Archives for Garden Design

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.

Espalier
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
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

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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;
https://www.stihl.in/the-correct-way-to-cut-hedges.aspx

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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Landscaping Melbourne with Climbing Plants

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;

  1. Clematis Hybrids for full sun or part shade, but keep the roots mulched or in shade. 2-3m.
  2. Honeysuckle (Lonicera) for partial shade to sunny with scented flowers. 2-6m.
  3. 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, Ipomoea purpurea, CLIMBERS

Climbing Plants Humulus lupulus, jasminum azoricum ,rhodochiton atrosanguine, passiflora white passion, gloriosa rothschildiana and Ipomoea purpurea climbers.

 

 

Clematis

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.

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.

Climbing Clematis

The Hybrids

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.

Climbing Clematis

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

 

"Climbing

 

Clematis Arctic Queen a medium-sized deciduous climber. A plethora of 150 mm double flowers from early summer to early to mid autumn.

Clematis Arctic Queen is a medium-sized deciduous climber. A plethora of 150 mm double flowers from early summer to early to mid autumn.

 

Climbing Plants - 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 ‘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 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.

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.

 

 

 

 

Climbing Plants - Clematis Viennetta

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.

 

 

"Climbing

 

 

Clematis 'Taiga' is a great climbing plant which grows to around to 2.5 metres.

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?

Lonicera (Honeysuckle)

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.

Lonicera Japonica

Climbing Plants Japanese honeysuckle Lonicera japonica is a vigorous twining large evergreen climber

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.

 

Fast growing climbing plants Lonicera periclymenum or common honeysuckle..

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 honeysuckle Kamchatka stunning bright blue 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.

Climbing Rose

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.

Red Climbing rose on a pergola.

 

A pink climbing rose on a brick wall.

A pink climbing rose on a brick wall.

Garden Arbor or arch with climbing plants.

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.

Related Landscaping Ideas from Red’s Landscaping

 

Screening Plants for Garden Privacy

 

Brighton Espaliered Plants

 

New Home Construction Landscaping

 

Pool Landscaping Designs

 

Home Garden Landscaping ideas

 

© Red’s landscaping Melbourne

 

 

More Reading on Clematis

Royal Horticultural Society

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Kangaroo Paw ( anigozanthos )

Landscaping with Anigozanthos Kangaroo paw

Anigozanthos are tufted rhizomatous evergreen  perennials that are members of the bloodwort family.

Bush Pearl

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

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 humilis Kangaroo Paw

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

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.

Alternaria alternata or Ink Disease on a Kangaroo Paw.

 

Anigozanthos Flavidus.

A. flavidus kangaroo paw is more resistant to Ink Disease.

 

 

Related Landscaping Ideas from Red’s Landscaping

Xanthorrhoea The Australian Grass Tree

 

Banksia Coccinea Garden Ideas

 

Salvia Leucantha or Mexican Bush Sage

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil – Quality Melbourne Landscaper

 

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More information on Anigozanthos

Pests and Diseases

 

A.Humilis

 

Ink Disease

 

Native Plant Diseases

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Melbourne Landscaper - Syzygium australe screening plants.

Screening Plants for Garden Privacy

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.

Screening Plants

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.

Melbourne Landscaper Screening Plants Thuja Occidentalis

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

Waterhousea floribunda

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.

Melbourne Landscaper Hakea salicifolia screening plants.

Hakea salicifolia screening plants.

 

Fast growing Hakea salicifolia screening out the rear fence.

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. Melbourne Landscaper. Tall outdoor potted plants for privacy

Screening Plants Dwarf Bamboo. Tall outdoor potted plants for privacy

 

Murraya Paniculata.

Another fast growing screening plants is the Murraya Paniculata. 

Murraya Paniculata hedge in pots. Tall outdoor potted plants for privacy

Murraya Paniculata hedge in pots. Tall outdoor potted plants for privacy

These can also be grown in pots for instant privacy screening.

 

 

More Landscaping information from Red’s Landscaping

Pool Landscaping Designs

 

Home Garden Landscaping ideas

 

Cottage garden ideas from the Cotswolds

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil – Quality Melbourne Landscaper

 

 

More information on Screening Plants

 

Better Homes and Gardens – Clumping Bamboo.

 

 

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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

 

More reading on Landscaping

 

Seven tips to increase your property value through Landscaping

 

 

 

Read more
Home Garden Landscaping Ideas

Home Garden Landscaping ideas

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;

  1. Check the health of your current plants and remove any that look a bit unhealthy.
  2. Any plants that are losing their shape should be pruned back hard.
  3. If you have any grey wooden fences, repaint them a dark colour like dark grey.
  4. Plant suitable screening plants around the edge of your garden.
  5. Repair any defects in garden paths, decks or other garden structures.
  6. Decide on your home garden focal points
  7. 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

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;

  1. Dwarf Lemon scented gum.
  2. Magnolia Little Gem.
  3. Dwarf Lilly Pilly – Acmena Smithii Minor
  4. Crepe Myrtle
  5. Diaosma instead of turf

 

Larger front yards

  1. Pittosporum ‘Siver sheen” (Large tree or hedge.)
  2. Lilly Pilly – Acmena Smithii
  3. 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

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.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.

Garden Arbor or arch with climbing plants.

 

 

Pergola walkway with wisteria

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

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.

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

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.

A White Crepe Myrtle in a home garden

Soft landscaping focal point. A White Crepe Myrtle in a home garden.

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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.

Trellis can be used to disguise parts of the garden.

 

 

 

Dog friendly garden Couch lawn

A colourbond shed and garden tools hidden behind a brush fence.

More home garden landscape gardening ideas from Red’s Landscaping.

 

Cottage Garden Plants

 

 

Cottage garden ideas from the Cotswolds

 

 

Path Design for Cottage Gardens

 

 

Small Garden Design Ideas

 

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil – Quality landscaping Melbourne

 

More information on the use of Colour in gardens

How to use colour in your garden

 

 

Fifteen front yard landscaping ideas.

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Crossed brick and Pebble Pathway with herbaceous borders.

Path Design for Cottage Gardens

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

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.

Crushed Rock Pathway box hedge edging.

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

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.

Stone Garden Path with a Plant as the focal point in the path intersection

 

Crossed brick and Pebble Pathway with herbaceous borders.

Crossed brick and Pebble Pathway with herbaceous borders and a circular join.

 

Circular pond and crossed paths

Circular pond and crossed paths. French Mediterranean garden at Versailles

 

Crossed Pathway with Oval shaped outer garden path

Cottage Garden Oval Path Design

Cottage Garden Oval Path Design

A variation of this is to leave the crossed central pathway out.

COTTAGE GARDEN STONE PATHWAY

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

Diamond shaped garden path

 

Square Outer 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.

 

Related Landscaping Ideas from Red’s Landscaping 

 

Cottage Garden Plants

 

 

Landscaping Melbourne with Climbing Plants

 

 

Cottage garden ideas from the Cotswolds

 

 

Cottage Gardens in Melbourne Part 1 – History

 

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil quality commercial landscaping Melbourne

 

More Information on Cottage Gardens

 

How to Create a Low Maintenance Cottage Garden

 

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Japanese Garden Design

Japanese Landscape – Kew Gardens

Japanese gardens evoke the feeling of peace and tranquillity. These gardens are not only beautiful, but they are practical too as a visit to the Kew Botanical gardens shows. Professor Fukuhara of Osaka University designed this garden in 1996 based around the ‘Gateway of the Imperial Messenger’ or  ‘Chokushi-Mon’, which was a gift to Kew Botanical Gardens after it was displayed at the London  Japan-British Exhibition of 1910.

Chokushi-Mon. Kew Botanical Gardens

Chokushi-Mon. Kew Botanical Gardens. The ‘Gateway of the Imperial Messenger’ or  ‘Chokushi-Mon’ was a gift to Kew Botanical Gardens after it was displayed at the London  Japan-British Exhibition of 1910. In the foreground is a Platycodon grandiflorus or Chinese Balloon flower, an herbaceous perennial with blue bell shaped flowers in clusters . The plant gets its name from the swollen buds which resemble balloons.

Often the word Zen is associated with Japanese gardens. Zen is a school of east asian buddhism. In modern times, Zen has been identified especially with the secular arts of medieval Japan. These include the tea ceremony, ink painting, and gardening.

The 17 tonnes of aggregate or Zen gravel is raked weekly to maintain its patterns. Japanese gardens usually use a light colour of granite aggregate.

The 17 tonnes of aggregate or Zen gravel is raked weekly to maintain these patterns. Japanese gardens usually use a light coloured high quality granite aggregate.

 

Much of the zen doctrine is based on meditation, so is not surprising that Traditional Japanese gardens are designed for peaceful contemplation. Whilst the primary focus of an Oriental garden is nature, there are elements of a Japanese garden that symbolize the natural elements.

Japanese Garden Design. Pattern Gravel with rocks, grasses and low shrubs. Designed by Professor Fukuhara of Osaka University using adapted garden styles from the Momayama period.

Japanese Garden Design. Wavy Pattern aggregate with rocks, grasses and low shrubs. Designed by Professor Fukuhara of Osaka University using adapted garden styles from the Momayama period.

Ornaments, plants, rocks stones and water are the main elements used in Japanese Garden Design. The elements are often arranged asymmetrically in an enclosed space. Rocks are placed in groups or individually to highlight their colour, form and texture. Nearby shrubs create contrast in both colour and texture with the rocks. . Larger gardens sometimes incorporate an arched bridge as a design feature.

Holland Park Kyoto Garden

Japanese gardens often feature simple and natural paving materials including natural rock, natural slate paving, exposed aggregate, gravel or stones. Straight lines and edges such as footpaths and decking can be softened with ground covers. Japanese garden decor is often incorporated into the garden. These include Koi ponds, stone lanterns, bamboo water spouts, rain chains, waterfalls and stone basins. Many of these Japanese garden design features can be seen at the Holland Park Kyoto Japanese garden in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

The Kyoto Japanese garden was a present from the city of Kyoto to commemorate the friendship between Great Britain and Japan. This is a very tranquil garden with stone lanterns as design focal points, multi tiered waterfalls, Japanese Maple trees (Acer palmatum) In Autumn the colours of these trees are stunning.

 

Stone Lantern, Pond and Acer. Kyoto garden

Stone Lantern, Pond and Acer. Kyoto garden

Plant selection will often include cherry trees and maples which put on a fantastic display of colour in the Autumn. The one aspect most often associated with Japanese gardens in the sub-tropics  however, is the raked stones, sand or gravel  in wave patterns. Compared to a lawn, these beautiful spaces will save on water and maintenance. Flowers and Australian native plants, especially ground covers, can also be incorporated into the design.

 

 

The use of contrasting coloured foliage is often a feature of Japanese Garden Design.

The use of contrasting coloured foliage is often a feature of Japanese Garden Design.

 

Tranquil Garden Pond

A Tranquil Garden Pond with vertical stones. In the background an elevated landform with light coloured flowers and small trees.

The origin of the Japanese garden design style is founded in the admiration and respect for all natural forms such as rocks and trees. The design  style of the Kyoto garden is one of the typical traditional design styles know as the “tour garden” style.  It is not just the original design which makes this garden Japanese, in the garden maintenance plan the trees are trimmed in harmony with their original natural shape.

A mossy stone wall with borders and blue flowers.

A mossy stone wall with borders and blue flowers.

 

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.

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.

 

A 3 tiered stone waterfall descends into a garden pond of Koi fish.

A 3 tiered stone waterfall descends into a garden pond of Koi fish.

 

The feature garden waterfall looks great from every angle.

The feature garden waterfall looks great from every angle.

 

Koi fish swim around a stone lantern on a stone in a tranquil garden Pond. Water features are a often a big part of Japanese garden design.

Koi fish swim around a stone lantern on a stone in a tranquil garden Pond. Water features are a often a big part of Japanese garden design.

 

Pink Magnolias are a great choice for Japanese gardens.

Pink Magnolias are a great choice for Japanese gardens. Also take a look at Kobushi Magnolia when designing your garden.

 

Naturalistic rock pavers with the garden pond shore paved with large round river rocks.

Naturalistic rock pavers with the garden pond shore paved with large round river rocks.

 

More information on Garden Design from Red’s Landscaping Melbourne

Mediterranean Garden Design Ideas

 

Home Garden Landscaping ideas

 

Pool Landscaping Designs

 

 

 

Contact us for Japanese garden design Melbourne

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil – Melbourne Landscaper.

 

 

More Information on Japanese gardens

Kew Botanical Gardens

Holland Park

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Stunning Pink flowering gum.

Tree Landscape Design Melbourne

Tree landscape design is an essential part of commercial or residential landscape gardening. As the Chinese proverb goes, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now”. With the cooler months, it is time to think about planting some trees.

Trees as an attractive focal point

Some attractive Trees and shrubs can provide an interesting focal point for your garden. Many Australian native trees will provide vibrant coloured flower creating both beauty and food and habitat for a wide range of Australian fauna. As an added bonus, the colourful flowers provide a source of nectar and pollen for honeybees and native bees, well away from the garden pesticides. Foliage colours can also be used to create a contrast.

 

Lemon-scented myrtle also known as the Sweet Verbena Tree (Backhousia citriodora) is a Queensland species that is both attractive to honeybees and a source of bush tucker. However, as it is a rainforest plant, it is not particularly drought tolerant. If you look after it, you will be rewarded with clusters of attractive white flowers.

Design Considerations. – Locating the tree

When designing the garden for trees, make sure you consider the final height of the tree and any garden maintenance requirements. Space between the tree and a fence might need to be big enough for mower access. Also the location of any overhead power lines should be considered. If you are planting a street tree, the local council will have guidelines for the minimum distance to services such as stormwater outlets and power poles.

Planting Trees like a professional commercial landscaper

If your new tree comes in a plastic pot, make sure you protect it from the searing  sun. A few hours of intense sunlight on a black plastic pot can do a great deal of harm to your new tree. Make sure you give the root ball a good soaking. If possible, dip the pot into a bucket of water.

Tree Planting

Tree Planting. Make the hole much bigger than the pot especially in Melbourne clay soils.

Dig your hole much bigger than the pot size of the tree. That means if you are planting a tree from a 300 mm pot, the hole should be dug around 900 mm. This is especially the case if you are planting in poor quality soils. Aim to have the new tree slightly higher than the natural ground level. If you are in a heavy clay soil, dig in some organic matter both below and around the plant. If you use a lot of organic matter, this will tend to shrink as it decomposes so take care not to overdo it. The organic material used should be well composted. Backfill with 50% high quality topsoil mixed with the site topsoil. If you have a reactive clay soil, which is common in Melbourne, a hand full od gypsum can be dug into the bottom of the hole.

 

 

Once you have placed your tree in the hole, give the roots a bit of a tickle if they appear to have been root bound by the planter pot. This will encourage the roots to grow outward into the new soil. If you are planting a Eucalyptus or Magnolia, the roots should be disturbed as little as possible.

Water the new tree and tamp down on the soil to remove any air pockets. Cover the root zone with around 75mm thick mulch ensuring there is a gap between the trunk and the mulch to prevent collar rot. In most cases staking of the tree is not necessary. If you have a larger or a top heavy tree, use 2 or 3 stakes placed away from the trunk and tied loosely with a rag.

 

Correct tree staking.

Stakes need to be clear of the rootball. Ideally 50 mm hessian ties should be used and stapled to the stakes to allow some trunk movement. Ensure the ties do not damage the trunk.

 

 

Watering trees

To avoid drought stress with you newly planted trees, give the soil around the plant a good soaking. The best solution for saving water is a dripper irrigation system with a timer and a moisture sensor. An annual application of a soil wetting solution will save water by reducing run off.

Mulching around a tree

Create a dish to keep the mulch clear of the tree and the top of the root ball close to flush with the finished height. The mulch height should be 200mm with a diameter of 1200mm.

 

Weeding and mulching

Keep Weeds, lawns and other vegetation away from the root zone of your new tree until it is well established. For trees, this means an area of around 1.5 metres  diameter should be kept clear for the first 3 years. The mulch should be topped up annually as it slowly decomposes into the soil.

 

Feeding your new Tree

Native Trees

Native plants generally require very little fertiliser, so be careful when applying and always use low phosphorus fertilisers. Products like Neutrog Seamungus combine the trace elements of seaweed with the nitrogen of chook manure to get your plants off to a good start. Neutrog “Bush Tucker” has been developed specifically for Australian Native plants and is ideal for even the most phosphorus sensitive proteas, banksias or grevillias. As well as harming native trees, excess phosphorus will inhibit mycorrhizal fungi essential for root development with your new tree. Phosphorus run off into streams and waterways can also be a problem.

Exotic trees

Exotic trees will require a little bit more feeding for the low phosphorus Melbourne soils. Also add a small amount of slow release fertiliser to the hole.

 

 

Pruning

Even if your tree is an Australian Native, don’t be afraid of giving it a regular prune or trim to get it into the shape you want. This should be done both early and regularly. After a year or two it the tree should be strong enough to stay upright without the stakes. This is the reason why the young trees should not be staked too tightly. Always use a clean and sharp pruning saw to avoid spreading plant diseases.

 

Plant Selection

The trees selected for your Melbourne garden should be reasonably drought tolerant, non invasive and easy to maintain. Consideration should be given to the full extent  of the leaf canopy and the root zone when the plant is fully grown. In particular, the plants chosen need to have resistance to the weather conditions and the fungal diseases that go along with it. A visit to your local botanical gardens is a good way to select plants for your home garden and also pick up some landscaping ideas. Some councils Council have also published a guides to saving water. Some of the trees listed in the guide include Kurrajong, (Brachychiton populneus), Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica), Screw Pine (Pandanus Tectorius), Coastal Banksia (Banksia integrifolia), Tuckeroo (Cupaniopsis anacardioides) , Tulipwood (Harpullia pendula), Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) Blue Lilly Pilly (Syzygium oleosum)

 

Lagerstroemia indica has purple, pink or white crinkly flowers that appear like crape (or crepe). It is a deciduous tree but it can be grown as a  large shrub. The long dark leaves are bronze when the tree is growing rapidly.

 

Lagerstroemia Indica

Lagerstroemia Indica is a tree or shrub native to China and Korea. Striking conical panicles around 200mm long. Ideal for small gardens and Mediterranean gardens.

 

 

Blue Lilly Pilly (Syzygium oleosum) has stunning purple or blue berries contrasting with the rich dark green foliage. The colourful berries can be eaten.

 

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

 

Many of us love the look and the bird attracting ability of the Western Australian Flowering Gum. (Corymbia ficifolia) (Previously know as Eucalyptus ficifolia). In the past the problem has been its ability to withstand the humidity of the Gold Coast. The good news is that horticulturalist Stan Henry has developed a hybrid variety suitable for the humid conditions of South East Queensland. The hybrids, which combine Corymbia ficifolia, the red flowering gum from south-west Western Australia with the swamp bloodwood, Corymbia ptychocarpa from northern Australia are know as the Summer series – ‘Summer Red’, ‘Summer Beauty’ and ‘Summer Snow’. Look for these in your local plant nursery.

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil Melbourne Landscaper.

 

Local Council Street Tree Policies

Stonnington (Covers Prahan, Toorak, Malvern and Glen Iris.)

 

 

 

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life/summer-bursts-with-colour-as-cultivated-flowering-gums-thrive-in-new-frontiers-20151216-glp63z.html

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In-situ concrete retaining wall and garden steps.

In-situ Concrete

In-situ Concrete, also known as insitu concrete, is an outstanding landscaping construction technique. In terms of long terms long term quality, robustness and longevity very few landscape construction techniques come close. To many people in-situ concrete is better know as landscaping architectural concrete and it is the point where landscaping, architecture and civil engineering all meet in landscape design. For the landscape design of public spaces, architectural concrete or in-situ concrete is a great choice for the severe use of our landscaped parks, gardens or commercial buildings. Some other names for in-situ concrete include “poured in place” concrete or “cast in place”  concrete”.

What is in-situ concrete?

In-Situ Concrete cast in place.

In-situ is concrete that as poured into formwork at the building site. When compared to pre-cast concrete, in-situ requires no crane or forklift to get it into position. In comparison with concrete block and rendered retaining walls, the very low porosity of sealed and vibed in-situ walls will ensure a quality finish for decades of use. With concrete block retaining walls, the blocks themselves will have some porosity which will allow moisture to creep under the rendered surface and may cause it to lift in a few years. In-situ concrete has the colour mixed in and the texture is provided by the formwork but it can be rendered if required.

In-situ Concrete pumped into the formwork.

In-situ Concrete pumped into the formwork through a boom.

In-Situ Concrete – strong connection to footings.

An additional advantage with in-situ  is it has a very strong and stable attachment to the very solid footings underneath. This is due to the reinforcement bars coming up from the footings and overlapping with the in-situ concrete steel reinforcement.  When compared with concrete block retaining walls, although the steel reinforcement runs up through the centre of the blocks, any voids in the concrete around the reinforcement can lead to corrosion of the reinforcement bars and concrete cancer. The homogeneity of the of the vibed in-situ walls also ensures a good attachment to the steel reinforcing bars and does not suffer the risk of a poor attachment of the core concrete to the inner void of the concrete blocks. Pre-cast concrete will usually require mechanical fixings to the footing. These fixings can corrode over time or can be ground off by vandals. Being securely attached to the footings is a big advantage of in-situ concrete. Newly constructed public spaces such as parks and gardens will often rely on these quality advantages of in-situ concrete.

Retaining wall footings.

Retaining wall footings with steel reinforcement protruding to give the retaining wall a strong connection to the footing. The reinforcement bars must be accurately placed.

Precast concrete versus in-situ in landscaping concrete architecture.

One of the advantages of precast concrete is that it is manufactured under controlled conditions in a factory. This ensures a consistent quality product. There can be a risk however of coloured concrete coming from different batches resulting in slightly different colours close together. The quality advantages of precast concrete can be matched by in-situ concrete with close attention to the details and quality control of the processes.

 

Quality in-situ concrete retaining walls, stairs and seating.

Commercial Retaining Walls Melbourne

Good quality in-situ concreting requires a lot of attention to the materials and the processes. In-situ concrete wall also need to consider the safety as well as the aesthetics of a public space or residential landscape construction project. A well constructed, quality, curved in-situ concrete wall will achieve both of these aims.

Stripping the formwork off the walls.

Stripping the formwork off the walls. Extra effort and attention to detail will result in a quality finish on the retaining walls.

Quality In-situ concreting footings.

Concrete sets by a chemical reaction and not by drying. The chemical reaction is ecothermic and water is part of the reaction. If there is a difference in temperature within the concrete or if the water evaporates quickly from the top surface, then cracking can be the result. Concrete footings should not be poured in freezing conditions or below 5 degrees. Fortunately, in Melbourne there are very few days when it is too cold to pour. In hot weather the concrete should not be poured during the hottest part of the day or in extremely hot weather. The top part of the footing can be kept moist with hessian or a light sprinkling of water to prevent the top layer of the footing being weaker.

Concrete reinforcement bars in the footings.

It is essential that the vertical bars coming out of the footing are located accurately. When the in-situ walls are poured, these bars need to be closed to the centre of the retaining wall with good overlap with the wall reinforcement. The concrete reinforcement within the footing should be encased within the concrete as much as possible to minimise the paths for moisture to get into the reinforcement.

 

Concrete footing design

If designing for in-situ concrete retaining walls, the concrete footing should be a suitable size for the wall, keeping in mind all of the loads on the wall including hydrostatic and mass of the wall. The design of the footings must be to Australian Standards.

 

Formwork for in-situ concrete retaining walls.

Quality in-situ walls require formwork that is smooth strong and flexible.  Any defect, imperfection of inaccuracy in the formwork will show up in the surface of the wall. The formwork needs to be strong enough to resist the weight of the wet concrete without bulging or deforming. Deflections in timer formwork will show up as ripples in the finished wall. A bulge in the formwork due to the hydrostatic load of the concrete will be a disaster when removing the formwork from the wall. The wall should be designed with a slight draft angle to make the removal easy without causing any damage to the retaining wall.

Strong supports for the formwork.

Strong supports for the formwork keep the wall dimensionally correct.

 

Accurately positioned formwork under construction.

Accurately positioned formwork under construction.

 

Pouring the concrete retaining walls.

Pouring the concrete retaining walls. Using the concrete vibrator to get a quality finish and good adhesion to the reinforcement.

 

 

Stripping the formwork after the concrete pour.

Stripping the formwork after the concrete pour. The formwork should be left on as long as possible to prevent the concrete drying excessively during curing. Taking the formwork off too early can result in microcracks in the concrete.

 

Stripping the formwork after the concrete pour

Stripping the formwork after the concrete pour and curing to show a quality result.

 

In-situ concrete steel reinforcement

The steel reinforcement bars must have a good overlap with the footing reinforcement bars and well encased within the concrete wall. Reinforcement to close to the surface may result in water ingress and concrete cancer.

 

Pouring the in-situ concrete.

The concrete walls should be poured in one go and definitely from the same batch of concrete.  Any interruption of the pour may show up as a line in the finished wall.  The freshly poured concrete should be thoroughly vibed to ensure there are no voids within the concrete especially on the outer surfaces or at the interface with the reinforcement.

The steel reinforcement within tin-situ also helps to prevent surface cracking. To minimise the surface cracks, we leave the formwork in place a little longer to keep the moisture in during curing. The concrete should then be given a light sprinkle of water once the formwork is removed as it is still curing. The concrete will not be fully cured for a few weeks so consider this before applying any excessive loads.

Landscape and Concrete Design

Landscape Design with in-situ walls.

In-situ walls give the landscape designer or the landscape architect enormous freedom to design shapes for retaining walls, seating  or concrete stairs that would be very difficult, if not impossible, using precast of other landscape construction techniques. In-situ walls can be designed into three dimensional shapes that would be impossible or expensive to do as Pre-cast. Curved retaining walls on an uneven landscape would be very difficult to achieve with any other landscape construction technique. Another advantage is the wide range of colours available.

In-situ concrete curved seating

In-situ concrete curved seating. Shapes like this are difficult with other landscape construction techniques.

 

Concrete stairs Cast in Place

Concrete stairs Cast in Place. This process is ideal for intricate or bespoke designs.

 

 

In-situ curved garden retaining wall.

Exposed aggregate path and in-situ curved garden retaining wall. Overflowing Australian native grasses in the garden bed soften the look of the concrete. The exposed aggregate path provides an attractive contrast to the wall and plants. It is also a safe non-slip cost-effective solution.

 

In-situ retaining wall and steps

In-situ retaining wall and steps

 

Curved In-Situ retaining wall.

Curved In-Situ retaining wall prior to the final touch up and surface treatment. The joins in the formwork will be visible until the concrete is ground back to an even join.

As the concrete is pumped in, damage to other landscaping structures can be avoided, making it  easier for the landscape project planner to  schedule the construction. These are important factors to consider when landscaping Melbourne public spaces.

In-Situ retaining wall.

A very straight In-Situ retaining wall.

 

In-situ retaining wall

Exposed aggregate pathway and in-situ retaining wall prior to filling and grinding by the concrete finisher. There will always be a few small voids to fill, but theses can be minimised with the vibe during the pour.

 

See also Concrete Architecture in Landscaping

 

Concrete For Landscape Design & Construction

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil quality commercial landscaping Melbourne

 

 

More information on visual concrete for landscape design

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