Lavender or lavendula is a very hardy evergreen aromatic shrub which is grown for its scent as well as its flowers.
Lavender Flower attracts butterflies, honey bees and bumblebees. A honey bee sips nectar from a lavender flower.
There are many species to choose from as the genus Lavandula has more than 30 known members. The family to which the they belong is Lamiaceae. The Lamiaceae is a huge family is well known for its aromatic volatile oils and includes plants like the Rosemary, thyme, oregano and mint. It is in fact these oils which makes the plants in the mint family so useful as medicinal and culinary plants.
English or French Lavender
The so called English version can live up to 25 years whereas the less hardy French or Spanish lavender will only live to around 5 years old. The fatter flowers of the Spanish and French varieties tend to be a little more flamboyant.
Where does Lavender come from?
The lavender grows naturally around the Mediterranean and was taken to Britain by the Romans. The Roman legions and their Greek doctors took medicinal herbs with them on their marches.
What is the origin of the name?
There are two possibilities for the origin of the name “Lavender”. Possibly it comes from the Latin “lavare” meaning to wash. It has been used since before Roman times as a bath perfume and to scent washed fabrics. The other possibility for the source of the name is the Latin “lividus” meaning blueish or livid.
Landscaping Melbourne with Lavender
This is an ideal plant for creating the authentic Mediterranean garden. It will also thrive in sunny locations in your Melbourne garden provided the soil is well draining and not too acidic.
Lavandula with a terracotta pot. This is a great combination for a Mediterranean garden. The complementary colours also look great together.
Growing Lavender in pots
If you do not have enough sun, you can plant them in a terracotta pot and move them to get some extra sun. The blue and violet flowers of the lavender will be complimentary to the rich earthy colours of the terracotta.
Where is it best to plant lavender?
Lavender plants thrive in full sun and can grow well in raised garden beds and containers. They can even be used in hedges and make a great herbaceous border along a garden path.
How do you take care of a lavender plant?
Cut back the flowers as they finish.
Do not be afraid to prune twice a year with one pruning after flowering has finished.
Lavenders that are not pruned regularly will become spindly.
Replace plants that have become too woody.
Do not over water.
Very little fertiliser is required.
Soil must be well drained to avoid root rot.
Annual light application of garden lime in acidic topsoils.
Potential Diseases and Pests
Grey mould or leaf spot can appear. Prune your plants to allow good air circulation and move plants to a sunnier location in the garden. Plants can also be attacked by frog hoppers, so look for signs of frothy “cuckoo spit”.
Varieties for essential oils
Old English Lavender (Lavandula spica) is often grown on farms for the harvesting of the fragrant essential oils. This is a tall variety that can grow to around 90 centimeters, so it will need plenty of space.
Lavendula Augustifolia (English Lavender)
Despite being known as English, this plant originates in Southern Europe near the Mediterranean. It is a bushy shrub to around one metre tall and quite wide. In mid to late summer the long unbranched stalks will produce deep or pale purple dense fragrant spikes of flowers.
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’
Popular varieties and Colours
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Ashdown Forest’
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Cedar Blue’
Lavandula × intermedia Dutch
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Dwarf Blue’
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Folgate’
Lavandula × intermedia ‘Grosso’
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Imperial Gem’
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Maillette’
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Melissa Lilac’
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Munstead’
Lavandula x intermedia Old English lavender
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Peter Pan’
Lavandula × chaytoriae ‘Richard Gray’
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Rosea’
Lavandula Angustifolia Royal Purple
LAVANDULA angustifolia ‘Twickel Purple’
Lavandula x intermedia ‘Edelweiss
Lavender-Flowers up close
These plants are often grown on farms where the plants are harvested to make essential oils. Often the distillation process takes place on the farm itself. The farms are also a great tourist attraction drawing visitors to experience the aroma and the beautiful sea of purple that stretches into the distance.
Lavender farms like this one in the Cotswolds are great tourist attractions and are also used for essential oil manufacturing.
In the UK there is a farm just near the National Trust property of Snowshill in the Cotswolds Area on Natural Beauty, where many of these photos were taken.
Landscaping with Lavender
The hardy and versatile lavender has hundreds of uses in landscaping and garden design. As a border it can give the violet or blue design theme continuity through a landscape. When used as a border opposite a long blue swimming pool it provides visual balance to the garden.
Lavender border opposite a swimming pool. The lavender provides continuity as well as visual balance.
Lavender in a herbaceous border along a path. The lavender border looks great against the earthy tones of cottage path.
Lavender field in the monastery of Saint Paul de Mausole in France. Mass plantings like this always create a stunning effect.
Agricultural uses for lavender
In agriculture lavender also has a wide varieties of uses. Home gardeners can learn a few tips from these. Some varieties are grown for the cut flower industry for fresh and dried bouquets.The flowers of these plants are very high in nectar and many varieties have a long flowering season. This has made them a great plant for attracting and feeding bees. The quality and the quantity of honey produced from hives close to lavender plants is well known in the industry. Attracting bees is important too for the orchard industry. Lavender is a useful companion plant as the aroma repels some pests as well as attracting pollinating insects. The main agricultural use is essential oil manufacturing.
Essential Oil Distillation
Lavender essential oil distillation process schematic
To make the essential oil on the farm, the cuttings have steam passed through them. The steam collects the oil and takes it to the condenser. The oil steam mix condenses and is them separated into the pure oil and floral water.
Uses of the essential oil
The essential oil has a wide variety of uses including helping with sleep and anxiety. It also has been used to treat fungal infections and to repel insects. The main uses however are in the cosmetics industry where it is used in fragrances, soaps and shampoos to help purify the skin. It is also used in the food industry, but concentrated oil should never be ingested as it can be toxic in this form.
Related Landscaping Ideas from Red’s Landscaping and Civil
Concrete is without a doubt it is one of the most versatile used materials in landscape construction. From in situ concrete walls to pavers to fence posts it has a wide range of uses. What are the different types of concrete and its uses? To properly decide on which mix to use, it is important to understand what it is and what factors affect its physical properties.
Reds Landscaping using a boom pump to pour architectural concrete walls
What is Concrete?
In technical terms, it is a structural material consisting of a hard, chemically inert particulate substance, known as aggregate that is bonded together by cement and water. It is a composite material as it consists of both a binder and a filler.
What is difference between concrete and cement?
The binder most commonly used is known as Portland Cement. This is a mixture of finely ground limestone (CaCO3) and shale or clay which has been combined together at around 1500℃. In this process, water and carbon dioxide are removed from the mixture (calcination), then calcium silicates are formed. A small amount of gypsum (CaSO4•2(H2O)) is added to regulate the setting.
Concrete with exposed aggregate.
The aggregate, that is the part of the mix made up of several smaller ingredients, will generally be the sand and gravel. The gravel itself will usually be hard stones of a certain size range. Fine aggregates are below about 10mm in size and are often used in small bags of cement mix or for smaller landscaping work. Larger stone aggregates range from 10 to 40mm in size and are commonly used in construction. It is the stone aggregates that give the mix its compressive strength. As the aggregate is around 70% of the mix, it provides much of the bulk and contributes to its dimensional stability. The rougher the surface of the aggregate and the greater the area in contact with the cement paste, the stronger a concrete will be.
Rounded particles like river pebbles or beach sand will result in lower strength than crushed aggregates. Larger size aggregates lead to relatively lower strength. Where extra strong mix is needed, a little less aggregate can be used.
A key ingredient is of course the water. When the water is combined with the cement as paste is formed which binds the aggregate together. Concrete does not harden by drying out, it hardens by a chemical reaction know as hydration. In this reaction, compounds in the cement react with water molecules to form strong chemical bonds. Ideally, the water should be as pure as possible to prevent the occurrence of any side reactions which may weaken or interfere with the chemical reaction taking place. Even small quantities of organic soil compounds result in chemical reactions that seriously affect the strength. In Melbourne access to good quality water is not usually a problem.
Loading the Concrete Mixer the correct materials in the correct ratios is essential for making strong concrete. The water needs to be as pure as possible.
The other important point for the landscaper is to get the ratio of water to cement correct. The ratio of water to cement is critical if strong concrete is required. If too much water is added, the strength of the mix will be reduced. Excess water above what is required for the chemical reaction will result in pores on the concrete which will reduce the strength especially the tensile strength. Too little will make the it difficult to work, to fill spaces, or create a good connection to the reinforcement. Accurate measurements and thorough mixing of the cement and water will help prevent these problems.
Concrete sets with a chemical reaction not by drying.
It is set by a chemical reaction and not by drying. This means that it will even will set under water. It is important to remember this fact during the curing stage. The two main hydration chemical reactions from the calcium silicates are as follows;
Tricalcium silicate + Water—>Calcium silicate hydrate+Calcium hydroxide + heat
2 Ca3SiO5 + 7 H2O —> 3 CaO.2SiO2.4H2O + 3 Ca(OH)2 + 173.6kJ
Dicalcium silicate + Water—>Calcium silicate hydrate + Calcium hydroxide + heat
2 Ca2SiO4 + 5 H2O—> 3 CaO.2SiO2.4H2O + Ca(OH)2 + 58.6 kJ
Both of these reactions are exothermic, that is, they release heat. This heat will dissipate quickly in thin sections. In thicker sections, the internal temperature is transferred to the outside much more slowly. As the outer surface of the concrete will cool much more rapidly than the inner core, there can be a difference in reaction speed. This can lead to tensile stresses that can crack the surface as a result of this uncontrolled temperature difference across the cross section. For this reason, concrete should not be poured in very cold temperatures. In cases where thermal cracking does occur, it will be at early ages of curing. The heat can also cause moisture to evaporate from the surface of the concrete, making it weaker. This will be the case if there is insufficient water for the chemical reaction. For these reason excessively thick sections should be avoided in a single pour. Wooden formwork and damp hessian covers can help the curing process. Giving your concrete a very light spray of water as it is curing will often improve the strength.
What is the correct mix for concrete?
When mixing concrete for footings or foundations use a mix of 3 parts coarse or sharp sand and 3 parts aggregate with 1 part of a high quality cement.
History of concrete
What have the Romans ever done for us? The Romans are widely credited for the spread of building technologies including concrete throughout Europe. It was the Roman’ Empires’s engineering abilities that enabled them to built an enormous empire throughout Europe and through parts of North Africa and the Middle East. The concrete architecture of the Romans is famous amongst fans of history.
Durable Roman Concrete has lasted centuries.
The Roman formula for quality concrete
It was know to the Romans as “opus caementicium”. Opus meaning a fortification, composition or a piece of work and caementicium meaning quarried or unhewn stone. The Romans developed their recipe in the third century BC. The ingredient the Romans used was volcanic dust known as pozzolana. This volcanic dust included fine particles of alumina and silica which created the chemical reaction enabling the setting. To this they added a mixture of lime or gypsum, brick or rock pieces and water. Usually the mix was a ratio of 1 part of lime for 3 parts of volcanic ash.
The Pantheon in Rome was constructed entirely in concrete.
Concrete Dome of the Pantheon in Rome.
Roman Waterproof Concrete
Roman builders discovered that adding crushed terracotta to the mortar created a waterproof material which could be then be used with cisterns and other constructions exposed to rain or water. Recently, it has been found that the Roman mix used in seawall construction has better endurance to seawater than the modern stuff. This was mostly due to one of the minerals of the volcanic rock phillipsite, reacting with the seawater to form aluminous tobermorite which reinforced the concrete over time. After the fall of the Roman empire the technology for making concrete was lost for many years.
Assyrians Babylonians and Egyptians.
Among the ancient Assyrians and Babylonians, clay was often used as the bonding material. The Egyptians developed a substance more closely resembling modern concrete by using lime and gypsum as binders. Lime (calcium oxide), was derived from limestone, chalk, or (where available) oyster shells. (Pozzolans are actually a broad class of siliceous or siliceous and aluminous materials.)
In 1824 an English inventor, Joseph Aspdin, burned and ground together a mixture of limestone and clay. As the chemistry of concrete was not fully understood at the time, the proportions of the ingredients were developed by trial and error. This mixture, called Portland cement, has remained the dominant cementing agent used in concrete production. It is named Portland cement as it is an attempt to imitate the limestone from Portland in Dorset on the jurassic coast of England. Portland Limestone formed slowly over the last 150 million years or so as tiny grains of sediments and clays infused the limestone grew and compacted. This gives it both its unique physical properties when grown up for cement, but also its attractive appearance. Portland Limestone has been used in many of the iconic London buildings such as Saint Paul’s Cathedral and the palace of Westminster. As a building material Portland Limestone was popularised by architect Sir Christopher Wren.
One of the drawbacks of concrete, despite its great compressive strength, is its lack of tensile strength. This is largely due to its natural porosity. Plain unreinforced concrete does not easily withstand stresses such as wind action, earthquakes, and vibrations and other bending forces and is therefore unsuitable in many structural applications. Low tensile strength also means low strength in bending or when used as a beam.
The Strength of Steel
Steel when compared with concrete has great tensile strength. The solution is to embed the steel into the concrete. This is usually achieved with the use of steel mesh reinforcement. The reinforcing steel, normally takes the form of rods, bars, or mesh. The reinforcement bars are often coined along the surface to give them a good connection to the concrete. The addition of tightly bound reinforcement bars makes the concrete section into a true composite beam. For this reason, the reinforcements must have good overlap.
Retaining wall footings with steel reinforcement.
Reinforced concrete is usually attributed to Joseph Monier, a Parisian gardener who made garden pots and tubs of concrete reinforced with iron mesh.This was patented in 1867. In reinforced concrete, the tensile strength of steel and the compressional strength of concrete render a member capable of sustaining heavy stresses of all kinds over considerable spans. Despite the strength of reinforced concrete, efforts should be make to minimise the loads on garden retains walls. This can be achieved by adequate agricultural drainage near the wall. It is important to remember that a cubic metre of water weighs a tonne. Plant selection near the retaining wall is also important plants should be chosen that do not have an invasive root system. For your existing trees, consider the use of a tree root barrier.
Related Landscaping information from Red’s Landscaping and Civil
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
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.
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.
Climbing plants can transform a dull wall or grey fence into a colourful and spectacular feature of your garden and enhance garden privacy. If your garden is so small that you do not have room for a tree, then a climbing plant will give you the vertical dimension to help create interest in your garden. Climbing plants can create a harmonious transition zone from the interior to the exterior of the home and help to develop that feeling of the garden as an extension of the home. Many climbing plants will also bring fragrance to your garden and most will bring privacy to your backyard and swimming pool areas.
What are the best climbing plants?
The best climbing plants for your garden will depend on a number of factors including the amount of sun and shade on the wall or fence you are covering. Even then, there is a large choice depending on your personal taste and garden design style. There is a wide range of colour and fragrance available.
What are the best climbing plants for trellis?
Most climbers will require some sort of support to grow on. There are a few that do not require support, including climbing hydrangea and ivy. For most climbing plants, trellis is an ideal support, but make sure you use trellis that is strong enough to support both the weight of the plant and any wind loads. Tensioned wire supports and trellis are the two main types of support.
Our best climbing plants for trellis;
Clematis Hybrids for full sun or part shade, but keep the roots mulched or in shade. 2-3m.
Honeysuckle (Lonicera) for partial shade to sunny with scented flowers. 2-6m.
Climbing Rose for full sun, but they will require strong supports. 2-5m.
Climbing Plants Humulus lupulus, jasminum azoricum ,rhodochiton atrosanguine, passiflora white passion, gloriosa rothschildiana and Ipomoea purpurea climbers.
Clematis belong to the family Ranunculaceae which also contains delphiniums, anemones and buttercup. The name comes from the ancient Greek word κλῆμα (klema) meaning vine branch. The clematis flower does not have petals and this makes it unusual in the plant world. The sepals, which in most plants cover the emerging flower, have evolved to fulfil the role of petals and it is these that make the wonderful colours. You will se in the photographs below that the stamens have in some cases, also taken on the look of petals.
Clematis are are mostly grown as climbing plants, but some varieties can also be grown successfully as ground covers. There is plenty of choice with over 325 species and these grow naturally in nearly every part of the world and also there are the the many hybrids and cultivars to consider.
Clematis climbing plants on display. (Floyds climbers and clematis.)
Clematis have been cultivated in the gardens of Europe for centuries. In the 1500s two significant varieties were introduced into Britain. These were the Clematis Integrifolia and the Clematis viticella. More varieties were introduced later. These included the herbaceous Clematis recta, and the Clematis flammula and Clematis cirrhosa.
The age of the Plant Hunters
In the 1600s demand for new plants soared and consequently plant hunters began bring back plants from the Americas. However the most significant introduction was those introduced from China. These species included Clematis lanuginosa and Clematis patens and a variety of Clematis florida with double white green flowers was also introduced.
The first hybridisation was the crossing of Clematis Integrifolia and Clematis Viticella and this resulted in Clematis Eriostemon. It was the hybridisation of the original three Chinese species which created all of the large flowered hybrids.
Clematis varieties to look for.
Clematis Amethyst Beauty. A stunning climber that will grow to 2m tall. It will flower from summer into early autumn. Beautiful flowers reddish purple coloured flowers with a wavy margin.
Clematis Arctic Queen is a medium-sized deciduous climber. A plethora of 150 mm double flowers from early summer to early to mid autumn.
Clematis ‘Shimmer’ is a large-flowered Group 3 clematis. It has huge blue-lilac blooms up to 180mm. It’s the perfect climber to grow up a wall or fence.
Clematis Samaritan Jo is medium-sized, climber growing up to 1.5m high. It has with dark to mid-green leaves. Samaritan Jo has large star shaped flowers and with a purple edged silver white colour up to 150mm in diameter. Distinctive flower stamens are pink-purple with yellow tips. Flowers are produced in a long flowering season from early summer all the way to late autumn.
A Clematis Viennetta is a climbing clematis that grows up to to 2.5m in height. It has absolutely stunning multi coloured flowers . The massive purple stamens contrast with the creamy white flowers. You will see these lovely flowers from early summer to mid autumn.
Clematis ‘Taiga’ is a great climbing plant which grows to around to 2.5 metres and has purple / blue flowers with greeny white tips on the frilly tepals. From Summer to Autumn these open up to become stunning fully double flower rosettes.
What are the 3 types of clematis?
There are 3 different pruning regimes for clematis and consequently 3 different types. They are either not pruned, lightly pruned or heavily pruned. Always check with your local plant nursery when buying.
Frequently asked questions about clematis
Is Clematis easy to grow?
Clematis is very easy to grow, but they prefer slightly alkaline topsoil with the roots in the shaped or covered by a mulch of well rotted manure..
What is the best time of year to plant a clematis?
Does clematis need full sun?
Honeysuckles are available both as shrubby varieties and as climbing plants. Honeysuckles can grow up to 6 metres and so make great for covering bare walls. Do not plant these vigorous climbing plants if you are in one of the Melbourne bushland suburbs, because they can escape into the bush and become a weed. There are some shade tolerant varieties, but these tend to have lower levels of scent.
Japanese honeysuckle or Lonicera japonica is a vigorous large evergreen climber
Lonicera japonica is a vigorous twining large evergreen climber with dark green oval leaves. The highly fragrant, white-yellow flowers are up to 40mm long and result in black glossy berries.
Lonicera periclymenum or common honeysuckle.
The common honeysuckle is woody climber with oval leaves that are opposite in pairs. Flowerheads are long white and yellow trumpets that appear in summer, and are consequently followed by clusters of red glossy berries.
Climbing plant Honeyberry Lonicera caerulea var. Kamchatka stunning bright blue berries.
The honeyberry fruits look and taste very similar to blueberries and similarly can be used in jams or eaten raw. They are also high in vitamin C and antioxidants.
The climbing rose is the best choice for hot dry conditions and therefore most Melbourne gardens with a sunny aspect. In garden design they are a great choice for small gardens because they can give a garden vertical height. Climbing or rambling roses can be grown on a fence or wall, but they also have great impact as a climber over a pergola or arbor. This garden design feature will take your eye up and over and back down and also create a pleasant fragrance to greet visitors to your garden.
Red Climbing rose on a pergola.
A pink climbing rose on a brick wall.
Garden Arbor or arch with climbing plants over a brick garden path. A pink Climbing Rose will bring beauty and fragrance to your garden. The arbor will also create vertical interest in your design.
What are the fastest growing climbing plants?
Climbing plants like Morning Glory and Lonicera are very fast growing but will very quickly become a weed in your garden or in native bushland. Choose clematis or climbing roses instead if this is a risk. Fast growing climbers are therefore suitable for small inner Melbourne gardens, but not bushland gardens.
Anigozanthos are tufted rhizomatous evergreen perennials that are members of the bloodwort family.
Anigozanthos ‘bush pearl’ also known as Pink Kangaroo paw.
Native to Western Australia, Anigozanthos ‘bush pearl’ are lovers of harsh dry arid conditions. Kangaroo paw are notorious for struggling with humid conditions , they tend to turn black, rot and die off during the winter months. Despite these disadvantages, these plants have proven their versatility in sandy soil and coastal gardens.
Pink flowered kangaroo paw.
Planting your Anigozanthos
With correct planting in well draining, sandy loam soil and the use of low phosphorus organic fertilizers, kangaroo paws will flower year round in warm climates.
Anigozanthos prefer sandy well drained soil. Anigozanthos humilis also known as catspaw is also endemic to southern Western Australia.
Kangaroo paws have co-evolved with native birds, the structure of the inflorescence attracts indigenous birds to aid with pollination and seed distribution. They are another “must have” sustainable Australian native plant to incorporate into the eco friendly Australian Garden. If you are the person who enjoys colours, textures and unique then the kangaroo paw bush pearl is the plant for you.
Landscaping with Anigozanthos
Adding some Anigozanthos into your garden will dramatically increase the colour vibrancy and brighten up any landscape garden design, especially since they perform so well on in coastal gardens. These beauties will be sure to out live any other plant in your garden, and they look amazing in pots for on your outdoor decking or entertaining area. Another great advantage of having kangaroo paw in your garden is the entertaining show that the native birds and honey eaters will put on as they feed on the plant, so be sure to place the plant in area that you are able to observe nature do it’s thing.
Australian yellow kangaroo paw flower (Anigozanthos pulcherrimus) in front of a grasstree (Xanthorrhoea).
Frequently asked Questions about Anigozanthos
How do you take care of a kangaroo paw plant?
It is important not to over water or over fertilise your kangaroo paw. These plants have evolved in well draining poor soils.
What can I plant next to kangaroo paw?
Anigozanthos should be planted next to other plants that love sandy soil. We recommend planting with xanthorrhoea
The Xanthorrhoea has similar needs to the Anigozanthos with both preferring sandy, well drained soils. The Anigozanthos flowers will make a great contrast with the black trunk and green leaves of the xanthorrhoea.
Why are my kangaroo paws turning black?
Kangaroo Paws will turn black or get black spots due to a fungal disease known as Ink Disease or Ink Spot. Ink disease is thought to be caused by the fungal pathogen Alternaria alternata. It is usually a slow growing fungus that plants survive, but ask your local plant nursery for a fungicide if it starts to take over. The best treatment is to cut off the leaves affected and ensure the plant has plenty of sun and good air circulation. Encouraging vigorous plant growth by adding trace elements like dilute liquid seaweed may help. When selecting new plants, ask your local plant nursery for the best plants for humid conditions. A good variety to choose to avoid ink disease is Anigozanthos Flavidus.
Alternaria alternata or Ink Disease on a Kangaroo Paw.
A. flavidus kangaroo paw is more resistant to Ink Disease.
Screening plants cannot not only increase the privacy in your garden, they can make your garden appear larger. Obscuring the fence or border with screening plants or climbers will help to fix the “closed in” look that bare fences will give you. If you are landscaping for a swimming pool then the use of screening plants will be provide privacy for your pool area.
Conifer Smaragd Thuja occidentalis screening a grey fence.
This landscape design in the leafy souther suburbs of Melbourne featured court yard paving with sandstone pavers. These pavers run very close to the fence to make the best of the small space.
Improving Garden Privacy
For improved privacy a fence extension was added. The screening plants used for this application needs to be one with slow growing non invasive roots. The plant chosen was a conifer Thuja Occidentalis, sometimes referred to as a White Cedar. As it prefers moist, well drained soil, a dripper system using tank water was installed. The subsoil also incorporated a drainage system. The fine needles on this plant also makes the small courtyard garden appear larger. The drainage system also helps to prevent the nearby fence from rotting. The light coloured sandstone paving also makes the small courtyard appear larger. The lighter leaves of the Crepe Myrtle contrasts well with the dark green leaves of the Thuja Occidentalis.
Screening Plants – Thuja Occidentalis or White Cedar
The Thuja Occidentalis has a reputation for being a slow to moderate growing evergreen conifer. It has a neat, conical shape and attractive emerald-green foliage that looks good all year round. Here it provides a backdrop for the splash of colour provided by the potted petunias.
Thuja Occidentalis as a screening plant.
Weeping Lilly Pilly (Waterhousea floribunda)
For the narrow shady space between the house and the fence Waterhousea floribunda (Weeping Lilly Pilly) was chosen.
Waterhousea floribunda occurs naturally in rainforests in Queensland and New South Wales. It commonly used for hedging or screening plants. The lush lime green crinkled slender leaves contrast with the new growth which is a soft pink bronze. In summer it produces fluffy white flowers that develop into pink berries. As this plant is suitable for growing in part shade to full sun, it is ideal for this position in the garden by a fence. Here it can get some protection from harsh drying winds. As you would expect for a rain forest plant, it is tolerant to wet soils. It is important not to let the soils dry out too much, so a dripper system is a real benefit. Sometimes referred to as weeping satinash in South East Queensland. It is also known as Syzygium floribundum.
Screening Plants – lilly pilly hedge
For a hedge of lilly pilly you might also want to consider the Acmena smithii, now known as the Syzygium smithii ‘Hedgemaster’ which is a low growing variety of the common llilly pilly.
Both of these varieties occur naturally in rainforests in Queensland and New South Wales. It commonly used for hedging or screening plants. The lush lime green crinkled slender leaves contrast with the new growth which is a soft pink bronze. In summer it produces fluffy white flowers that develop into pink berries. As this plant is suitable for growing in part shade to full sun, it is ideal for this position in the garden by a fence. Here it can get some protection from harsh drying winds. As you would expect for a rain forest plant, it is tolerant to wet soils. It is important not to let the soils dry out too much, so a dripper system is a real benefit. To form it into a hedge, regular pruning or hedge trimming will be required.
Screening Plants – Hakea salicifolia
For the rear fence Hakea salicifolia, also know as the Willow Leafed Hakea, was chosen as the screening plant. As it will tolerate a partly shaded position, it is ideal for growing along a fence line. Under the right conditions it will be fast growing and will screen out the neighbours very quickly. From winter to spring it will display masses of white flowers. When growing rapidly, new growth will have a purple tint. If it is a more formal hedge you are after, it will respond well to regular pruning. As it is native to New South Wales and South East Queensland, as well as tolerant to both strong winds and frost, it can be used all over the Gold Coast. Whether you are in Upper Coomera, Ashmore or Broadbeach, this makes an ideal fast growing hedge or screening plant.
Hakeas are named after Baron Christian Ludwig von Hake who was a patron of science and especially botany in Hanover Germany. Salicifolia refers to how the leaves resemble the willow. The willow tree is from the genus Salix.
Hakea salicifolia screening plants.
Fast growing Hakea salicifolia screening out the rear fence.
Frequently asked questions about Screening Plants
What is the fastest growing screening plant?
For a fast growing Australian native screening plant we recommend Hakea salicifolia. Bamboo is a very fast growing screening plant but some varieties can get out of hand. Look for a clumping variety like Chinese dwarf (Bambusa guangxiensis). Although it is a dwarf variety, it will still get to 3 metres rapidly. For instant screening, try bamboo in large pots.
Screening Plants Dwarf Bamboo. Tall outdoor potted plants for privacy
One popular use for fast growing screening plants is for swimming pool landscaping design. People tend to prefer to make this part of the home garden as private as possible. Fast growing screening plants in pots can help with this aim. Another useful tool for garden designers is the use of 3D CAD to check the views into the garden so that the fast growing screening plants can be placed in the best positions to quickly screen out the neighbours.
Related Landscaping Ideas from Red’s Landscaping and Civil.
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.
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 Espalier.
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;
Cut back the trunk to around 300mm high.
Allow the top 3 buds to grow out in the springtime.
Train the uppermost shoot to grow vertically up a cane.
Tie the other shoots to canes at around 45 degrees and carefully lower them to a horizontal position with twine in the first winter.
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.
The following years will be a repeat of step 4.
Training an espalier apple tree.
Espaliered Plants on a Brick Garden wall.
Related Landscaping ideas from Red’s Landscaping and Civil.
The home garden can be landscaped to add enormous value to your home without spending a fortune to achieve it. It is more than just adding street or kerb appeal to your front yard garden, but also the illusion of making a small garden appear larger.
How do you renovate a front yard for your home?
The first step is to sketch and annotate your ideas on a sheet of graph paper. Our 5 top tips to begin with are the following;
Check the health of your current plants and remove any that look a bit unhealthy.
Any plants that are losing their shape should be pruned back hard.
If you have any grey wooden fences, repaint them a dark colour like dark grey.
Plant suitable screening plants around the edge of your garden.
Repair any defects in garden paths, decks or other garden structures.
Decide on your home garden focal points
Hide the less attractive parts of your garden with climbing plants and trellis.
What should I plant in my front garden?
If you are living in a heritage home in one of the Melbourne inner suburbs, a cottage style garden will be in keeping with your home. Many of these are low maintenance eco friendly gardens which will save on water.
Front yard garden beds for home gardens
You can make your garden appear larger by planting flowers with warm colours like yellow, red or orange in the foreground close to the viewpoint. In the background plant cooler and softer tones like blue, purple, pastel pinks and whites.
Use of Colour in the home garden. Using warm and cool colours to make your garden appear larger.
Small front garden design for home gardens
Plants for this style of home garden could include the following;
Dwarf Lemon scented gum.
Magnolia Little Gem.
Dwarf Lilly Pilly – Acmena Smithii Minor
Diaosma instead of turf
Larger front yards
Pittosporum ‘Siver sheen” (Large tree or hedge.)
Lilly Pilly – Acmena Smithii
Italian Pencil Pine
Use the taller plants towards the outside of your garden.
Our top garden design tip here is to trees with numerous small leaves. This will help to create the illusion of space in a small garden. For example, Pittosporum ‘Silver Sheen” English yew tree. A large hedge of pittosporum Silver sheen will help to screen out the neighbours and make the garden appear larger if you grow it along the fence line. If you are not planting a hedge, aim to have plants at various heights to draw the eye up and down.
Garden Focal points for your home garden
What is focal point in Landscaping?
In landscaping a focal point is a point of interest in a garden that helps the eye rest naturally. The garden focal point will create an interesting destination for garden visitors to move towards.
Does a good landscape need a focal point?
A garden focal point will draw the visitor’s eye to a particular location in the garden. It can help to create the illusion that your small garden is actually larger than it is. It will also encourage visitors to move through the garden as well as help create visual balance in the front yard.
Potted urn on a pedestal
A Garden focal point could be a potted urn on a garden pedestal surrounded by lavender plants. Lavender also looks good with Terracotta pots.
Concrete garden pot on a concrete pedestal. A garden focal point where the garden paths cross.
Home Gardening Landscaping ideas. A concrete urn on a concrete pedestal with concrete pavers leading to the focal point.
Garden arch focal point.
An impressive welcome to your front yard garden can be provided by a flower covered garden arch. By using fragrant climbing plants on the garden arch, a sensory experience can be provided for your visitors. The garden arch over a brick pathway will fit in well with cottage gardens or Melbourne heritage gardens. As a focal point, the garden arch draws the eye up and around the arch.
Garden Arbor or arch with climbing plants.
Pergola walkway with wisteria
Garden water feature focal point ideas
A water feature makes a great focal point in any garden and is also good for wildlife.
Garden Pond Ideas
Garden Ponds should be located in partial shade to limit the growth of algae. If algae is a problem in your pond, then a harmless black dye can be added to the water. Garden ponds should be located as flat location as possible. If you are building your own pond, make sure the excavation is free from stones and roots then line the hole with sand before putting in the butyl liner. This will extent the lifetime of your pond liner. Newly built concrete ponds will have a high PH, so wait for this to stabilise around 7 before introducing any fish to your garden pond. In and around your pond use a planting mixture of water lilies, floating plants and some native grasses around the outside.
Home Garden – Koi Fish in a tranquil pond
Water feature fountains
If your front yard garden is a Melbourne inner city heritage garden, you may have some issues with traffic noise. A front yard fountain will help to disguise the traffic noise as we as add tranquillity to your garden. There are designs to suit modern gardens as well as heritage gardens and Japanese gardens.
Stone water feature in the style of a Ryoan Ji temple with rounded river pebbles a stone lantern. Fantastic use of foliage colours with white flowers.
Garden Sculpture Focal Points
Garden Sculpture focal point with a curved garden hedge.
Soft landscaping Focal Points for your home garden.
The focal point can also be a beautiful shrub or tree. Choose a small tree that will have year-round interest. So attributes to look for would be long flowering periods, a beautiful shape or interesting foliage. If you choose a deciduous tree, make sure it has interesting bark and place foliage plants around the base.
Soft landscaping focal point. A White Crepe Myrtle in a home garden.
Disguise less attractive areas of your home with trellises and climbing plants.
If you have an area you would like to hide, build a trellis or brush fence. Use climbing plants like clematis, climbing rose or star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) to break up the view of the fence.
Trellis can be used to disguise parts of the garden.
A colourbond shed and garden tools hidden behind a brush fence.
More home garden landscape gardening ideas from Red’s Landscaping.
Path design for cottage gardens is not only a way to provide access, but the path can provide a design feature in itself.
How do you plan a garden Path?
Designing a garden path for your cottage garden
Traditional cottage gardens do not have lawns. As a result, this makes them an eco-friendly alternative for the Melbourne suburban home garden and a potential water saving garden design. Often the garden design will appear chaotic, but the parts of the garden will be divided up by symmetrical, geometric garden paths.
Home Garden Footpath Ideas
There are 4 main types of garden path layout. For instance, there are diamond shaped, oval outer path, central circular bed with crossed outer squares and the simpler square outer path with a single main path.
Crossed walkway with central circular garden
Crossed Garden Path with central circle
The crossed paths provides a central focal point for your cottage garden. This is similar in someways to the traditional monastery garden, which was centred on the point where the two cloisters would meet. This is widely regarded the authentic traditional cottage garden style. The outer paths can be made a little narrower than the other paths for smaller cottage gardens.
Crush rock crossed pathway with box hedge edging. The box is often used for the cottage hedge.
Although this is a formal garden, a box hedge and a circular centre garden are often features of a typical cottage garden crossed path system.
Concrete garden pot on a concrete pedestal. A garden focal point where the garden paths cross.
Stone Garden Path with a Plant as the focal point in the path intersection
Crossed brick and Pebble Pathway with herbaceous borders and a circular join.
Circular pond and crossed paths. French Mediterranean garden at Versailles
Crossed Pathway with Oval shaped outer garden path
Cottage Garden Oval Path Design
A variation of this is to leave the crossed central pathway out.
An example of a rustic stone pathway from the Arts and Crafts movement. An oval shaped path without the crossed central path.
Diamond Shaped Garden Path
Diamond shaped garden path
Square Outer Path
Square outer Path
Alternative cottage pathway systems
So far we have covered the 4 typical styles of pathway system. It is possible to have more complicated systems of pathways in your garden.
What is the cheapest walkway material?
The materials used on the paths in traditional cottage gardens will have a naturalistic look and tend to be soft surfaces. However, these can often be a little uncomfortable to walk on in bare feet. Amongst the hard surfaces, there are brick, granite setts, or natural flagstones. If you want to use concrete for the cottage garden pathways, then coloured, stencilled or exposed aggregate concrete will make the concrete appear more naturalistic. This would however, be a break from the tradition of cottage garden design.
Designing a Cottage Garden
In a traditional English village you are likely to find a stream, hedge-rows, a village pond and plenty of large trees and an orchard. In addition, each house will have its own cultivation plot and sometimes an enclosed front yard garden.
Small garden path design
You can design a cottage garden for a space as small as 25 square metres. This might therefore be the case if you have a traditional Melbourne heritage house or townhouse. However, if you have more space in you frontyard garden, you will be able to fit in several shrubs and trees and wide box hedge lined paths.
Cottage garden shape
Ideally, your cottage garden will be square or rectangular or close to it. However, if your garden is not too small you could have the traditional two garden paths crossing in the centre with an oval or circular path around the edge. Traditionally, the cottage garden did not run all of the way up to the house wall but had a zone where climbing roses or espalier fruit trees could be grown. This is also an area where plants in garden pots, a flower bed or garden furniture could be placed.
Plantings facing the sun.
In Melbourne your cottage herb and vegetable gardens should be facing north to make the most of often scarce winter sunlight. If that is not possible, try to find a position in your home garden that receives morning sun. For instance, many of the summer cottage vegetables and herbs that originate from warm climates will need as much sun and warmth as possible. Above all, plants such as fennel, cucumbers and tomatoes must have sufficient direct sunlight.
Gardens in the shade
If your home garden is mostly shady, you will need to be very selective with your plant selection. Use plants of varying heights in your cottage garden. The taller plants will however cast shade. The use of layering will therefore draw the eye up and down and make smaller gardens appear larger. The cottage garden should therefore exist in 3 dimensions. One cottage garden design feature that could be used for this is to plant some verbascum, hollyhocks, foxgloves or lupins. The shade cast by these plants will not cover the same spot all day unless they are planted in a huge clump.