decrease due to the roof garden’s presence. The result of a research study showed that approximately 109 hectares of roof gardens eliminate a total of 7.87 metric tons of air pollutants annually in Toronto, Canada (McPherson, 2008). In another study, Yang et al. (2008) determine pollution removal by the roof garden in Chicago. They reported that about 1675 kg of air pollutants were removed by 19.8-hectare roof gardens within one year, in which 52% of the total was O3, 27% NO2, 14% airborne particulate, and 7% SO2. They concluded that the maximum air pollution removal was recorded in May, whereas the minimum removal of pollutants was observed in February.

  • Extended the building life and reduce maintenance

Usually, roofs of the building are uncovered to the sunshine, rainfall, snowfall, and numerous other components on a consistent basis. Due to these factors, the roofs of the buildings need maintenance and repair after intervals of few years.

Generally, a roof garden protects the top of a building from these factors. The waterproofing material underneath a rooftop garden has protected the roof from light, temperature, fluctuation, and physical damage. That’s why roof gardens can increase the building life and decrease maintenance. Studies showed that roof gardens extend the life of the existing fabric up to 20%.

  • Relaxation and Happiness

Due to roof gardens, a person has direct contact with nature in extensive crowded areas. After a hard-working day, spending some time in nature relaxes a person and enhances his mental health. Studies showed that having regular contact with green spaces and wildlife in urban areas directly impacts mental health and happiness. Additionally, we mentioned early that rooftop gardens improve the air quality and water, which reduces the individual’s stress.

rooftop garden

A well-designed roof top garden can add enormously to the enjoyment of life of the users . Group of gardeners tending to crops.

The results of the research study showed that the rooftop garden on the commercial building enhances the satisfaction of the occupant and increases their creativity, productivity, and physiological well-being. Fewer stress levels also mean happier and more productive employees and easier employee recruitment for companies.


Rooftop garden, Rooftop vegetable garden, Growing vegetables on the rooftop of the building, Agriculture in urban on the rooftop of the building

Rooftop garden, Rooftop vegetable garden, Growing vegetables on the rooftop of the building, Agriculture in urban on the rooftop of the building

  • Increase the value of the property with a Rooftop Garden

The rooftop garden increases the sale and rental price of a building. The most noticeable benefit of a roof garden is its valuable pleasantness that improves the cost of the structure it occupies for a relatively modest expenditure. Researchers reported that a roof garden typically ads15-25% more value to the property in the high-end neighborhood.

colourful cityscape rooftop garden

A colourful city rooftop garden.

  • Provide diverse habitat

When planted indigenous vegetation, Roof gardens can provide a significant environment for intrinsic bird and insect populations. Green roofs create a flourishing eco-friendly habitat. Each green roof supports varying habitats, dependant mainly on the type of vegetation included. Green rooftops might also be the stop of migrating birds. A research study showed 172 different species of birds and other wildlife in eleven various green rooftops.

wooden pergola

Rooftop garden in urban setting

  1. Sound Insulation with a Rooftop Garden

Sound is vast destruction, especially in a commercial building. Workers in a commercial building do not want to listen to the rumble of heavy traffic outside their office. Similarly, if you are in your home, you would undoubtedly not appreciate the roar of jets or the noise of the heavy traffic late at night. A green roof provides an extra layer of insulation. According to research, it will absorb up to 30% of environmental noise pollution. You can get on with work free from destruction or sleep more soundly in your bed at night.


Rooftop garden – Frequently Asks Questions

How do you build a Rooftop Garden?

The rooftop garden is an ideal way for urban gardeners to expand their space. It makes good use of frequently unused and wasted space. There are a few things to keep in mind when creating a rooftop garden.

Start with a plan: Before you head to a nursery, consider whether you wish to install raised beds or would rather garden in containers and approximately how many of each you would like to have.

Consult with a building engineer: It is a good idea to consult with an engineer to ensure that the roof can support the weight of your garden and that it is well waterproofed.

Lightweight materials: If the building can take the extra weight of rooftop garden. So it would be best if you tried to use as little weight as possible. Use plastic, fiber glasses, and foam planting containers. Use lightweight potting soil rather than garden dirt.

Check your access: You will need easy access to the roof to transport materials, tools, soil, and plants up and down. A narrow, rickety staircase may be a challenge.

Use solid and long-lasting materials: Opt for larger pots, such as drums or recycled paint buckets for containers. If installing raised beds, aim to make the beds at least 10 inches deep to ensure adequate soil for root growth.

Find a water source: Rooftop beds and containers will dry out quickly and must be watered daily during the hottest parts of summer. If desired, an automatic watering system can be set up to reduce the time spent watering.

Incorporate Windbreaks: Keep in mind rooftop garden will be considerably windier than a typical garden. So you will need to incorporate windbreaks into your rooftop garden design. Try using trellises or some other latticed windbreak for your rooftop garden.

Pick the suitable planting medium: In rooftop containers and raised beds, soil mixed with a bit of cocopeat is your best friend. Not only does it hold water, but it is also lightweight and would not compact over time.

If you keep these things in mind, you will find that your rooftop garden can provide a lovely and great place for you.

Construction of a Commercial Rooftop Garden at Habitus Apartments South Melbourne



What are the benefit of a rooftop garden?

There are various environmental, commercial, and physiological benefits of rooftop gardens which includes

  • Increase access to safe outdoor green space
  • A venue for urban food production
  • Promotion of individual, community, and cultural diversity
  • Area for study and horticultural therapy
  • Improve the quality of air and absorption of carbon dioxide
  • There is usually good sun exposure
  • Support for a rainwater collection system and reduce the run-off of stormwater
  • They make use of unused or underused space.
  • A rooftop garden helps to decorate your rooftop, which will be a relaxing gateway
  • The rooftop provides fresh, organic, and healthy fruit and vegetables, a real gift in urban areas.

Are rooftop gardens expensive?

In my opinion, it may be and maybe not. It depends on you whether you want to build an extensive rooftop garden or intensive. The cost of the expansive roof garden is less as compared to an intensive rooftop garden. The intensive roof garden cost depends on size, use of construction materials, and garden design. Although the initial cost of installing an intensive roof garden is high, it pays itself. Whether you are installing a rooftop garden for pleasure or practical purposes, you will be rewarded with a marked reduction in energy consumption and power bills as well as an overall increase in quality of life.

Do green roofs need drainage?

It has been reported that the soil in the rooftop garden can retain 15-20% of the rainfall for a two to three-month period. Due to these conditions, it is often misconceived that roof drainage is not required on rooftop garden systems. This theory is not only incorrect but also dangerous. The water needs to be removed from the system to observe the structural limitations of the building. The rooftop garden plays a vital role in slowing down water runoff from the roof to the city’s storm sewer system but does not absorb or consume the whole water. That’s why drainage is essential in green roofs.

Related Landscaping Ideas from Red’s Landscaping and Civil Pty Ltd

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13 Best Reasons To Preserve Balwyn Urban Wetlands

© Red’s Landscaping Melbourne – Quality Landscapers Melbourne


MacKenna, E., Green Roofs: Energy Saving and Much More,

Liu, K. & Baskaran, B., Thermal performance of green roofs through field evaluation,
Proceedings for the First North American Green Roof Infrastructure Conference, Awards and Trade Show, May 29–30, 2003 in Chicago, IL, pp. 1–10.

Liu, K.K.Y., Energy efficiency and environmental benefits of rooftop gardens. Construction
Canada, 44(2), pp. 17, 20–23, 2002.

Moran, A., et al., A North Carolina field study to evaluate greenroof runoff quantity, runoff
quality, and plant growth. World Water and Environmental Resources Congress and Related
Symposia Proceedings of World Water and Environmental Resources Congress 2003

Simmons, M.T., Gardiner, B., Windhager, S. & Tinsley, J., Green roofs are not created
equal: the hydrologic and thermal performance of six different extensive green roofs
and reflective and non-reflective roofs in a sub-tropical climate. Urban Ecosystems, 11, pp. 339–348, 2008. resources/10 key benefits of roof gardens




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commercial concrete pavement Melbourne

7 Reasons to Choose Concrete Pavement

A concrete pavement is the most durable, strongest, and cost effective road surfaces readily available. It also has an important niche in commercial landscaping.

Concrete pavement, technically speaking, are one of two major pavements types: Flexible Pavements and Rigid Pavements.

pouring concrete roads

Pouring of concrete roads at a recent landscaping construction.


Bituminous ,or Asphalt, pavements and roads have layers of materials which transfer the load directly to the sub-grade. They are called flexible pavements since the pavement structure bends and deflects when under traffic loads and therefore provide a load to narrow as compared to concrete pavements.

asphalt pavement flexibility

The more flexible asphalt pavement transfers a more concentrated load to the lower layers.

Rigid Pavements, like concrete pavements, are usually reinforced with steel. They are stiffer when compared to asphalt roads owing to the comparatively high modulus of elasticity of reinforced concrete. It is for this reason that the concrete pavement will transfer the load over a wide area of the sub-grade. This results in much lower stress levels in the sub-grade and increases the road’s durability.


Steel reinforced concrete pavement is stiff and transfers the load over a larger area.

Concrete pavements usually act as a concrete slab and therefore transfer the load to bigger area creating a lower stress. Concrete pavements, therefore, are usually thinner as compared to asphalt pavements [1]. This can be a great advantage when there is infrastructure under the road that the commercial road maker needs to avoid.


Commercial concrete pavement onstruction

In this news article we shall talk about seven reasons why concrete pavements are a better choice especially when it comes to commercial landscaping.

1.    Longevity of Concrete Pavement

Concrete pavements usually last longer. On average, the concrete pavements can last for 20-40 years as compared to 10-15 years of flexible pavements. These numbers are estimated for pavements under high traffic loads, with commercial landscaping pavement the lifetime of the road can be even higher.[1].

pot holed asphalt roads

An asphalt road with a series of pol-holes starting to appear.

2.    Ease of Construction of Concrete Pavement

As discussed earlier, concrete pavements distribute the load directly to the sub-grade or base course, in some cases, as compared to multiple layers of asphalt pavements. Such layers are difficult to prepare since special types of construction materials and machines are required.

Asphalt Pavement Road construction layers

An asphalt pavement can have up to 5 layers

The construction of concrete pavements are comparatively easy. No heavy road roller machines are required and the concrete material can be pumped in. This makes the concrete pavement the ideal solution for the construction of roads over basement car parks.

concrete pumping for concrete pavement construction

Concrete pumping for pavement construction

Additionally, concrete pavements are designed on scientific approaches and equations rather than empirical ones which are still used for certain asphalt pavements. Bitumen required for asphalt pavements comes in different grades depending on the weather conditions which can be a hectic process. Concrete comes in different grades based on its strength but is easily available due to its vast usage in the construction industry [3].


Typical concrete pavement layers.

Typical concrete pavement layers.


1.    Low Maintenance concrete pavements

A concrete pavement hardly requires any maintenance and/ or repair unless subjected to loads higher than it is designed for. In case of, commercial landscaping, the concrete pavements are not subjected to any high loads and therefore require almost no repair or maintenance as compared to its counterpart. Asphalt pavements, on the other hand, are prone to damage not only when subjected to higher loads but also when it is in contact oil and/ or other chemicals unlike concrete pavements [4].

2.    Lower Reliance on Pavement Sub-grade

Concrete pavements, unlike asphalt pavements, rely less on the subgrade material and more on the flexural strength of the concrete. The subgrade if fails or is weak at certain part of the pavement does not affect the concrete pavement since it works as a slab. It can ignore certain imperfections in the subgrade without affecting the quality of the pavement. Asphalt pavements as compared to its contender would require repair for such cases due to its high reliance on subgrade. Therefore the subgrade should be of high quality in case of asphalt pavement [4].

3.    Surface Characteristics

A good concrete surface is free from potholes, rutting, and/ or corrugations. These problems do come in localized failures which are avoidable in concrete due to its slab nature. Aforesaid problems are commonly faced when dealing with asphalt pavements [5].

4.    Impervious Layer

Concrete pavements are impervious and provide a better sealing as compared to asphalt pavements. Water tends to penetrate and affect the lower layers in the pavement [5]. This is another great reason to use concrete construction over subterranean basements.

5.    Innovative

With concrete being the most used construction material, a lot of research is conducted which deals with making concrete better. Innovations like self-healing of concrete, permeable concrete (aka pervious concrete) etc. prove that concrete is the construction material from past that is going stay with us in future [6]. Commercial landscaping can be the first industry to try out such innovative concrete types since the pavements in this industry are exposed to very high loads and such innovative concrete types can perform better in such conditions.

self healing concrete pavement

Innovations like self-healing of concrete could reduce the maintenance costs of concrete pavements.

Additionally, concrete tends to provide better visibility as compared to asphalt pavements which are black in colour and provide poor visibility especially in dark. Concrete is also easily available in bags which require mixing with water only or available from concrete plants which can pour concrete in a small time frame. Admixtures can be added to achieve special requirements such as air-entraining agents can be used to avoid freeze and thaw damage in areas where the temperatures can drop to a freezing point.


permeable concrete

Permeable concrete is another innovation that can be applied to concrete pavements.


Innovative concrete pavement decorative finishes

One of the greatest advantages of concrete pavements over asphalts is the enormous range of modern decorative finishes available. One of the most widely used decorative concrete finishes in both residential and commercial landscaping is exposed aggregate concrete. The aggregates are available in a wide range of colours to suit your landscape design.  The available colours include red, brown, dark grey basalt, green quarts as well as black and white. In combination with this selection, the fine grain aggregates or sands are also available in a wide range of selections. The colour of these these fine aggregate will also be the more dominant when the surface is lightly abraded.

Contrasting Exposed aggregate concrete

Creating some shade with a tree in the concreted area. The tree roots are protected with a slotted stainless steel grate. The lighter colour Hansen Galaxy forms a geometric pattern around the grate.

Contact us for your  next concrete pavement project.

Concrete Pavement Construction Melbourne

Concrete Pavement Construction in Melbourne for modern townhouses.

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Concrete Pavement References

[1]      “Pavement Types – Pavement Interactive.” (accessed Oct. 01, 2021).

[2]      “Difference Between Flexible And Rigid Pavement | Engineering Discoveries.” (accessed Oct. 01, 2021).

[3]      Neenu S K, “Difference Between Reinforced Concrete (RC) and Steel Structures.” (accessed Apr. 23, 2021).

[4]      “Difference Between Flexible Pavement And Rigid Pavement.” (accessed Oct. 01, 2021).

[5]      “Difference Between Flexible Pavement and Rigid Pavement | What is Pavement | Types of Pavement -.” (accessed Oct. 01, 2021).

[6]      J. Yang and G. Jiang, “Experimental study on properties of pervious concrete pavement materials,” Cem. Concr. Res., vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 381–386, 2003, doi: 10.1016/S0008-8846(02)00966-3.

[7]      S. R. Tabiyar, D. V. R. Patel, and K. Nair, “A Review on Experimental Study of Bacterial based Self-Healing Concrete,” 2018.

[8]      “Carbon Fiber Reinforces Pervious Concrete | Fluence.” (accessed Oct. 01, 2021). Pervious Concrete


The history of road materials


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commercial landscaping public space Mill Park

Commercial Landscaping of Public Spaces.

Commercial Landscaping of Public Spaces provides quality open green and accessible places for the community. From walkable shady streets to the commercial landscaping around libraries, museums and community centres, these landscaped areas form the heart of local communities.

public space commercial landscaping

Commercial landscaping of the public space at Mill Park Sports and Aquatic Centre.


It is through these areas that many people in local communities connect, play, walk or cycle. In these ways, the commercial landscaping supports the health and well being of local communities as well as providing essential environmental habitats for indigenous species. The design of the commercial building landscape has a significant impact on the success of these public spaces.

Commercial landscaping with a children's play area.

Commercial landscaping with a children’s play area. Design by Angelo Carrafa Landscape Architects (ACLA)

The History of Public Spaces

Many of the public spaces we see in cities today are reflections of ancient public spaces. Public spaces for democratic political discussion have their roots in the ancient Greek Agora of the Polis and were extended to ancient Roman Fora. The Romans also were instrumental in spreading the Greek peristyle courtyard garden, which later evolved into the cloistered abbey garden and courtyard, throughout Europe.

Public Space Ancient Agora Athens.

Victorian engraving of an ancient view of the Agora at Athens. Note the peristyle building in the background.

Ancient public spaces were primarily functional market places, thoroughfares and meeting places and as such were social spaces.

The Persians, Babylonians and Assyrians

Going back even further, Persian gardens are described in the old testament as pleasure gardens. The gardens were designed to enable cool water and shade to be enjoyed in private.  The landscaping also included man made hills with terraces planted with shrubs and trees.

Greek Gardens of the Classical Period

Sport and public places were both big parts of Greek culture. Sports grounds developed into the academy and the lyceum and people gathered in these places.  The public spaces in Greek life included groves of shade trees which is essential in a Mediterranean garden. Also included were some porticoes, spectator seating and the exercise ground itself. It was around this time that a courtyard garden design with rows of columns supporting roofs over covered walkway became part of the urban lifestyle. This garden design became known as “peristyle” from the Greek word “peri” meaning around (as in perimeter) and “style” which means column. It is thought that this style of architecture originated in temples like the Temple of Hera at Samos and was then adopted for domestic buildings.


Greek doric columns, and gardens

Greek doric columns, and gardens

Greek Gardens of the Hellenistic Period

The death of Alexander the great was the start of a new age in Greece where the country was less Athens centric. New luxurious gardens or pleasure grounds had sprung in the Greek colonies. Notable amongst these were the gardens at Syracuse and Alexandria. These gardens were more influenced by gardens in the east. Under Alexander the great Macedonia had formed a huge empire stretching from Macedonia to parts of India. Within the empire the spread of people brought architecture and landscaping to different cities. After the death of Alexander, the empire was divided, and the various kings spent money on gardens and architecture to impress their guests.

Pleasure Gardens

According to historian John Plumb, the 1700s in London was an age of commercialised leisure. This was largely due to rising incomes and the growth of the middle class in Britain. New ideas emerged about how people could converse and socialise with each other one of these being the pleasure garden. On the rural outskirts of eighteen century London, pleasure gardens sprang up in places like Hampstead, Ranelagh and Vauxhall.

The Cremorne Gardens on the banks of the Yarra

The Cremorne gardens on the banks of the Yarra near Richmond  was Melbourne’s first Amusement park. The concept of the gardens was based on the Cremorne Gardens in Chelsea London.

Cremorne Gardens Melbourne

Cremorne Gardens Melbourne was based on English Pleasure Gardens.


Botanical Gardens

Botanical Gardens such as the Royal Melbourne Botanical Gardens, have formed important public spaces for communities for hundreds of years.

Public Space Ornamental Lake Botanical Gardens Melbourne.


The Commercial Landscaping Goals in Public spaces

The aim of the commercial landscaping design of public spaces should be to make the public space a welcoming and inclusive place for the enjoyment of people of all ages and abilities. This will necessitate the landscape architect designing in wheelchair access, bridges and ramps. The designers and urban planners need to consider the users as the primary focus of the landscape design.

Public Space Ramp for Wheelchair access Balwyn Community Centre.

Public Space Ramp for Wheelchair access Balwyn Community Centre. Design by Angelo Carrafa Landscape Architects (ACLA)

Commercial Landscaping Design

Well designed commercial landscaping should also enhance the opportunities for socialising, recreation and relaxation and along with the aesthetic goals, contribute to the local character of the neighbourhood.

Commercial landscaping Melbourne Balwyn

Commercial Landscaping at Balwyn Community Centre

To these ends, the commercial landscaping and the facilities should where possible include a diversity of activities. Some examples of these include tennis courts, barbeques, scooter tracks, outdoor gyms as well as tranquil areas like urban wetlands. It is essential that these are community facilities that are often available for a wide range of users at different times of the day.

Commercial Landscape Installation. Durable outdoor furniture for parks and public spaces

The provision of comfortable and durable seating is also an essential part of the commercial landscaping design. People in the public space need areas for relaxing and recovering as well as just having a chat with friends.

(Design by Angelo Carrafa Landscape Architects (ACLA) Commercial Landscape Architects )

Seating is particularly important for elderly members of the local community. Where possible curved seating will enable people to chat and hear and see each other better. This curved furniture design will benefit the hearing impaired when chatting with friends.

Commercial Landscaping using Seating using recycled materials.

Commercial Landscaping using Seating using recycled materials. (Photograph by Botton and Gardiner)

Landscaping Infrastructure

Much of the cost of commercial landscaping of public spaces is in the hardscaping infrastructure. This includes structures such as flowing insitu concrete retaining  walls, agricultural drainage, irrigation systems and concrete paths.


Commercial Landscaping with insitu concrete retaining walls

Commercial Landscaping with insitu concrete retaining walls. Design by Angelo Carrafa Landscape Architects (ACLA)


Commuter thoroughfares and Size, Location and Important Interfaces

Some other important factors for the success of the commercial landscaping of public space include size, location and interfaces with adjoining properties. Ideally, pathways will provide a commuting thoroughfare for walking or cycling as well as a pleasant stroll for exercise.

The sustainability of Commercial Landscaping Designs

Modern commercial landscaping makes extensive use of drought tolerant Australian Native plants and drip irrigation systems. Attractive Australian native grasses are used in both mass planting and individual planting schemes. Where planted as individual plants, it is expected that they will naturally spread to fill an area. Much more use of rainwater harvesting is happening in commercial landscaping as well as the use of rain gardens, permeable concrete and permeable paving to filter and retain storm water in commercial landscapes as well as apartment blocks. There is also a trend in commercial landscaping towards much greater use of recycled materials for construction of asphalt roads and paths as well as the use of eco-concrete.

Mudstone Path

The mudstone path to the Balwyn Community Centre Wetlands.

Commercial Landscaping for Active Living

The university of South Australia conducted a study in 2009 on the relationship between active living and the provision of public open space. Amongst the key findings of the study were that attractive commercial landscaping lead to a higher likelihood of people being physically active. This is just one more way that the aesthetic design of commercial landscaping contributes to the health and wellbeing of the community. Another key finding was that “High quality open space design and amenities are crucial.”

Outdoor Gym Installation Balwyn Community Centre

Outdoor Gym Installation Balwyn Community Centre. Design by Angelo Carrafa Landscape Architects (ACLA)


 Commercial Landscaping to attract visitors

Well designed and constructed commercial landscaping will serve to attract visitors to the public space by providing important street appeal. When attractive vistas are available from the interfacing properties and thoroughfares, the public space becomes a people magnet. Commercial landscaping through the provision of trees, shrubs and other greenery will create an aesthetic that people will want to visit. One important factor in Melbourne commercial landscaping is the provision of shade trees over seating areas and car parks. As with residential landscaping, kerb appeal of a public space is important.



Tennis court repair Balwyn

Tennis court construction Balwyn Design by Angelo Carrafa Landscape Architects (ACLA) – Commercial landscape architects



What makes a great public space?


What makes a Public Space Great?

What makes a Public Space Great? An explanation from the Project for Public Spaces.

To quote from the Project for Public Spaces; “Great public spaces are those places where celebrations are held, social and economic exchanges occur, friends run into each other, and cultures mix. They are the “front porches” of our public institutions – libraries, field houses, schools – where we interact with each other and government. When theses spaces work well, they serve as the stage for our public lives.” – Project for Public Spaces

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© Red’s Landscaping Melbourne – Quality Landscapers Melbourne


More information on Public Spaces and Commercial Landscaping

Public Space at the Crossroads of everything.


A glossary of Road Diet Stratergies.


What is Public Space and Why does it need protecting.


Landscape Australia. The Politics of Public Space


Urban design guidelines for Public Space


Melbourne Parks and Public spaces


Victorian Walks and Public Spaces


Landscape Design Credit ACLA


Gardening Knowhow

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tennis court surface

The tennis court surface. 4 best modern surfaces

The tennis court surface is a fundamental part of the game of tennis.

Without any doubt, tennis is one of the most entertaining and favorite games among millions of people of all ages across the globe. It improves both physical and mental health, brings positive emotions and gives you social benefits as well. What a pleasure to play tennis with your friend, especially outside! All you need is a racquet, tennis balls, a court and a partner. Alternatively, you can even play on your own, practicing serve on the court or hitting groundstrokes and volleys against the wall.

Tennis Court Surface Characteristics

Tennis can be played on different surfaces and each surface has its own characteristics, which affects the speed and style of play. I guess you wondered which tennis court surface is the best. It’s quite difficult to answer this question, as each type of surface has its advantages and disadvantages and appeals to a certain playing style. For example, Rafael Nadal, an extraordinary Spanish player, is the best clay court specialist, when Roger Federer performs better on grass courts. Novak Djokovic, another genius tennis player is more confident on hard courts.

Which tennis court surface is the best?

Let’s take a look at the most popular tennis court surfaces and compare their characteristics. There are four major types of courts, depending on the materials used for the court surface: clay courts, hard courts, grass courts and carpet courts.


Clay courts


Clay courts are made of crushed stones, shale and bricks and have red or orange color; less frequently, when they are composed of basalt, a natural stone, they have green colour. The French Open, one of the four Grand Slam tournaments, is played on clay courts, when green clay is used only for the tournaments in the United States.


On clay, tennis ball bounces slower and higher, than on other courts, which gives advantages to confident baseline players, who adds a lot of topspin and play mostly in a defensive style. Another key feature of clay courts is the ability to slide to the ball, so the player needs good flexibility. Among the reasons why the play on a clay court is a good idea are the following: the softer surface of this type of court is not so harmful to the body; this surface improves endurance and physical condition, as the player needs to run more and tries to chase every ball. Moreover, a slower game teaches patience and gives more time to make a right decision. Definitely, the most talented and award-winning player, is a Spaniard Rafael Nadal, who managed to win The French Open trophy 12 times and is rightly called “the king of clay”.

En tout cas surface

En tout cas surface.


The En-tout-cas surface

In addition, “en-tout-cas” courts are worth mentioning. En-tout-cas, which means “in any case” or “in any conditions” in French, is a top-quality and the most famous court construction among tennis court builders. This is the well-known artificial sports surface builder, made from crushed bricks and stone. The main advantage of these courts is greatly improved drainage system, that helps the courts to drain quickly after the rain. In Australia, en-tout-cas courts are mostly used in Victoria.


Grass courts

Grass Court Surface

The Grass Court Surface.

Grass courts are the fastest of all four types of the surfaces, the ball bounces fast and low to the ground, that is why the rallies become much shorter, than on hard, and especially than on clay courts. They are made of natural grass, which demands high maintenance cost, due to constant watering and mowing, that’s why they are not as widely spread, as other tennis surfaces. The most famous tournament, played on grass courts, is Wimbledon, which takes place in London in July. Grass courts favor serve-and-volley tennis players, as serve plays a vital part there, as well as confident net skills. Roger Federer, an outstanding Swiss player, is “unbeatable on grass”, thanks to his perfect technique, quick reaction and good footwork. However, in 2019, Novak Djokovic proved that he could be a decent opponent on grass court as well, winning his 5th title in an epic match on Wimbledon courts.




The Hard Court Surface


Hard courts are made of rigid materials and are favorite for most of the players worldwide. They have a smooth surface, so the bounce of the ball is rather predictable and the player can control the game easier. On this type of tennis surface the ball bounces fast and high, so players can hit a big variety of strokes, add spin and make the game more dynamic. Hard courts are suitable for players with aggressive and attacking style, who have powerful serve as well. Two Grand Slam tournaments, the US Open and the Australian Open are played on hard courts, the only difference is that the American Grand Slam uses an acrylic hard court, while the Australian Open uses a synthetic one. An interesting fact is that the Australian Open was played on grass courts before, but switched from them to hard courts in 1988.

The only disadvantage of a hard court is that it has the higher risk of getting an injury, players’ joints suffer a lot when jumping on hard ground. Nevertheless, there is a solution: the cushioning makes the surface softer, which minimizes shock on the body and helps to prevent injuries. A cushioned tennis court is a system with a concrete base with several layers of cushioned rubber, applied before the standard acrylic finish. It helps to reduce impact on athlete’s most vulnerable parts of the body: knees, ankles and feet.

The hard court surface

The hard court surface



Novak Djokovic, a real mental giant and one of the most complete athletes to have ever played the game, is definitely considered one of the best players on hard court. A Serbian is a record holder of Australian Open titles and won his 8th trophey on Australian tennis court surface in 2020, beating an Austrian Dominic Thiem in an epic 5 set match.

Carpet or indoor courts

Carpet in tennis means any removable court covering, which is installed temporarily for tennis events. It has soft surface, can be made of different materials, from turf to rubber and may have different bright colors. These courts are similar to grass courts, as the ball bounces fast and low, so they are suitable for players with a good serve and a confident net game. Carpet courts are not used in professional events anymore, they have been replaced by removable hard courts, but some big tournaments, such as the Australian Open (until 2007), WCT Finals, Paris Masters, U.S. Pro Indoor and Kremlin Cup were held on this type of surface before.

Indoor tennis courts are rather convenient, as they are easy to install and maintain and allow to play during any weather conditions. These courts are used for modern indoor professional events such as the ATP Finals.


As you can see, tennis has a great variety of surfaces to choose from, you just need to try out different kinds of courts to find the most suitable for your style of play.

The Tennis Court Surface in Commercial Landscaping

The Tennis Court is a popular addition to many of Melbournes public spaces. The surface needs to be both hard wearing and low maintenance. Sand filled artificial grass, PMMA (Acrylic), or polyurethane with fine aggregate are often selected for commercial landscaping tennis courts. For the tennis courts at Balwyn Community Centre, Euroclay was chosen for the playing surface. This is a high quality synthetic surface that provides all of the features of a clay tennis surface with very low maintenance. It even looks and plays like en tout cas, but does not require rolling or watering. Even better, tennis can still be played in wet conditions. Ideal for the diehard tennis enthusiast home owner as well as public spaces.


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