Archives for Formal Garden

Hedge designs for landscaping

Creating a hedge and tree pruning are gardening techniques which can be used to great effect in any visually any size of garden. These techniques can be used to control and direct the size, shape and direction of plant growth. When combined with plant supports, such as trellises and other plants, an interesting garden effect can be created. Of course, pruning is also used to encourage fruit tree growth and to improve plant health by encouraging air circulation. The use of hedge planting and pruning has been a feature of mediterranean gardens and English classic garden design for centuries.

If shrubs and trees are allowed to grow uncontrolled, they may become to large for the space in your garden. Often branches are left at an awkward height near pathways that can result in safety issues. It is often the case that a tree of shrub will become misshaped through natural growth and some pruning is required to improve its aesthetics.

For flowering shrubs and trees, the correct pruning technique will encourage new growth of younger shoots and in some cases more flowering in the longer term. Annual pruning of fruit trees will often result in better quality and larger fruit as well as a reduction in fungal diseases.

Keeping your garden hedge well maintained in the first place, will save you money and add value to your property. A hedge that is not well maintained may not only lose its shape, but will leave bare patches of hedge when it is finally shaped with the trimmer or saw.

Originally developed in Europe to grow fruit trees in a microclimate, a warm wall was used to provide heat and support to the plant. Later, trellises were also used to support espalier plants.

Supports for espalier plants now include wooden, metal and wire supports as well as stone, brick and even glass walls. Espalier is a great technique for improving the look of a fence or wall especially in the case of a small garden.

Pleaching is a great technique for creating a screen for garden privacy. Pleaching can be applied not only in a straight line, but also as a circle or rectangle.

Pleaching is a great way to create a green privacy screen in your garden. It can also be used to create an impenetrable hedge which can be used as a fence. It makes a nice alternative to a wire fence in rural areas.

If you would like a qualified horticulturist to take a look at your hedging needs contact us.

Click here for more Landscaping Ideas

Click here for more of our garden design blogs.

Click here to take a look at our own Melbourne landscape construction and garden maintenance.

For mored advice on how to trim hedges ;

check the Stihl garden trimmer site;

Contact Experienced Landscape Gardeners

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 Gardener Melbourne Blog

©️ 2020 Red’s Landscape Gardening Melbourne
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Training an espalier apple tree.

Brighton Espaliered Plants

Espaliered plants were originally developed in Europe to grow fruit trees in a warm microclimate. A warm wall was used to provide heat and support to the plant. Later, trellises were also used to support espalier plants.

Supports for Espaliered plants

Supports for espalier plants now include wooden, metal and wire supports as well as stone, brick and even glass walls.

An espaliered pear tree covering a grey fence.

An espaliered pear tree covering a grey fence.


Espalier Ideas in Landscaping

Espalier is a great technique for improving the look of a fence or wall especially in the case of a small garden. One of the problems with narrow garden is the question of how to create visual balance. Espaliered plants can help to give a narrow garden asymmetrical balance and also soften any hard surfaces. This landscaping design idea will also make a small garden appear larger. 

Popular Espaliered Plants

What fruit trees are the best for Espalier?

Often fruit trees are grown in espaliered form along a warm wall. Apples and pears are popular choices, but you could also try this with peaches and apricots.

What ornamental trees can be espaliered?

The fire thorn (Pyracantha coccinea) Can be grown as an Espaliered Plant.

The fire thorn (Pyracantha coccinea) Can be grown as an Espalier.


Pyracantha Orange Charmer can be grown as a hedge or Espaliered Plant

Pyracantha Orange Charmer can be grown as a hedge or espalier.

How to create your own espaliered tree

The first step on creating your own espalier tree is to construct the training system on a fence or wall. For this you will need to make horizontal cables or wires around 400mm apart. Good quality stainless steel cables will look best but are a bit more expensive. The distance apart  for the trees will depend on the type of tree and how vigorous the tree growth is. The following steps are as follows;

  1. Cut back the trunk to around 300mm high.
  2. Allow the top 3 buds to grow out in the springtime.
  3. Train the uppermost shoot to grow vertically up a cane.
  4. Tie the other shoots to canes at around 45 degrees and carefully lower them to a horizontal position with twine in the first winter.
  5. Cut the vertical stem to within 450mm of the lower branches. It is important to have 3 buds at the uppermost point, as two buds will form the next horizontal layer and the top bud will form the next vertical leader.
  6. The following years will be a repeat of step 4.
Training an espalier apple tree.

Training an espalier apple tree.


Large Espaliered tree against a building

More Gardening information from Red’s Landscaping


Cottage garden ideas from the Cotswolds

Path Design for Cottage Gardens


© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil – Quality landscaping Melbourne


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Cottage Gardens

Cottage Gardens in Melbourne Part 1 – History

Melbourne Cottage Gardens owe much to the English cottage gardens of the 1800s. If you have a Cottage Style Home or a heritage style home, there is a lot you can do in the garden to give your home garden that authentic look. Many of the garden design ideas can also be applied to you small Melbourne garden.

The history of Cottage Gardens.

Melbourne cottage gardens designs can trace their heritage back to the English cottage gardens of the 19th century. These, in turn have origins going back centuries earlier in 87 AD. When the Romans invaded Britain, they brought with them many plants with both medicinal and food supply purposes. Later, Emperor Charlemagne even went so far as to recommend what plants should be grown. In Capitulare de villis, which guided the governance of royal estates, Charlemagne recommended many plants from southern Europe. These plants included gladiolus, cucumbers, melons, cumin, rosemary, artichokes and fennel. Many of these plants would have looked and tasted much different to the plants we harvest today. The result of Charlemagne’s decree in around 780 AD, was to greatly increase the variety of plants grown in the royal estates.

Emperor Charlemagne decreed the plants to be grown on Royal Estates.

Emperor Charlemagne decreed the plants to be grown on Royal Estates.

The Monastery Garden

The monks in monasteries created gardens to not only feed themselves, but also to produce medicines and essential oils. Within the walls of the monasteries, the monks developed sophisticated garden designs which formed the basis of the cottage gardens we know today. As well as food crops, monks also developed cheeses, beers and alcoholic spirits. Some the products developed by monks are still famous today. Monks also made money through the production of honey and lavender. Lavender water was manufactured my monks by diluting essential oils produced through the distillation of lavender flowers. This was an early example of a cottage industry.

Monks developed sophisticated garden designs which formed the basis of the cottage gardens we know today

Lavender field in the monastery of Saint Paul de Mausole in France. Monks developed sophisticated garden designs which formed the basis of the cottage gardens we know today


Garden diversity

The age of discovery lead to a boom in garden diversity. Many new garden plants were brought back from the new world and the Far East to add to the European plants already in cultivation. Botanical Gardens were established in most major cities to further horticultural research and the use of plants for medicinal purposes. Exotic plants were also propagated for their beauty as garden plants.


Melbourne Botanical Gardens


On a swampy site near the Yarra River, the Melbourne Botanical Gardens were established in 1846 by Lieutenant Governor Charles La Trobe. The first director of the Melbourne Botanical Gardens was famous Botanist Ferdinand Von Mueller. Von Mueller’s garden design included a formal garden with a specific educational purpose. This garden was designed to show the relationships between families of plants. Horticultural shows also took place in the gardens during Von Mueller’s time, bring the beauty of flowering plants to masses of people in inner city Melbourne.

The famous floral clock at Melbourne Botanical Gardens with sweeping lawns and Canary Island Palms (Phoenix canariensis). A great place to go for Garden Design ideas.

The famous floral clock at Melbourne Botanical Gardens with sweeping lawns and Canary Island Palms (Phoenix canariensis). A great place to go for Garden Design ideas.

Melbourne Botanical Gardens – The “Master of Landscaping”.

The next director after Von Mueller was the “master of landscaping” William Guilfoyle. During Guilfoyle’s time in charge, many of the landscaping features in the Melbourne Botanical Gardens were established. This included the sweeping lawns and the use of foliage plants that we see in many Melbourne Gardens today.


The evolution of English Cottage Gardens


Industrialisation and urbanisation lead to changes to the English Cottage gardens. During the industrial revolution, the philanthropic movements assisted Britain’s poor to establish their own garden allotments. These enabled families to grow fruit and vegetables either next to their house or together in green belts in the towns and villages. This no doubt improved the quality of life amongst English families.

With greater middle-class wealth, many humble cottage gardens began to emulate the plantings seen in the wealthy estates. Cottage gardens were no longer just to sustain a family but became a source of beauty as well.


Cottage Gardens and the Arts and Crafts Movement


The excesses of industrialisation during the Victorian era lead to the establishment of the Arts and Crafts movement. This was born of a desire to restore simplicity to buildings and furnishings and revive traditional craftsmanship. The effect of this movement on garden design and in particular cottage garden design, was enormous.


Arts and Crafts Movement Cottage Garden

Hidecote – Between the 1890s and 1930s gardens the Arts and Crafts Movement influenced Cottage Garden design.

These gardens used natural materials and traditional craftsmanship and echoed the architectural elements of the  garden design.

Cottage Garden

Arts and Crafts Movement Cottage Garden at Hidecote. Ornamental Garden Structures such as gazebos, and use of natural materials like this stone path are hallmarks of an Arts and crafts garden. Also note the plant choice and overflowing look typical of a typical English garden.

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil quality commercial landscaping Melbourne


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French Landscape Design

French Landscape Design

  1. French Landscape design

French landscape design were said to originate in 1662. It was during this time that King Louis XIV imprisoned the then superintendent of finances Nicolas Fouquet for embezzling royal funds. Fouquet’s ambition to build his own private and luxurious Chateau at Vaux-le-Vicomte had led to his disgrace and allowed King Louis XIV to shift his attention to the Gardens of Versailles. It was here, and with the aid of Fouquet’s architect (Louis Le Vau), painter (Charles Le Brun) and landscape architect (Andre Le Notre) that the Gardens of Versailles would become one of the largest and most remarkable gardens in Europe. 

Gardens of Versailles

The chateau’s expansion followed shortly after the gardens, with both having tours carefully managed. In bringing this space to life existing Bosquets and Parterres were enhanced and new ones were designed and built. The most significant and influential creations at this time were the Versailles Orangerie and Parterre. It was this attraction where the architectural talent and creativity of Louis Le Vau’s design symbolised both the building itself and the parterre, becoming an irresistible attraction to visiting diplomats and foreign royalty, even to liking of King William III.


The Versailles Orangerie was first completed in 1663, then in 1678 a ten-year growth plan was decided to create what has been described as Jules Hardouin-Mansart crowning achievements, replacing the Louis Le Vau design of 1663. The Orangerie doubled in size and was modelled on theories from master gardener and horticulturist Jean-Baptiste de La Quintinie, whose writings discuss a detailed system for protecting exotic plants from the harsh cold without the use of any artificial heating. 

Aerial snapshot of Versailles

Trees of Versailles

As Louis XIV lived out his reign in Versailles, he became allergic to the perfumed flowers and developed a preferred smell of citrus trees, his favorite being orange trees which he had potted in silver tubs and placed around the Palace. After the Fouquet’s incident, Louis had over 1,000 orange trees removed from Nicolas’s property and transferred to the Orangerie, by the 1790’s there were several thousand trees. During the winter, the trees were sheltered in a cathedral like space and the gardeners would burn fires during the coldest months which were cleverly designed to heat the housing of the trees. 

French gardeners were able to keep the citrus trees blooming throughout the year, by withholding water, valuable nutrients and using pruning techniques. It wasn’t until a visit from John Locke, who described the peculiar appearance of the trees as small heads and thick trunks, as a consequence of the planters not allowing correct rooting into the soil below. Gardener Valentin Lopin created an extremely useful device in 1689 to assist with the transportation of the larger citrus trees which were originally shipped from Italy. 


French Garden popularity

The Orangerie parterre covers over three hectares and during the reign of Louis XIV was ornamented with several sculptures, which are now housed in the Musee du Louvre museum. It’s said that French landscape designs are seen as an extension of the existing architecture, creating a series of rooms within the garden by using compact hedges and bodies of water to execute the meticulous, elegant and rich designs. Today, the French gardens still have a strong influence and presence in our society, being one of the most popular and hard- to-perfect designs. The french landscape design also has a very strong popularity in Melbourne inner city and south eastern suburbs, such as Toorak, Malvern and Armerdale. Where you can find beautiful french provicial homes with classic gardens inspired by the versailles orangerie 


It is easy to be tempted into driving straight into a design for your landscape. It is advisable to take time and plan your landscape design properly before you start. While at it, consider the plants that are likely to perform best in the climate of your area and the purpose of your landscape among other things. For more inspiration on Landscape design please refer back to our blog where you can find many more articles on Landscape design



© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil quality commercial landscaping Melbourne

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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.


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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Tulips In Landscape Design

Tulips are members of the Lily (Liliaceae) family. They have a very diverse range of colours, sizes shapes and forms. Tulips have an incredible impact when they are grown in mass plantings in a garden bed but are also great in pots, as companion plants, or mixed in different colours or flowers in a grassy meadow.

Field of Colorful Tulip Flowers in Bloom with Sun Flares and Bokeh

Diverse Colours. Field of Colourful Tulip Flowers in Bloom with Sun Flares and Bokeh.

Tulips have at least 75 different species divided into 15 different groups. These vary in flower size, structure, form and habit.  In all there are over 6000 cultivars. The original wild varieties of tulip, come from the Altai mountain range where China, Russia, Mongolia and Kazakhstan meet. Wild tulips can be found in a band stretching in a band from Altai to southern Europe through Turkey. The climate in these mountains consist of freezing Cold winters and hot dry summers. These are also the conditions that most modern tulips thrive under. As a period of cold temperatures is required for flowering, in some parts of Australia you will need to cool the bulbs in your fridge crisper for a few weeks.

Tulips are also available with 2 colours on the same flower. This red and yellow looks great on the one flower.
Tulips are also available with 2 colours on the same flower. This red and yellow looks great on the one flower.

Tulip history and Tulip mania.

The name tulip comes from the Turkish word tülbent meaning turban. This is probably due to the shape of the flowers resembling a turban. These days, tulips are closely associated with the Netherlands due to a historical co-incidence. The ambassador of the 16th century Habsburg monarchy was given some tulip bulbs to take take to Vienna by the Turkish Sultan. The ambassador then passed some bulbs on to his friend, Flemish botanist Charles de l’Ecluse who was caring for the emperor’s garden in Vienna. Later de l’Ecluse was given a teaching appointment in Leiden in Holland. As the director of the local botanical gardens, his experiments with tulip bulbs soon caught the attention of the wealthy residents of Leiden. Tulips soon became a much sought-after import to the Netherlands. The tulip mania that followed led to tulip bulbs reaching the same price as an Amsterdam canal house. Today’s tulip mania takes a much different form. It consists of people make long pilgrimages to places like Keukenhof in the Netherlands, or Tessalaar’s in the Dandenongs outside Melbourne to take thousands of selfies and photos of the spectacular seas of colour of the tulips. More recently, some interesting hybrid varieties have been created using some of the original wild varieties from southern Asia.

Garden Landscaping Ideas with Tulips


Tulips can be planted in mass plantings in a garden bed with each colour in its own row or graded in a continual blend from pale yellow, brilliant yellow to orange to red.

Tulips in an ornamental flower bed in Keukenhof Garden, Netherlands
Landscape Design Idea. Tulips in an ornamental flower bed in Keukenhof Garden, Netherlands. The colours alternate in rows pink, yellow and red. Note how the slightly raised yellow near the centre adds to the depth perception this garden. This design concept can be used to make a small garden appear larger than it really is.

On top tip for growing tulips in large beds like this is to leave gaps between the bulbs so that extra bulbs can be added a few weeks later. This will give your garden a longer period in bloom.

Landscaping idea. Tulips planted as a colour gradient from yellow to red with a few pink ones hidden amongst the crowd.
Landscaping idea. Tulips planted as a colour gradient from yellow to red with a few pink ones hidden amongst the crowd.

Planted in clusters on the edge of a garden bed by the lawn. Starting with deep red at one end and graduating to a lighter red, then orange and finally yellow. This effect can also make a small garden appear larger. Note also the contrasting foliage.

Tulips grouped into small clusters near garden paving.


Tulips are brilliant to mix with other plants which flower around the same time. Try planting them with daffodils or plant them with blue plants like Blue Mascari, or combine with other emerging annuals. The results will be spectacular.


Tulips along the edge of a garden path.

Garden idea. Plant near a topiary or standard plant like a Buxus Sempervirens or Murraya. This will give your tulip added contrast.

Mass plantings of tulips in a large tub or pot can create a stunning effect. Plant the bulbs in two different layers at different depths to create this effect.
Mass plantings of tulips in a large tub or pot can create a stunning effect. Plant the bulbs in two different layers at different depths to create this effect.

Plant tulip bulbs in groups of terracotta pots.

Design Idea. Red and yellow flowers in the foreground with lighter creams in the background makes a small garden appear larger.
Landscaping idea. Dark red tulip flowers go well with the yellow daffodils an the earthy brown stone behind.
Garden design idea. Grow two different varieties together in terracotta pots. One tall variety in the centre and a shorter one on the outside. For added effect try a blue trailing flower on the edge of the pots.
Two different tulip varieties in a concrete pot.
Two varieties of tulips in a single concrete pot close up. This red and white tulip looks spectacular in pots.
Garden design idea. Try combining dark red and yellow tulips in the same garden bed.
Garden design idea. Tulips in garden beds with yellow and red flowers.


Landscape garden idea. Two different shades of pink planted with white tulips.
The pinks and whites look great together.


Garden design idea. Cluster together with white daffodils.


Landscaping design idea. Plant in raised garden beds with contrasting foliage like grasses.


Garden Design Idea. Plant with blue companion plants.
Mixed Plantings with Tulips
Garden Planning. Plant taller lighter coloured plants towards the back and shorter plants near the edge.

Meadow planting with tulips and daffodils.

Plant in the grass under trees in a meadow with a variety of colours and flower forms. This will attract pollenating insects like bees and butterflies to your garden. This will in turn attract bird life. Plant you meadow with a variety of bulbs like daffodils, to lengthen the time in flower and feed the bees for a longer period of time.

Landscaping idea. Growing tulips in a grassy meadow under trees. The bees and other insects in your garden will love it. The red and green looks great together.
Landscaping idea. Growing tulips in a grassy meadow under trees. The bees and other insects in your garden will love it. The red and green looks great together.

Garden Maintenance. Planting and Care of your Tulip Bulbs.

Growing tulips in Australia


Plant in late Autumn or late April to Early May. In warmer parts of Australia they may need to be in the fridge crisper for a few weeks prior to planting.  An old egg carton is ideal for this. If the ground is still heating up from the sunlight, plant your bulbs a little deeper in the soil to protect them from the heat. Bulbs can be ordered from Tesselaar’s that are pre chilled ready to plant.

Heavy clay soils, dig in some organic matter with vermiculite, perlite or even some potting mix. Plant around 20mm deep in pots, or around 80mm – 150mm deep in the garden. Alway check the planting depth with your supplier. The rule of thumb is the planting depth should be around 2.5 times the bulb width. Tesselaars recommend planting the bulbs 3 times the bulb height in Australia. Plant in full sun. Lightly fertilize the plants just as the flowers are starting to emerge. Tulips are reasonably low maintenance if you by healthy bulbs from a reputable supplier and plant in well drained soil.  If you plant the bulbs deeply enough it is easy to cultivate around the plants with a Dutch hoe until they get fully established.

Good drainage and a  period of cold weather is essential for your tulips. Don’t let them go to seed unless you are planning on a wild meadow. Remove the flowers, but make sure you keep the leaves, so that all of the goodness can be taken back into the bulb for next year. For best results, remove the bulbs from the soil and store them in a cool dry place. Use a hessian bag for storage rather than a plastic bag.

Tulip varieties and cultivars

The varieties available and the best performing varieties, will depend on where you are planting your tulips. Always check with your local plant supplier. The flowers listed below we give you some idea of the various flower shapes, but these varieties will not necessarily be available in all areas.



Blue Diamond


Bulldog a fringed tulip that grows to 50cm.


Chelsea Blue Parrot


Dream Land. Another white and red tulip.


Estella Rijnveld. A white and red tulip with fringes.




Queen of the Night




White Rebel
White Dream grows to 50 cm.
White and Red Tulip. Carnaval de Nice Grows to 50 cm.
Purple Prince early single grows to 40cm.
Flaming Baltic a fringed tulip that grows to 50 cm.
Fringed. Grows to 50 cm


Wedding Gift
Happy Generation. Mid season flowering grows to 50 cm.


Christmas Orange. An early single variety. Grows to 40cm.


Caribbean Parrot large fringed and ruffled flowers grows to 40cm


Renegade. Mid-season flowering red tulip. Grows to 45cm.


Uncle Tom Grows to 45 cm.


Sunny Prince grows to 40 cm.


Apricot Parrot grows to 50cm.
Foxy Foxtrot an early double tulip. Grows to 40cm.
Strong Gold a Mid-season flowering tulip that grows to 40cm.
Brown Sugar an mid-season flowering tulip that grows to 50cm.
Francoise. This tall mid -season flowering tulip, opens as a creamy yellow flower. As the flower matures, the colour fades to a creamy creamy white. This is an ideal plant to put further back in your garden to increase the perception of depth. A great design trick for a smaller garden.
Helmar is another tall mid-season flowering tulip. Growing to 55cm, this is a good plant to place slightly further back in your garden. The red and yellow petals look great.
Fly away is a tall lily shaped tulip growing to 60cm.
Golden Oxford is a very popular Darwin Hybrid tulip growing to 45cm.

Where can you see tulips?

Many towns and cities have annual tulips festivals in the spring. Every year in the Dandenongs outside Melbourne the Tesselaar Tulip Festival takes place from mid September to mid October. 



Contact Experienced Landscape Gardeners



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.


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

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Daffodil In Garden Design

The daffodil is a springtime favourite amongst many gardeners in Melbourne. This hardy perennial bulb is easy to grow and can be a stunning feature in your garden design. Originating in northern Europe and widely cultivated in gardens both in North America and northern Europe the attractive orange, pink, white (Thalia) or especially yellow trumpet flowers are available in a number of varieties and cultivars. Daffodils belong to the genus Narcissus and can grow to more than 520mm high, but there are dwarf varieties like tete a tete available. A daffodil bulb will generally grow around six leaves each of which will usually have a single flower. The trumpet shaped corona contains the stamens and is surrounded by a corolla consisting of six tepals.

Garden Design with Daffodil. The trumpet shaped corona contains the stamens and is surrounded by a corolla consisting of six tepals.

The history of Daffodil gardening.

The daffodil now has thousands of cultivars with distinct individual characteristics. Much of the diversity we owe to the famous garden nurseryman Peter Barr from Govan in Scotland. Barr traveled to Spain and Portugal in the late 1880s going from town to town by horse, and then though the Pyrenees on a donkey, to collect bulbs to bring back to the United Kingdom. By then Barr was in his seventies, but that did not stop him travelling and sleeping out with a blanket as he continued his search for exotic flowers. With the help of his travels, Govan was able to create a daffodil bulb collection of over 400 varieties.

Daffodil varieties for your garden design.

There is a great deal of choice when it comes to selecting daffodil varieties. Some varieties of daffodil to look for include the Carlton, which grows enormous flowers up to 120mm across and has a very deep cup. This daffodil will also grow to nearly ½ metre tall. Easy to grow it will spread by itself in colder climates. Jack the lad has double peony like flowers that are yellow and orange. When mature, it can produce two or 3 flowers on one stem. The blue-green stems creates a complimentary colour scheme with the orange yellow flowers. This makes it a great choice for growing on large clumps, entire garden beds or mass plantings.

Garden Design. Daffodils are available in a varieties of yellow orange and white flowers. They look great in terracotta pots.

Bulbs are generally grown up to 5 years old before being available for sale. If your daffodil stops flowering (becomes blind), dig them up in  Autumn, then separate and replant. The daffodil needs lots of water, but should not be waterlogged. Consider putting a layer of vermiculite near the bulb. Plant twice the depth of the bulb for best results.

Maintenance, Care and Planting

Daffodils can be planted in Autumn and will grow in most climates except tropical. They require a period of chilling in order to flower.  You can plant your daffodil in part shade to full sun in well drained and well fertilised soil. The daffodil can be planted in pots, lawns, or garden beds. One mistake, made by many gardeners, is to cut the stems back after flowering. If you allow the stems to die back naturally, more nutrients will go into the bulbs for next year’s growth.

Garden Design Ideas

Plant as mass plantings, in terracotta pots or in clumps with violas and pansies as companion plants.

Garden Design Idea. Pots of colourful flowers like daffodils on unused stairs or steps.

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.

Daffodils and symbolism

As one of the first plants to flower in springtime, the daffodil has come to represent hope, rebirth, and new beginnings. Every year the cancer council has a daffodil day to raise money for cancer research.

“The daffodil is the international symbol of hope and with every daffodil sold, Cancer Council can invest in life-saving research to give Australians the best chance of survival.”

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



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Magnolia Landscaping Ideas

The Magnolia is a garden plant well known to most Melbourne Gardeners and also to gardeners in cooler climates like Tasmania and Northern Europe. Varieties and cultivars available locally in Melbourne include Grandiflora Teddy Bear, Magnolia Grandiflora Little Gem,  Grandiflora Exmouth and Magnolia Fairy.

Magnolia as a Landscape design plant with a neatly trimmed hedge providing contrast.


The Genus  includes more than 230 species of trees and shrubs that are originally native to East Asia, the Himalayas, and to North and South America. They can be either deciduous or evergreen which is surprising in itself. Although famous for their spectacular  and fragrant pink, purple, yellow or white cup shaped flowers, some are even a source of timber. It it is not just the huge flowers that make the magnolia an attractive plant. The vibrant green smooth leaves are also an attractive feature as well as the often colourful cone shaped fruit. Magnolias exist in the fossil records for more than 25 million years. Meaning that they are one of the earliest flowering plants on the planet. They existed even before most of our flying pollenating insects had evolved. As a result, they depended on beetles for pollination. Even today, you can see many varieties have  tough leathery outer petals, and woody carpels to make the flowers tough enough to cope with beetles pollenating the plants. Magnolias flower for just a short time, but when they do flower, they are spectacular.

Landscaping Melbourne – Magnolia Exmouth in Flower
Landscaping Melbourne – Magnolia Exmouth in Flower.

The  Exmouth is an evergreen variety that originated in Exmouth in Devon in the United Kingdom. The huge heavily scented creamy yellow flowers, that appear in late summer and early Autumn, can be up to 25 cm across. The glossy oblong leaves are also an attractive feature. This plant will grow up to 10m high and 10 m wide, but will flower when still quite young. Planting a few mature trees in your backyard will very quickly screen out your neighbours.

‘Heaven Scent’ is a vigorous small magnolia tree with dark foliage. Large flowers to 100mm in length, cup-shaped with nine rosy-pink tepals, soon fading to pale pink.
‘Heaven Scent’ is a vigorous small magnolia tree with dark foliage. Large flowers to 100mm in length, cup-shaped with nine rosy-pink tepals, soon fading to pale pink.

Small Garden Landscaping Ideas with Magnolias

If you are looking for small garden design ideas, then there are small slow growing dwarf varieties and cultivars that will suit you. One of our favourites at Red’s Landscape gardening is Magnolia grandiflora Little Gem.  The little gem is like a miniature version  of the Exmouth. Little Gem is happy with both partial shade and full sun. It is a smaller version of the evergreen bull bay magnolia but it will slowly grow to a height of around 5 metres with a spread of around 3 metres. It has attractive oval or elliptical shaped leaves and small flowers.

Landscaping Ideas. Magnolia Grandiflora Little Gem as a Melbourne Street Plant. A great way to give your property instant street appeal.
Small Garden Design Idea. Magnolia Little Gem in a planter pot. Box hedge and lavender as well as pansies provide design contrast with the dark green leaves of the magnolia.


Garden care and maintenance for your Magnolias

Once established, your plants will be fairly low maintenance. These plants prefer well drained fertile soil that is rich in humus and organic matter. Keep them well mulched. Some varieties may require tree staking if you have a wind swept coastal garden. The PH level of the soil will depend on the variety you choose, but most prefer slightly acidic soil. If possible, thy to position your magnolia with full sun in the morning with some shade in the afternoon.

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.

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


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



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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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How To Bring High End Landscaping To Your Sad & Dusty Yard

If you’ve been neglecting your yard for a while, we think it is about time you made a change. Seeing brown grass and withered plants in your garden can get you to avoid going outdoors even in a place as beautiful as the Melbourne.

Why not create a space that you will actually enjoy spending time in?

All you really need are some original ideas and the help of a professional landscape architect to get your plan in place.

Read below to get some helpful tips to help you transform your old dusty yard into a brand-new paradise.

What is Your Garden Used For?

Before you start coming up with ideas for landscaping your yard, you need to think about a few practical points.

While landscaping will definitely add a beautiful aesthetic to your home, there is no reason it shouldn’t also be beneficial in other ways depending on what you use your yard for. If you have young children, for example, you should think about creating a landscape design that compliments their outdoor activities safely.

Some ideas that match this need include creating a large open space for them to run around in and maybe avoiding flower beds as they might get trampled. If you use your backyard for relaxation and meditation, on the other hand, you may want to think about adding some fragrant plants to aid you in your journey to mindfulness.

You can also incorporate accessories into your landscape design to match your activity needs. For example, if you use your yard for entertainment purposes you could opt to add a gazebo, a new deck, or even just a beautiful seating area in the middle of the yard to seat company in.

The options are endless, which is why you need to know what you need before you start your landscape design.

What is Your Vibe?

After you have gotten a good idea of what your garden will be used for, it becomes time to choose a theme or vibe you like.

If you are living in Australia odds are that you spend most of your day in your yard regardless of the activities that take place there. That is why choosing a theme that is right for you and makes you feel at ease is so important.

A garden is much more than an outdoor space you can spend your afternoons in. In reality, this space can be transformed into your own little world.

There are an enormous amount of options including modern, Japanese, Moorish, Spanish, Mediterranean, and English.

Each of these styles gives your yard a totally different feel. Think about what your garden should portray. Do you want elegance or grandeur?

More plant geared, or structured and full of stonework? Look up these different design themes to get an idea of what you want for your home.

Where You Live Matters

Another thing to keep in mind when coming up with a landscape design for your home is where you are located in the world. Different plants and designs work better for some places in the world and don’t work at all in other places.

For example, if you live on the Golden Coast of Australia, you know that there is an incredible mixture of habitats in the area. However, one thing you may already be thinking of is needing to use plants that do not require a lot of water.

Choosing plants that were made to live in the environment you’re in (local plants) will help your garden grow and live for much longer. It will also cost you a lot less in terms of maintenance and effort spent taking care of the garden.

Choosing native species will also compliment the local wildlife and help to draw beautiful animals to your yard.

The Extras

After you’ve come up with the base of what you are looking for in a garden you may have some room to think about adding luxury features.

Depending on your budget, you may be able to add a pool, a small water feature, a fountain, a patio, and even a pergola. These add-ons, no matter how simple, always seem to take your yard to a whole new level.

Don’t forget to take into consideration the water restrictions in your area before choosing the type of accessory to add to your garden.

Putting it All Together

Planning for your new landscape design is definitely the easy part. While you may be thinking you can do most of the handiwork yourself, we can assure you that this is best left to the professionals.

When you’ve got a good idea of what you want in your yard, it becomes time to hire a landscape architect to bring your vision to life.

A landscape architect has the ability to bring your ideas to a whole new level and has the expertise that allows them to utilize space in the most beneficial way possible.

A project manager, on the other hand, will help make your vision a reality by making sure all of the architect’s plans and instructions are followed to a tee.

If you have any doubt about hiring a professional to do the design work, try to think of it in a simpler way.

If you’ve ever tried to make a flower arrangement yourself and then seen a professionally made arrangement you realize there is a lot more to creating a bouquet than simply putting flowers next to each other. The same principle applies to landscape design!


Remember to always keep a budget in mind when you start developing your landscaping plan. Although this all seems like quite a bit of work, it is actually very easy once you’ve got the right professionals giving you a hand. There is no greater satisfaction than seeing your old sad yard being transformed into a beautiful and lively garden! Once your done creating your vision, you’ll never want to leave your backyard.



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