Garden Design Horticulture Landscaping

Landscape Design Cost

The Landscaping Design cost is often one of a client’s biggest fears when commissioning a landscape design plan. A well thought out landscape design cost is one of the best ways to minimise landscaping costs.

landscape design plans cost
Landscape design plans costs are a good investment in your property.

The Landscaping Design cost and Landscaping Infrastructure

The landscape design cost really pays for itself with the design of landscaping infrastructure. The infrastructure cost will include sub surface installations such as irrigation systems and agricultural drainage systems as well as garden lighting systems and good quality footings for retaining walls.

Landscape Design Cost and Swimming Pool Landscaping
Landscape Design Cost is a good investment when the cost of landscaping infrastructure is considered.

Landscape Design Cost and quality landscaping

The landscape design plan is the first step towards high quality landscaping. Often the important points are in the detail of the landscape design.

Landscape Design Specifications and Landscape Design Cost

By specifying the quality and depth of the landscaping topsoil, the landscape design plan helps to reduces the ongoing garden maintenance cost. The quality and depth of the topsoil often goes unnoticed. A quality topsoil of at least 150mm will give you a more sustainable garden in the long run, provided that topsoil is suitable for the plants selected. For garden beds, in areas with poorer topsoils, we will specify 300mm topsoils on our landscape design plan. The type and thickness of mulch can have a great effect on the appearance, maintenance and plant health of your garden. The mulch specification should also be part of the landscape design plan.

landscape design cost and mulch
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.

Another consideration for landscaping costs is site access. Often it is too difficult to get landscaping machinery in to a site or there is too much risk of causing damage. Another consideration is the difficulty in getting materials on to a site. All of these can add to the costs. A well planned landscape design can help with the planning phase of the landscape construction. For example, Our 2D landscape design package contains detailed plant schedules, quantities, spacings and placement locations.  This is integrated with a set of irrigation and hydraulic drawings. The collaboration and synergy of these two documents is fundamental to your landscapes success, it will ensure that no plant goes through its establishment period without consistent daily watering.

landscape design cost
The landscape design cost is a good investment when the cost of the landscaping infrastructure is considered.

Estimating Landscaping costs

Why is landscaping so expensive?

Most experienced landscapers will have some rules of thumb when it comes to landscaping costs. Things like paving can be estimated per square metre or retaining walls can be estimated per lineal metre. Most of these costs will be based on the assumption of a straightforward landscaping job on flat ground and the usual Melbourne soil and subsoil conditions. The landscaping cost estimate can also be affected by what is under the soil. Things such as underground utilities, old wall footings, old drains and old swimming pools can really wreak havoc with a rule of thumb landscaping cost estimate.

What does landscaping cost for new home?

For new building sites on the Melbourne allowing a budget of around 15% of the value of the property will normally give you a great result. This will be a little cheaper for small garden designs. To find out the latest landscaping costs, contact us and we will be happy to give you an estimate.

Quality Standards and Landscaping Costs

Building an exposed aggregate driveway or path with roadbase underneath will provide a quality product for many years. There are always ways to make paths a little cheaper, but cracks may open up if the correct design and construction procedures are not followed.

Paving Lawn and Potted Plants add value to a property. Copyright Red’s Landscape Gardening – Gardener Melbourne.

Saving money on the landscape design cost

One way to save money on both your landscaping and the landscape design cost is to get all of your landscaping ideas down on paper. You can start with making a list of garden features you would like to see in your garden. Then make photocopy of your house site plan showing the location of utility services and easements. Prioritise and sketch in some of your most desired features such as water features, retaining walls, pathways and swimming pools. This can be done initially with a pencil and a highlighter pen. If you are good with computers, there are a number of low cost or free software packages you can try including Sketchup. At Red’s Landscaping, we operate with very low overheads and our cost estimates are very accurate to ensure the minimum amount of wastage.

landscaping costs minimised by planning
Sketching your Garden Design

 Plant Selection and landscape design cost

Choosing the incorrect plant types for your soil type or conditions can lead to disappointing results. A landscape design plan can reduce money wasted on buying plants that are not thriving under the conditions.

Visit some of your local gardens.

A great way to develop your garden design ideas, is visit some of the open gardens in the area. Here you can see some of the best garden designs in the area. Another way to help with the garden design is to visit the local botanical gardens or visit some of the regular garden shows on the Melbourne. This will give you the opportunity to see the latest landscape design ideas and assist with plant selection and grouping. Take a note pad and pen to take note of the plant species and garden feature you like.

Our Botanical Design Package is uniquely tailored to your preferred colour pallet, style of plants, whilst also maintaining symmetry/consistency with existing buildings and architecture.

landscape design Balwyn North
pool alfresco, seating turf 3D render

Our dedicated horticulturalist will ensure the plants selected will work with your soil and weather requirements and will sustain growth for years to come. This package comes with 2 snapshot renders detailing how the planting scheme will look once established in your landscape. This package also features an installation guide and care guide, these guides will help you understand water, shade, fertilising requirements of each plant and will help you spot early warning signs of stress/disease. These guides will ensure that you have the knowledge to understand each plant specific requirements, and maintain it to maturity.

Can using an experienced Melbourne landscaping professional reduce the landscape design cost?

In a similar way to an interior decorator or stylist can save you money on paint, there are many ways an experienced landscape gardener and experienced landscape designer can save you money. No-one wants to see large puddles of water in their newly installed garden, or even worse, water flowing into the house. Planning the drainage of the water by slotted agricultural DWV pipe, spoon or French drains and subtle use of gradient will prevent these problems. Irrigation systems need to be designed to take water where it is most needed and to use water sparingly. Irrigation systems also need to be low maintenance.

landscape design cost minimised by useing an experience landscape designer.
Landscape design cost minimised by useing an experience landscape designer.

Garden Design and Construction

Some landscaping companies do not offer garden design as part of their service. Often, in these cases they will outsource the design to a specialist garden design company or mark the design out on the ground. The advantages of a landscaper having in-house design facilities results in much better planning in the construction phase.

A Professional Horticulturist can reduce your landscape design cost.

With the horticultural aspects, there is a lot that the professional horticulturist can do to save you money in the long term. For example, plants with similar needs should be grouped together. This means plants with similar sunlight, moisture and even fertilizer (especially phosphorus) should be grouped together. This is especially true of the soils chosen. For example, lower cost soils could be used for some garden beds, but not for lawns in high traffic areas. Some plants prefer an acid soil, so these should not be planted with plants preferring neutral or alkaline soils. Also plants should be chosen with ongoing garden maintenance in mind. If you are looking for outdoor pool landscaping ideas, it is best not to plant palms that require regular cleaning and pruning nearby. The use of select native or indigenous plants can save a lot of money in garden maintenance and watering.

computer generated landscape
Computer landscape design and horticultural plant selection. Screening plants are chosen to improve swimming pool privacy.

Landscape Design Cost and property values

When selling a property, first impressions go a long way. A professionally landscaped property will help increase the selling price of a property much higher than the cost of the landscaping. If you take note of some of the commercial landscape designs in your area, you can see how businesses use this strategy to create a positive impression of their business.

3D landscape
3D Render Formal House and gardens

Working Landscape Garden Designers

A consultation with a landscape garden designer will involve going through the points discussed above and getting a feel of the property. The landscape designer will then develop your ideas into a rendered 2D sketch of your property and landscape garden. Once this rough outline is approved, the Landscape garden designer will develop detailed 3D CAD models of your property to help you visualise what the finished garden design will look like. Usually this will include the larger plants, retaining walls, water features and any fast growing screening plants or hedges. The next stage is create all of the schematics for irrigation, drainage, garden lighting and plantings.

Minimising Landscaping costs begins with a Bespoke 2D Garden Design Plan.
Bespoke 2D Garden Design Plan

Garden Maintenance and Landscape Design.

Another advantage of having a garden professionally designed, is facilitate the creation of a low maintenance garden. With 3D design tools, it can be established if there are any difficulties accessing lawns and hedges with  maintenance equipment. It is also possible to arrange plants with similar needs in groups to ensure that they receive the necessary irrigation of sunlight.

For help with the design  and development or your landscaping ideas, contact one of our experienced Landscape Gardeners. We can help with small garden design all the way up to  Commercial Landscape design.  Our specialities include fast growing screening plants, plant health and horticulture, garden lighting  and outdoor pool landscaping ideas.

Related Landscaping Ideas from Red’s Landscaping and Civil.

Landscape Design Melbourne

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7 things you need to know about exposed aggregate concrete paths

11 Best landscapers of all time.

3 Best Types of Concrete Retaining Wall

For more landscape garden design ideas, take a look at our Garden Design blog.

By Callum O’Brien

© Reds Landscaping – Melbourne Landscaper

 Free Garden Design Tools

Landscaping Ideas to increase the value of your property.

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7 best trees for koalas

Koalas, on the endangered species in NSW and Queensland list due to climate change, land clearance, and past extended droughts. These conditions have left koalas with much reduced food and habitat. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), koalas are on the path to going extinct in regions of Australia by 2050 due to the recent effect of a bushfire that killed over 60,000 koalas. Therefore, urban koala populations, which endure a somewhat lower degree of stress, might be the key to conserving the species.

koalas gum trees
Koala eating gum leaves.

They are not threatened by bushfires or livestock conflicts like their woodland and rural brethren. Their major worries while living in and near towns or cities are getting food and other koalas to mate. For this reason, planting some of their best trees is vital to preserving this lovely species.

Koalas eating Eucalyptus leaves.
Koala eating Eucalyptus leaves.

The distribution and population of koalas in any given location are contingent on the existence and density of their feeding tree species. A small number of selected tree species, both of primary and secondary significance, provide practically all of the food for koalas.

koalas also need trees to sleep in.
koalas also need trees to sleep in.

If major tree food species are absent or in low abundance, koalas must depend on secondary food tree species. This article will go through some of the most significant trees for koalas.

Koala in a eucalyptus
The unique native Australian koala, hugging a gum tree


River red gums (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) are native trees to Australia. It features lovely, smooth bark that is multicoloured, lance-shaped or curving adult leaves, flower buds that are grouped in seven- or nine-pieces, white flowers, and hemispherical fruit with valves that extend over the rim. It is used as a showpiece tree in parks and extensive gardens because of its attractive bark.

Eucalyptus camaldulensis
Majestic Australian River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) trees at Reedy Lake near Nagambie

This is a beautiful tree that koalas like. Like the river red gum tree, koalas mostly need lush and juicy leaves to survive. According to a study conducted in 2006, around 36% of koalas were located in this tree.

Blossom flowers of River Red Gum, Eucalyptus camaldulensis
Blossom flowers of River Red Gum, Eucalyptus camaldulensis

Manna gum

Manna gum (Eucalyptus viminalis) is a species of small to a tall tree native to south-eastern Australia. It is a straight growing tree that is rather tall and has rough bark on the bottom part of the trunk and at the base of the bigger branches. During the summer, the bark sheds in long ribbons, leaving the top trunk and branches smooth white. Small cream-coloured flowers appear within the cluster of the tree. This giant native tree works best in extensive gardens, parks, and landscaping projects.

Manna Gum
Manna Gum or Eucalyptus viminalis

Like other Eucalyptus trees, Manna gum is also a favourite tree of koalas. Manna gum leaves have high protein content, which is good for koalas’ health. But there are also some secondary plant metabolites in its leaves. But don’t worry. Microbes in the koala gut digest and detoxify these secondary metabolites.


Eucalyptus viminalis or manna gum plant green foliage
Eucalyptus viminalis or manna gum plant green foliage

Blue gum

Blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus) is a tall, evergreen tree native to Australia. This tree thrives quickly and has lovely blue-green foliage in sweeping branches, making it great for cut foliage in flower arrangements.

Tall Southern blue gum or eucalyptus globulus branches with lance-shaped dark green foliage, falcate and lanceolate leaves, primary source of eucalyptus oil
Tall Southern blue gum or eucalyptus globulus branches with lance-shaped dark green foliage, falcate and lanceolate leaves, primary source of eucalyptus oil

Young leaves are blue-green and may grow up to 10 cm long. The aroma of the leaves is incredible. White blooms appear in bunches from late winter to early June. The blooms are very appealing to nectar-eating birds and insects. Because of these characteristics, these trees are appropriate for parks and landscape projects.

Flowering of the medicinal plant Eucalyptus globulus (lat .-- Eucalyptus globulus Labill)
Flowering of the medicinal plant Eucalyptus globulus

Blue gums are a preferred food source of koalas. The plantation of blue gum is highly suitable for koalas, providing a habitat for them.

RED box

The red box (Eucalyptus polyanthemos) is a small to medium-sized tree native to eastern Australia. It has fibrous bark on the trunk and bigger branches that are smooth grey to cream in colour.

Eucalyptus polyanthemos
Eucalyptus polyanthemos – Yarra Ranges Council

The leaves of young plants are oval and grey-green. The flowers are small and white, appearing from September to January. It is an excellent street or avenue planting tree that may also be utilised for shade and natural habitat in parks and gardens. Koalas love Red box trees to shelter in on hot days. Koalas love to eat the rounded leaves of the red box.

Eucalyptus polyanthemos flowers are small and white.
Eucalyptus polyanthemos flowers are small and white. Yarra Ranges Council.


Yellow gum

Yellow gum (Eucalyptus leucoxylon) is a small to medium-sized tree native to southern Australia. The bark is smooth yellow with some rough bark towards the base.

Eucalyptus leucoxylon 'Euky Dwarf' Dwarf SA Blue Gum Notes Uses: For use in smaller gardens where standard SA Blue gum is too large. Flowers appear in large clusters from Autumn through to Spring. Flowers especially attract bees which make excellent honey.
Eucalyptus leucoxylon ‘Euky Dwarf’ Dwarf SA Blue Gum

The leaves are growing vertically from an open crown. From the late autumn to the early spring, this tree blooms with white or creamy flowers. Yellow gum is a big tree that attracts birds, making it ideal for parks and extensive gardens. Yellow gum is koalas’ second or third favourite tree. They also consume this tree.

The brush box (Lophostemon confertus) for Koalas

The brush box (Lophostemon confertus) is a native Australian evergreen tree. This tree has a dome-like structure and develops a very dense leaves cover of dark green, leathery leaves, offering enough shade during the warmer summer months.

The brush box (Lophostemon confertus) for koalas
Giant pink-barked brush box (Lophostemon confertus) in rainforest in the Green Mountains, Lamington National Park, Queensland. These trees are also enjoyed by Koalas.

This particular type does not lose its branches very often and has salmon-coloured bark that, as the summer progresses, flakes off to expose orange-brown colours on the trunk. Summer also brings a cluster of small white flowers whose stamens give them a fluffy decorative appearance. This tree is well suited for parks and gardens as a feature tree and a great native choice that gives excellent shade.

The brush box (Lophostemon confertus) food for koalas
A cluster of small white flowers whose stamens give them a fluffy decorative appearance.

Do Koalas eat anything other than gum leaves?

Besides eucalyptus, some other closely related Australian native trees that koalas can use for feeding and resting, such as brush boxes. This tree also provides shelter to koalas in extremely hot weather.


Koalas will eat She-Oak

She-oak (Allocasuarina littoralis), commonly known as black she-oak, is a medium-sized Australian native tree. It is a conical-shaped tree with dark, foliated bark that appears black at certain times of the year.

Koalas will eat she-oaks.
Koalas will also eat she-oaks.

In the spring, this fast-growing tree displays gorgeous red male flowers. Females have little spiky cones. It is utilised to create inland gardens and streetscapes. It is also an excellent natural substitute for pine trees. She-oak is also helpful for koalas to provide them shade on hot days. Koalas also eat the leaves of this tree.

Commercial Landscaping

Horticulture is both an art and a science. Commercial landscaping is a natural extension of horticulture that includes landscape planning, design, installation, and long-term management into a finished product. The design should improve the overall appearance and reputation of your property. Before choosing a landscape design, consider how you want visitors to engage with your property and what you want them to think about your company. When planning your design, consider how your landscape will seem after it has grown, considering the placement and size of the trees and plants. Have a clear understanding of the amount of maintenance needed by your chosen design. A landscaping specialist may also recommend low-maintenance plants and trees to deliver the practical advantages you need. Councils are now considering the koalas habitat and food requirements much more in their landscape design of public spaces.

Landscape design

Landscape design is the study, planning, and creation of outdoor living areas. Landscape design nowadays incorporates a broad range of features to create functional and attractive outdoor living areas. Professional landscape designers provide a wide variety of planning and design services to meet the demands of their clients. Hiring a landscape designer may create outstanding design solutions while avoiding expensive errors and additional complexity. Well-executed landscape design improves the pleasure of a property and the actual square footage of a crucial functional area. With careful design and expert installation, outdoor living spaces may be an excellent investment. Studies indicate that intelligently designed outdoor areas may boost a property’s value by up to 20%. It is up to the landscape designers as well as property owners to design with food species to suit koalas.

More Information on Trees Species for Koalas.

Trees and habitat on the Mornington Peninsula


Lophostemon confertus


Best Trees to Plant in Victoria


Department of Environment and Heritage Protection

Environment Garden Design Home Garden

9 best plants for a pet friendly garden

Your pet, especially your dog, will love outdoor areas and gardens. Because gardens are beautiful and stimulating spaces for dogs. Dogs love gardens for a variety of reasons. Whether for their physical health or mental situation, having that extra outdoor space to roam their relaxation makes all the difference in their happiness and behaviour.

French Bulldog pet friendly garden
French Bulldog in a pet friendly garden. Dogs enjoy getting out into the garden and having a sniff or a chew of the plants.

They can enjoy more freedom when they are outside than they can at home. Pets can freely sniff and relieve themselves wherever and whenever they want during their walk. They can feel the vast space around them, and regardless of being on a leash or not, they think that they can roam free and explore new things.

dogs enjoying a run in the garden
Dogs enjoying a run in the garden

Dogs are incredibly active creatures who need a lot of physical exercise and movement to burn their energy and remain mentally and physically healthy. Insufficient physical activity is detrimental to their health and thus can negatively impact their behaviour. The outdoor areas and gardens are essential for dogs because, in the gardens, they can get the physical exercise they need, stimulate their senses, and provide them with some variety in their daily life.

Dog garden ideas
A French bulldog meditating in the garden.

The problem is that many beautiful and ornamental plants contain toxic chemicals that are dangerous to our puppies and other animals if they eat these plants. You can read our blog “9 toxic plants to avoid for pet-friendly garden” on on page 2. In that blog, we discussed some top ornamental plants which are toxic to dogs. In the present blog, we will discuss some plants suitable for dogs friendly gardens.

French bulldog enjoying a pet friendly garden.
French bulldog enjoying a pet friendly garden.

1. Pet Friendly Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus)

Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus) are very popular short-lived garden perennials that are usually cultivated annually because the flower quality frequently falls after the first year. They are a staple of traditional flower gardens, with numerous applications ranging from mixed boundary gardens to flower boxes to patio containers. Its common name comes from the shape of the individual flower heads, which resemble a dragon’s snout and open and close in a snapping action.

snapdragon pet friendly plant
Colourful varieties of snapdragon, an upright annual flower that is generally safe for pets.

Snapdragons are one of several dog-friendly plants. These vibrant and energetic flowers not only offer a splash of colour to your yard but are also perfectly safe for domestic pets and dogs. They have no trouble with snapdragons in the garden. According to the American Society for prevention of cruelty to animals, snapdragons are entirely non-toxic for cats, dogs and other domestic pets. However, pesticide application on the plant may harm pets.

2. Pet Friendly Fuchsia

Fuchsias are one of the world’s most beautiful, distinctive, and well-loved perennial garden plants. They are incredibly adaptable and may be cultivated in shady conditions. These plants are popular not just in gardens but also in hanging pots. They flower from late spring to early winter and convey happiness with their vibrant colours. In full bloom, the bush resembles a cluster of full-skirted ballet dancers. Fuchsias can be grown in all parts of Australia. It can be grown as bushes, hedges or espalier against a fence wall.

fuchsia in a hanging basket.
Fuchsias and Petunias in a hanging basket. Both of these plants are generally pet friendly. The ivy below is toxic.

Fuchsia flowers are not poisonous to dogs. If your dog ate any part of the fuchsia plant, including the berries, seed pods, and flowers, they would be fine if there were no fertilisers, pesticides, or herbicides. Fuchsias are not poisonous and are said to be juicy and sweet.

3. Camellias are safe for your dog or cat

Camellias, also known as Queens of the Winter Flowers, are gorgeous evergreen shrubs that are highly regarded for the brilliance of their beautiful flowers, outstanding evergreen leaves, and compact, rounded form. These shrubs flower from early autumn through winter and into early spring. The flowers come in various sizes, colours, and shapes. They are adaptable and straightforward to grown shrubs. Camellias may thrive in any part of Australia. In the landscape, camellias can be utilised as specimen plants, borders or hedges, foundations, and screens.

Pink Camellia pet friendly
The Camellia is a pet friendly shrub that can be used as a safer alternative to the toxic azalea.

Touching or consuming camellias is harmless and non-toxic for dogs and other animals. Camellia bushes are not known to possess any known poisons. The blooms and foliage are both non-toxic to dogs and cats. Therefore, feel free to plant this lovely shrub in your landscape.

4. Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)

Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is possibly one of the easiest flowers you can grow in the garden. Sunflowers come in sizes that range from dwarf varieties (46 cm tall) to giant types (4 m tall). You can find sunflowers in colours from very pale yellow to dark, burgundy reds and all shades of yellow, red and orange in between. The stunning sunflower blooms are pretty and brighten the garden, making gorgeous cut flowers.

commercial sunflower crop
Sunflowers over cloudy blue sky. Sunflowers are safe for your pet and the seeds can be added to your dog’s dinner.

Sunflower is an excellent choice for a dog-friendly garden because it is non-toxic and safe for dogs and other pets. They cannot harm your furry friend. However, this is a fact that too much of anything is usually wrong. Your dog could run into trouble if he eats excessive sunflower seeds. The shells of sunflower seeds can cause serious digestive problems for them.

Dwarf sunflowers
Balcony gardening: two terracotta flower pots with yellow dwarf sunflowers by stainless steel railing, on white tiles. Sunflowers are safe for your pet.


5. Magnolias

Magnolias are stunning shrubs and ornamental trees that give the garden a touch of show-stopping fascination. Their magnificent, tulip- or star-like flowers come in various colours, including pure white, pink, deep purple, and even yellow. Many have a pleasant aroma as well. Magnolias range in size from small shrubs to enormous trees, and they can be either deciduous or evergreen. Deciduous magnolias in Australia develop their stunning blossoms on bare stems in the late winter to announce spring. Magnolias are a favourite selection for Australian gardens, and some even think they raise the worth of the surrounding properties.

Magnolia Little Gem in a fibreglass pot. Magnolias are non-toxic to pets. The buxus however, contains alkaloids, which are toxic to dogs

Magnolias are not poisonous to dogs. If your dog is snacking on the magnolia’s beautiful flowers, stems, seed pods, and fallen leaves, he will be fine. However, your furry friend should stay away from this plant when it has been treated with pesticides or any other foliar spray.


6. Heuchera (Heuchera spp.) 

Heuchera (Heuchera spp.) is a clumping perennial often known as Coral bells. In semi-shaded gardens, they are beneficial as great foliage plants. They look well in shaded areas and provide year-round colour. Coral bells form neat clumps with beautiful, finely lobed leaves available in various colours. These colourful leaves plants are available in multiple colours, including lime green, chocolate brown, reds and burgundy, deep purple, two-tone, and others. Coral bell can grow almost everywhere in Australia.

Heuchera Non-Toxic to Dogs
Heuchera is Non-Toxic to Dogs, cats and horses.

If your canine companion decides to taste a coral bell plant, there is no need to worry because all parts of the Coral Bells are safe and non-toxic to dogs. But if a dog were to eat a large quantity of the plant, it might experience an upset stomach, but the plant parts are not poisonous.

7. The Bottlebrush

The bottlebrush, often called the crimson bottlebrush, weeping bottlebrush, or prickly bottlebrush is a beautiful evergreen shrub or small tree renowned for its abundance of brightly coloured spikes with threadlike flowers. Bottlebrush fits nicely with most landscapes and delivers a stunning display of colours over an extended period. Most flower spikes are red, although they can also be pink, yellow, purple, green, or white. Bottlebrush also has beautiful foliage in addition to its flower spikes.

Rainbow Lorikeet and the bottlebrush flowers
Rainbow Lorikeet in the bottlebrush tree on a rainy day at Woy Woy, NSW, Australia. The bottlebrush will also attract wildlife to your garden.

Because bottlebrush is non-toxic and suitable for dogs and other pets, it is a lovely and fantastic choice that fits nicely into the dog-friendly garden.

8. The Pet Friendly African daisies

African daisies, the members of the family Asteraceae, look like common daisies. But unlike the traditional daisies, these have vibrant colours. African daisies are excellent ground cover plants and a source lovely cut flowers. African daisies can quickly grow to form handsome, heat and frost tolerant, rounded subshrubs that are adorned with flowers from spring to autumn. Their compact habit lends well to pots and sunny borders, providing a nice pop of reliable, easy colour where you need it. The African daisies stay open night and day. Additionally, they are more robust overall and can tolerate more shade.

African daisies pet friendly
Colourful African daisies (Dimorphoteca, Osteospermum). The dog friendly African daisy with its vibrant colours makes for a great pet friendly addition to your garden.

African daisies are not poisonous to your cat and dog and, therefore especially suited to your garden. You will not have to worry even if a pet nibbles on the plant because the African daisy is not poisonous to your pets. Due to their non-toxicity, this plant is an excellent addition in dogs friendly gardens.

9. Petunias

Petunias are low spreading or mounding plants with broad, trumpet-shaped, five-lobed flowers and branching foliage.  These beautiful annuals come in various colours: white, pink, red, blue, and purple. They frequently have a variety of multicoloured patterns. Petunias make excellent garden centrepiece flowers. This flower is fantastic for adding a pop of colour to your yard because it is brimming with beautiful colours and has a pleasant scent. They give great colour to garden design and yard landscaping and make excellent ground covers and blooming borders.

Pet friendly Petunia with french bulldog.
A cute French bulldog and bouquet of pet friendly petunia flowers

Your dog will be safe around petunias since these flowering plants are dog friendly and not poisonous. If your dog eats petunias, they will be safe. Although, eating anything in a large quantity can cause problems.

Red’s Landscaping Botanical Design Packages

Our Botanical Design Package is uniquely tailored to your preferred colour pallet, style of plants, whilst also maintaining symmetry/consistency with existing buildings and architecture.

Our dedicated horticulturalist will ensure the plants selected will work with your soil and weather requirements and will sustain growth for years to come. This package comes with 2 snapshot renders detailing how the planting scheme will look once established in your landscape. This package also features an installation guide and care guide, these guides will help you understand water, shade, fertilising requirements of each plant and will help you spot early warning signs of stress/disease. These guides will ensure that you have the knowledge to understand each plant specific requirements, and maintain it to maturity.

Click today to book your consultation with one of our passionate horticulturalists

More Information on Toxic Plants.

9 Toxic Plants to avoid for pet friendly gardens


Agriculture Victoria – Toxic plants for dogs

Garden Design

Manchurian Pear in Landscape Design

Manchurian pear (Pyrus ussuriensis), also known as Harbin pear, Chinese pear, and Ussurian pear, is a flowering plant belonging to the family Rosaceae. It is native to Korea, Japan, and the Ussuri river area of far eastern Russia. This hardy, medium-sized deciduous tree is widely cultivated in Australia due to its adaptability, plenty of spring flowers, summer shiny and green foliage, and magnificent autumn colours. These features make it a favourite with landscape designers.


Pyrus ussuriensis Manchurian Pear
Pyrus ussuriensis Manchurian Pear has plenty of spring flowers, summer shiny and green foliage, and magnificent autumn colours.

Favorable growing conditions: The Manchurian pear tree is commonly cultivated in temperate and subtropical climates because it is tolerant of cold and heat. It requires full sunshine. Therefore put it in an area of the garden which is unshaded. It should receive a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day for the maximum spring flowers and autumn colours. However, specific cultivars can also thrive in partial shade. Manchurian pears can thrive in nearly any soil, but well-drain clay or loamy soils are ideal for this tree. It prefers soils with a pH between 5.0 and 7.5 on average and does not sustain severely saline soils well.

Are Manchurian pear trees fast growing? How tall is a Manchurian pear?

The Manchurian pear tree is a fast-growing tree that can grow up to 10 m tall and spread up to 7 m with a rounded canopy. This tree is highly valued because of its leaves and flowers. Its leaves are oval and are glossy and dark green, which turn into different colours in autumn, such as plum-red, scarlet and gold. The Manchurian pear tends to lose its leaves around the end of autumn.

Manchurian Pear
A view of the banks of Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra with the Manchurian Pear trees in full bloom and the communication tower on Black Mountain in the distance. Manchurian Pear trees’ leaves are oval and are glossy and dark green, which turn into different colours in autumn, such as plum-red, scarlet and gold

This tree blooms very early in the spring. Its dark brown buds begin to open, showing a light pink tone before blossoming into a stunning display of white spring flowers. Small fruits appear after the flowers, which are not edible for humans.

Pyrus ussuriensis
Ornamental Pear Pyrus ussuriensis – Manchurian Pear with inedible fruit

Do Manchurian pear trees have invasive roots?

Manchurian pear tree roots are tough and aggressive. They can even be called invasive under some conditions, and people do not want these roots near houses or other structures. They should also not be planted too close to other trees since the roots can become entangled.

Caring for your Pyrus Ussuriensis

Manchurian pear is a drought-resistant tree and does not need additional watering unless suffering from a long period of drought with heat. However, the immature tree requires consistent watering until it becomes established. After the plant has been established, water it only when the topsoil is dry and slightly yellowish. Avoid excessive watering, which might cause problems. Each year, fertilisers should be given in early spring.

Manchurian pear
A view of the banks of Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra with the Manchurian Pear trees in full bloom, the communication tower on Black Mountain in the distance and Commonwealth Avenue Bridge. Image taken in early spring.

Pruning is essential if you want to maintain the balanced appearance of your Manchurian pear tree. Pruning is also necessary for a tree to remain healthy, handsome, and stable for many years. The optimal time to prune your Manchurian pear tree is at the end of autumn when the leaves have fallen. Cut off the damaged or dead branches since they will ultimately become brittle and lose. Also, eliminate the disease branches by pruning.


Manchurian Pear problems

Usually, the  tree is not particularly susceptible to pest and disease problems. However, some insects and diseases can attack this tree. For example, aphids will attack newly emerging plants. Aside from that, petal blight could harm the flowers in a mainly wet spring. Petal blight can be treated by spraying fungicides before the disease develops. Aphids can be controlled by spraying the leaves of the Manchurian tree with a mild solution of water and a few drops of dish soap.

Manchurian tree in the landscape design

Pyrus ussuriensis is a highly decorative and famous tree due to its hardiness and widespread adaptability to less-than-ideal site conditions. Due to its visual attractiveness and vitality, it has been utilised in various applications. This is a perfect tree for providing shade or as a feature tree in street plantings, parks or extensive gardens. They look spectacular when lined through narrow streets or avenues. This tree is also used in screens or borders, providing a sense of privacy in the summer when outdoor activities are high.

Manchurian pear (Pyrus ussuriensis),
Manchurian Pear Pyrus calleyerana

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9 tips for Landscape Design Plans

How to Draw Plans for Landscape Design

The drawing of landscape design plans might take a little bit of time and effort. You have an idea for a landscaping project, but the thought of it makes you feel unsure and nervous. A basic sketch is all that is necessary most of the time, unless you desire a highly intricate design.

A basic sketch landscape design plans
A basic sketch is often all that is required for simple landscape design plans.

If you are relocating to a new location and want to design a whole new landscape or make adjustments to the one you already have, Red’s Landscaping Designers can provide you with the right guidance for both of these endeavours!


Here are our nine tips on how to draw plans for landscape design:


1. Get the right drawing tools for landscape design plans


Obtaining the appropriate tools should be your first step; in order to design the perfect landscape arrangement, you will want paper (ideally tracing paper), a ruler, and a drafting compass. Include some coloured pencils in the kit so that you may sketch and colour in images of plants and trees.

Backyard garden and patio design plan.
Backyard garden and patio design plan using basic drawing tools and highlighters or marker pens.

2. Examine your site before starting your plans

When you bought your property, you may have acquired a map that showed where the boundaries of your land were located. Verifying with the council responsible for the plans is a good place to start, but there are also various softwares applications available online that can do the same thing. This might prove to be fairly helpful in figuring out various landscape opportunities given that the design often involves particular measurements. You may check the accuracy of any missing measures right there and then by using a measuring tape.

google earth landscape design
Using Google Earth to start your landscape deign plans.


measuring landscape with google earth
Measuring the landscape with google earth.


It is essential to take accurate measurements of your property since doing so will disclose the locations of important aspects of your landscape design. Throughout the whole of this process, it is essential to determine the dimensions of the main building as well as its position on the site.

3. Determine the scale at which you wish to work on your garden ideas


To decide how to organise your design on the paper, pick the units that you choose to use in relation to the size of the site. Pick a scale that’s either 1:500, 1:200, or 1:100, depending on the overall surface. Since one centimetre on paper is equivalent to one hundred centimetres in real life, the ratio of 1:100 is the easiest to understand.

landscape design plans
A scale ruler and a calculator help with your landscape design plans.

5. Use tracing paper


After the basic drawing is finished, position the tracing paper so that it is on top of it. It is sufficient to copy the contents. Don’t forget to print additional copies so that you may come up with original modifications for the perfect landscape design later on! Having different variants for the landscape could be a good choice.

4. Determine the locations of the different elements

During the process of landscaping, it is necessary to create gaps and add any rocks, streams, buildings, terraces, etc. that either will not be moved or will not be able to be relocated. You have the option of using a legend or symbols if it simplifies the process. After the primary design of the plot, including the boundaries and the structure, has been constructed, you will then be able to determine the exact location of the components on your plot. At that stage, the ratios between the sections are very important because they enable the right quantity of land to be allocated to each element.

drawing landscape design plans
Drawing landscape design plans. Locate all of your existing hardscaping features on your plan.

6. Don’t be afraid to utilize color!


Include new landscape design components. However, before starting the process of designing plants, gardens, and patios, it is important to apply the colours and tie each one to just one of the characteristics (you can use one colour for furniture for example) . Because of this, it will be much simpler for you to discern, on a more general level, which section of the site is dedicated to what content.

drawing landscape design plans
Use colour codes when drawing landscape design plans.

7. Before placing plants, take into consideration the surrounding environment.


Every single landscaping design should include both softscape and hardscape elements. Determine which aspects of each you wish to incorporate in the strategy, then select those components. Hardscaping components are the ones such as gravel, stones, outdoor furniture, driveways, and other similar features. Before outlining your planting strategy in depth, you should first do research on it. Your design will benefit in several ways from all of this information. Softscape is instead related to plants. The next step is to start integrating the plants into the overall strategy.

landscape designer creating a concept sketch
A landscape designer creating a concept sketch. Graph paper can also be used to help with scale and proportion. Consider both hardscape and softscape elements in your landcape design plans. Use coloured pencils to colour code your plans.

When picking between plants and flowers, you are free to be as picky as you want; nevertheless, it is essential that you include information on the plan on how these elements could evolve in the future. You have the option of using either a text or a legend to assist you with anything you need.

8. Retrace your previous plans.


When creating the final layout, tracing paper should be used. This will be your finished drawing, which will include the volume of the structure as well as your own original landscape design.

9. Keep your landscape design plans as detailed as possible.


Always keep in mind to add colour (you may do this with pencils), texture, and explanations in order to make the concept as understandable as it can possibly be. That way, not only will you have a plan, but you’ll also have a better grasp on the opportunities that are available in your location. In addition to this, it may come in handy when presenting your ideas to a professional.

Landscape design
Landscape design plan ready for the colour to be added.

When painting a landscape, remember that you should always start by sketching the contour first. After that, you may begin to add elements to the landscape drawing, such as rocks and buildings, for example. You don’t need to be an expert or have wonderful drawing ability to come up with a plan; you just need to keep in mind that your plan may be as diagrammatic as you want it to be.


Are you ready to begin drafting the designs for your landscaping project? Leave a comment below and tell us what you think!

About Red’s Landscaping 2D Landscape Design Packages

Our 2D Landscape Design Package is very similar to a house plan, showing a ‘birds eye view’ of the property. Our 2D package contains detailed plant schedules, quantities, spacings and placement location in accordance with a set of irrigation and hydraulic drawings. The collaboration and synergy of these two documents is fundamental to your landscapes success, it will ensure that no plant goes through its establishment period without consistent daily watering.

Our 2D package also comes with a landscape lighting plan, which will allow you to turn your focal points into a lit up a solar powered feature a night, adding interest and security to your outdoor space. If you are considering constructing this design as it may not require licensing or engineering this package is all you need to get from start to finish. These plans contain all information required to start and finish the build.

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Crepe Myrtle in Landscape Design

Crepe Myrtle is a great landscape design feature tree

Introduction: The crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) is a deciduous, evergreen, and one of the most beautiful flowering shrubs and trees native to Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. The Australian native crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia archeriana) is Native to the Kimberley, Cape York Peninsula and New Guinea.

Lagerstroemia archeriana
Lagerstroemia archeriana is native to Cape York and The Kimberly. (Photo credit – Friends of the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens )


Lagerstroemia archeriana
Lagerstroemia archeriana close up of flower. (Photo credit – Friends of the Bundaberg Botanic Gardens )

Lagerstroemia indica symbolizes love, beauty, longevity, and good fortune. It is a familiar emblem of marriage in many societies. Many cultures believe cultivating one will bring love and peace to your family.


Flowering Crepe Myrtle, Lagerstroemia indica
Lagerstroemia indica can be planted as an individual feature tree or planted as a cluster.

Where do crepe myrtles grow best?

Favorable conditions to thrive: It is normally cultivated in warmer climates around the world. The trees need plenty of sun to thrive (six or more hours per day), so choose the right sunny spot for this tree. Flowers will not be as productive with minimum sunlight or a partially shady location, and their colour may be diminished. These trees are adaptable to most soil conditions except those that are wet. The well-drained soil affords a wealth of summer flowers and helps keep pests away. The ideal soil pH is neutral to slightly acidic. The best time to plant crepe myrtle is early spring.

Lagerstroemia indica as a street tree.
Lagerstroemia indica are also great street trees.

How big do crepe myrtles grow?

Description: These trees can grow up from 6 to 10 metres tall, but the dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties will grow between 2 to 6 metres tall. This makes the dwarf variety an ideal feature tree for the landscape design of smaller gardens. Crepe myrtle has dark green leaves with a reddish edge. In autumn, leaves change colour to red, yellow, or orange. The leaves are simple, oval in structure, and venation is pinnate. The bark is thin, light brown, and smooth.

Crepe myrtle normally grows at a medium to fast growth rate at about 30-60 cm per year. This means that they can also be used as a fast growing screening tree.


Lagerstroemia indica fruit and flowers
Lagerstroemia indica fruit and flowers


In the Summer and Autumn, peeling bark display patches of fresh bark in pink, cream, and orange shades. During the winter, branches become smooth, and their curved shape is seen. The branches create a pleasing shape.


Lagerstroemia indica or crepe myrtle
The morning sun lights up some crepe myrtle trunks. In the Summer and Autumn, peeling bark display patches of fresh bark in pink, cream, and orange shades.


The flowers of the crepe myrtle can be white, pink, lavender, or reddish. The initial flower appears in early June and continues to fall throughout the season.

Crepe Myrtle Flowers

Crepe Myrtle Flowers. As the flowers vanish, they are replaced with a brown capsule-like fruit that attracts birds and typically survives the winter.

Crepe myrtle fruit
Crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) is multi-stemmed, deciduous tree with a wide spreading, flat topped, rounded, or even spike shaped open habit. Planted in full sun or under canopy, the tree is a popular nesting shrub for songbirds and wrens.

Caring for your Lagerstroemia Indica

A new  plant requires at least 25mm of rainfall per week. If you are in sandy soil or a very hot regions, water  twice a week. Water the new plant regularly for about two months. The mature crepe myrtle is drought resistant. However, if you want better flowers and healthier plants, then watering is better.

Arborist and horticulturists are divided about the pruning of crepe myrtle. However, pruning crepe myrtle in late winter is the probably the best option. Remove any branches that cross or crowd the centre, even those that are unhealthy or dead. Avoid excessive trimming since it has its own drawbacks. Severe pruning produces knobby growth that is more susceptible to disease. If you want a tree with a single trunk, remove any lateral branches that may compete with the leader. Trees having several trunks should be pruned to maintain their shape and avoid crowding or contacting one another.

Problems with Crepe myrtle

These are relatively robust, trouble-free trees that are resistant to most garden tree problems.  However, it might be susceptible to fungal diseases such as leaf spots and powdery mildew. These problems can easily be treated with organic pesticides. Additionally, many new cultivars are bred, resistant to this fungal disease. Look for hybrids between the L.indica and the L.fauriei species that are more resistant to fungal diseases.


Lagerstroemia Indica as a landscape design feature tree

The crepe myrtle is among the most beautiful and satisfactory plants. Its beautiful summer flowers, attractive bark and brilliant fall colour make them gorgeous and eye-catching. Due to these qualities, the crepe myrtle is widely used in gardens and landscapes. Here are some ideas for landscape design with this tree.

Crepe Myrtle
Crepe Myrtle as a design feature in a public park.

Use a single specimen as a focal point. Because many other flowering trees are simply green leaves, crepe myrtle makes a colourful centrepiece to the lawn throughout summer. They are beneficial for planting among smaller flowering shrubs since they will offer a mix of colours when flowers appear. Some of the larger varieties of crepe myrtle look wonderful when planted in sunny areas before a full-sized shade tree. Use dwarf varieties as a colourful addition to borders and beds. Plant medium-sized crepe myrtle together to form a deciduous hedge.

Crepe Myrtle varieties Australia

Some of the best varieties of a crepe myrtle in Australia are

  • Lagerstroemia indica Bayon “Marie”: 1m tall and 1m wide, has dark pink flowers.
  • Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei “Sioux”: 4 m tall and 3m wide with pink flowers and resistant to powdery mildew.
  • Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei “Lipan”: 4 m tall and 3 m wide with lavender flowers and orange autumn leaves.
  • “Natchez”: up to 8 m tall with white flowers.
  • Pixie white grows about two meters and is suitable for garden beds.

Other than that, there are wide varieties that like the Australian climate and grow quickly in Australia. Also, Lagerstroemia archeriana is the Australian native crepe myrtle with pink mauve flowers and grows up to 7 metres.


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Garden Design Home Garden Landscaping Landscaping Ideas

Landscape Designers Top 11 Tips

Landscape designers rely on several landscape design techniques to create inviting and vibrant outdoor spaces.

Whether it’s a small courtyard in the city or a large property in the country, creating an outdoor space is essential when it comes to landscape design.

You may have heard landscape designers talk about the two categories of softscape and hardscape when discussing landscaping design.

The non-plant parts of your garden’s hardscape include things like paths, decks, patios, retaining walls, sculptures, and fountains.

Garden Fountain
A fountain is a great focal point and a great way to hide traffic noise in a small inner city garden. Fountains and retaining walls are part of the landscape design hardscaping.

Softscaping, a component of landscape design, refers to the live, horticultural elements used in landscaping. It is a straightforward reference to plants. Softscape elements include things like flowers, plants, grass, soil, flower beds, and ground cover. Despite their name, mulch and prickly trees are not always soft to the touch; neither are softscape components. Landscape designers employ a range of softscaping techniques to design outdoor spaces that feel warm and natural. But bear in mind that you should start with the hardscape when planning your front yard, backyard, or garden. Boundaries and a softscape will be produced as a result.

landscape Designers Softscaping
Landscape Designers Softscaping installation. Softscaping is the live, horticultural elements used in landscaping


Here are some of the best expert’s tips for creating a stunning environment.


  1. Sketch your landscape design concept on Graph paper


Graph paper might assist in putting your thoughts onto paper and out of your mind. Starting from scratch is usually a smart idea when designing a landscape.

Use your drawings to illustrate the themes of your thoughts. Learn about your surroundings and determine the size of your gardens before introducing any items.

landscape designer creating a concept sketch
landscape designer creating a concept sketch. Graph paper can also be used to help with scale and proportion.

Select an angle. Your garden might be imagined as a viewpoint or as an elevation.


  1. Landscape Designers employ geodata


Geodata is used extensively by landscape designers and may be used with CAD. Really correct scientific analysis is presented. Every project may benefit from it, and it can provide access to some of the open source and internet-inaccessible data.

Landscape Designers use Geodata
Geographic data can be sourced from telematics devices, Global Positioning System (GPS) data, geospatial satellite imagery, Internet of Things, and geotagging. (Source Heavy AI)

Trimble Sketchup has a built in tool for bringing in bringing terrain data into your landscape design.

SketchUp’s Geo-location tool and bring in exact terrain imagery with the click of a button.
SketchUp’s Geo-location tool and bring in exact terrain imagery with the click of a button. (Source


  1. CAD programs for Landscape Designers


Landscape designers and anyone planning to create a landscape need CAD software. CAD garden design software is an essential component of the landscape architect’s toolkit in today’s competitive market, allowing teams to interact easily and providing customers with a better visual understanding of the finished product. Autocad, Archicad, and Trimble Sketchup are just a few of the many software programs that may be used for landscape design.

Swimming pool designed with Sketchup and rendered with Lumion.
Swimming pool designed with Sketchup and rendered with Lumion.


  1. A concrete step that floats


Your landscape design might seem more contemporary and opulent by using floating concrete stairs.

Some ideas include building stairs with grass inserts, balancing steps to provide aesthetic interest, or adding lighting to the steps.

Floating concrete steps
Floating concrete steps will add a modern look to your landscape design.
  1. Insitu concrete walls


On the construction site, in situ concrete walls are poured directly into formwork. This approach is intriguing because it produces landscaping options for homes and public areas that are long-lasting, beautiful, and affordable.


  1. Design of landscaping infrastructure


There is a degree of complexity in designing landscape infrastructure that has to be considered. In this situation, parks may make the most of the frothier natural environment’s resources. Sustainability is a further consideration since every landscape project should mimic biodiversity. Ecosystem advantages are provided through landscape infrastructure. The boundaries and secret to building sensitive and effective developments that adapt to their environment are defined by landscape architects.

A boardwalk runs past the yoga mat and the urban wetlands. Balwyn Community Centre.
A boardwalk runs past the yoga mat and the urban wetlands. Balwyn Community Centre.


  1. Themes and layering


Landscape layering seeks to provide a well balanced scene. Repetition, size, depth, and balance are some fundamental methods.

These landscape design techniques can be used to great effect in the landscape design of smaller gardens to make the gardens appear larger.


  1. Focal Point in Landscape Design


In landscape design, it’s crucial to draw attention to certain components and focus areas. The eye is attracted naturally to that area. One of the greatest hardscape components to use to create a focal point is a garden fountain. Working with the colours and previous texture of the garden, one may create some intriguing focus spots.


  1. Vertical Space


One of the ideas that has recently developed is vertical gardening. Even if they have been there for a while, they might be fascinating since you can grow anything there, from veggies to perennial plants. The wall may be used in a variety of ways, including as a garden screen!


  1. The importance of horticulture


Horticulturists manage plants while researching factors that impact their development, such as plant diseases or cross-breeding, in an effort to increase plant production. Landscape architects utilize computer modeling tools to create gardens. Maintaining the landscape’s quality requires horticulture.

Designers of landscapes are aware that placing trees properly is crucial. When planting trees, provide adequate space around each one to account for the size and area that a fully grown tree will need. To assist soften harsh corners and other sharp lines, you may plant trees around the perimeter of your garden.

Books and publications are also useful resources when seeking for ideas and inspiration for landscape design. designing a landscape while keeping material, cost, and efficiency in mind.

Landscape Designers’ Top Tips for Softscaping

Landscape design is essential for establishing an outside space, whether a little courtyard in the city or a large property in the country. Softscape and hardscape are two fundamental components of landscaping design. These essential components work together to create a functional, comfortable, and visually pleasing front yard or backyard for you, your family, friends, and visitors to enjoy. The hardscape elements are the non-plant parts of your garden, such as driveways, walkways, decks, patios, retaining walls, statues and fountains. In contrast, softscaping is a component of landscape design that refers to the living, horticultural elements involved in landscaping. Softscape elements include flowers, plants, grass, soil, flower beds, and groundcover. Despite the name, softscape elements are not always soft to touch; thorny trees and mulch are also considered part of the softscape design.

garden layers
Plan the plant heights to create a layered effect. Make use of plant foliage to create colour contrasts. Make trees in neighbouring gardens part of the view.

The perfect softscape can do much more than create a beautifully fragranced outdoors. It can create a sanctuary to return to at the end of every day. In space moulded to your needs, softscaping adds a unique personality to every design. Softscaping is much more affordable. The cost of seeds, plants, mulch and decent soil is much less than artificial materials. Softscaping is used to fill in the gaps in your landscape design. However, unlike hardscape, it requires regular maintenance, and regular watering, fertilizing, trimming, and weeding are necessary. Experienced landscape designers know how to design gardens to minimise this maintenance and suppress garden weeds.


Weeding a Dandelion
Weeding a Dandelion. Dandelions have a long tap root which must be dug our to prevent the weed returning.


Landscape designers rely on several softscaping techniques to make outdoor spaces feel natural and inviting. But remember, start with the hardscape when designing your front yard, backyard or garden. This will provide boundaries and structure softscape around. Here are some top tips for softscaping for designing a beautiful landscape.

Creating a Garden Lawn

Lawn grass is essential for a beautiful landscape and is a design feature often used by landscape designers. A landscape is incomplete with the lawn grass. With their visual appeal and texture, native and ornamental grasses are popular in modern landscaping ideas. There are many benefits of lawn grass, such as it controls erosion, improves soil quality, reduces water runoff, reduces noise pollution and creates a cooling effect during warm weather.

Landscape designers Classic English garden lawn and hedge.
Lawns and a circular Yew hedge.

Many types of grasses are used as lawn grass, but buffalo grass, couch, Queensland blue couch, Kikuyu and Zoysia are the popular lawn grasses used in Australia. Buffalo grass (Stenotaphrum secundatumis ) native to Central and North America and is a tough turf grass. Couch grass is a warm-season grass that thrives in the Australian climate. The couch is highly sought after for its delicate leaves and lush deep green colour. Zoysia is inadvisable for Melbourne yards, whereas Buffalo, couch and Kikuyu are best for Melbourne climate. Landscape designers aiming for a more sustainable solution will use eco gardening techniques like mass plantings of lomandra instead.

Landscape Designers Love Flowering Plants

Flowers make any landscape more beautiful. Beautiful and colourful flowers will add an aesthetic appeal to your yard. Choose a small number of plants of contrasting colours when you add flowers to your landscape. Avoid adding too many accents as this can spoil the look by creating a riot of colours. Your landscape can still look good and inviting even with a few flowering plants.

landscape designers azalea toxic
Beautiful vibrant azalea flower tree blooming in the botanical garden, in Kyiv. Bright flowers Close up. Botanical greeting card.

You can add flowers close to the edge of a patio or walkways. By doing this, you can make your outdoor feel cozy and welcoming. Edging with one flowering species is also really attractive. You can choose a cheap and densely growing flowering plant for this purpose, such as marigold, asters or chrysanthemums. An oval flowering bed in the centre of a well-maintained lawn is often attractive and popular. The flowers inside a round bed can be a single colour, a random mix colour of two or more or in several colours which follow the round pattern.

Landscape Design with Aquatic Plants

Decorating the water feature, such as a fountain in your garden with aquatic plants, will completely change its appearance. Many aquatic plants can be grown in the fountain and transformed into a more natural water feature. The garden fountain plants might be shallow, deep, or floating, and each has a distinctive look.

Nymphaea violacea – Blue Lily This floating perennial herb with magnificent blue-violet blooms is native to northern Australia
Close-up of a native Australian water lily (Nymphaea violacea) in the wild, Fogg Dam, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

Water lilies are another aquatic plant that will win your heart with mesmerizing blooms. With the proper care, you can enjoy the beautiful array of lovely colours and fresh fragrances almost all year. Water Iris is an aquatic plant that can thrive in a small fountain. Water Irises vary in colour and are easy to take care of. They thrive in warmer climates and are the first to bloom in spring.

Landscape Design with Shrubs

Choosing suitable shrubs adds visual interest to the landscape. They can be used to divide areas that are often easy to hardscape. Plant a row of shrubs as a privacy fence. Hey, also make a great backdrop to other plants. Flowering shrubs provide colour and structure and can be used as groundcovers, hedge plants, or eye-catching focal points.

plants for commercial landscaping White flowers of Westringia fruticosa
White flowers of Westringia fruticosa

You can fill your garden with ornamental shrubs that bloom from early spring through late autumn and winter. Many flowering shrubs add extra colours and perfume the air with their signature fragrance. You can give them various shapes you like. For example, balls shape are ideal for line garden paths. Planting shrubs in front of your yard will create a refuge for wildlife and a frame for your entrance. A wide variety of shrubs are used in Australia, perfect for filling the gaps in the garden and making your garden bright, colourful and fragrant as azaleas, bottlebrush, Lilly pilly, Rhododendron, cheesewood, Westringia etc. are famous.

Landscape Designers tips for creating vertical space

Landscaping with climbing plants

Using hanging and climbing plants is a simple way to combine hardscaping and softscaping elements. Pergolas and gazebos are great places for hanging and climbing vines, which give the wood and metal structure a more natural look. Climbing vines are also highly beneficial and may provide a more natural aspect to garden surfaces and retaining walls.

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

They may also be used to fill up gaps in conventional fencing. You may add flowering vines to build a colourful, diversified, and beautiful environment. Plant vines that flow over retaining walls, pergolas, or fences to provide a wild character to your front or back yard. This simple technique covers man-made components while giving your yard a rugged appearance for the whole season.

Climbing Clematis
Climbing Clematis ads a splash of colour.

Walls are often used to provide privacy in the landscape. Colourful vines are an effective technique to dress up regions unsuitable for producing beautiful greenery, such as wood, natural stone, or concrete block walls.

11. Planting Trees 

Trees are lovely landscaping features. In addition to improving the aesthetic appeal of your garden, they may also offer excellent shade on sunny days. Many kinds of trees can accomplish a wide variety of looks and functions. Pine trees might meet your demands if you need an evergreen tree that is full and lush. If you are seeking unique designs, palms may be a good choice. In short, whatever your desire, there is definitely a tree that can fulfil it. Several trees might work well in your backyard.

Corymbia ficifolia or red flowering gum is native to southern Western Australia.
Corymbia ficifolia or red flowering gum is native to southern Western Australia.

If you live in a warm region, you will likely prefer a shade tree that is typically tall and has densely clustered, brightly coloured branches and large leaves. Many trees produce more gorgeous flowers than others. Your property’s flowering tree will provide magic in early spring and a much-needed touch of colour after the winter. Flowers are not the primary decorative element of trees. Some trees are beautiful due to their attractive growth habits, foliage, and changing fall colour. Due to these traits, decorative trees enhance the beauty of your yard.

Landscape designers know proper placement of trees is essential. Consider the size and area that a fully grown tree will demand, so during tree plantation, provide enough space around it. You may plant trees at the edge of your garden to help soften sharp corners and other sharp lines.

3D Landscape Design Packages.

Our 3D design package will allow you to collaborate your design in real time with one of our senior landscape designers. Using some advanced software/hardware we can create immediate 3D renders. This allows visual assessment of the design from every viewpoint. It will let you see and understand how all the elements are intended to come together giving an instant serenity.

Our software can create an artificial sun and project light and heat on any given day or time. This ability to replicate the exact angle and temperature of the sun rays projecting on the building prior to construction is  why this package is the peoples favourite. With this amount of influence and control over your future outdoor space, its easy to see how this package will drive confidence, clarity and transparency into the build and assure all trades and parties are moving towards the same goal.

Which advice do you consider to be the most crucial? Comment below and let us know!

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Commercial Landscaping

Romsey Ecotherapy Park landscaping

Romsey Ecotherapy Park

Romsey is a town in Victoria, Australia, that is part of the Shire of Macedon Ranges local government region. It is 61 kilometres north of the Melbourne CBD. The population estimate for Romsey, as of the 30th June 2021, is 4,380.

Romsey in Autumn.
Romsey in Autumn. Photo Visit Macedon Ranges

The Romsey Ecotherapy Park is located in Romsey, Melbourne, on the corner of Main and Palmer streets.


Climbing Forest - The forest sits alongside the beautiful oak cubby and provides an exhilarating challenge for the young, the brave and the young at heart. -MRSC
Climbing Forest – The forest sits alongside the beautiful oak cubby and provides an exhilarating challenge for the young, the brave and the young at heart. -Photo credit MRSC

The Romsey Ecotherapy Park Inc. committee (REP) initiated a community-led campaign to create a welcoming and freely available recreation open space for local residents and regional visitors. The design focuses on offering a unique sensory and rehabilitative experience to people of all ages and abilities through interaction with nature.

Council purchased the former Romsey Primary School site from the Department of Early Childhood and Education and Training in September 2015 in support of local community efforts to create an all-abilities park.

The Department of Early Childhood and Education and Training sold the former Romsey Primary School land to Council in September 2015 in support of local community efforts to develop an all-abilities park.

Importance to community

Romsey Ecotherapy Park
Romsey Ecotherapy Park. Quality commercial park seating, a three metre high ropes course, lookouts, a rope bridge, avertical climbing net and a hammock.

Romsey Ecotherapy Park was created to provide a variety of active contact and physical challenges for both children and adults. The Romsey Ecotherapy Park’s mission is to develop a sense of community while also encouraging a connection to environment as a means of improving health and well-being.

A community space and park that serves as a key meeting point for inhabitants and visitors to the region who want to engage with nature. This one-of-a-kind all-inclusive nature environment is designed for people of all ages and abilities to explore, play, and discover.

Romsey Ecotherapy Park landscaping

Romsey Ecotherapy Park Romsey Ecotherapy Park

Romsey Ecotherapy Park landscaping was completed in 2019, it was completed for the Macedon Ranges Shire Council. The experience we had at this facility was simply amazing and this is why we are highly excited for the second stage.

“The Romsey Ecotherapy Park is a different all-inclusive nature space for people of all ages and physical abilities to explore, engage and play with and discover nature.

It is a unique, nature-based healing space located in the Macedon Ranges which is almost an hour from Melbourne. It is just a stone’s throw from Spa and Daylesford.

The Park is constructed not only to excite and entertain children and people of all ages but also to provide sensory incitement and healing space for relaxation and reflection for all ages.

Being Located on the old Romsey Primary School site, the fascinating school building and grand old oak tree remain, honoring Romsey’s heritage. The site reinforces the Park as a place to assemble and strengthen community links.” – Romsey Ecotherapy Park Website.

Park landscaping

Landscape design not only improves the appearance of your yard but also increases the value of your home. Landscape design and maintenance, on the other hand, is not an easy undertaking for homeowners. This is especially true if you lack the necessary time or experience. Let Red’s Landscaping company take care of the dirty labour. We are a landscape contractor. We provide a number of services that will undoubtedly improve the curb appeal of your home, park, or garden.

Landscape Architecture

Red’s Landscaping company creates your landscape based on the present look, lifestyle, and preferences of your home. We collaborate closely with you to design a yard with plants, hardscape, and other features that highlight your home’s natural beauty.

Maintaining Your Lawn To keep a lawn looking clean and healthy, it must be maintained on a regular basis. For your grass and soil, our commercial lawn and landscaping service uses high-quality equipment and fertilizer. Throughout the year, we ensure that your lawn is thick, homogeneous, and disease-free.

Exterior Lighting

After a long day, do you want to relax and take in the beauty of your surroundings? Are you interested in hosting regular nocturnal gatherings at your home? Outdoor lighting must be both attractive and functional. Even at night, we design our solutions to bring out the best features of your landscape!

Sprinkler Installation and Repair Sprinklers are a quick and easy way to keep your grass moist. Sprinklers are strategically placed throughout your yard by our crew to provide optimal coverage. Give us a call if your irrigation system isn’t working properly, and we’ll fix it as quickly as possible.

Removal of trees

Even if you wish to retain a tree that has been growing in your yard for years, if it is diseased or damaged beyond repair, it will be an eyesore. You can enlist our assistance in safely and efficiently removing the tree from your property.

Tree Pruning and Care Allow our tree care staff to take care of your tree if you don’t have the time or capacity to keep it healthy and safe. We utilize high-quality tools and supplies to keep your tree disease-free and away from your roof and power lines all year.

Romsey Ecotherapy Park

Project founded by freemasons_official
Plants supplied by thenursery. co

Media Release from Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas

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Commercial Landscaping Garden Design Landscaping

Olive trees in Landscape Design.

The olive tree (Olea europaea) is a species of small tree or shrub in the Oleaceae. It is traditionally found in the Mediterranean Basin. One well known specie of olive is dwarf olive or little olive, which is cultivated in all countries of the Mediterranean, as well as in Australia, New Zealand, and North and South Africa. Olives are one of the oldest cultivated trees globally, not only for their flavoursome fruit but also their many ornamental features.

Where do olive trees grow best?

Climate: Olives grow in an environment with long, hot, dry summers and chilly winters. This tree prefers moderate climates and will not thrive in the tropics. The olive tree likes well-drained soil and the entire sunny area of the garden. So plant this tree in a position where it receives at least six hours of direct sunlight. Olive trees are drought-tolerant plants known for their delicious, curvy fruit that can be picked, pickled, and eaten.

Potted Olive Tree
Potted olive tree on a terrace with sea view. Sunrise at seaside, blue sky

How big do olive trees grow?

Description: The height of the olive ranges from 2 to 12 metres and contains numerous branches. The leaves are small, round-headed, leathery, dark green above and silvery on the base. Olives produce small whitish flowers in loose clusters in the axil of leaves during late spring. The flower has four white petals and a strong fragrance. The trunk of a young Olea europaea is usually single and upright, but as the tree becomes older, it may become gnarled and twisted.

Olea Europaea twisted tree trunks
Olive Grove on the island of Greece. As the tree becomes older, the tree trunk may become gnarled and twisted

The bark of a young olive tree is smooth and light grey, but as the tree matures, it becomes fissured, rough, dark grey, and full of bumps and fractures. The wood of the olive tree is resistant to decay. A new trunk will often arise from the tree’s roots being cut back. Olive trees bloom in the late spring and harvest in the late autumn and winter, about six months after flowering.

branch with black olives
Olive tree branch with black olives.


How long does it take for the olive tree to bear fruit?

Most olives take about three years to mature and begin to set a noticeable amount of fruits. The yield of the fruits will be increased year by year. If you go to a small olive tree, you can do it by pruning. But the best option is to choose a dwarf variety that can grow up to 6 feet, and you can keep it shorter by pruning.

Olive Fruit
Olive fruit and leaves.


Are olive trees toxic to dogs?

There is no danger if your dog eats parts of an Olea europaea, just as there is no danger if your dog eats olive fruit. They are not toxic in any way. The only time you need to be concerned about a dog eating an olive tree is if they consume very many olives from it. This shows they may have ingested a lot of olive pits, which is not healthy.

Caring for Your Trees

Water olives regularly until they are developed. Mature trees are drought-hardy but will produce the most if adequately irrigated. To promote growth, prune suckers and low branches during the winter season and the tips of stems that have grown excessively long.


Growing for oil
Olea europaea growing in a growing in mediterranean plantation


Problems with Olive Trees

Olive lace bugs are Australian native insects harmful to the Olea europaea. It feeds on the sap from the underside of the leaves. They can entirely defoliate the tree and finally destroy it. If an insect is spotted, thoroughly treat the bottom of the leaves with organic or inorganic insecticides.

Lace Bugs
Olive lace bugs can have between 2 to 4 generations per year depending on the climate. Eggs are inserted into leaf tissue on the underside of leaves often near the main vein. – Agriculture Victoria

The leaves and strip of the olive can also be affected by peacock spot, a widespread fungal disease. It forms bad odour spots on the leaves in the winter, which grow into greenish-black circular patches. This disease may be managed by carefully spraying copper fungicides on infected leaves.

Landscape design with Olea europaea

Top tips from our landscape designers

Growing olives will offer lovely silver leaves to your landscape and provide you with an evergreen tree suitable for landscaping and hedging. In landscape design, olives look great bordering entryways, driveways, paths, patios, and pools. Because of the distinctive branching of the olives, you may easily create a unique landscape. The olive trees may be a significant focus in a Mediterranean-style landscape design.

Where to buy Olive Trees

A wide range of Olive Tree varieties are available at large tree nurseries like The Advanced Tree Company in Wooralla Drive Mornington.

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Swimming Pool Landscaping Ideas

Mill Park Aquatic Center Redevelopment

Mill Park is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 11 miles northeast of Melbourne’s CBD. Its local government is the City of Whittlesea. As of the 2016 census, Mill Park had a population of 29,710.

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.

The area is named for the corn mill that George and Francis Coulstock built on the Plenty River in the 1840s. The property was sold to Henry “Money” Miller (1809-1888). He bred racehorses and conducted a range of dairy and grazing activities sufficient to employ 65 people who were housed in a village on the property. The Findon Hounds and the Findon Harriers Hunt Club – a name associated with Miller’s residence – Findon in Kew – were based in Mill Park.

In 1980s, Mill Park experienced rapid residential development with state and church elementary schools (Mill Park Primary School, Saint Francis Primary School). The Mill Park Post Office opened on August 1, 1983.

Mill Park suburb
Mill Park facilities. 3 is Mill Park Leisure Centre.

Why did it need redevelopment?

Mill Park Leisure is modern watersports and recreation facility in Mill Park, in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. Known for its diverse range of programs and services, Mill Park Leisure is an inclusive center catering to people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.

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

With over 680,000 annual visits, families from across the city of Whittlesea choose this facility for its quality service, world-class programs, and family-friendly atmosphere.

Commercial landscaping is just part of Mill Park Leisure’s $25 million redevelopment. The fully landscaped outdoor area for this project includes play equipment, BBQ grills, and outdoor exercise equipment.

The much-anticipated redevelopment of Mill Park Leisure was scheduled to begin in mid-2018 and provide $25 million for a full upgrade of the fitness and aquatic areas.

Just a few minutes walk from South Morang train and bus stations, the new development meets community feedback which showed there was significant community demand for it.

Mill Park Leisure

At Mill Park Leisure, Red’s Landscape Design and civil is part of the crew transforming the Mill Park Leisure Centre into a state-of-the-art, recreation, aquatic and wellbeing hub.

Mill Park Leisure Centre
Mill Park Leisure Centre

This redevelopment is definitely a significant investment into the community and the Red’s team is proud to work with the City of Whittlesea and landscape architects ‘Land Design Partnership’.

Mill Park Leisure Commercial Landscaping

The landscape design is an open and free-flowing space with;

  • Artificial turf
  • Plenty of landscaped gardens
  • Rubber soft floor
  • Coloured exposed aggregate concrete
  • Rain gardens, water retention via rock, fabric, and soil
  • Class two in-situ concrete
  • Raised planter beds
  • About the Mill Park
  • Aquatic Centre Redevelopment


Building facilities by CICG

The redevelopment of the facilities is being conducted by CICG Pty ltd. The improvements to the facilities include group fitness rooms, weight training, cardio areas, and three new swimming pools.

Swimming Pool Facilities by CICG

The existing swimming pool has been improved by including an all-abilities ramp and retiling. In a nutshell; upgraded 25-meter pool which includes complete re-tiling and the installation of all abilities ramp

Three new pools, including:

  • One for recreation, with water play equipment
  • One for swimming lessons
  • A new warm water pool with access to the ramp
  • Hard Landscaping by Red’s Landscaping Melbourne

The commercial hardscaping part of this project includes in-situ concrete stairs and retaining walls and outdoor gym exercise equipment as well as soft wet pour rubber sports surfaces.

Soft Landscaping by Red’s Landscaping Melbourne

The commercial softscaping part of this project includes the planting of thousands of autochthonous and Australian native trees.

Also included;

  • Lawn areas of Village Green Kikuyu
  • Mill Park Leisure Progress Photos and detailed information on the Melbourne landscaping project.

Red’s Landscaping company believes that landscaping is the basis to transform public spaces and houses for a wonderful impression. To maintain or glorify your parks and gardens and simply boost the aesthetic charm of your space. It’s associated with the promising impression of your property on others.

It is undeniable that the landscaping service for proprietors or newly created property should be delivered by professional landscapers because experimenting with the property might lead to unexpected outcomes which can degrade the value of the space and when it comes to parks which are the center of attention, experimenting might lead to the unpredictable scene.

Red’s Landscaping Company provides a team of professional architects and landscaping experts holding ample acquired experience and assembled customer support team, that will definitely make your experience free of annoyance.

The team will correspond with the property owner about their perspective and budget for the project and recommendation the list of options with the provision to promote in the future. We guarantee you satisfying services.

Red’s Landscaping Company plan helps to provide the service of maintenance, improvement, and restoration for your parks and other landscape.

Mill Park Leisure Project Funding

The Mill Park Leisure Centre redevelopment has been together funded by the local government and the State Government of Victoria.  For the entire project, funding of $25 million has been invested, and the State Government of Victoria has contributed $5 million to this project. The Growing suburbs fund has contributed $2 million, and $3 million has been contributed by the Community Sport Infrastructure Fund.

About the Growing suburbs fund

Growing Suburbs Fund

The Growing Suburbs Fund supports investment in significant local infrastructure in Melbourne’s diverse and fast-growing interface councils.

Victorian Government Growing Suburbs fund

About the Community Sport Infrastructure Fund.

Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program

The Victorian Government is investing about $68 million to build and upgrade the community sports facilities across the state. The investment will not only support local sporting clubs, but it will also create jobs and boost Victoria’s economic recovery.

Victorian Government Community Sports Infrastructure Fund

We thank the City of Whittlesea and the landscape architects ‘Land Design Partnerships’ for their support and business.