Creating a hedge and tree pruning are gardening techniques which can be used to great effect in any virtually 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.
For quality landscaping services, at Red’s Landscaping and Civil, we pride ourselves in our workmanship. Excellent landscaping involves much more than the workmanship of our landscapers, concreters and horticulturists. Central to our quality system is our quality statement.
Landscaping Quality Statement
Craftsmanship is built into every stage of the landscaping project at Red’s Landscaping and Civil. From the quotation all the way through the design and to the project completion quality is built in to every process. During the initial quotation, and during the entire landscaping project, the voice of the customer as represented by our designs or customer drawings, customer specifications and regular site meetings is integral the landscaping quality process. Ensuring all of the requirements of the customer drawings and specifications are fully understood and met is of paramount importance. This is achieved by regular drawing reviews and customer inspection and sign-off milestones during the project. Red’s Landscaping and Design is committed to the principle of Kaizen or continuous improvement as well as our comprehensive environmental and OH&S policies. Our Landscaping Quality Manual is based on the requirements of AS NZS ISO 9001-2008 Quality Management Systems as well as the general landscaping specifications of local authorities. Our aim is to meet or exceed our customer’s specifications and expectations and deliver a quality outcome within budget and project timing.
All personnel involved in leadership positions and administration must be totally familiar with the Landscaping Quality Manual and associated Procedures and will ensure that they are maintained and observed.
Landscaping Quality Manual
Our landscaping manual is based on the Landscaping specifications and quality standards published by local councils. Areas covered by the quality manual include the following;
Details included in the landscaping manual covers such items as the correct staking of trees, and the quality of materials brought onto the site. Some examples of this are our requirements for garden topsoil to Australian Standard AS4419 “Soils for Landscaping and Garden Use” with a requirement for materials to be free of weeds and other contaminants.
Quality Landscape Suppliers
The suppliers we use for topsoil, concrete, mulch and especially plants are the ones we know from experience are able to meet the high standards required by landscape architects for urban spaces. We use these same high quality suppliers for our residential projects ensuring a lower garden maintenance cost in the long term. Soft landscape materials and suppliers are an important part of our strategy.
Qualified Landscapers and Horticulturists
Our experienced landscapers and horticulturists have the necessary Australian qualifications to ensure a quality outcome. We are experts in plant identification, nutrition and care. Our experience in creating detailed designs and drawings as well as working with landscape architects has greatly benefited our quality processes. We are now in a position to use this experience for landscaping Melbourne gardens in the same way we have delivered great public spaces. Fast, accurate , high quality and with attention to detail. Our rapid approach to landscaping projects and our advanced planning using Gantt charts ensures landscaping costs are kept under control.
French landscape design were said to originate in 1662. It was during this time that King Louis XIV imprisoned the then superintendent of finances Nicolas Fouquet for embezzling royal funds. Fouquet’s ambition to build his own private and luxurious Chateau at Vaux-le-Vicomte had led to his disgrace and allowed King Louis XIV to shift his attention to the Gardens of Versailles. It was here, and with the aid of Fouquet’s architect (Louis Le Vau), painter (Charles Le Brun) and landscape architect (Andre Le Notre) that the Gardens of Versailles would become one of the largest and most remarkable gardens in Europe.
Gardens of Versailles
The chateau’s expansion followed shortly after the gardens, with both having tours carefully managed. In bringing this space to life existing Bosquets and Parterres were enhanced and new ones were designed and built. The most significant and influential creations at this time were the Versailles Orangerie and Parterre. It was this attraction where the architectural talent and creativity of Louis Le Vau’s design symbolised both the building itself and the parterre, becoming an irresistible attraction to visiting diplomats and foreign royalty, even to liking of King William III.
The Versailles Orangerie was first completed in 1663, then in 1678 a ten-year growth plan was decided to create what has been described as Jules Hardouin-Mansart crowning achievements, replacing the Louis Le Vau design of 1663. The Orangerie doubled in size and was modelled on theories from master gardener and horticulturist Jean-Baptiste de La Quintinie, whose writings discuss a detailed system for protecting exotic plants from the harsh cold without the use of any artificial heating.
Aerial snapshot of Versailles
Trees of Versailles
As Louis XIV lived out his reign in Versailles, he became allergic to the perfumed flowers and developed a preferred smell of citrus trees, his favorite being orange trees which he had potted in silver tubs and placed around the Palace. After the Fouquet’s incident, Louis had over 1,000 orange trees removed from Nicolas’s property and transferred to the Orangerie, by the 1790’s there were several thousand trees. During the winter, the trees were sheltered in a cathedral like space and the gardeners would burn fires during the coldest months which were cleverly designed to heat the housing of the trees.
French gardeners were able to keep the citrus trees blooming throughout the year, by withholding water, valuable nutrients and using pruning techniques. It wasn’t until a visit from John Locke, who described the peculiar appearance of the trees as small heads and thick trunks, as a consequence of the planters not allowing correct rooting into the soil below. Gardener Valentin Lopin created an extremely useful device in 1689 to assist with the transportation of the larger citrus trees which were originally shipped from Italy.
French Garden popularity
The Orangerie parterre covers over three hectares and during the reign of Louis XIV was ornamented with several sculptures, which are now housed in the Musee du Louvre museum. It’s said that French landscape designs are seen as an extension of the existing architecture, creating a series of rooms within the garden by using compact hedges and bodies of water to execute the meticulous, elegant and rich designs. Today, the French gardens still have a strong influence and presence in our society, being one of the most popular and hard- to-perfect designs. The french landscape design also has a very strong popularity in Melbourne inner city and south eastern suburbs, such as Toorak, Malvern and Armerdale. Where you can find beautiful french provicial homes with classic gardens inspired by the versailles orangerie
It is easy to be tempted into driving straight into a design for your landscape. It is advisable to take time and plan your landscape design properly before you start. While at it, consider the plants that are likely to perform best in the climate of your area and the purpose of your landscape among other things. For more inspiration on Landscape design please refer back to our blog where you can find many more articles on Landscape design
The winter is characterised with weeds, heavy soaking, low sunlight levels, and frost, which, for us humans, means staying covered and resting mostly indoors. But for lawns, the winter is a critical time to survive and require as much help as possible to stay healthy. Here are tips to keep your lawn healthy during the colder months.
Provide abundant sunlight to your lawn
It is advisable to leave grass clippings after mowing during the warmer months. This is because they can supply nutrients from the grass. Also, leaving behind grass clippings can save you lots of work.
But during autumn and winter, you will be better off removing clippings and leaves from the turf. This way, your lawn will receive ample air and sunlight that it requires to survive during the cold months.
If there are lots of trees on your lawn, you should prune them to ensure your lawn receives more sunlight.
Mow higher and less frequently
The first thing you will notice when the cooler months set in is that grass growth rate decreases. When this happens, you are advised to raise the mowing height to avoid damaging the grass, something that can lead to browning and scalping. Frequent scalping weakens the grass, leaving it exposed to weeds and diseases.
When mowing your lawn, avoid cutting the grass lower than 2.5 cm. Also reduce the frequency of mowing your grass to approximately every 3 or 4 weeks. You can also mow your grass when the grass blade length exceeds 6 cm.
Aerate the soil
High traffic volume, coupled with higher temperatures, can compact the soil. This, in turn, can prevent the roots of the grass from receiving the optimal resources required for their thriving and growth. You can choose to manually perforate the soil using a hand rake. Alternatively, you can enlist the services of a professional to do the job for you.
Although your grass will grow remarkably slower during the winter, it still requires a steady delivery of nutrients. Firstly, make sure your soil is checked to see what nutrients are lacking and then buy the right fertiliser that contains the right nutrient combination.
You should desist from watering your lawn unless the grass appears very dry. And the best time to water your lawn is early in the morning. If you water your lawn too much during the colder months, it risks inviting fungi to your grass.
Weeds, unlike other types of turf, are unbowed by the harsh winter conditions. As a matter of fact, they appear to thrive in these unforgiving conditions. Be proactive and come up with a weekly weeding regimen to keep the unwanted plants in check.
Reds Landscaping Can Help!
Does it appear like the grass is always greener on the other side? Are your lawn care tips for the winter not working? Maybe you need to call in a pro. The experts at Reds Landscaping offer free tips and advice to help you keep your lawn and property in the best states. Just email or call us on 0424 350 910 for professional assistance with your lawn care this winter.
Proper garden maintenance is critical to your property value in Melbourne the heart of the garden state. A well maintained garden will also save money in the long term and give visitors a sense of well being.
Garden maintenance can be a challenge in Melbourne with garden design styles varying from formal gardens with hedges to rustic native gardens. These factors can affect the cost of maintenance.
Combating Melbournes climate is not easy, however, knowing your hedges ideal height, correct pruning and ideal mowing frequencies you can easily stay on top of your workload. Frequent care of your hedges, palms and lawns minimizes surface area this reduces photosynthesis and slows growth rate. This creates a quicker job for the gardeners with less mess to clean up and a good reduction in cost.
Controlling water is also essential for reducing growth rates. Having a professional optimize your irrigation controller is essential for maintenance in the Melbourne. The program should be aimed at keeping plants alive and healthy but programmed to minimizes water to reduce excessive growth. Increasing watering frequency and reducing dryer periods allows you to greatly wind down irrigation times. We find this not only reduces growth rates but also creates healthier more resilient plants and turf. Calibrating a water sensor to shut down the irrigation through periods of rain is also critical for reducing water and slowing growth rates.
Please if you have any further questions on how getting a maintenance professional can help you with your garden, please fill out the contact form at the bottom of the page of give me a call 0424350910. I Have listed below some of my company’s maintenance services have a read to see how we might be able to help you.
Our team of professional Melbourne landscape designers, qualified tradesmen, trained staff and skilled contractors, have extensive experience in all aspects of garden construction and landscaping. Red’s Landscaping and Civil will ensure that the construction of your project is both cost effective and time efficient, while guaranteeing the best quality outcome. Modern horticulture is not just about flowerbeds and borders. Our experience and training in horticulture, and our landscape design expertise, will bring your Melbourne Landscaping vision to life.
Lawn renovation is best done in early Autumn in Melbourne gardens. Take the time to assess your lawn and plan for some renovation and repair work. Start by walking over your lawn and checking for any bald patches, or high spots or dips.
Lawn Irrigation Systems
Turn on your irrigation system and check if all parts of the lawn are getting adequate water. If you cannot push the tines of a fork into the bald patches, then the soil might be compressed or the irrigation is not reaching that spot. Also check for weeds and other pests and diseases whilst you are there.
What is the best treatment for grass?
Step 1 – Lawn Weed removal
The first step in a successful lawn renovation is to remove the weeds. If the weather is sunny, you could use a selective spray, but do not be afraid of digging the weeds out by hand.
Lawn care Melbourne. Broadleaf weeds can be removed by hand or with a selective spray.
Step 2 – Aeration of the Lawn
To make this job easier, give the grass a really good soaking or do it just after a good rain. Using a granulated or spray on soil wetter will help too. The slugs of soil should come up the aerator tines and drop out onto your lawn.
Mechanical Lawn Aerator for large or commercial lawns. Aeration is an essential part of lawn repair.
If you have a smaller area of lawn, then Bunnings have a hand held aerator that is reasonably priced. You can get a cyclone aerator at around $55 – $60. This is money well spent.
The holes made by the aerator, will allow oxygen, water and nutrients to quickly get to the roots. This is especially important if you have some high traffic areas that may have had some compression and wear.
Lawn topsoil profile shows the effectiveness of aeration in getting oxygen and nutrients to the lawn roots.
Step 3 – Over sow grass seeds.
If you have hybrid roll out grass then you will not find grass seeds of the exact same type of grass. Your local plant nursery will be able to suggest something that looks similar. Sowing Lawn seeds in early Autumn, means that the new lawn grasses have all winter and spring to get established before the next hot summer.
Oversow the lawn with new lawn-seed. Ensure seeds go into the aeration holes.
Step 4 – Top dress the lawn.
Top dress with either a high quality sandy loam with a little organic matter, or a course sand. The course sand works well in high traffic areas, but a topsoil high in organic matter is better at holding moisture. For real problem areas, try top dressing with a cheap fine textured potting mix. When topdressing, take care to fill any low points and bring the level up evenly to any paths or edges. Protruding pavers can make a real mess of your mower blades if the lawn is lower than your pavers. Depending on the type of topsoil you have you may want to top dress with some gypsum to break up the clay. The gypsum will penetrate deep into the lawn through the aeration holes.
Topdressing with cheap potting mix
For small bald patches in your lawn, a cheap fine potting mix can be a good alternative to sandy loam. The whole nature strip below has been repaired this way, and the rapid growth in the grass is amazing. The potting mix helps to keep the grass seeds moist for germination and can give some protection from birds.
Top dressing with a cheap fine textured potting mix. This is a great solution for small problem areas or bald patches in your lawn.
Step 5 – Apply Soil Wetter and Liquid Fertiliser to your lawn.
Give your grass a liquid fertiliser like Neutrog Seamungus as well as some more soil wetter. The liquid fertiliser will encourage plant and root growth. The soil wetter is required as often the top dress soils are hydrophobic, resulting in the water just running off the soil. If you repeat this last step for 3 or 4 weeks the results will be amazing.
Hydrophobic versus hydrophilic. A surfactant will help if your lawn topsoil has become hydrophobic and is repelling water. In hydrophobic soils water will tend to run off and not find its way to the lawn roots. Aerating and some garden lime will help as well.
For hard wearing lawn the topsoil needs to be a sandy loam. This type of soil should also be used when topdressing the high traffic areas of your lawn. This will also mean that the area will require regular watering or an irrigation system to stay green as the soil moisture content will be lower in these areas. One solution to this problem is to use a product like Neutrog Seamungus after aerating to help the soil retain moisture. We have had some success using this product on some of our commercial landscaping lawns.
The ability of your soil to provide moisture will depend on the soil structure and the amount of organic matter.
When restoring commercial landscaping grassed areas many of the same principles apply as they would to a very large residential area.
The use of mechanical spreaders and mechanical aerators is required to do economical restoration to a large area. Many lawns in public spaces need to be very hard wearing, so sandy loam topsoils and irrigation systems using harvested rainwater are often used. Often there is a trade-off between green attractive grass and sustainability with areas browning off a little over summer. Couch grass will often brown in the colder months, but this is not a major concern either.
Commercial landscaping grass just starting to green up after the application of soil wetters and Neutrog Seamungus.
There is no doubt that the Australian garden style, especially prior to the 1930s, was heavily influenced by the design of English gardens. These gardens were in turn influenced by French, Italian and Spanish gardens and ideas brought back to England from the Grand Tour. Although plant selection will be different in the sub tropical Gold Coast, there are still lessons we can learn about colour, texture and hard landscaping. For this blog we will look at the classic English garden of Sissinghurst in Kent.
The garden design style
Widely regarded as one of England’s most iconic gardens, Sissinghust garden was created in 1930 by Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson. As a reflecting of the two different styles of its designers, the garden combines Harold’s classical elegance with Vita’s romantic profuse plantings.
Tower views Sissinghurst classic English Garden
Views from the 16th century tower reveal the layout of the garden and show how it has been divided up and planned. Garden pathways are lined by manicured yew hedges with focal points provided at every possible vista. Parts of the garden are planted as wildflower meadows providing food and habitat for local wildlife as well as nectar and pollen for bees and other insects.
Lawns and classic English garden design.
The top lawns is neatly close cut mown with a diagonal pattern which hides the fact that the area is not rectangular. Originally the lawns at Sissinghurst were just English meadow grasses. Dwarf ryegrass was added to the sward to make it more resistant and tolerant of close mowing. A seed mix known as Olympic sports ground is used. Every Autumn the lawn is scarified and aerated and lightly resown with fescue, bent and dwarf ryegrass.
For your Melbourne lawns take a look at seeds species suitable for the hot dry climate in Melbourne. Species like Santa Ana couch will look great over summer, but will go dormant over late winter. The Sissinghurst lawns are fertilised annually in February with a slow release fertiliser followed by a later application of a seaweed based tonic much later in the year. The lawns are mown once per week at just over 20mm. To keep the diagonal pattern crisp, each stripe is always mown in the same direction. With 10 hours per week just for mowing, the gardens must have an huge maintenance budget.
Lawns and a circular Yew hedge.
Formal and Informal plantings
The National Trust aims to arrest the decline in wildflower meadows in the UK by adding informal plantings where possible. Sissinghurst is a great example of this. Wildflower meadows provide food and habitat for local wildlife as well as nectar and pollen for bees and other insects.
Wildflower meadows like these are great for attracting insects and birds to a garden.
A bee enjoys the wildflowers at Sissinghurst.
The English classic garden design often makes use of pleached tree pruning. Pleaching is a great way to create a compact hedge or screen by training trees on to a supporting framework or to each other. To achieve this the flexible young shoots are tied together to create the desired shape. This can be seen in the pictures below taken in the early spring before the spring growth.
Lime Walk and Paving with pleached pruning in early Spring.
You can create your own classic garden design by using this technique to make arches, tunnels, walks and privacy screens. The pleached hedge can also be grown in a circle or a rectangle. In the English classic garden design, ash, beech, hornbeam, wisteria or lime trees like these are often used. For your Melbourne classic garden design, also take a look at Acmena smithii Lilly Pilly.
Classic English Garden Design. Mass planting of flowers behind pleached trees.
Yew and box hedges
Planted in 1932, the Yew walk was considered a radical modernist design statement.
Yews and box hedges
A great deal of effort goes into maintaining the hedges. Annually around 1200 man hours are spent trimming the hedges at Sissinghurst. To cut the Yew Hedges so straight, poles, strings plumb bobs and trestles are used. Yews can be very difficult to prune and the hedges around the rose garden alone can take 2 weeks with two gardeners working full time.
For your Melbourne garden, take a look at the orange jessamine (murraya paniculata) also known as mock orange, chalcas, or satinwood. If you are looking for small hedge plants for your Melbourne Garden, consider using a dwarf syzygium or the Coastal or Native Rosemary (Westringia fruticosa) for your hedges. Take a look at a Pittosporum like James Stirling (Pittosporum tenuifolium) or Silver sheen if you are looking for screening plants for garden privacy. Using light coloured paving or fine gravels along with fine leaf plants in your garden will help to create the illusion of extra space.
Yew Hedge focal point
Yew Hedge garden Focal Point with pleached trees in the background.
Classic English Garden Design. Hedges and a beautiful lawn.
The English Herb Garden
A traditional divided herb garden is situated in one corner of the garden. The narrow dividing garden pathways enables the herbs to harvested without being damaged by clumsy feet.
Succulents in a planter pot by a herb garden. Terracotta tiles placed edgeways.
On the red brick wall of the building and garden walls there were several different species of climbing plants growing. On of these was the Japanese Quince (chaenomeles x superba knap hill scarlet). Chaenomeles are deciduous, spiny shrubs with beautiful clustered 5-petalled flowers. They flower early in spring. The plant sets fragrant green or yellow fruit depending on the variety.
chaenomeles x superba knap hill scarlet
Japanese Quince looks great against this red brick wall.
Japanese Quince flower in early spring with the leaves just starting to emerge from the buds.
The tangled figs over the gothic arch on the garden wall make a bold statement even in winter. A tangle of climbing plants was one on the garden design styles employed by Vita.
Tangled figs over the gothic arch on the garden wall
The famous Sissinghurst Moat.
English Classic Garden Design Plants in Pots
Plants in pots are a design feature throughout the gardens. Here some basins have been reused to plant bulbs.
Classic English Garden Design. Garden Pots and climbing plants on a red brick wall. Good use of colour with the yellow and blues in the planter pots.
Palm trees form a quintessential part of the Melbourne Landscape.
Palm trees such as the Canary Island Date Palms (Phoenix canariensis) were amongst the earliest landscape garden plantings in Melbourne seaside parks. These, along with other varieties are often used to create a feature or a focal point in Melbourne Gardens. The climate of the Melbourne can make many plants susceptible to fungal diseases. This is also true with Phoenix canariensis. As with most plants, pruning will help to improve the airflow around the plant and reduce the chances of a fungal disease like Fusarium oxysporum. This is the fungus which causes fusarium wilt in Phoenix canariensis.
The famous floral clock at Melbourne Botanical Gardens with sweeping lawns and Canary Island Palms (Phoenix canariensis). A great place to go for Garden Design ideas.
Tall Palm Trees in the O’Donnell Gardens St Kilda near Melbourne’s Luna Park.
Sandringham Band Rotunda behind a Canary island palm near Sandringham Lifesaving club. A hardy plant for coastal gardens. Native grasses are good plants to grow beneath these trees.
A large palm providing shade near Sandringham Lifesaving Club.
When pruning, it is also important to sterilise the pruning tools to avoid spreading diseases between plants. Many fungus spores will survive in the soil, so it is important not to use any soils which may have been contaminated. The Centennial Park in Sydney has seen the destructive impact of the Fusarium wilt on the Canary Island date palms on the Avenue of Nations. As with the Irish potato blight, having all of the plants in an area from the same genetic stock can be a problem when diseases start to spread. If planting new trees make sure you choose disease free stock from a reputable plant supplier.
Macarthur street near Gordon Reserve East Melbourne. Palm trees opposite the entrance to Parliament Station Melbourne.
Frankston Park near Port Phillip Bay. Canary Island palm. Frankston is a southern suburb of Melbourne.
Pruning Palm Trees
Palm Tree Cleaning Melbourne
When pruning these trees it is important to use sharp, sterile and well maintained tools. Heavy gloves and safety glasses need to be worn, as the palm fronds have sharp spikes which can cause a nasty wound or infection. Make sure your ladder is well secured. as even professional tree pruners find this job difficult. Wait until the frond is completely brown before trimming it.
Palm tree diseases prevented by pruning.
Some other problems to look for in your palm tree include the sugar cane weevil borer and the palm weevil borer. Do not use sugar cane mulch or bagasse near your trees as the female sugar cane weevil is attracted to it. Trees should be mulched with a top quality mulch that contains no palm or sugar cane material. The dead fronds as seen in the picture above, create a shelter for the adult beetles to hide under during daylight. For this reason, it is important to remove these fronds and dispose of them correctly.
Garden maintenance for your Melbourne Palm trees.
As with most plants, healthy growth will protect against diseases. Give your palms a good feed with a fertiliser like Neutrog Seamungus that contains nitrogen as well as trace elements like zinc. With a dripper irrigation system and some good rainfall your plants will remain healthy and disease free.
Tree pruning tools.
When tree pruning, it is important to make sure your chain saw and pruning saws are sharp and well sterilised. This will help prevent palm tree diseases moving from plant to plant. A 50/50 mixture of bleach and water or some methylated spirits will help sterilise your pruning saw.
Weevil and borer damage to trees.
Keeping the fronds neatly trimmed will remove a hiding place for pest. Insecticide and fungicide is applied at the same time to prevent disease. It looks like the help came to late to help the tree below.
Generally, many palm species create a lot of maintenance work, especially when they are planted near a pool. For this reason, we generally recommend other plants for poolside locations with better screening ability and lower maintenance. At our recent swimming pool landscape project in Ashmore we replaced many of the high maintenance palms with low maintenance screening plants.
The biggest mistake I see in garden design is people using palms to create privacy. A palm should never be used as a screening plant, the bottoms are full of dead fronds, they are messy and tacky. Hedging plants such as a Syzygium smithii ‘resilience’ or Murraya paniculata works as far better screen around pool and window areas. Hedges create less mess, are less maintenance and create a far cleaner look. A palm maintained to its true glory should be used as a feature. It should be lifted allowing light and fresh air in, it should show off its beautiful trunk and preserve only the lush green foliage at top. The same can be said of the banana like plants such as strelitzia nicolai.
Some interesting facts about Palms
Palms are members of the family Arecaceae which is also known as Palmae. Amongst the monocots, Arecaceae have one of the longest fossil records, once thought to extend more than 80 million years ago to the Late Cretaceous Period. Recent research by Dr Bill Baker of the Royal botanical Gardens Kew shows that diversification of extant lineages of palms started about 100 million years ago, during the mid-Cretaceous period. These plant were really around with the dinosaurs. As such an ancient family they give us an insight into the evolution of the rainforest. The Arecaceae are a distinctive and structurally diverse monocot groups. Palms also have collateral, rather than compound, vascular bundles in their stems and silica bodies that are borne in specialized cells (stegmata) throughout. Vessels, often with simple perforation plates, are found in roots, stems, and leaves.
(“Arecales.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica Deluxe Edition. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2010.)
Related Landscaping Information from Red’s Landscaping and Civil
For help with the design and development or your landscaping ideas, contact one of our experienced Landscape Gardeners. We can help with small garden design all the way up to Commercial Landscape design. Our specialities include fast growing screening plants, plant health and horticulture, garden lighting and outdoor pool landscaping ideas.
By Callum O’Brien – The Melbourne Landscaper Blog
For more information on the Canary Island Date Palm