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Landscaping Balwyn North

5 tips for Drought Tolerant Landscaping in Melbourne

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

 

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

 

1.     Organic Matter helps drought tolerant landscaping.

 

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

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

Drought tolerant landscaping and the effect of organic matter.

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

Soil Texture and Composition

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

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

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

Imported Topsoils

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

 

The Effect of Clay in your garden soil

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

 

Negatively charged clay particles repel each other.

Negatively charged clay particles repel each other.

 

 

2.     Mulch

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

Using Mulch for Drought Tolerant Landscaping

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

 

Groundcovers

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

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

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

3.     Drip Irrigation System

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

Drought tolerant landscaping - Irrigation drip system

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

 

Water supplied to where it is most needed.

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

 

Drought tolerant Landscaping -Osmosis and transpiration

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

 

Closed loop computer control irrigation systems

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

irrigation system

 

 

 

4.     Drought Tolerant Plants

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

 

Drought tolerant Australian Native Plants

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

Star Jasmine Trachelospermum jasminoides

Star Jasmine Trachelospermum jasminoides

 

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

 

Drought Tolerant Landscaping Climbing Fig (Ficus pumila)

Climbing Fig (Ficus pumila)

 

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

 

Weeping Lilly Pilly Waterhousia floribunda

Weeping Lilly Pilly Waterhousia floribunda

 

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

 

Salvia leucantha purple flowering shrub

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Poa labillardierei (Common Tussock Grass)

Poa labillardierei (Common Tussock Grass)

 

 

5.     Soil Wetting agents

 

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

Drought Tolerant Landscaping hydrophobic-hydrophilic

Hydrophobic versus hydrophilic

 

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

Drought Tolerant Plants in Commercial Landscaping

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

Potted Plants for the commercial landscaping.

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

 

 

Related Landscaping Ideas from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne

 

7 Great Salvia plants for your Melbourne Garden

 

5 top Landscape Design trends in Melbourne

 

Salvia Leucantha or Mexican Bush Sage

 

5 top tips. Landscaping Melbourne with Lomandra.

 

Coastal Garden Design

 

Melbourne Topsoil – 9 Great Money saving tips.

 

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

 

References and further reading on Drought Tolerant Landscaping

 

The Impact of Mulch on evaporation – University of Florida

 

The Garden Professors – Mulch for reducing Evaporation.

 

Drought Tolerant Australian Native Plants

 

Royal Botanical Gardens Victoria Growing Indigenous Plants.

 

Water repellency – Soilquality.org.au

 

Help your garden survive a drought.

 

Drought Tolerant Plants

 

Read more

7 Great Salvia plants for your Melbourne Garden

The Salvia plant is available in a huge range of colours and sizes for your garden. It is not really that surprising when you consider there are more than 950 species to choose from. The salvia is a member of the mint family (lamiaceae), which means it is related to some of the world’s favorite culinary herbs rosemary, basil and mint as well as the Mediterranean garden favourite, the lavender. From a distance some varieties of Salvia, resemble their cousins in the lavender world.

Whilst they are attractive garden plants, many members of this genus are also important for culinary purposes such as flavouring, teas and food crops.

Many Salvia species are native to tropical America. Wagner’s Salvia also known as chupamiel (Salvia wagneri), is probably the most spectacular of these. This shrub is really more like a tree are as it can grow over 4 metres tall in ideal conditions. Not only is this a huge shrub, but the 300mm long flowers appear as scarlet spikes with magenta calyxes.

1. Salvia Farinacea or Blue Salvia,

In the hills of southwest of North America Blue Sage (Salvia farinacea) displays its bright blue flowers after rainfall.

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2. Mexican Chia (Salvia Hispanica)

Salvia hispanica, more commonly known as Mexican Chia, is one of the most important food crops from the mint family. The seeds of this annual herbaceous plant are known for being high in omega 3 fatty acid and fibre. Salvia hispanica is native to the desert regions of Mexico which makes it a very drought tolerant plant.

"Chia
"Chia

3. Salvia leucantha or Mexican bush sage.

S.leucantha or Mexican bush sage an Autumn flowering perennial which can add colour to your Melbourne garden in early May. Salvias are generally drought tolerant and can handle subtropical as well as temperate climates. This makes them a good plant for temperate climates like Melbourne with its with warm to hot summers, mild and sometimes balmy springs and autumns. This plant is a favourite amongst Melbourne Gardeners and is also great for dog friendly gardens.

 

"salvia will add depth to your small garden. ‘Tricolor’ is a spreading evergreen sub-shrub with oblong grey-green leaves variegated with cream and flushed with purple on the youngest growth; light blue flowers open in early summer.

Variegated Varieties

A variegated variety will add depth to your small garden. ‘Tricolor’ is a spreading evergreen sub-shrub with oblong grey-green leaves variegated with cream and flushed with purple on the youngest growth; light blue flowers open in early summer.

For striking gold varigated leaves, the herb ‘Icterina’ is a evergreen dwarf shrub with aromatic, oblong leaves 3-6cm long, greyish, variegated with gold yellow and pale green. Two-lipped pale purplish-blue flowers 2cm long, in terminal racemes provide great colour contrast.
For striking gold varigated leaves, the herb ‘Icterina’ is a evergreen dwarf shrub with aromatic, oblong leaves 3-6cm long, greyish, variegated with gold yellow and pale green. Two-lipped pale purplish-blue flowers 2cm long, in terminal racemes provide great colour contrast.
Purple Sage is an aromatic perennial herb with purple grey foliage It grows to a height of 60 cm and will spread to around 45 cm. Plant in well-drained soil in a sunny sheltered location.
Purple Sage is an aromatic perennial herb with purple grey foliage It grows to a height of 60 cm and will spread to around 45 cm. Plant in well-drained soil in a sunny sheltered location.

Landscaping Ideas with Salvia

 

Pet Friendly Gardens

As with most culinary plants, salvia will not generally be a problem with your pets. The good news is that you are unlikely to need any snail pellets to protect your salvias. A good variety for snail resistance is s.superba.

Garden ideas for Saliva

These versatile plants are great for commercial landscapes, residential landscapes and coastal and beachside gardens. The plant can be used as either garden beds or borders as well as vegetable gardens. Most importantly, the salvia is also a must have for any ornamental garden Australia wide.

Salvia is great for garden borders and garden beds.
Salvia is great for garden borders and garden beds.

Garden Care for your Salvia

Salvias, like many Australian native plants, have evolved to grow in fairly poor soils. Apart from the alvia Uliginosa or Bog Sage, soil needs to be reasonably well drained.  Apply a soil conditioiner like a very dilute solution of Neutrog Seamungus occasionally.

 

More information on Landscaping and Garden Design

Banksia Coccinea Garden Ideas

 

 

Magnolia Landscaping Ideas

 

 

Coastal Garden Design

 

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

 

 

 

More information on the sage genus.

 

Cambridge Blue

 

Jerusalem Sage

 

S.Officinalis

 

Read more
Lavender border opposite a swimming pool

13 Best Pool Landscaping Design ideas

Pool landscaping design provides some challenges for the horticulturist as well as for the hard landscaper and landscape designer.

Plant selection pitfalls

The landscape designer should choose plants that will not shed too much material into the pool which would consequently result in a mess in the pool. Garden plants and trees that shed a large amount of material into the swimming pool will consequently  create a lot of pool maintenance headaches for the swimming pool owner and may lead to pool pump damage if the skimmer box is blocked. A blocked skimmer box can also result in cavitation at the pump impellers leading to costly repairs. Another important factor to consider is the tree roots. If you need some shade over your pool to escape the hot Melbourne sun, consider a pergola installation or using shade cloth.

Consider the plant root system

The root system will be a similar size to the plant branches and leaves, so fast growing plants could have root systems invading the swimming pool plumbing. For this reason, root barriers should be used between the larger plants and the swimming pool plumbing.

What are the best trees to plant around pools in Australia?

Planting around your Pool. Our top 8 plants.

One of our favourite planting scheme for planting around pools and also for rooftop gardens is the tropical look garden. This landscape design theme will result in a luxuriant exotic look therefore enhancing the feeling of tranquility. The plants for this design theme can be frost resistant hardy plants therefore ideal for the Melbourne climate.

Dicksonia Antarctica

 

Ferns like Dicksonia Antarctica are great for garden and pool privacy.

Ferns like Dicksonia Antarctica are great for garden and pool privacy and can give the pool area and exotic pseudo tropical look.

 

Dicksonia Antactica with hostas, azaleas and irises.

Dicksonia Antactica with hostas, azaleas and irises.

 

 

Dicksonia Antartica

Dicksonia Antartica underplanted with hostas and smaller ferns. This creates an exotic look and a great privacy screen.

Dicksonia  antarctica is an evergreen tree fern that grows naturally in the Dandenong Ranges outside Melbourne, which also means it is ideal for the Melbourne Garden.

 

It grows naturally in the damp shady gullies which also means you will need to keep it well watered at the crown. For this reason, we recommend a drip irrigation system. Underplanting with smaller ferns and hostas will also add to an exotic tropical effect in your garden.

Blechnum gibbum

The miniature tree fern or Blechnum gibbum usually grows a truck like e tree fern.  The fronds can grownup to 1 metre long.

Blechnum gibbum

Blechnum gibbum or miniature tree fern

Cycad

cycad

Cycad gives a garden an exotic look.

Cycads covered the earth during the time of the dinosaurs. These plants are great for creating the exotic tropical look in your Melbourne garden.

Chinese Windmill Palm

The Trachycarpus Fortunei is a very hardy, frost resistant palm. Also known as the Chusan palm, it is salt tolerant which also makes it a good choice for coastal gardens.

 

Chinese Wind Mill Palms with Cordylines at Kew Gardens.

Chinese Windmill Palms with Cordylines at Kew Gardens.

Cordyline

Cordyline are a slow growing palm like tree. The cordyline indivisa will eventually grow to around 3 metres.

Cordyline indivisa

Cordyline indivisa. . indivisa is a slow-growing, evergreen erect tree reaching heights of 3m or more.

 

Hosta

Hosta a herbaceous perennial. Attractive foliage sometimes variegated.

Hosta a herbaceous perennial with attractive foliage sometimes variegated. Flowers in early summer. – Chelsea Flower Show 2018

The hosta has  stunning large spade shaped foliage in an amazing range of colours. For this reason, hosta is a garden favourite the world over with both gardeners and flower arrangers. Hosta will thrive in the moist shady conditions under the ferns or near a pool or pond.

Banksia Robur

Screening privacy plants like the BANKSIA ROBUR or swamp banksia have large leaves and will therefore help with privacy around your swimming pool. This banksia  is an attractive and hardy plant ,suitable for low hedges and pots. Growing to a little over 2 metres, the flower spikes appear usually in autumn and winter initially as bluish green but these will turn to yellow-green brush type flowers as they bloom.

Banksia Robur is also know as the Swamp Banksia

Unsurprisingly, given its name Swamp Banksia, it doesn’t mind badly draining soil. It might be the plant you are looking for to plant in a damp spot in your garden. It has even been used as a root stock for less hardy varieties of Banksia. If you are in one of the frosty suburbs, it will tolerate a little frost now and again. Suitable for sun or part shade it will produce beautiful flowers in both. As an added bonus in your garden it will attract birds, bees and butterflies. Like most Banksias, it is an important source of nectar for both insects and mammals.

 

Banksia Robur Poolside

Banksia Robur Poolside

Bansia Robur’s Natural Habitat.

The leaves are large and have serrated edges. This Banksia occurs naturally in swampy or sandy conditions along the East coast of Australia from Southern New South Wales all of the way up to Gladstone in Queensland. This makes it an ideal plant for the coastal gardens. Take care not to let it dry out too much, especially when it is first getting established. For this reason, an irrigation dripping system is a good idea.

Banksia Robur in a planter box by a swimming pool.

Banksia Robur in a rendered concrete block planter box by a swimming pool.

Another plant to consider is the banksia coccinea or red Banksia.

Kentia Palm (Howea fosteriana) by the pool

If you are looking for swimming pool landscaping ideas, the Kentia Palm (Howea fosteriana) makes a great plant for creating a luxuriant garden by the pool. It also provides a little shade as well as softening the look of the landscape. Amongst the palms, it is one of the easier ones to maintain.

(Howea fosteriana) Kentia Palm by a swimming pool.
Kentia Palm by a swimming pool.

The Kentia Palm from Lord Howe Island can create a tropical look in Melbourne

Also known as the Forster sentry palm or the flat palm, the Kentia Palm has solitary stems bearing large pinnate leaves on long stalks. This evergreen palm is native to Lord Howe island. The Kentia is tolerant to partial shade, and will grow to around 2 metres tall in your poolside garden or pot. This makes it a great plant for creating a little shady spot by the side of your pool. It prefers well drained sandy loam with a neutral to acid PH. It is also a popular indoor plant, so it is a palm you can grow both in an outdoor or indoor pot.

 

Strelitzia

For a splash of colour in your pool garden, why not plant some Strelitzia or Bird of Paradise.  This South African native will help to create interest in a tropical look garden.

 

Pool Plants to avoid

Plants to avoid around swimming pools are fast growing plants with invasive root systems and plants that shed a lot of material into the pool. Plants to avoid include Birch, Wisterias and Figs.

Pool Landscaping Design Project Melbourne

A well designed outdoor space should function as extension of the home itself. For our new pool landscaping design project in the leafy southern suburbs of Melbourne our aim is to make this outdoor space an integral part of the home itself. The design of the swimming pool landscape should be done at an early stage of the pool design rather than tacked on later. This will usually result in a better design outcome.

Pool Design Concepts explored using Trimble Sketchup Pro.

The initial swimming pool design concepts are explored using Trimble Sketchup Pro. This 3D design tool has a great range of landscape garden plants that can be downloaded and added to the CAD model. This is a great way to do the initial planning of the swimming pool design and landscape design package.

 

pool landscaping designs Computer Model

Pool landscaping designs using computer aided design. An integrated outdoor space. that looks good from every angle.

The pool landscape design features a sunken outdoor eating area with fireplace surrounded by a formal hedge. Tall fences provide a privacy screen whilst still allowing some light through.

 

pool landscaping designs sunken outdoor entertaining area.

Sunken outdoor entertaining area by the swimming pool.

The green formal hedge creates a soft border between the sunken eating area and softens the look of the concrete. The cushions in the seating area could be coloured to match the garden plants or left as a neutral grey. Grey will go with most colours in the garden but some coloured cushions would help break up the grey.

How do you build privacy around a pool?

Privacy around a pool can be built with fences, trellises and smart plant selection. Using CAD (Computer Aided Design) the privacy aspects of the design can be checked from any angle and agreed with the client.

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By using computer aided design to create a computer model of the bespoke pool design enables the fine details to be worked out in advance. One of the great advantages of this type of landscape design is that the view can be checked from every angle. Privacy can be built around a pool using screening plants, then checked from the viewpoint of your neighbour.

Sunken outdoor entertaining area with fireplace

The sunken outdoor entertaining area helps to improve garden privacy whilst making it easy to keep an eye on kids. This type of design using garden levels as a design feature also makes the garden appear larger. This is also a great design technique for small garden design.

Sunken Garden Design - Chelsea Flower Show.

Design inspiration Sunken Garden Design with Buxus hedge – Chelsea Flower Show 2018. Note the use coloured cushions to match the flowers. The sunken concrete pavers provides a repetition theme throughout the garden.

Bespoke Swimming Pool Design. The next Steps.

After the approval of the initial concept, the swimming pool design moves into the next phase. The 3D cad model is then processed to create photorealistic scenes to finalise the pool and landscaping packages. Autocad from Autodesk used for linework and scale. The final visualisation including the vegetation was done in Twinmotion from Unreal Engine. Which is great for 3D architectural visualisation. Using these design tools, the client can be shown how the pool will look when viewed from the pergola or from the balcony or even from a neighbour’s window.

Swimming Pool Detailed Design Drawings

For the swimming Pool Construction detailed 2D drawings need to be produced for the landscapers to begin excavation and to obtain the required local government approvals.

pool and landscaping packages

Checking the view from the pergola.

 

Checking the view from the balcony

Checking the view from the balcony

Finalise the pool design ideas

Once the pool and landscaping package design phase is complete, a fly-through of photorealistic model is produced for the customer and to confirm all of the finer details of pool and landscaping design. Details like pool plumbing and pool and garden lighting are checked.

 

The fine details of Pool and Landscaping Design

Exposed Aggregate Concrete around your Swimming Pool.

Exposed aggregate is a great choice for swimming pool surrounds but choosing the right mix is important. Larger aggregates will provide better drainage and grip, but will be uncomfortable to walk on. According to the Swimming Pool and Spa Association (SPASA) the areas around the pool must be a low slip surface. For exposed aggregate concrete around swimming pools, a 5mm pebble aggregate should be used.

The Outdoor Shower as part of your Swimming Pool Design.

If you are living one of the Melbourne seaside suburbs like Brighton or Elwood, an outdoor shower is a great addition to your  Garden Design. The outdoor pictured below features matching pool tiling, copper pipe and brass shower head.

Tiled Outdoor Shower

Tiled Outdoor Shower under construction. The outdoor shower is great for coastal gardens like Hampton or near the swimming pool for washing off the chlorine.

An outdoor pool shower. A practical solution for coastal gardens.

Outdoor pool showers are very practical solution especially in coastal gardens where swimming pools and beach access are part of our Melbourne beach lifestyle. The outdoor pool shower is a good way to avoid having beach sand taken through the house. It is also a handy way to quickly remove salt or pool chlorine and other chemicals from your skin and hair.

Outdoor Shower Under Construction

Concrete block Outdoor Shower Under Construction

Outdoor Pool Shower Design

The design of the outdoor shower involves more than just the part you can see above the ground. Consideration must be given to the appearance of the shower from every possible angle therefore plumbing to and from the shower should be integrated into the initial design.

Plant Selection near your outdoor shower

The garden and landscape design in the immediate area of the shower need to be able to cope with the added humidity, water splash and pool chemicals, therefore plants which are prone to fungal diseases should be avoided. For example, the common staghorn fern (Platycerium bifurcatum) will also soften the design and create a natural look, but may need regular maintenance to protect it from fungal diseases. Consider using Foxtail Palm trees (Wodyetia bifurcata)

Giant Bromeliads, (Alcantarea), crotons and White Spider Lilies .  A well designed outdoor pool shower should also create a feature piece in the garden.

Consideration should also be given to easy access to the shower without having to walk over slippery surfaces. The safety of the customers should always should also always be considered with any garden design. The shower wall itself needs to be well secured into the foundations in order to keep it vertical and ensure safety and design requirements are met.

Red’s Landscaping and Civil

Red’s Landscaping and Civil can provide design and build solutions which also includes design with 3D visualisation,  construction and landscaping.

 

Related Landscaping Ideas from Red’s Landscaping

 

Custom Swimming Pool Design and Construction

 

9 great reasons for Pool and Landscaping Packages

 

5 Top Custom Swimming Pool Designs and trends.

 

Eco Pools: Nature pools for the eco conscious

 

Screening Plants for Garden Privacy

 

Landscaping Melbourne with Climbing Plants

 

Coastal Garden Design

 

Salvia Leucantha or Mexican Bush Sage

 

Mediterranean Garden Design Ideas

 

Landscape Design Melbourne

 

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil quality commercial landscaping Melbourne

 

Further Reading on Landscaping

 

Australian Native Plants Society (Australia) Fern Study Group

 

More information on decorative concretes

Read more
Soil Profile showing showing the topsoil layer.

Melbourne Topsoil – 9 Great Money saving tips.

Topsoil in Melbourne

Topsoil in Melbourne is heavily dependent on the underlying geological material, if there has not been a history of topsoil ameliorations or importation of topsoil from other locations. According to the Department of Agriculture, topsoils of Melbourne can be divided into 9 distinct types. In some parts of Melbourne, the importation of topsoil will be a bigger factor than the geographic and climatic range. Knowing the type of your natural topsoil can help you save money when deciding on what topsoil amelioration is required. Some Melbourne clay topsoils will benefit greatly with the addition of gypsum, but for others the only benefit of gypsum will be the addition of calcium to the soil.

Sporting grounds, in particular, will normally have a thick layer of imported friable topsoil so if your garden is built on one of the closed Melbourne racetracks like Richmond, Cheltenham or Braeside your topsoil could be different to your neighbour across the street.

 

What is Topsoil?

 

Topsoil is the layer of soil just below the surface layers. The surface layers are the layers containing the litter of plant residues as well as accumulated organic matter with some mineral soil and most of the soil life.

Typical Garden Topsoil

Typical Garden Topsoil

 

Nine types of Melbourne Topsoil

 

1.    Red Loam Topsoil

This could be the best natural topsoil in the whole of Melbourne as they are well structured deep and friable. These topsoils can be mildly acidic like most topsoils in hilly wooded ranges. They can be a little poor in plant nutrients, so regular amelioration with organic matter will be of great benefit to the soil. On lawn areas a light annual application of garden lime will help. Farmers know that red earth is great for farming.

The red loam topsoil will mostly be found to the East of Melbourne in the upper Dandenong ranges and in the hills between Monbulk and Silvan. This type of topsoil will normally suit a wide range of plants as is has excellent drainage, and a good soil structure for plant root development.

Red sandy Loam topsoil.

Red sandy Loam topsoil.

2.    Brown Loam topsoil over Clay

These topsoils formed over the older basalts on the southern Mornington Peninsula. This is the brown-grey loamy friable topsoil naturally occurring in places between Main Ridge and Flinders. For best results in your garden, ameliorate with manure and organic matter. Take care not to cultivate too deep and bring the clay to the surface.

Brown Sandy Loam Topsoil

Brown Sandy Loam Topsoil similar in Colour and texture to Main Ridge Topsoils on the Mornington Peninsula .

3.    Dark grey sand topsoil over clay

These topsoils are found over a large part of Melbourne. The flat and undulating land between Kew and Mount Waverley as well as deeper topsoils in Tyabb, Balnarring Frankston and Mornington. This topsoil is also over a huge part of the Melbourne suburbs within a triangle from Dandenong to Cheltenham and over to Toorak. After long periods of heavy rainfall, a watertable may occur over the clays. It is important for Melbourne Landscapers to take drainage into account when landscaping on these soils. As with other Melbourne loam over clay soils, ameliorate with manure and organic matter. Take care not to cultivate too deep and bring the clay to the surface.

 

4.    Light Grey loams over clay

A light grey loam with some gravel and small stones found in the suburbs to the North East of Melbourne. These soils will be found around a strip from Rowville to Bundoora and from Croydon to Kew. At the boundary of the topsoil and clay layers large angular stones occur which makes digging drainage difficult for residential landscapers. Generally, these soils are deficient in humus and nutrients. Melbourne landscapers should dig in organic matter and manures to ameliorate these soils. As the clays here are generally reactive, an application of gypsum can help drainage and soil structure. A small amount of garden lime can be added to correct acidity.

 

5.    Gritty light grey loam over clay.

Topsoils formed over parent granite at Mount Martha and Arthurs Seat on the Mornington Peninsula as well as Hallam, Lysterfield and a few other places. The sandy loam is generally ok for drainage but has poor water holding capacity. The abrupt transition between the sandy loam and the mottled yellow brown and grey clay can lead to water logging on lower slopes in winter and spring.

If this is the case, landscapers should consider subsoil drainage systems. As the soil has poor water holding capacity, landscapers should dig in plenty of organic matter as well as install an irrigation system with a dripper. Generally, this soils are only mildly acidic.

6.    Dark Loams Local Sands and Clays

The parts of Melbourne which were previously swampy or flood plains like the Melbourne Suburbs close to the Yarra. These Melbourne suburbs include Banksia Park near Heidelberg and Bulleen. The frequently flooded Yarra floodplain of the lower-middle yarra river and tributaries were once covered in Manna gum, swamp gum and river red gum with swamp paperbark in the wettest areas. These are a mix of topsoils and it can be difficult to draw conclusions on drainage. Landscapers should ameliorate with manure and organic matter.

 

7.    Deep Sands free of Lime

This is the natural topsoil in coastal gardens between Black Rock and Brighton and along the coast of Port Phillip Bay all the way to Rye. Some of the land previously used for market gardens in Langwarrin and Cranbourne have this soil. These soils are generally very deficient in nutrients, so landscapers should dig in plenty of manure and organic matter to improve the soil. Annual applications of garden lime will help to neutralize the acidity.

 

8.    Deep Sands with Lime

The topsoil between Sorrento and Cape Schank in the coastal sand dune areas is a whitish grey sand occasionally over a hard lime base. These soils can be either acidic or alkaline, so if your plants are not thriving a soil PH test may be required. Landscapers should dig in plenty of manure and organic matter as well as install an irrigation dripper system. The coastal plant selection for these soils needs to be particularly salt, wind and lime tolerant.

 

9.    Heavy clay topsoil over basalts

The suburbs to the west and north-west of Melbourne are well known for their heavy clay soils. This area stretches all the way from Richmond to Broadmeadows and Altona to Thomastown. These soils are characterized by a thin loamy topsoil over dark reddish-brown heavy clays. Often outcrops of the basalt can been seen on the ground surface. The soil structure can be improved with the addition of gypsum and landscapers should dig in plenty of organic matter. For lawns and other gardens sandy loam soil will need to be imported. For the home landscaper, the digging of the requires drainage trenches can be difficult.

 

 

Landscaping poor draining topsoil

For your backyard or frontward lawn, the ground can be sloped a bit more to aid with drainage. Depending on the usage and the makeup of the layers below, you could probably get away with as little as 100 to 150mm of topsoil for your garden lawn. For example green couch Cynodon dactylon, the roots will penetrate the ground up to 1.5 metres deep with much of the root mass at around 600mm deep. For this reason the layer below the top soil needs to be suitable for root growth if you want your lawn to be drought tolerant.

 

Will gypsum help?

 

Clay soils

 

Gypsum is the most widely used calcium additive for garden. If you need gypsum, you can save money by buying it in bulk from your landscape supplier. If the subsoil has a hard clay layer the moisture and the roots might not penetrate or your lawn and you could have poor drainage. Some clays will respond to the addition of gypsum. This will be the case if the clay you have is a flocculant clay. Clays like montmorillonite with high levels of exchangeable sodium will generally be improved by digging in some gypsum. You can perform a simple soil test your clay by putting it in a jar with some pure water, then stirring to create colloidal mix. The mix will appear cloudy.You then add some Epsom salts or gypsum to the mix and watch what happens. If the clay then forms flocculant, or larger, particles that sink to the bottom of the jar leaving a clear layer of water, then your clay is flocculant. Individual clay particles are made up of fine flakes smaller than 0.004 mm. Depending on the type of clay, the fine particles are held tightly together by either weak bonds in the case of kaolinite or stronger bonds if the clay contains positively charged metal ions such as sodium, calcium or potassium. The negatively charged clay particles will repel each other but the individual flakes will bond to each other.

 

Negatively charged clay particles repel each other.

Negatively charged clay particles repel each other.

 

 

In the heavy flocculant clay topsoils of Melbourne’s western suburbs, gypsum can help to displace sodium and improve the soil structure.

 

Saline soils

 

If your garden is near Cape Schank or Sorrento, or if you have a windswept coastal garden, then you might have some soil salinity to contend with. This could also be the case if you are by the sea in Biggera Waters, Runaway Bay or Hollywell and get sea water spray on your lawns and gardens. With saline soil, gypsum will also help as the calcium in the gypsum will remove sodium from the soil.

 

The disadvantages of gypsum

After an application of gypsum, you should follow up later with slow release fertiliser like Neutrog. Upsurge. Nutrients such as Iron and Manganese can be leached from the soil by the addition of gypsum. Applying excessive gypsum to sandy soils can result in the plants transportation system for zinc, copper and phosphorus being affected.

 

Agricultural lime

Agricultural lime may be a combination of calcium and magnesium carbonates if it is made from dolomitic rather than calcitic limestone deposits. Use on acidic soils to increase the PH.

 

Soil Testing

Soil testing kits can be used for simple PH checks of your garden soils. If your plants are not thriving despite all of the care and attention, then samples of your soil can be taken to a laboratory for analysis.

Soils can be tested in a laboratory for salinity or contamination.

Soils can be tested in a laboratory for salinity or contamination.

Buying Landscaping soils

When buying landscaping topsoil, always check that you are buying a high-quality product that meets the Australian Standard for topsoil. Soil should also be free of weeds and other contaminants. For lawns, your topsoil needs to be very free draining. The best soil for top dressing lawns is a very sandy soil. For garden beds a little bit of the natural clay soil mixed in will help water retention.

The soil is an indispensable ingredient for the life of humans, animals and ,of course, plants. The soil supplies nutrients and raw materials, storage and filtered water. The soil can degrade harmful chemicals but healthy soil should not be taken for granted. If we allow our soil to be overused, or allow a hard crust to form, then the soil will require amendments to replenish the nutrient store and to make the soil friable. Water will tend to run-off taking some of the soil and nutrients with it.

A healthy soil will contain a great deal of life. Not just microorganisms like bacteria and fungus, but also earthworms. Many of these will form a symbiotic relationship with your plants.

In Melbourne we a lucky enough to have some great resources to improve and maintain the health of your soil. First of all, you should be using a layer of mulch. Mulches such as pea straw and sugar cane mulch will decompose relatively quickly and bring your soil to life. This is especially true when used with an organic fertiliser. If you are after a different look to the sugar cane mulch, you can always use a different mulch over the top. Take care not to mulch up to the truck of trees or shrubs, as this can lead to collar rot. If using a mulch like pea straw, make sure it is weed free. Secondly, consider using a soil tonic to improve your topsoil.

 

Commercial Landscaping Topsoils

For commercial landscaping the topsoil needs to be high quality soils to the Australian Standard.  AS 4419-2003 is the standard for soils for landscaping and garden use and specifies requirements for general purpose soils, top dressing soils, topsoils and landscaping mixes for both domestic and commercial use. The standard also provides guidance on the use and selection of soils. For example low density soil, which is often used in commercial landscaping for large landscape containers and rooftop gardens.

One very important requirement for topsoil for the commercial landscaping of public spaces is the soil cleanliness. Soils use must be free of all hazards and contaminants and also free from any weeds.

 

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil – Melbourne Landscaper.

 

More Information on Topsoil

 

Why you should look after topsoils

 

 

 

 

Gypsum

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How To Keep Your Lawn Healthy In Colder Weather

The winter is characterised with weeds, heavy soaking, low sunlight levels, and frost, which, for us humans, means staying covered and resting mostly indoors. But for lawns, the winter is a critical time to survive and require as much help as possible to stay healthy. Here are tips to keep your lawn healthy during the colder months.

Provide abundant sunlight to your lawn

It is advisable to leave grass clippings after mowing during the warmer months. This is because they can supply nutrients from the grass. Also, leaving behind grass clippings can save you lots of work.

But during autumn and winter, you will be better off removing clippings and leaves from the turf. This way, your lawn will receive ample air and sunlight that it requires to survive during the cold months.

If there are lots of trees on your lawn, you should prune them to ensure your lawn receives more sunlight.

Mow higher and less frequently

The first thing you will notice when the cooler months set in is that grass growth rate decreases. When this happens, you are advised to raise the mowing height to avoid damaging the grass, something that can lead to browning and scalping. Frequent scalping weakens the grass, leaving it exposed to weeds and diseases.

When mowing your lawn, avoid cutting the grass lower than 2.5 cm. Also reduce the frequency of mowing your grass to approximately every 3 or 4 weeks. You can also mow your grass when the grass blade length exceeds 6 cm.

Aerate the soil

High traffic volume, coupled with higher temperatures, can compact the soil. This, in turn, can prevent the roots of the grass from receiving the optimal resources required for their thriving and growth. You can choose to manually perforate the soil using a hand rake. Alternatively, you can enlist the services of a professional to do the job for you.

Fertilise

Although your grass will grow remarkably slower during the winter, it still requires a steady delivery of nutrients. Firstly, make sure your soil is checked to see what nutrients are lacking and then buy the right fertiliser that contains the right nutrient combination.

Stop watering

You should desist from watering your lawn unless the grass appears very dry. And the best time to water your lawn is early in the morning. If you water your lawn too much during the colder months, it risks inviting fungi to your grass.

Weed Vigilantly

Weeds, unlike other types of turf, are unbowed by the harsh winter conditions. As a matter of fact, they appear to thrive in these unforgiving conditions. Be proactive and come up with a weekly weeding regimen to keep the unwanted plants in check.

Reds Landscaping Can Help!

Does it appear like the grass is always greener on the other side? Are your lawn care tips for the winter not working? Maybe you need to call in a pro. The experts at Reds Landscaping offer free tips and advice to help you keep your lawn and property in the best states. Just email or call us on 0424 350 910 for professional assistance with your lawn care this winter.

 

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Salvia Leucantha or Mexican Bush Sage

Salvia leucantha or Mexican bush sage.

Salvia leucantha or Mexican bush sage an Autumn flowering perennial which can add colour to your Melbourne garden in early May. Salvias are generally drought tolerant and can handle subtropical as well as temperate climates. This makes them a good plant for temperate climates like Melbourne with its with warm to hot summers, mild and sometimes balmy springs and autumns.

Salvia Leucantha or Mexican bush sage is an Autumn flowering perennial. This evergreen small shrub which can grow to around 1.3m high.
Leucantha or Mexican bush sage is an Autumn flowering perennial. This evergreen small shrub which can grow to around 1.3m high. It is suitable for dog friendly gardens in Melbourne.

The Salvia Leucantha Family

Salvia leucantha belongs to the family Lamiaceae which is part of the sage genus. The significant sage genus, contains more than 920  species of woody and herbaceous plants of the mint family (Lamiaceae). These belong to the order Lamiales. Whilst they are attractive garden plants, many members of this genus are also important for culinary purposes such as flavouring, teas and food crops.

 

Garden ideas for Saliva Leucantha

These versatile plants are great for commercial landscapes, residential landscapes and coastal and beachside gardens. The plant can be used as either garden beds or borders as well as vegetable gardens. Most importantly, the salvia is also a must have for any ornamental garden Australia wide.

Salvia is great for garden borders and garden beds.
Salvia is great for garden borders and garden beds.

Garden Care for your Salvia Leucantha

Salvias, like many Australian native plants, have evolved to grow in fairly poor soils.   Apply a soil conditioner like a very dilute solution of Neutrog Seamungus occasionally.

 

Other Varieties and Species of Salvias

7 Great Salvia plants for your Melbourne Garden

 

More information on Landscaping and Garden Design

Banksia Coccinea Garden Ideas

 

 

Magnolia Landscaping Ideas

 

 

Coastal Garden Design

 

 

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

 

 

 

More information on the sage genus.

 

Cambridge Blue

 

Jerusalem Sage

 

S.Officinalis

 

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Banksia Coccinea Garden Ideas

Banksia Coccinea, like all Banksias, is a member of the proteaceae family, which is in turn a member of the protea order.  Banksias, also known as the Australian Honeysuckle, are named after the famous botanist Joseph Banks, who sailed to Australia with Captain Cook.

Garden Design Ideas. Banksia coccinea can be a great focal point in smaller gardens or in commercial landscape projects.

Banksia Coccinea Garden Ideas

Banksia Coccinea facts

Native to the coastal sand dunes on the southern edge of Western Australia, Banksia coccinea is also known as the Albany banksia, the Waratah banksia or the scarlet banksia. It natural habitat is slightly acidic, deep sandy soil in scrubby areas with reasonable rainfall. This makes it a good plant for coastal gardens with sandy soils. This Banksia can be grown either as a shrub or a small tree. Normally growing to around 5 metres, it can grow as high as 8 metres tall. If you are designing for a small garden, consider using one or two of these as a focal point in your small garden design. Banksia Coccinea is also a favourite with florists with its vivid dark red, orange or scarlet pistels. Banksia Coccinea’s magnificent flowers and attractive foliage make it popular with florists as well as gardeners. An added bonus is the very long flowering period.

 

It can be in flower from June all the way through to January, which is great for the wildlife which will come to feast on the abundant nectar. After the flowering season the seeds will also attract cockatoos to your garden.

Nice picture of a Banksia coccinea during an Australian sunny day

Garden Ideas. Banksia coccinea has dark green serrated leaves that are grey green underneath.

Garden Maintenance for your Banksia Coccinea

Better suited to sandy soils and warm dry temperate climates, this banksia can be sensitive to clay soils. If you are in a humid climate like the Melbourne, make sure you prune it to allow plenty of air circulation. As it is drought tolerant, and requires very little watering, this plant is ideal for sunny positions in your Melbourne coastal garden. Feed this plant  lightly twice per year with a low phosphorus fertiliser, and water sparingly.  A good fertiliser for native plants is Neutrog Bush Tucker.

Benefits for Wildlife in the Garden Landscape

In addition to its attractive appearance Banksia coccinea is a prolific nectar producer.  This will attract nectar eating native birds like Honeyeaters and rainbow lorikeets to your garden as well as bees and even small marsupials. The seeds are eaten by birds such as cockatoos, making it the perfect plant for attracting wildlife.

Garden Design Idea. Growing Banksias will attract wildlife like Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus) to your garden.

Contact Experienced Landscape Gardeners

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.

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

More Home and Coastal Garden information

Coastal Garden Design

 

Tree Landscape Design Melbourne

 

National Eucalypt Day

By Callum O’Brien –  Specialist Commercial Landscaper Melbourne

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Plant Horticulture Links

Western Australia Plant Database

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Coastal Garden Design

Melbourne Coastal Garden design, depends heavily on selecting the right plants for the conditions. Coastal garden plants have to endure salt spray, wind and often not very fertile sandy soils. If you have a home in one of Melbourne’s beachside suburbs these home gardening tips will help you establish a great garden.

Melbourne Garden plant selection

Limonium perezii, features beautiful flowers and foliage which can be hacked back to reshoot. This plant flowers nearly year round with minimal water and care. Limoniums handle Australia’s coastal garden conditions and climate well and are an absolute must have for any ornamental garden.  As you would expect for a plant native to the Canary Islands, these plants handle the coastal garden conditions very well, preferring a well-drained soil and full sun. These plants will also tolerate a moderate frost. The more than 120 plant that belong to the genus Limonium are often referred to as marsh rosemary or sea lavender, but they are not related to either lavender or rosemary. The small papery flowers can be dried and used in flower arrangements.

Limonium perezii for Coastal gardens

Limonium perezii for Coastal gardens

 

Limoniums handle Australia’s coastal garden conditions and climate well.

Viola hederaceae or Native Violet in an Australian native shrub that is ideal for your coastal garden. As its names suggest this trailing ground cover has violet flowers that can be seen from spring until autumn. This shrub can be used as an alternative to lawn.

Viola hederaceae or Native Violet in an Australian native shrub that is ideal for your coastal garden

Viola hederaceae or Native Violet in an Australian native shrub that is ideal for your coastal garden.

Viola hederaceae or Native Violet in an Australian native shrub that is ideal for your coastal garden

Banksia robur or swamp Banksia growing up to two metres in the wild, this plant is a small tree or shrub with large flower spikes and fruits from autumn to winter. Despite its name, the swamp Banksia will thrive in a variety of soils and conditions. The large oval shaped serrated leaves can grow as large as 120mm by 400 mm long. This plant can be planted as a group for screening neighbours or by itself as a feature plant.

Banksia robur or swamp Banksia in a coastal garden.

Banksia robur or swamp Banksia in a coastal garden.

Banksia robur or swamp Banksia growing up to two metres in the wild, this plant is a small tree or shrub with large flower spikes and fruits from autumn to winter. An ideal plant for your coastal garden.

Xanthorrhoea macronema or Coastal Grass Tree is a grass tree without a trunk but has a creamy flower spike around 1.5 metres long. The flower itself is around 45 to 140mm long.

A honey bee enjoying the flower of a Xanthorrhoea macronema. The Coastal Grass Tree is a grass tree without a trunk but has a creamy flower spike around 1.5 metres long. The flower itself is around 45 to 140mm long.

Native to coastal regions in New South Wales and Southern Queensland, this is a wonderful addition to your coastal garden.

Garden Maintenance for your Coastal Garden.

Many coastal gardens are very sandy and the soils struggle to hold moisture and nutrients. One solution is to put some clay soil into a bucket of water. Stir this until the clay forms a suspension in the water. Pour this around your plants to help fill the gaps in the porous sandy soil. A fast decomposing mulch like pea straw, as well as organic fertilisers, will help.

Contact us

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.

 

More information on hardy plants for severe conditions

Pool Landscaping Designs

 

Salvia Leucantha or Mexican Bush Sage

 

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

More Information on Coastal Garden Design.

Brunswick valley land care

 

 

By Callum O’Brien – The Gardener Melbourne Blog

 

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5 advantages of CAD Garden Design

CAD Garden Design using 3D design tools

CAD Garden Design for Melbourne Gardens provides us some unique challenges. Getting your landscaping design ideas on paper, or on the computer, is a great help with the overall landscape design plan. One landscape Design tool we use at Red’s Landscape Gardening is Sketchup. If you are designing a larger gardening on a sloping site, Sketchup has some great features. One of these CAD landscape design features is the ability to bring in the site topography into your design. This makes it much easier to design in the civil design infrastructure such as French drains and irrigation. If you have a site plan, you can also design in the existing services such as gas, electricity, fibre optic cabling and drainage. This can help to avoid an expensive mistake later on.

CAD Garden Design. Landscaping Services Melbourne. Using Sketchup to turn landscaping ideas into a plan

Landscaping Services Melbourne. Using Sketchup to turn landscaping ideas into a plan

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CAD Garden Design Using 2D site plans or photos

Another really useful landscape design feature is the ability to import 2D plans or photos. With some effort to get the scale right, your garden design can be quickly drawn over the top of your 2D site plan.

Landscaping Services Melbourne. CAD Garden Design - Designing the Landscape on top of the 2D Site plan

Landscaping Services Melbourne. CAD Garden Design – Designing the Landscape on top of the 2D Site plan

Library of Plants and Landscape Design features

With Sketchup Pro, there is a huge library of 3D garden design models you can import into your design. This includes many of the commonly grown Melbourne landscaping plants such as the Canary Island Palm, Banksias , Magnolias and Eucalyptus.

Landscaping Services Melbourne. Using the library of plants. Various palms, banana plants and other trees and shrubs are available.

CAD Garden design with water features, swimming pools, garden furniture, wall and fences.

As well as the library of garden plants, Sketch up Pro allows you to download models of water features such as garden ponds, swimming pools, garden furniture as well as retaining walls and fences. Garden buildings such as pergolas, outdoor barbecues, and sunken gardens are also available. These can really help to visualise your landscaping design concept plans.

CAD Garden design and construction

The ability to accurately visualise a garden design on computer is a great advantage when it comes to the construction phase of the project. With the services already designed in, construction can proceed knowing that the whole garden has been designed and planned down to the last detail on computer before a sod has been turned.

Garden maintenance and designing a low maintenance garden.

With a 3D garden design plan, the plants can now be arranged so that moisture loving plants are together in groups. This will help to save water and reduce garden maintenance. The same applies to selecting plants to suit conditions such as shade, part shade and microclimates. The garden can also be designed to anticipate the height the plants will grow to, so as to avoid any maintenance headaches later on.

Three-dimensional visualization of green design features.

 

Landscape Design. This Three-dimensional visualization of a garden shows the effect of clusters of brightly coloured flowers like tulips contrasting with grey green foliage. This rendered image is so realistic, it is difficult to tell from a real photograph.

Related Landscaping Ideas from Red’s Landscaping and Civil

Sketch up for landscape design

 

13 Best Pool Landscaping Design ideas

 

New Home Construction Landscaping

 

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9 great reasons for Pool and Landscaping Packages

 

 

For all of your garden maintenance needs or 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 as well as horticulture, garden lighting  and outdoor pool landscaping ideas.

 

By Callum O’Brien – The Melbourne Landscaper  Blog

 

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

 

More Information on CAD Garden Design

 

 

 

 

Sketch up Landscape Architecture

 

Autodesk Landscape Architecture

 

 

Free Garden Design Tools

 

Better Homes and Gardens Design Tool

 

 

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6 Questions You Must Ask Yourself Before Re-Designing Your Homes Landscaping

Generally, redesigning your landscape involves choosing features of landscaping and incorporating them into the perfect design. You want a landscape that will last for years, so get ready to invest some time. Ask yourself these 6 questions before you re-design your home’s landscaping.

Do you understand your yard?

To begin with, the landscaping design reinvents your yard by introducing new different features. These features that are determined by three components:

  • The level of shade.
  • Topography.
  • The plants, shrubs and trees that populate your yard.

How do these three components influence your design? Specifically, summers are a pretty hot time, and while people might spend their late afternoons or evenings in the backyard, the sun hangs out all day. The extreme heat can damage landscaping, while tree canopies can leave dry, shaded areas that aren’t easy to populate with lovely plants. The shade of your yard becomes an important component in landscape design.

In addition, the topography influences design because it creates opportunities to add beautiful features while it still engages in a functional role, like draining your yard. Such functional roles won’t be altered by landscaping that improves a swale or an existing crest for instance. Transforming a ridge and low lying area with terracing or a sloping flower bed succeeds at different levels. Your neighbours will be impressed by your landscape design Melbourne.

Finally, the climate you live in has a lot to do with the plants, trees or shrubs you choose to put into the landscape. At the same time, your selection of trees, shrubs and flowers also influence the types of soil in your region.

How do you expect to use your newly landscaped yard?

One of the great things about landscape design Melbourne is how people determine to use it? The backyard bar-b-q expert will attest to a design’s success when it makes possible saucy smoked ribs or pulled pork. So, the obvious question to ask before you begin is how will people use the new landscape? Will children use the yard? How about adults or animals?

With that in mind, the landscape design’s objective is to create a place apart from the hustle and bustle of the world and give the occupants a sense of place and belonging, as strong a sense as they enjoy inside their house. Landscapes can shut out the outside world and inspire the imaginations of people in it.

To illustrate, the families’ focus on the children today might determine the focus of landscape design. When looking at orienting the design toward people, the placement of ordinary furniture becomes important. The design for a family’s space can include cooking area, dining area, and a place identical to a family room, a place where kids can dig in, have fun and share space with adults. It can involve anything as simple as a swing or as big as a kid’s double chaise lounge.

With the users in mind, designers may create spaces for furniture like hanging Hammocks or sprawling lounge chairs that capture the imaginations of the people in it. Also, the adults might want to create a kids’ corner with a kiddie’s picnic table and umbrella, a place where kids can enjoy some independence from the adult world.

How much money do you want to spend on your new Landscaping?

The budget and the value of the property are both determining factors of how much money you want to invest in landscaping. While landscaping doesn’t increase the living space of your home, it does have an impact on your home’s value. Experts estimate that landscaping improves your home’s value by at least ten per cent, give or take a few percentage points. On the other hand, if the home isn’t an investment, then landscaping adds to the personality of the home. The return-on-investment may be irrelevant in that case. In landscaping Melbourne, you don’t want to spend $100,000 on landscaping on a house that’s valued at $250,000.

In the second place, you should consider the question of labour when drawing up a budget for landscaping. At this point, you might want to do the work yourself or hire the job out to a professional. Farming the work out may be expensive, but you get a professional’s skill and experience, and a contractor who takes responsibility for the work. On the other hand, a do-it-yourself job can often be as good and you have money to either pocket or invest in a feature like privacy landscaping trees.

What is the design premise for your back yard?

Speaking of privacy landscaping trees, often there’s a feature you want to emphasize or experiment within landscape design. It can be an overarching idea, or it can be just one part of the landscape that subtly resounds through the design.

One of the most popular landscape premises is the backyard bird or butterfly garden. People who want to attract birds and butterflies can do it with landscape design. By the same token, a landscape devoted to growing organic vegetables is another concept. Clearly, limiting the design to one idea is possible, but the likelihood is that the landscape will be used for many reasons, but none of that violates the idea that is expressed in the design. The family who wants to devote the landscape to raising children have a host of ideas to communicate but aren’t limited to creating only kids’ spaces.

You can combine your many interests in the design too. For example, if you’re an avid golfer, put a putting green into your landscape design. If your pets love the yard, create an emphasis on pet life. The special premise for a landscape doesn’t have to be much more than a token decorative detail, or it could be a dominating feature in every corner of the design.

What’s the composition of your new landscaping design?

One of the unspoken rules of landscape design is that it will incorporate lines, colours and forms to express ideas. If you flew a drone over your yard and found a bird’s eye view of the landscaping below, how many linear elements, colours or geometric forms fit in some way with the composition? These linear features, colours and forms can be seen in flower beds, coloured brick walkways, open greens and steps or stairs.

The pre-production process in landscaping captures this best by looking at the landscapers’ tools. Those tools include sketchbooks, tracing paper, camera, printouts on construction paper, reference books, and markers and pens. The design reduces your space to scale so that it can be rendered on a computer. These are important tools in getting the composition of your landscape right. The process is complicated but it can also be inspired. Every new landscape design poses a unique challenge in composition.

What elements of your landscaping should be emphasized when you bring it together in your final design?

The principles of landscaping design bring all the elements together in a perfect design.

When your landscape design is complete, all the elements from plants to trees to walkways and green areas should adhere to the notion of harmony in proportion. An oversized potted plant won’t work in a small corner of the yard devoted to the kids. Your features might line up perfectly with one another across a central walkway to create a remarkable symmetrical space. On the other hand, you may opt for something a little more asymmetrical, with a walkway off the centre line or a path winding to a corner. One way of creating a sense of the familiar is to repeat sequences of flowers in flower beds or repeat breaks between hedges that are equal distant throughout. This repetition can be a desirable element of your landscape. Since unity is highly valued in design, it can be achieved by simply using an arrangement in a flower bed and repeat it over and over. That suggests unity to space in landscaping Melbourne.

 

 

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