A new lawn can add a great deal of kerb appeal to a new home landscaped garden, as well as providing a recreation area for kids and dogs.
It is often a dream of home owners to have a beautiful patch of bright green lawn in their backyard. There is a lot that can be learned from professional landscapers and professional turf managers that can help make this dream a reality.
In some cases you can apply professional landscaping techniques to your backyard lawn, but there are important differences.
New Lawn in Public Spaces.
In commercial landscaping, lawns in public spaces are often subject to heavy pedestrian traffic. For this reason there is a lot of effort put in to make the lawn area free draining. Usually public spaces like sporting grounds will have the benefit of full sun, whereas you backyard might not. Also resources like plentiful supplies of recycled water and a large maintenance budget might not apply to your backyard lawn. There are still some techniques the home gardener can apply which will result in a great looking lawn.
Planning a New Lawn
The first step with any garden project is the planning. Sketch your garden on a piece of paper include any large trees and shrubs. Plan out where the drainage and irrigation will be installed as this will be the first step in the construction of your garden lawn. Check the area after rain to ensure the water drains away freely.
Plan the level you want the finished lawn to be and any lawn edging to be used. Decide the direction where you want the surface water to drain towards. New lawns will require regular watering, so if possible avoid planting in summer. It is also important to plan the irrigation system at this early stage.
Take note of any areas of the lawn that have only a few hours of sunlight. These areas may require a shade tolerant grass or may be unsuitable for lawn. If you have high traffic areas which will result in wear patches in the lawn, use some pavers. Permeable concrete pavers are good for this application.
Should you consider the alternatives to lawn?
If your yard is steep or very shady, consider using a non mowing solution instead. This might mean using mulch, pebbles or gravel.
Pebble are a great eco friendly alternative to lawn for shady areas.
Another solution is to use low growing ground covers or succulents.
Two native Australian sustainable alternatives to lawn grasses are Dichondra repens and the Native Violet, Viola hederacea.
Some exotic herbs can also be used such as mint, thyme or chamomile. If the area is difficult to access with a mower, or if it is too steep for even the Honda self propelled mower, then the alternatives should be considered.
Dichondra repens is a great low maintenance alternative to lawn grass.
Viola hederacea has small mauve and white flowers. Like viola Banksii it is native violet that creates a dense ground cover with flowers for most of the year.
Topsoil for your new lawn
Sporting grounds will normally have a thick layer of friable topsoil with a thick drainage layer underneath.
The grounds are usually quite flat so sub soil drainage is very important. For your backyard or frontward lawn, the ground can be sloped a bit more to aid with drainage. Depending on how well you can cultivate your subsoil, you might be able to get away with as little as 100mm of friable topsoil.
Cultivating the subsoil
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. This can be achieved by cultivating organic matter into the subsoil and, in some cases, adding gypsum.
Organic Matter for the subsoil
It doesn’t matter whether your soil is acid or alkaline or if it is a sandy soil or a clay soil, organic matter will help. If you are digging in organic matter for a lawn, make sure it is really well spread. We have done this in the past with a rotary hoe. If your organic matter is in pockets in your soil, it will rot down over time and leave dips in your lawn. Try to keep the extra organic to less than 20% for this reason. Some sources of organic matter would be mixed animal manures, cane mulch, a manure crop or stable manure. You can even use potting mixes. Ideally the organic materials will be well composted before applying. Applying organic matter will help to reduce water usage and feed your lawn grasses. You will not see much use of organic matter on sporting fields as the priority is to create a safe even surface.
Soil Profile showing showing the topsoil layer.
Levelling the topsoil
If the lawn is not reasonably flat, mowing will create bald patches on your lawn. Once a friable sandy loam topsoil has been laid, it can be levelled out using a pine retaining wall sleeper with a rope attached with screws.
Aim to level the topsoil around 12 millimetres below the edging to allow for the height of the grass. The actual allowance will depend upon the variety of grass and whether it you are using a roll out grass or growing lawn from seed.
Sowing the new lawn
Lawn-grass from seed.
Following the aeration, lawn seeds can be spread over the parts of the lawn requiring repair. Look for grass seeds species suitable for your location. In South east Queensland like Green couch or Bermuda grass Cynodon dactylon or Queensland blue couch Digitaria didactyla. These varieties will take about a month to grow.
In Melbourne look for a selection of grass seeds that includes couch grass. Fast growing Rye grasses can be used if you are planting in shady areas in the cooler months, but generally cool season grasses will not be a long term drought tolerant sustainable solution.
Top dress the lawn with a sandy loam. For smaller areas, a fine potting mix makes a good lawn top dress. The lawn can then be fertilised with chook pellets like Neutrog Rooster Booster or with Neutrog Seamungus soil and plant conditioner. Is necessary, top dress with some gypsum. Water with a fine mist using a soil wetter or a soil conditioner like Neutrog GOGO Juice.
Roll out Lawn
For instant effect, a roll out lawn can be used. This should be rolled out on even topsoil as soon as it is delivered. Start with laying the lawn along any straight lawn edges you might have in your garden design. Take care not to stretch the lawn rolls and push each roll firmly together without gaps.
Top dress after rolling with a sandy loam or sand. A lawn roller will help to even the surface and keep the lawn roots in good contact with the soil. Another advantage of the roll out lawn is that you can use drought resistant hybrid varieties that cannot be grown from seed.
A lawn roller will help flatten the lawn and keep the seeds in good contact with the soil.
For large commercial landscaping projects, or large residential landscaping, hydroseeding is often used. Hydroseeding is a method wher a mixture of water, fertilizer and grass seeds are sprayed over the area. Some local councils have seen problems with grass taking off with this method, so it is probably best to do this in Autumn.
Your new or repaired lawn will need watering every day for a month. To save water use a soil wetter to minimise run off. Water in the evening to reduce losses due to evaporation. A liquid fertiliser high in nitrogen and iron will keep your lawn looking green.
5 steps to creating the perfect new lawn
Plan the area and note the drainage, irrigation and shade.
A Concrete Retaining wall can be described as a structure that retains the lateral pressure – usually formed due to soil. In simple terms, it is nothing but a wall that holds the soil on one side of it so the desired changes of the ground level elevation can be achieved. A difference of Elevation levels can be seen on the either side of the retaining wall in the illustration. A basement wall, for instance, is a retaining wall.
A Concrete Retaining wall
Retaining walls can be made up of materials like stone masonry, timber, steel etc. However, the most common material is concrete for retaining walls construction owing to its durability, adaptability and availability. It can be moulded in to any shape and size, can be ordered from concrete plants or made on the site – also called insitu concrete retaining walls.
Stripping the formwork off the walls.
Concrete retaining walls can be of different types based on their working methods and type of construction. These include, but are not limited to, Gravity Wall, Cantilever wall, Piling Wall and Anchored Wall. On a smaller scale of retaining walls, which is where smaller lateral loads are applied, block retaining wall and sleeper retaining wall – made of concrete retaining wall blocks and concrete retaining wall sleepers respectively – are also common.
Gravity Retaining Wall
A gravity retaining wall uses its self-weight to counter the lateral loads coming from soil. For this reason, the gravity walls are usually big and therefore heavier as compared to other retaining walls. It can be used for retaining walls as high as 3 metres.
Construction is pretty simple and can be done with plain concrete only. A proper drainage system should be provided to avoid the lateral pressure caused due to the water in soil.
Although Concrete can be prepared on-site it is better to use the services of Commercial Concreting companies. The concrete provided is designed in a proper manner keeping the right amount of water, cement, fine and coarse aggregate along with any additives, if needed. They provide concrete based on Concrete’s compressive strength which is usually difficult to know when concrete is prepared on-site, unless very strict precautions are taken and a sample has already been checked in the lab.
Commercial Concreting makes the construction of concrete structures much easier and more reliable.
Cantilever Retaining Wall
A cantilever retaining wall, as the name suggests, is based on cantilever technique where a slab is put underground to support the stem (see illustration).
A cantilever retaining wall
Since the cantilever retaining wall is of a smaller section as compared to gravity walls, reinforcement is provided in normal conditions. Alternatively, Pre-cast concrete and Pre-stressed concrete can also be used for the construction. It can used for retaining walls up to 10 meters of height.
Construction, however, is not as simple as compared to gravity retaining walls. And, a suitable drainage system is provided to avoid to extra lateral pressure that would be caused due to the water available in soil.
Piled Retaining Wall
Piled retaining wall is nothing but reinforced concrete piles driven next to each other in the ground up to a certain depth that is enough to counter the lateral earth pressure. A gravel fill is usually provided for the drainage of water.
Sheet pile retaining walls are also used in a similar manner. These kind of piles can be used for the retaining walls which are up to 6 meters in height. The construction requires heavy machinery for the drilling or driving of piles in the ground. Construction is complex and therefore requires technical knowledge.
Anchored Retaining Wall
Anchored retaining walls are usually provided where a high retaining wall with a thin cross section is required. Wires or deep cable rods are driven deep sideways and then anchored by pouring concrete on to them. These tiebacks or anchors act against the sliding and over-turning of the retaining wall.
Similar to other methods, a drainage system is provided to avoid excess lateral pressure caused due to the water.
Examples of anchored retaining wall
Gravity Retaining walls, Cantilever Retaining Wall and other described above are the kinds of retaining walls that are supposed to take high lateral loads. These kind of walls usually require an engineer and a technical team to design the retaining walls which would stand against sliding and over-turning failures.
Small retaining walls, usually up to 1.2 meters (4 feet), can be constructed and used on a private property with little expertise. All you’ll need is time and materials to construct these retaining walls. Such small retaining walls are constructed to hold back the garden soil and for other smaller lateral loads.
Concrete Block Retaining walls and Concrete Sleeper Retaining walls are possibly the best choices for such tasks.
Concrete Block Retaining Wall
A concrete block retaining wall is nothing but a set of concrete blocks stacked on top of each other. But, in order to make it a retaining wall that lasts for years and can take loads in a safe manner, some construction techniques should be utilized.
A Concrete Block Retaining wall under construction.
In situ concrete stairs and block retaining walls.
Concrete Block Retaining Wall Construction
First of all, a trench of certain height should be dug and compacted. A layer of crushed stone base, 15 mm 20 mm stones in size, should be provided. This requires less compaction and is good for the drainage.
Concrete blocks, or hollow concrete blocks, are then stacked in the form of a masonry so that all the joints should not come in the same vertical line. This would allow the retaining walls to resist vertical loads as well.
Depending on the concrete blocks you are using, the can come up with butt joints or locking flange to avoid sliding of one block over the other.
The same stones that we used for the stone base can be provided on the back of retaining wall for the drainage of water to avoid extra water pressure.
Concrete Sleeper Retaining Wall
Concrete Sleeper Retaining wall is very similar to concrete block retaining wall. In this retaining wall, concrete sleepers are used instead of concrete blocks. A number of companies provide factory-made sleepers and vertical posts.
An example of a concrete Sleeper Retaining Wall. – Photo Credit – Bunnings.
Concrete Sleeper Retaining Wall Construction
Site should be cleared and levelled. Measurements should be made and auger holes should be dug for a depth of around 1.4 meters for a retaining wall of 1 meter height. A deeper hole would be required in case the retaining wall is higher than 1 meter. The posts should then be concreted into the ground so they are secure. A Concrete of around 20MPa strength would do the job.
Once the concrete is hardened and posts are in their proper place, sleepers should be paced. Seal the back of sleepers with a plastic sheet or with a concrete layer. A perforated drainage pipe should be provided to run along the length of wall. A drainage material such as crushed stone of around 20 mm in size should be provided over the pipe.
Drainage for a concrete retaining wall.
After the placement of sleepers, one should wait for around 7 days for the concrete to gain strength after which it is okay to pour the backfill material.
Three Best Types of Concrete Retaining Walls
Since there are different uses for each Concrete Retaining Wall mentioned in this text, it is difficult to choose the best three types. However, if we grade them based on their simplicity of construction, we can enlist three.
Concrete Block Retaining Wall
Concrete Sleeper Retaining Wall
Concrete Gravity Retaining Wall
Afore-mentioned retaining walls offer simple construction methods and can be constructed without any technical assistance, if their usage is limited to private properties and shorter heights of around 1.2 metres.
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The tennis court surface is a fundamental part of the game of tennis.
Without any doubt, tennis is one of the most entertaining and favorite games among millions of people of all ages across the globe. It improves both physical and mental health, brings positive emotions and gives you social benefits as well. What a pleasure to play tennis with your friend, especially outside! All you need is a racquet, tennis balls, a court and a partner. Alternatively, you can even play on your own, practicing serve on the court or hitting groundstrokes and volleys against the wall.
Tennis Court Surface Characteristics
Tennis can be played on different surfaces and each surface has its own characteristics, which affects the speed and style of play. I guess you wondered which tennis court surface is the best. It’s quite difficult to answer this question, as each type of surface has its advantages and disadvantages and appeals to a certain playing style. For example, Rafael Nadal, an extraordinary Spanish player, is the best clay court specialist, when Roger Federer performs better on grass courts. Novak Djokovic, another genius tennis player is more confident on hard courts.
Which tennis court surface is the best?
Let’s take a look at the most popular tennis court surfaces and compare their characteristics. There are four major types of courts, depending on the materials used for the court surface: clay courts, hard courts, grass courts and carpet courts.
Clay courts are made of crushed stones, shale and bricks and have red or orange color; less frequently, when they are composed of basalt, a natural stone, they have green colour. The French Open, one of the four Grand Slam tournaments, is played on clay courts, when green clay is used only for the tournaments in the United States.
On clay, tennis ball bounces slower and higher, than on other courts, which gives advantages to confident baseline players, who adds a lot of topspin and play mostly in a defensive style. Another key feature of clay courts is the ability to slide to the ball, so the player needs good flexibility. Among the reasons why the play on a clay court is a good idea are the following: the softer surface of this type of court is not so harmful to the body; this surface improves endurance and physical condition, as the player needs to run more and tries to chase every ball. Moreover, a slower game teaches patience and gives more time to make a right decision. Definitely, the most talented and award-winning player, is a Spaniard Rafael Nadal, who managed to win The French Open trophy 12 times and is rightly called “the king of clay”.
En tout cas surface.
The En-tout-cas surface
In addition, “en-tout-cas” courts are worth mentioning. En-tout-cas, which means “in any case” or “in any conditions” in French, is a top-quality and the most famous court construction among tennis court builders. This is the well-known artificial sports surface builder, made from crushed bricks and stone. The main advantage of these courts is greatly improved drainage system, that helps the courts to drain quickly after the rain. In Australia, en-tout-cas courts are mostly used in Victoria.
The Grass Court Surface.
Grass courts are the fastest of all four types of the surfaces, the ball bounces fast and low to the ground, that is why the rallies become much shorter, than on hard, and especially than on clay courts. They are made of natural grass, which demands high maintenance cost, due to constant watering and mowing, that’s why they are not as widely spread, as other tennis surfaces. The most famous tournament, played on grass courts, is Wimbledon, which takes place in London in July. Grass courts favor serve-and-volley tennis players, as serve plays a vital part there, as well as confident net skills. Roger Federer, an outstanding Swiss player, is “unbeatable on grass”, thanks to his perfect technique, quick reaction and good footwork. However, in 2019, Novak Djokovic proved that he could be a decent opponent on grass court as well, winning his 5th title in an epic match on Wimbledon courts.
The Hard Court Surface
Hard courts are made of rigid materials and are favorite for most of the players worldwide. They have a smooth surface, so the bounce of the ball is rather predictable and the player can control the game easier. On this type of tennis surface the ball bounces fast and high, so players can hit a big variety of strokes, add spin and make the game more dynamic. Hard courts are suitable for players with aggressive and attacking style, who have powerful serve as well. Two Grand Slam tournaments, the US Open and the Australian Open are played on hard courts, the only difference is that the American Grand Slam uses an acrylic hard court, while the Australian Open uses a synthetic one. An interesting fact is that the Australian Open was played on grass courts before, but switched from them to hard courts in 1988.
The only disadvantage of a hard court is that it has the higher risk of getting an injury, players’ joints suffer a lot when jumping on hard ground. Nevertheless, there is a solution: the cushioning makes the surface softer, which minimizes shock on the body and helps to prevent injuries. A cushioned tennis court is a system with a concrete base with several layers of cushioned rubber, applied before the standard acrylic finish. It helps to reduce impact on athlete’s most vulnerable parts of the body: knees, ankles and feet.
The hard court surface
Novak Djokovic, a real mental giant and one of the most complete athletes to have ever played the game, is definitely considered one of the best players on hard court. A Serbian is a record holder of Australian Open titles and won his 8th trophey on Australian tennis court surface in 2020, beating an Austrian Dominic Thiem in an epic 5 set match.
Carpet or indoor courts
Carpet in tennis means any removable court covering, which is installed temporarily for tennis events. It has soft surface, can be made of different materials, from turf to rubber and may have different bright colors. These courts are similar to grass courts, as the ball bounces fast and low, so they are suitable for players with a good serve and a confident net game. Carpet courts are not used in professional events anymore, they have been replaced by removable hard courts, but some big tournaments, such as the Australian Open (until 2007), WCT Finals, Paris Masters, U.S. Pro Indoor and Kremlin Cup were held on this type of surface before.
Indoor tennis courts are rather convenient, as they are easy to install and maintain and allow to play during any weather conditions. These courts are used for modern indoor professional events such as the ATP Finals.
As you can see, tennis has a great variety of surfaces to choose from, you just need to try out different kinds of courts to find the most suitable for your style of play.
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Outdoor gym equipment is a growing trend in the landscaping of public spaces. Our recent landscape construction projects at Balwyn Community Centre and Mill Park Leisure, north of Melbourne, have both made use of outdoor exercise equipment.
Now, more than ever, this type of facility is essential for the people of Melbourne. Here, we’re exploring the 9 essential reasons Balwyn-area residents should definitely be using their local outdoor gym at the Balwyn Community Centre.
Outdoor exercise equipment and Tennis Court at Balwyn Community Centre
#1 Exercise is Fundamental to Your Health
It’s no secret that getting enough exercise is essential to our overall health and wellbeing. To encourage more exercise among the Balwyn community, building an outdoor gym in park areas gives people an extra nudge to work out.
Whether you walk past the park on your way to pick up the kids from school or you notice it’s there on your drive to the markets, encouraging our community to exercise and stay healthy is fundamental.
Long story short, if you needed an excuse to work out at a beautiful facility, outdoor gyms are the answer.
#2 Get Some Fresh Air at an Outdoor Gym
Taking your workout routine outside gives you an added boost. There’s something special about breathing in the fresh air, surrounded by gorgeous greenery and the bright blue sky.
It’s so much better than feeling stuck in a stuffy gym or working out in your garage. So, get some fresh air and enjoy the beautiful Melbourne summer at an outdoor gym instead.
#3 Connect with Nature at your local outdoor gym
With walking trails and outdoor furniture included in this outdoor gym, Melbourne locals can take a moment to relax and connect with the natural world before or after their exercise routine.
It’s so important to take time to reflect and unwind, especially these days. What better way to practise humility and gratitude than within the calm of nature itself?
#4 Sunshine Boosts Immunity
Vitamin D is a fantastic immunity booster. Therefore, using outdoor exercise equipment not only makes you healthier by forming stronger muscles and more mobility in your body but getting a touch of sunshine, packed with natural Vitamin D is amazing for your health as well.
Just remember to slip, slop, slap before heading to your outdoor exercise session!
#5 Engage with Your Community at your local outdoor gym
The overarching goal of the Balwyn Community Centre is to connect the community with one another. Sometimes, in our fast-paced world, we can get so caught up in our personal goals that we don’t take the time to truly engage with those around us.
Outdoor gym exercise with chest press machine and leg raise. Outdoor gyms are a great way to connect with the community.
With an outdoor exercise and gym facility right at your fingertips, your friends and neighbours can have a healthy reason to connect with one another, whether through a community yoga class in the park or simply through more unplanned interactions during your daily workout.
#6 Outdoor Gym Facilities Are Perfect for Social Distancing
Let’s face it. The world is radically different than it was just last year and using an outdoor gym will make it easier to stay socially distanced. It’s the perfect way to keep up with your fitness while keeping you and your loved ones as safe as possible.
#7 No Need for an Expensive Gym Membership
One of the best parts about using your local outdoor gym is that it’s completely free. Many Melbourne gyms can be quite expensive. So, save your money and use the amazing outdoor gym facilities at Balwyn Community Centre and Mill Park Leisure instead.
#8 Constructed with High-Quality Materials
Outdoor gym designers put a lot of energy and thought into creating the best possible facilities for the community.
From the cushioned EPDM wet pour rubber to protect your joints during your high-intensity workouts to the thoughtful placement of trees for shade and ambience, you can rest assured that your local outdoor exercise equipment is of the absolute highest quality and built with intention.
#9 Outdoor Gyms Include More Than You’d Expect
Not only does your local outdoor gym have easy-to-use workout machines and useful exercise tools, but it also includes amenities like a tennis court, ping pong tables, walking tracks, a designated yoga area, and shaded gazebos to take a break from the sun.
No matter how you prefer to exercise, there’s something for everyone at an outdoor gym. From playing sport with your mates to breathing through an outdoor yoga session, you can do it all at this outdoor gym in Balwyn.
Yoga mat near the urban wetlands. Balwyn Community Centre
Did you know about this incredible outdoor exercise equipment at your local Balwyn Community Centre? Well, now that you do, it’s time to take advantage of everything it has to offer. Put on your runners, slap on a hat, and invite your neighbours to get some exercise at this stunning facility.
What’s your favourite way to exercise at an outdoor gym?
A boardwalk runs past the yoga mat and the urban wetlands. Balwyn Community Centre.
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Permeable Concrete or pervious concrete is changing the way public spaces are landscaped.
Concrete is the second most consumed product in the world. And contrary to our belief, its usage is much wider than constructing buildings only. With recent developments in Concrete, it has become an important material for an array of usages. Permeable Concrete is a prime example of development in concrete industry. Although the material itself isn’t new, since it was first used in 1852, it has been attracting renewed attention.
What is Permeable Concrete?
Permeable Concrete is also known as Porous Concrete, Pervious Concrete, Gap Graded Concrete, No-Fines Concrete and Enhanced-Porosity Concrete. Permeable concrete, similar to Normal Concrete, uses a mix of Cement, Water and Coarse Aggregate with little or no sand (Fine Aggregate) in it. The resulting concrete has 15% to 25% voids which ensure a water flow rate of 480 in/hr or more. Although the higher porosity, and lack of mortar paste reduces the strength of pervious concrete as compared to the conventional one but it is sufficient for most of its uses.
What are the Applications of Permeable Concrete
Although Pavement Construction is the major application of Pervious Concrete since it reduces the stormwater runoff and adds to the surface water table. In fact, the usage of Permeable Concrete in Pavement Construction is considered as one of the Best Management Practices (BMP) by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA). The usage of Permeable Concrete in pavements and in other horizontal constructions, depending on the precipitation values of a certain region, can eliminate the need of retention ponds and other precipitation runoff storage facilities. This would result in a more efficient land use especially in urban areas where land is already expensive.
Figure 1 Pervious Concrete Pavement (Divya Bhavana et al., 2017)
Below are some of the many applications in modern landscaping;
Production of Permeable Concrete is very similar to Normal Concrete since it uses the same ingredients. However, the amount of ingredients differ. Pervious Concrete is also mix designed and therefore should be designed for the desired purpose.
A general guideline is enlisted in the table.
Table 1 Typical Mix Proportion for Pervious Concrete (Divya Bhavana et al., 2017)
Quantity (kg/cubic metre)
270 to 415
Aggregate (Coarse and Fine)
1190 to 1480
Water to Cement Ratio (by mass)
0.27 to 0.34
Aggregate to Cement Ratio (by mass)
4 to 4.5
Fine to Coarse Aggregate Ratio (by mass)
0 to 1
This typical guideline is for information only and therefore a trial mix should always be prepared and checked for the desired purpose. Apart from the usual materials, Supplementary Cementitious Materials (SCM) and chemical admixtures are also used as per their dosage mentioned by the manufactures.
Water to Cement Ratio
A lower water to cement ratio is used since higher water to cement ratios would affect the compressive strength of concrete. If desired for a purpose where compressive strength is of no importance, a higher water to cement ratio can be used.
Usage of Fine Aggregate would reduce the permeability of concrete and make it less porous, however the compressive strength would be improved.
Lightweight aggregate, recycled aggregate and other types of aggregate or other techniques like fly ash geopolymer concrete have also been utilized to make Permeable Concrete.
Characteristics of the Concrete
Although it is similar to Normal Concrete in terms of its ingredients, it has a plethora of characteristics that make this concrete different. Enlisted are some characteristics of Hardened and Green (Fresh) Permeable Concrete.
The Permeable Concrete has a textured surface after placement.
In-place densities are usually 1600 kg/m^3 to 2000 kg/m^3
Due to low or no mortar content, Permeable Concrete renders a lower slump value and a stiffer consistency. Slump values are usually less than 20 mm (0.75 inches).
In spite of higher void percentage the Permeable Concrete can render a compressive strength of 3.5 MPa to 28 MPa (500 psi to 4000 psi). Typical values are about 17 MPa (2500 psi).
No Darby, Trowel or Bullfloat is used since they tend to seal the surface of concrete.
I.Idro Drain – Heidelberg cement (Photo – Italcementi a division of Heidelberg cement.)
7 Benefits of using Pervious Concrete
Permeable Concrete is much more than a way to reduce the stormwater runoff in urban areas. Listed below are some benefits of using Permeable Concrete.
It reduces the pollution by allowing the water to percolate in the ground. The sand chemistry and biology are allowed to treat the water naturally.
Allowing the rainfall to percolate, it recharges ground water and aquifers.
It improves the land use especially in Urban Areas
The light color of Concrete and relatively open pore structure absorb and store less heat respectively when compared to Normal Concrete. This helps in lowering heat in urban areas.
It is difficult for trees planted in parking lots and sidewalks to grow in impervious concrete environments since it makes it difficult for water to reach the roots. Trees benefit from Permeable concrete and further reduce the heat in urban areas.
It eliminates the risk of ponding over the roads over a longer periods of time as observed in some developing countries after rainfall.
The pervious concrete can absorb the noise of the vehicles on the road creating a pleasant environment.
In rainy days, pervious concrete pavements do not have splashes which glisten at night and are dangerous for drivers.
As per recent researches, the permeable concrete can also be used for the purification of sea water.
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Divya Bhavana, T., Koushik, S., Uday Mani Kumar, K., & Srinath, R. (2017). Pervious concrete pavement. In International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (Vol. 8, Issue 4). https://doi.org/10.3141/2113-02
Park, S. B., Lee, B., Lee, J., & Jang, Y. Il. (2010). A study on the seawater purification characteristics of water-permeable concrete using recycled aggregate. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 54(10), 658–665. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2009.11.006
Yang, J., & Jiang, G. (2003). Experimental study on properties of pervious concrete pavement materials. Cement and Concrete Research, 33(3), 381–386. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0008-8846(02)00966-3
Tennis court construction requires attention to detail and a very solid foundation. First of all, the area must be excavated to a good depth. Any organic material under the tennis court will eventually rot away leaving a void under the tennis court. This could lead to an eventual low point and spoil the playing surface. After clearing the organic matter, the sub-grade below the tennis court is flattened. Ideally the court should be designed with a North – south orientation, but this is not always possible in residential home tennis courts.
Tennis court construction Balwyn
The geotextile layer for your tennis court
A geotextile layer is laid over the sub-grade to block any root growth from nearby trees and ensure the subgrade does not affect drainage of the road base by oozing up and filling the voids.
Tennis Court Solid Road Base Foundation
The road base material spread evenly over the area followed by even more flattening. It is essential that a robust foundation is created to maintain the stability of the playing surface. The thick layer of road base should be at lease 150mm after it has been flattened and compressed to ensure a stable foundation for the tennis court.
Typical Tennis Court Construction Layers
Tennis Court Asphalting
Ideally, two different layers of Asphalt should be used in the tennis court base with two different specifications. The lower layer of asphalt is a thicker, courser asphalt with the upper layer much finer. The fine upper layer needs to be as flat as possible. The court is constructed to shed water in two planes and it is essential that puddles do not form on the surface.
Tennis Court Cushioning layer
The optional cushioning layer is an ideal choice for residential and club tennis courts. The cushioning layer reduces impact on a tennis player’s feet, ankles and knees. By providing a small amount of flexibility, it also makes the upper playing surface more durable. The playing surface is much less likely to crack and peel if it is bonded to a surface with a little bit of “give”. The Australian open surface uses Plexicushion.
The Playing Surface
Modern material technology has given the customer a wide range of choices for the playing surface itself. Many people will remember the when the Australian Open was played at Kooyong on grass surfaces. Grass courts are still common to tennis tournaments in Great Britain and most notably Wimbledon. In the countries in continental Europe, clay courts are often use a clay system known as “en tout cas” meaning “in any case”. Although this is a French phrase, the company, En tout cas,is British. They came up with a clever solution to the problems caused by water on clay tennis surfaces. The solution is to use crushed brick which greatly improves drainage. Most clay courts today use crushed brick as the main constituent of the surface.
Landscaping the public space around the tennis court.
Balwyn Community Centre Tennis Court
Tennis courts in public spaces like the Balwyn Community Centre need to be low maintenance and durable. The landscape architects, ACLA, wisely chose Euroclay for the playing surface. This is a surface that provides all of the features of a clay tennis surface with very low maintenance. It even looks and plays like en tout cas, but notes not require rolling or watering. Even better, tennis can still be played in wet conditions. Ideal for the diehard tennis enthusiast home owner.
Tennis Court Repair
The landscaping project at Balwyn Community Centre also involved making repairs to an adjoining court. A large tree near the tennis court had caused damage dur to the tree root growing into the court. It was necessary to dig a trench between the tree and the court to install a root barrier to prevent further damage. All of the roots under the court had to be removed as organic material rotting away under a court can lead to further damage in the future.
Court Construction Balwyn Community Centre
What is Euroclay?
Euroclay is a UV stabilised polyethylene carpet with a sand infill. Polyethylene is a very tough material that is also very stain resistant. It is also relatively inexpensive, so using this type of construction will save money in both construction and maintenance.
Other types of construction
There are of course, other types of court construction techniques. The lower layers can be concrete or can be permeable materials with drainage systems. The goal in all of these is to provide a playing surface that is durable, even, well drained, and provides a fair game to all players.
Landscaping Tennis Courts
The courts need to be designed and constructed with a slight fall to shed water. It is essential that the water can drain to the outside of the court and into the surrounding area. It is important that any gardens near the courts are designed and constructed so that material from the gardens cannot wash onto the court playing surface.
Tennis Court Landscaping at Balwyn Community Centre.
Consideration should also be given player safety with any garden edging or branches near the court. Tennis players often need to go into the nearby gardens to retrieve tennis balls, so this should also be considered? For some privacy around a residential tennis court some fast growing climbing plants would be a good option.
Landscaping is a word that is often used but can mean different things to different people. If we study the history of landscaping we can learn how these different interpretations of landscaping came about. Historically, architecture and landscaping are concepts that are very much intertwined, as are sculpture art and painting. Why is there confusion over the word landscaping? Who were the most influential landscapers of all time and what influenced them? To find out we look at the history of landscaping and landscape design, but first a few modern definitions.
What are the different types of landscaping?
The broad term Landscaping can refer to any of the following disciplines.
Soft landscapers are usually qualified horticulturists. They are skilled in areas of plant health and plant cultivation. Horticulturists are also trained in design and other aspects of landscaping construction.
Hard Landscaping as the name suggests is related to installation of the structural elements of the landscape design. Examples of these are exposed aggregate concrete paths, insitu concrete retaining walls and pergolas.
Garden maintenance is often referred to as landscaping.
Landscape design usually involves the use of CAD to layout both the hard landscaping and the soft landscaping designs. Modern landscape design also involves creating photorealist computer renderings to help the customer visualise the finished design. The use of 3D CAD is now a common part of the landscape design process. Sometimes this service is provided as a landscape design only service. The final outcome is usually better when it is a product of landscape by design rather than just moving materials around the worksite to achieve the desired look.
Landscape architects study at university to learn the theoretical skills required to design public spaces using CAD. Landscape architecture encompasses the knowledge of the physical materials, living systems and human factors. Landscape architects have both plant knowledge and strength of materials knowledge to design an effective public space by CAD. Landscape architecture also includes the environmental planning, urban design, and site planning for a landscaped site. The understanding of the main concepts of civil engineering is vital for this role. Even in the 18 century landscapes were made to detailed drawings by landscape architects like Lancelot Capability Brown and Humphry Repton.
The history of landscaping
The earliest surviving detailed garden design plan dates from circa 1400 BC. It is surprising how much of this design style is still in use in modern Mediterranean garden design. The garden was for a highly ranked official in the Egyptian Court at Thebes. The home had a main entrance with a pergola with vines growing. The garden design also included self-contained walled enclosure, rectangular water features and garden paths with tree lined avenues.
The Persians, Babylonians and Assyrians
These gardens are described in the old testament as pleasure gardens. The gardens were designed to enable cool water and shade to be enjoyed in private. The landscaping also included man made hills with terraces planted with shrubs and trees.
Greek Gardens of the Classical Period
Sport and public places were both big parts of Greek culture. Sports grounds developed into the academy and the lyceum and people gathered in these places. The public spaces in Greek life included groves of shade trees which is essential in a Mediterranean garden. Also included were some porticoes, spectator seating and the exercise ground itself. It was around this time that a courtyard garden design with rows of columns supporting roofs over covered walkway became part of the urban lifestyle. This garden design became known as “peristyle” from the Greek word “peri” meaning around (as in perimeter) and “style” which means column. It is thought that this style of architecture originated in temples like the Temple of Hera at Samos and was then adopted for domestic buildings.
Greek Gardens of the Hellenistic Period
The death of Alexander the great was the start of a new age in Greece where the country was less Athens centric. New luxurious gardens or pleasure grounds had sprung in the Greek colonies. Notable amongst these were the gardens at Syracuse and Alexandria. These gardens were more influenced by gardens in the east. Under Alexander the great Macedonia had formed a huge empire stretching from Macedonia to parts of India. Within the empire the spread of people brought architecture and landscaping to different cities. After the death of Alexander, the empire was divided, and the various kings spent money on gardens and architecture to impress their guests.
What have the Romans ever done for landscaping?
Many of the southern cities of the Italian peninsula were founded as Greek Colonies. The area was known to the Romans as Magna Graecia and to the Greeks as Megale Hellas meaning “Great Greece”. Starting with Naples in 327 BC all of the Greek cities in Magna Graecia were absorbed into the Roman Empire. The Romans adopted the Greek peristyle landscaping with small enclosed town gardens and with Roman villa gardens. Some examples still exist in the excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum which were previously very much Greek cities. An example of the adoption of this style can be seen in the Villa Adriana which is Hadrian’s grand villa near Tivoli. Another example is Nero’s Golden House in Rome. As Christianity began to spread through Europe in the later part of the Roman Empire, the peristyle courtyard garden evolved into the cloistered abbey garden and courtyard.
Roman Landscaping. Villa Adriana near Tivoli Italy
One of the reasons that some of the Roman building can still be seen today is the Roman use of concrete in building construction. Unlike bricks or stone construction, the concrete buildings are difficult to recycle into newer buildings. For this reason many of the buildings of ancient Rome were just left in situ with some of the concrete crumbling or becoming submerged by the increasing ground level.
The Pantheon in Rome was constructed entirely in concrete.
Roman concrete was made more durable by the addition of volcanic ash. This has meant that many Roman buildings have survived into modern times and the became an inspiration for architects and landscapers on the Grand Tour, They were also an inspiration for High Renaissance architects. One architect that was greatly inspired by this building was a goldsmith named Filippo Brunelleschi who built the dome for the Cathedral of Santa Maria Del Fiore in Florence, Italy. Brunelleschi had spent several years in Rome studying and sketching the ancient monuments.
Roman Heated Swimming Pools
The engineering abilities of the Romans extended to more than temples, villas roads and aqueducts. The Romans also invented the heated swimming pool. It was built by Gaius Maecenas in the first century BC near Rome.
Islamic gardens or Paradise Gardens are well known for their water features. Water was precious to the desert dwelling Arabs of North Africa who we part of an empire that stretched all the way to India. Their garden designs were greatly influenced by Persian gardens. Symbology was important in these gardens with the gardens divided into 4 sections by mini canals each representing a different aspect of life. These are known as quadripartite or Charbagh and the canals represent four rivers running with water, milk, wine and honey.
The word paradise comes from the old Persian language pairi dez and means enclosed or surrounded by a wall. An outer perimeter wall or an enclosure of buildings is often a feature of these gardens. When Spain was captured the Moors, “paradise garden” became a common garden theme in the wealthy homes and public spaces of southern Spain. Therefore many of the gardens in southern Spain have the theme of four rivers and the garden divided into four parts. To create the illusion of depth in the shallow canals, dark blue tiles are used as a lining of the canal.
Islamic Landscaping. Paradise Gardens at the Alhambra in Spain. The Patio of the Lions.
Another part of the symbology is the square ponds representing earth and the round fountains representing heaven. These were combined to represent the meeting of heaven and earth. The colonnade courtyards surrounding the gardens also had symbology in the surrounding columns with designs showing date palms. Some examples of this type of Islamic landscape architecture include the Alhambra in Granada.
The Island of Sicily
The Islamic influence also spread to another colony in the Mediterranean. The island of Sicily had parks built by the Saracens using the Islamic garden themes. When the Normans conquered the island in the 11th century, they maintained the gardens much as they were with walled enclosures containing canals, lakes and citrus groves. It was not just the gardens which came into the Norman hands, there was also a wealth of knowledge recorded in Arabic and Greek texts. This transfer of knowledge in the fields of mathematics, science, astronomy and medicine, which occurred in Spain, Sicily and the Levant, helped to spark the 12th century renaissance. One enduring legacy of the Islamic garden is the garden patio.
Italian Renaissance Gardens
The Italian garden renaissance began in the 15th century near Florence. Medieval enclosures that were earlier necessary for defence began to open up into a system of villas with a coherent house and gardens. In Rome, the design of Italian renaissance gardens on the hillsides became the role of architects. Famous renaissance architect, Donato Bramante, designed a significant garden linking the Papal palace with the Villa Belvedere. The villa had been built by the previous pope as a place to catch summer breezes during the hot summer in Rome. Bramante had studied painting prior to studying architecture and was skilled in the use of perspective. The hard landscaping for this design incorporated a system of stairways and garden stairways and was named Belvedere meaning beautiful view. The Belvedere garden also revived the Roman tradition of adorning the garden with ancient statues. Bramante is probably better known as the architect who designed St Peter’s Basilica in Rome we see today and for his disagreements with sculptor Michelangelo. To finance the building of St Peter’s, the church began to sell papal indulgences which in turn lead to the Reformation and years of war and religious persecution in Europe.
Vatican Gardens in Vatican City. Donato Bramante divided this area into three new courtyards: the Cortile del Belvedere, the Library Courtyard and the Cortile della Pigna with the landscape design of the Renaissance.
Bramante was really a central figure in High Renaissance Architecture. This style of architecture is characterised by its use of proportion and symmetry and most notably for the influence through the study of antiquity. Bramante’s work that first ushered in the High Renaissance was the Tempietto which is designed as a circular temple inspired by the remains of the ancient Temple Vesta.
Il tempietto is an example of Bramante’s High Renaissance architecture.
Another influential architect of the High Renaissance was Andrea Palladio, who was chief architect of the Republic of Venice. Palladio was greatly inspired by the architecture of Greece and ancient Rome. His teachings in I quattro libri dell’architettura (The Four Books of Architecture) extended his influence to most of Europe and covered everything from materials to Town Planning. William Kent, the British architect and landscaper was heavily influence by Palladio’s books.
Villa La Rotonda near Vicenza by Palladio. The symmetrical design has 4 facades.
Palladio’s Rural Villas
Palladio’s design of rural villas for the Venetian nobility with a strong centre and symmetrical side wings became the design theme for Italian villas and for the country estates of the British nobility. This style of architecture which strongly adheres to the principles of classical Roman architecture, became known as Palladian Architecture.
The landscaped gardens of Villa La Rotonda.
Rome and the gardens of the Cardinals
Between 1550 and 1600 there was a huge increase in garden construction in and around Rome. The most powerful people in Rome at that time were the cardinals, who each though of themselves as a potential pope. The pope was one of the most influential persons throughout Europe.
New popes were chosen for their culture, influential and wealth. The way to demonstrate this to the other cardinals was to create an inspiring and remarkable garden. Geometry, order and harmony were key features of these garden designs. The aim was to demonstrate the influence and cultured sophistication, not just of the cardinal but of the cardinal’s family dynasty.
Symbology in Renaissance Gardens
Symbology, such as family crests, and control of water flow was nearly as important as the aesthetic beauty. The cardinals employed the best architects in an attempt to outdo each other and to increase their influence.
Symbology in renaissance gardens including rare garden bulbs were part of these gardens during the renaissance period, but this is less noticeable today. Jasmines, crocuses, lilies, box topiary but these became overgrown when this style of garden was out of fashion. The shortness of the flowering seasons for the flowers that were available then, meant that flower beds could not be relied upon to be the principle garden feature. Trimmed herbs, box, lavender and rosemary were used to divide garden beds into geometric compartments. Decorative contrast was given to stonework and brick walls with the use of ivy. Laurel, cypress pine and ilex.
The Canopus. The ruins of Hadrian’s Villa near Tivoli has influenced landscapers and architects for centuries. The Pool is a metaphor of the Mediterranean.
Hadrian’s Tivoli Villa Adrianna the inspiration for Renaissance gardens
Outside Rome, the ruins of Hadrian’s Tivoli Villa Adrianna was an inspiration that lit the spark for renaissance gardens. Hadrian travelled more than any other emperor and was inspired by gardens throughout the Roman empire,
The Canopus with its columns was visited by the renaissance architects visited to discover how to create water flows into pools. They also learnt about how an aqueduct carried water and the design ratios and the use of symbolism within the garden. The garden is a metaphor for the Roman empire with Greece represented by the row of caryatids on the right. These statues are replicas of the statues forming the Porch of the maidens in the Erechtheum in Athens. A statue of a crocodile represents Egypt.
Villa d’Esti in Tivoli
Nearby in Tivoli the garden Cardinal Desti created a garden with fantastic use of water. Villa d’Esti.
Landscaping with Water features. Aerial view of the iconic Villa d’Este in Tivoli, Italy
Pirro Ligorio created these incredible water features by taking a third of the town’s water supply. The use of water in this garden is astonishing and is achieved without using any pumps. Symbology and coded messages are embedded throughout this garden . Within this garden, Ligorio created a model Rome in his palace garden complete with a statue of Romulus and Remus. The dramatic and theatrical were now starting to replace the peace and harmony of earlier gardens. Surprise and delight were not the aims of renaissance architecture. Power culture and wealth were demonstrated by the creation of gardens that are really in your face.
The French Gardens of the 17th Century.
Once again it was conflict and invasions that drove the interchange of cultures. This time it was the French who invaded Italy towards the end of the 17th Century that were influence by the gardens of the conquered. The Italian wars 1494 1559 were a series of violent wars that had a massive impact on Renaissance Europe. These wars were fought largely by Spain and France, but there were other armies involved. In 1494 French king Charles VIII invaded Italy, which triggered the wars. After 64 years of sporadic fighting the French just managed to hold the fortresses at five Italian cities. An early example of the Italian influence on French gardens and architecture was the Château of Anet in the Loire valley (Département of Eure-et-Loire). Little remains of this building as it was mostly destroyed after the French Revolution, but it was used in the filming of the James Bond movie Thunderball.
French Baroque Gardens
The baroque gardens of the French were based on the Italian renaissance gardens, but were flashier and with even more emphasis on complex geometry. French landscape architect André Le Nôtre later designed a garden at the château Vaux-le-Vicomte south west of Paris. The garden is regarded as an early example of the baroque French classical style.
Vaux-le-Vicomte Baroque Renaissance Landscaping.
The Garden that left a deep impression on the King
The château and gardens at Vaux-le-Vicomte were so impressive that King Louis XIV confiscated the house and threw the owner in jail. Le Nôtre then went to work for the king and went on to work on the design of the gardens at Versailles. Some of the other notable landscape designs include Sceaux, Saint-Cloud, and Chantilly. Fontainebleau, Tuileries and the Grand Trianon. In his art collection André Le Nôtre had a sculpture by Michelangelo, so there is a good chance he was a fan of the Italian renaissance. On both Versailles and the château Vaux-le-Vicomte he had worked with painter and designer Charles Le Brun who had design the classic statues for Versailles. Charles Le Brun had spent several years in Italy as part of his artistic development.
Dutch Gardens of the 17th Century
The conflict sparked by the reaction to the reformation lead to the arrival of Protestant refugees into the Dutch republic. The arrival of skilled craftsmen from other parts of Europe helped to start the Dutch Golden Age. In 1685 King Louis XIV made Protestantism illegal in France which lead to a further 200,000 Huguenots fleeing France. Amongst these refugees was Daniel Marot from Paris. He was a skilled designer, engraver and architect and soon found himself working at the Palace Het Loo in Apeldoorn.
Het Loo Dutch baroque gardens.
Het Loo was owned by Willem Hendrik Prince of Orange who through his marriage to Mary Stuart later became King William III of England, Ireland and Scotland. The design of Het Loo was inspired by the work of Charles le Brun and Jean Bérain at Versailles. When Prince Willem Hendrik became King William III, he took Daniel Marot with him to London and appointed him as a court architect and Master of Works.
English Baroque Gardens
Charles II spent most of his exile at the palace of Versailles south of Paris. His long stay there would have influenced his choices after the restoration of the monarchy in 1660. In the short time Charles II was King, he helped to revive English tradesmen’s skill as put into place new measures aimed at the preservation of excellence in the arts.
French and Dutch influences in English Landscaping
Charles and his architects introduced French and Dutch influences in an attempt to produce new architectural order to England. It was during this time that architect Christopher Wren spent a long time in Paris to learn from the achievements of modern French Architects. During his time in Paris, Wren met with Italian sculptor and architect Gianlorenzo Bernini, who was the leading sculptor in the baroque style. Bernini was in Paris to complete the palace of the Louve. Wren also met with Francois Mansart, who introduced Italian classicism into baroque architecture. Mansart’s architectural designs, where he integrated the landscape and the building in harmony were an influence on garden designer André Le Nôtre. Wren’s trip to Paris and meeting with the great architects of the day were to have a profound influence on his later architecture. This can be seen in the design of St Paul’s in London with a renaissance style large central cupola.
St Paul’s in London. Large central cupola by Christopher Wren.
William and Mary Gardens
After the Glorious Revolution William and Mary ascended to the throne of England. They brought with them to England skilled craftsmen and architects from the Dutch Republic and Europe. The furniture from this period is known as “William and Mary” style. Many of the finest buildings in England were commissioned during this time. These include Greenwich Hospital, Kensington Palace and Hampton Court Palace.
Hampton Court Palace gardens
Wren was commissioned to remodel and extend Hampton Court Palace with a new courtyard and apartments for the King and Queen. The great fountain garden was created by architect Daniel Marot, who had been brought over from Het Loo.
English Formal Gardens
There are many English gardens of this style that are open to the public. The photographs below are just a few of what is on offer.
English Formal Garden at Cliveden. This garden shows the influence of earlier renaissance style.
Formal Garden at Waddesdon in Buckinghamshire.
Italianate Garden Blenheim Palace Oxfordshire.
Formal Landscaping. The Italian garden at Blenheim Palace.
Restored English Formal Garden Hanbury Hall near Droitwich
Landscaping Georgian English gardens
The Georgian era was one of great change in Europe and in England in particular. The huge growth in international trade and the emergence of middle-class wealth were chief amongst these. This led to more people wanting lavish landscaped gardens and the rise of the Grand Tour as a sort of gap-year for mostly young wealthy men. Starting in Dover, the Grand Tour would set out for Italy often via Paris. The trips could be as long as 3 or 4 years and the main destinations were the great Italian cities of the renaissance as well as the excavations of the Roman civilisation at Pompeii and Herculaneum. The influence of the Grand Tour on the young aristocrats of Britain often left them with architectural tastes for Neoclassical, based on the remains of ancient temples or Palladian base on Palladio’s interpretation of a Roman villa construction.
The taste for Neoclassical architecture that was brought from the grand tour was a hit for public buildings all around the world and the influence lasted for many years. Many well-known buildings in Melbourne were designed in this style including the Victorian State Parliament house in Spring Street East Melbourne. Some other great examples of this architectural style include The State Library of Victoria in the Melbourne CBD and the Shrine of Remembrance in King’s Domain close to South Yarra. Other noteworthy Melbourne Buildings in the neoclassical style include;
Eldon Mansion in Grey Street St Kilda,
Richmond Town Hall in Bridge Road Richmond
St Kilda Town Hall on the corner of Carlisle St and Brighton Road, St Kilda
Port Melbourne Town Hall in Bay Street Port Melbourne
Fitzroy Town Hall in Napier Street Fitzroy
In addition to the public buildings there are some Neoclassical or Palladian style homes in the Melbourne Suburbs of Toorak and Brighton.
St. Kilda Town Hall neoclassical architecture.
Neoclassical Victorian State Parliament house in Spring Street East Melbourne.
Chief amongst the early Georgian Architects was William Kent. Kent is credited with introducing the architecture of Italian Architect Andrea Palladio into Britain. The naturalist landscaping style with serpentine lakes in place of straight canals was a hallmark of Kent’s landscaping. Kent had spent 10 years in Rome copying the paintings of the old masters and developing the skills of engraving and etching. Whilst in Italy Kent met the Third Earl of Burlington, Richard Boyle. It was Lord Burlington who gave Kent a series of commissions in Britain that kick-started Kent’s career as an architect and landscaper. Kent’s experience in Italy helped him to tap into the market for architecture amongst aristocrats nostalgic over their time on the Grand Tour.
Landscape Design of William Kent
Kent was a pioneer of the English naturalistic landscaping that began in the early Georgian period. Landscaping became more naturalistic. Instead of the formal rococo or baroque gardens of the French and Dutch, we see vistas that have been carefully crafted to take your eye to a picturesque garden focal point or building. Kent’s garden focal points included garden follies such as artificial ruins, grottoes, pagodas and temples. Stowe in Buckinghamshire has some great example of the work of William Kent.
Landscaping at Stowe in Buckinghamshire.
Amongst Kent’s focal points are the hermitage, the temple of Venus, the Elysian fields, the Temple of British Worthies and the Temple of Ancient Virtue.
William Kent Landscaping. The Temple of Ancient Virtues.
William Kent Landscaping. Elysian fields with the Temple of British Worthies. Stowe
Kent at Rousham Park
Another example of Kent’s work can be seen at Rousham Park, where the garden has become a place of pilgrimage for fans of the landscaping of William Kent. One of the landscaping design features used by landscapers of this era was the ha-ha or sunken fence.
Landscaping with a Ha-Ha. This design feature enabled a view of the landscape without an obvious fence. Rousham Park Oxfordshire.
With the Ha-Ha landscaping design feature the landscaper could separate the landscaped grounds of the estate from the areas where the farm animals grazed without a fence interrupting the view. The Ha-ha was also used by landscaping genius Lancelot “Capability” Brown.
Landscaping of William Kent – Rousham Gardens
Praeneste by Landscaper William Kent at Rousham Gardens.
Praeneste at Rousham
Octagon Pool Rousham Park.
Temple of Echo by William Kent and William Townsend. Neoclassical Architecture.
Lancelot “Capability” Brown the greatest Landscaper of all time.
Lancelot Brown is probably the most famous landscape designer in English History and is widely known as England’s greatest gardener. He is also known as the father of Landscape Design. In his younger years he worked on some projects to drain some of the Fens and it is widely believed that this is where he developed his knowledge of hydrology and how to apply it to landscaped design.
Landscaping. The lake at Blenheim Palace enlarged and lined with clay by Capability Brown.
Blenheim Palace Lake. The landscaping of Capability Brown.
Capability Brown Landscaping at Blenheim Palace. The lake was made much larger by Capability Brown.
When it comes to the design of water features such as lakes, streams and ponds, Capability Brown was a genius. It is hard to imagine how the shear volume of work being undertaken by Brown was achieved in a time when not everybody was literate. In a time before the railways, Brown criss-crossed the country to supervise his huge landscaping projects.
The Cascades at Blenheim Palace look natural, but much of the landscaping is manmade.
Over 250 landscapes have been attributed to Capability Brown and his list of clients include the King, the Prime Minister and several members of the House of Lords. Landscapers like Kent and Brown were the “Rock Stars” of their era. Their well connected list of contacts ensured they were in prime position for the high end landscaping projects.
Brown’s English landscapes totalled around 52,000 Hectares. To put this in perspective, it would be like landscaping the whole area of Toorak 120 times without any machinery.
Landscaping on a Grand Scale
Brown’s landscaping included moving villages or churches, manually digging lakes and moving large trees to different locations. Like Kent, his landscaping style was towards naturalistic landscapes with views of buildings or focal points framed by trees. The landscape was designed to reveal a view of the main home only when it was close enough to give it the “wow” factor.
As with William Kent, Brown worked on the landscaped gardens at Stowe. Brown also manage a stint as Royal Gardener to King George III at Hampton Court Palace, but it is for his achievements at gardens like Blenheim Palace that he is best known.
During Brown’s first years as a gardener at Stowe, he was involved in many of the landscape construction projects on the estate. This gave the young Lancelot Brown the opportunity to learn more about landscaping and constructions. There is little doubt that he was heavily influenced by the landscaping work of William Kent and perhaps to a lesser extent by the architecture of James Gibbs.
The Palladian Style Bridge at Stowe in Buckinghamshire. Stowe is a great example of an 18th Century English Landscape Garden. The Palladian Bridge was constructed during Brown’s time at Stowe.
Early in his time at Stowe, Brown was involved in the construction of a gothic church folly designed by James Gibbs. Brown later designed a gothic church for the landscape at Croome which bears some similarities to the James Gibbs design.
A garden folly Gothic Temple at Stowe by James Gibbs. The temple constructed during the time of Capability Brown is now available as accommodation.
Croome Court Home and Landscaping
After leaving Stowe, Brown had a major landscaping project at Croome Court. Croome Court is around 12 km east of Great Malvern and upstream from the confluence of the rivers Severn Avon. This area, just north of Tewksbury, known for its flooding and Marshy land, so Capability Brown was the right landscaper for the job. The project involved a redesign of both the house and Landscape. The house was redesigned by Browne in the Palladian style and the marshy landscape cleverly drained into an artificial serpentine river. This was a landscaping project where Capability Brown was able to use his drainage skills learnt in the fens of East Anglia.
The landscaping at Croome now looks entirely natural but it is in fact totally man made.
Croome Court home designed by Capability Brown.
On a small hill on the property, Brown designed a classical rotunda as a place from where the landscape could be admired.
Classical Rotunda at Croome by Capability Brown.
The Lake at Croome Court took hundreds of men more than 10 years to complete by hand.
Home, Bridge and Lake at Croome Court.
Artificial serpentine “River” at Croome by Landscaper Capability Brown.
The lake constructed by Brown looks like a natural river. It winds through the parkland for a distance of just under 3 kilometres with the end just out of sight around a bend. This helps create the illusion of a river.
The lake at Croome by Capability Brown.
There are more than 18 drainage culverts built by Brown as part of the landscaping. Most of these are brick lined and still function as a drain to remove water from the land and channel it to the lake.
In places where the drainage culverts have been damaged by modern farm machinery the National Trust has left drainage grates over the openings. This gives us a glimpse of the drainage work that was done.
Flowing water and the brick lining of the drainage culvert can be seen through the drain grates.
Capability Brown created a gothic church on some high land in the park. There are great views of the estate from this position.
The Gothic Church at Croome by Capability Brown.
Church Interior Croome
One of Browns lasting legacies was the the massive tree plantings on his landscaping projects. Some of his landscapes were second only to Kew Gardens for biodiversity. The full impact of Brown’s landscaping prowess would not have been apparent for generations after the initial construction. The Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) is a member of the Pinaceae family and is regarded as one of Brown’s signature trees. It is now often seen in many British Grand Estates including Brown’s landscaping at Compton Verney.
Capability Brown at Compton Verney
The upper bridge over the lake may have been designed by architect John Adam, but it was constructed during Brown’s time at Copton Verney.
Lancelot Capability Brown Landscaping at Compton Verney.
Landscaped home and Lake at Compton Verney.
The Landscaped Hill and Lake at Compton Verney.
A view of the lake through the trees.
Repton was a landscaper in the same style as Capability Brown and saw himself as the successor to Brown. He was able to design landscapes with the naturalistic appearance of Brown, but with landscaping of the “Picturesque” added to the mix. Amongst Repton’s famous works is Sheringham Park in Norfolk. Repton invented the term “Landscape Gardener” and was known for showing his landscape clients illustrated before and after views in his landscaping “Red Book”. Repton’s first commission was for a landscape at Catton Hall north of Norwich. This landscape included a gothic cottage with a thatched roof.
Lord Berwick at Attingham
In 1797 Lord Berwick commissioned Landscape Gardener Humphry Repton to make improvements to the landscaping of his property Attingham near Shrewsbury. Repton’s landscape designs were illustrated in his “Red Book” which was presented to Lord Berwick for his library.
Landscape Design Only
In contrast to Capability Brown, Repton’s services were provided as landscape design only and he did not oversee the construction of his landscape designs. Repton’s landscape designs were handed to the client as his famous Red Book. In this book, Repton pioneered the “before and after” landscape design concept that many landscaper designers use today.
A view of the home of the Second Lord Berwick from the bridge on the River Tern.
The Second Lord Berwick’s estate at Attingham. Cedar of Lebanon was part of Repton’s design
Naturalistic Landscaping. Beautiful colours and textures of the trees planted in the distance
Naturalistic tree planting by the bank of the River Tern.
Humpry Repton at Stoneleigh Abbey
Landscape Design by Humphry Repton at Stoneleigh Abbey. Repton’s design was to divert part of the River Avon so that it ran closer to the home and created a beautiful refection.
The landscaping vision of Humphry Repton. Stoneleigh Abbey reflected in the River Avon.
River Avon at Stoneleigh with the landscape beyond. Landscape design by Humphry Repton
A view through the landscape to the River Avon
Some properties like Chastleton House in Oxfordshire have been attributed to Repton and is listed by the Nation Trust as a possible Repton Landscape.
To be continued…..
Related Landscaping ideas from Red’s Landscaping and Civil
The Mill Park Leisure Centre redevelopment has been jointly funded by local Government and the State Government of Victoria. For the entire project funding of $25 million, the State Government of Victoria has contributed $5 million towards the project. The Growing suburbs fund has contributed $2 million and a further $3 million has been contributed by the Community Sport Infrastructure Fund.
How the finished Mill Park Leisure landscaping, gym, swimming pools and other facilities will look
To be continued as the landscaping project progresses.
The Victorian Government is investing $68 million to build and upgrade community sports facilities across the state. Not only will the investment support local sporting clubs, it will create jobs and boost Victoria’s economic recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Balwyn is an inner eastern suburb of Melbourne and lies in the northern part of the city of Boroondara. It was in this area that grazier John Gardiner settled near the point where Gardiners creek meets the Yarra River. The commercial editor of the Argus, Andrew Murray built house named Balwyn which gives the area its name.
How far is Balwyn from the Melbourne CBD?
Balwyn is only 10 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD and in an easterly direction. It was once serviced by the outer loop railway station at Deepdene.
Balwyn Community Centre
The Balwyn Community Centre at 412 Whitehorse Road Surrey Hills was upgraded to ensure it would continue to support the needs of the local Balwyn Community. As well as the upgrades to the buildings, there were landscaping works for the parkland, natural wetlands, exposed aggregate concrete pathways and tennis courts.
Balwyn Community Centre Scope of works.
The hard landscaping for the Community Centre
The scope of work for this project included the following hard landscaping construction;
Plain, coloured and exposed aggregate concrete,
In-situ or poured in place concrete garden retaining walls,
Nearly all of these existing trees were kept in the new landscape design.
Later in the project rehabilitation of native wetlands was added including a child proof fence.
Tennis Court Repairs and reconstruction
Part of the landscaping included repairs to a tennis court and the construction of another tennis court. A good sport surface must be stable, therefore the new tennis court was constructed with asphalt over 300 mm of roadbase.
A low maintenance synthetic clay tennis court surface was required to laid over the asphalt. Therefore, the surface chosen was Grassports Policlay. In addition to being low maintenance, Grassports Policlay is a fast draining low maintenance water free tennis surface resulting in the ideal surface for public tennis courts. A high quality sporting surface was required, therefore the asphalt surface was flattened rigorously in preparation. The very thick roadbase foundation will also help to maintain the stability of the playing surface. Root barriers we also installed to prevent invasive tree roots causing any unevenness to the playing surface.
Soft play surfaces
The soft play coloured surfaces in the landscape was required, so an EPDM wet pour rubber was chosen. In addition to its great colour range, EPDM is a synthetic rubber widely used in the automotive industry. Similarly, its mechanical properties make it ideal for this application. For instance, it has great UV stability, abrasion resistance, ozone resistance and it is water proof. So, the material used was Playkote which was installed as a rubber wet pour over SBR underlay. In addition to the added height, the SBR underlay makes the play surface a little softer.
Garden furniture including picnic tables, benches and seats were installed to add to the public amenity. In addition to the the amenity and aesthetic provided, recycled materials were also used. To this end, the material used was Enviroslat. Enviroslat is an environmentally friendly low maintenance material produced from HDPE waste mixed with recycled cellulose. The recycled cellulose hardwood waste and rice husks.
Outdoor Furniture on Exposed aggregate concrete. ACLA Consultants landscape architects.
Table Tennis Table
Table Tennis Table with bespoke surface treatment.
The finished Commercial landscaping Project
About the Community Centre Commercial Landscaping Project
Commercial landscaping involves much more than planting trees and grasses. In the commercial world, keeping to the required timing plan is essential. This is especially the case when working with large commercial construction companies with strict deadlines and millions of dollars of materials on the commercial sites.
What is commercial landscaping?
Commercial landscaping is landscape construction primarily for commercial properties and public spaces. In some cases it may also involve landscape design or it may require working with a landscape architect instead.
Reds Landscaping using a boom pump to pour architectural concrete walls
What skills does a commercial landscaper need in this field?
These landscapers needs to be skilled at reading and interpreting building plans, project management, people management and material estimation. In addition to this the landscaper needs to have a thorough understanding of horticulture, concrete construction and the principles of landscape design. It is also important to have spatial skills and artistic flair in order to convert what is seen on a 2D drawing into a real commercial landscape.
Commercial Landscaper Melbourne
To achieve the required aims in this landscaping field detailed planning is essential. This involves working with subcontractors such as form workers, concreters and horticulturist to the ensure everyone knows and meets the work schedule. Working in commercial landscaping also requires an eye for detail. When working with the local councils or other local authorities, the drawings are provided by the landscape architect. There is a great deal of skill for the commercial landscaper to interpret the drawings and ensure an accurate high-quality interpretation of the landscape architect is brought into fruition.
Client and sub-contractor negotiation. Commercial Landscaper Melbourne
What are the properties commercial landscapers develop?
These landscapers work on landscaping projects as diverse as office buildings, hotels, apartment buildings, factories, and public spaces around community infrastructure. Professional landscaping is also used around freeways and railway lines.
Horticulture Knowledge is essential in landscaping.
What else is important in this type of landscaping?
Landscapers need to be aware of their responsibilities to protect the environment and maintain a safe workplace as well as a safe facility for clients and members of the public. The quality of materials brought onto the work site as well as disposal of material from the site is important. These landscapers need to be true allrounders. As well as the horticulture, project management and commercial skills, the landscaper will need to have excellent knowledge of drainage and heavy duty irrigation systems.
What is a public space?
Public spaces are often parks, and also includes streetscapes, public squares and shopping centres regardless of who owns the property. An urban or rural outdoor place designed to produce benefit for the public.
What Landscaping Materials are used?
In this field the materials used can be quite different to residential landscaping. Public space landscaping often uses soft rubber surfacing, in-situ concreting and alternating coloured exposed aggregate concrete.
Where can I study to become a landscaper?
In Melbourne landscaping can be studied at Holmesglen. A Melbourne suburb near Glen Waverley.
The Certificate 3 course in Landscape Construction provides skills in areas including building with concrete, with brick, and with block or stone. Important landscaping skills include constructing paving, installing drainage systems, and building different types of retaining walls. Students also learn about plant health and topsoil structure.
Related Commercial Concreting information from Red’s Landscaping and Civil