Growing Lemon Trees - Redslandscaping

Growing Lemon Trees: Type, Care and Diseases

Having lemon trees in your backyard means enjoying the fresh flavour daily with all your drinks and meals. Pluck a lemon, cut in half, squeeze it over the meal and enjoy how wonderful it is?

Lemons, being a symbol of exotic tropical, are low maintenance easy to plant and grow. With its aromatic leaves and citrus scent that spreads out, the lemon tree never fails to perk up any garden. Do you want to grow your own lemons too? Don’t heed out; stick with us as we embark on a journey to learn about the types of lemon trees, their specific growth requirements, and the necessary care needed to grow a lemon tree.

Lemon Trees Growth

The Lemon trees can be planted just after the end of frost in the early spring. Lemon trees don’t like soggy and cold conditions. While selecting a plantation site, make sure that the site is well-drained and has a full sunspot for the tree. Moreover, if there are indications for chills then always plant your lemon tree against the south-western wall and shelter it.

Lemon Trees Growth - Redslandscaping
Lemon trees can be planted just after the end of frost in the early spring. Lemon trees don’t like soggy and cold conditions.

What shall be the spacing, depth, and support for lemon trees?

While planting lemon trees, remember that lemon trees usually grow tall up to 10-20 feet and 10-15 feet wide, so space them accordingly. For the dig depth, it is recommended to make it twice the length of the root ball. If the root ball of the sapling is like half a foot, then dig a foot in length. Lemon trees don’t require initial support, but once they take up fruit, they do require support. You can place them against the wall or give them a stick of support.

Lemon Tree Types

There are three main types of lemon trees: Meyer, Eureka, and Lisbon.

A) Meyer

One of the amazing flavours of a lemon tree with the versatility of growing both indoors and outdoors is the Meyer Lemon. The Meyer lemons are known for their reduced acid content and sweet and savoury flavours. Meyer lemons have a thin skin, which allows the citrus juice to fully develop, making them a perfect choice for sprinkling over salads and desserts.

Meyer Lemon Tree - Redslandscaping
Meyer lemons are known for their reduced acid content and sweet and savoury flavours.

The Meyer lemons are thorn less and can be cultivated all year. Meyer lemons are ideal to be grown in pots they can reach up to the heights of 10-15 feet tall.

B) Eureka

The Eureka lemons are a top choice to be grown indoors over the patio because of their dwarf size and easy harvesting. Eureka lemons are effortless home-grown fruits with the benefits of drought tolerance. With their sweet flavour, Eureka lemons are lemonade's favourite. Eureka lemons can’t survive cold conditions and are best suited for warmer areas. They spread sideways, and are adaptable to a variety of soil conditions while being safe from pests and diseases.

Eureka lemon tree - Redslandscaping
Eureka lemons are effortless home-grown fruits with the benefits of drought tolerance.

C) Lisbon

Lisbon produces its main lemon fruit in the winter and is cold tolerant. Lisbon trees have thorns, and their fruit has more seeds than that of Eureka lemons. The fruit, in terms of Lisbon, grows inside the tree, where it remains protected from the chills. Lisbon lemons have denser foliage and are more upright plants than Eureka.

Lisbon lemon tree - Redslandscaping
Lisbon produces its main lemon fruit in the winter and is cold tolerant.

Lemon Trees Care

Lemon trees grow well in sunny to full sun conditions. For a healthy fruit ripening lemon tree requires at least six to eight hours of sunlight each day. So, plant your lemon tree in an area where it gets a sufficient amount of sunlight.

If you plan to plant your tree in a pot indoors, then it's useful to place the pot over a trolley. With a trolley, the pot can be easily moved around to places where the sun shines well to ensure the best growing conditions.


Mainly citrus fruits like oranges and lemons require soil of medium to slight acidic texture and moderate depth for effective fruit ripening. Lemons require soil that are well drained.


Lemon trees, during initial planting and establishment, require frequent watering, like twice a week. But once grown to length, they prefer moderate rainfall. As they mature up, they develop drought tolerance and can thrive in nearly no water conditions too. During warm summers, keep the soil around lemons moist, especially for young trees. While watering lemon trees, be careful not to over water or waterlog the plant. Excess watering results in the yellowing of leaves, which shed over time.

Lemon Trees Water - Redslandscaping
Lemon trees, during initial planting and establishment, require frequent watering, like twice a week.

Temperature and Humidity

Lemon trees prefer warmer temperatures and humid conditions. Ideal lemons growth occurs when humidity is close to 50% and the temperature is between 75-85 Fahrenheit. Young lemon trees are sensitive towards cold conditions so if the temperature drops, you must pay extra attention for their shelter.

Pruning of Lemon Trees

Different lemon tree types have different growth styles and therefore have different pruning requirements. Prioritise pruning your lemon trees with long lateral branches for improved fruit growth and aesthetics. Pruning improves airflow between the branches and allows light to penetrate the centre. You can pinch out the foliage to control the shape and encourage bloom. Frequent pruning of the young trees can encourage a good branch structure. The upright growth habit of the Lisbon lemon trees can be maintained by regular pruning and, hence, can increase fruit production too.


Fertilisers encourage healthy growth and boost fruit production. Lemon trees are energy-hungry trees; additives like Nitrogen, phosphorus, and Potassium in the soil can improve healthy fruit growth and make the fruit riper. We recommended benefitting your lemons with nitrogen rich fertilizers every four to six weeks.


The best part about growing and caring for lemon trees is the harvesting time. Harvesting the lemons is way easier than it seems. You can pluck the lemons when their skin is yellow or yellow green. Most of the lemons are ready to harvest at the end of each season.

Common Pests and Diseases of Lemon Trees

Lemons from lemon trees are one of nature's wonderful gifts. Meanwhile, the fruit lemon trees also attract hosts of pests and plant diseases. Citrus leaf miners, mites, scale insects, and aphids are among the pests that frequent lemon trees.

Diseases usually discolour the leaves of lemon trees. Among the diseases these five commons shall be observed:

Diseases of Lemon Trees - Redslandscaping
Citrus leaf miners, mites, scale insects, and aphids are among the pests that frequent lemon trees.

1) Citrus Greening

Citrus greening is a bacterial disease that is characterised by yellow-blotchy leaves and disfigured fruit.

2) Citrus Canker

Pinpoint spots over the leaves that enlarge and develop as yellow halos are referred to as citrus canker. It’s a common plant disease in lemons that can only be cured by full sun baths and fungicide treatments.

3) Greasy spot disease

Yellow spots over the leaves that turn into blisters are the symptoms of greasy spot disease. Greasy spot is a fungus disease that occurs during humid, wet weather and vanishes under full sun.

4) Melanose

Melanose is another fungal disease that occurs during the rainy season. Raised, sunken lesions that are rough in texture and crack out over time are the symptoms of Melanose.

5) Citrus Scabs

Corky growth over the stem, leaves, and fruit is referred to as citrus scabs. Citrus scabs can only be controlled with copper-based fungicides.


The lemon tree offers the opportunity to enjoy fresh, flavourful lemons daily. With low maintenance and specific care requirements, lemon trees can add a citrus scent to your garden. By selecting the right lemon tree variety and providing adequate sunlight, well-drained soil, and proper watering, one can ensure healthy growth and bountiful harvests. Although pests and diseases can pose challenges, but taking proactive measures can help protect your lemon trees.

Embrace the joy of cultivating your own lemons and enhance your drinks and meals with their wonderful flavour.

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CPG12/CG093: 2022–2023 Florida Citrus Production Guide: Irrigation Management of Citrus Trees. Accessed 6 July 2023.

“Citrus: Lemons, Oranges, and Limes.”, Accessed 6 July 2023.

Lutz, Amanda. “How to Grow and Care for a Meyer Lemon Tree.” Architectural Digest, 9 June 2023,

Lemon | Diseases and Pests, Description, Uses, Propagation. Accessed 6 July 2023.

10 Best Indoor Low Light Plants - Redslandscaping

10 Best Indoor Low Light Plants

Indoor plants can make your space feel prettier, brighter, and greener. Indoor plants naturally purify the air, promote feelings of happiness, and inspire us to reconnect with nature. Indoor low light plants require less water and are also easy to maintain. When selecting indoor plants, it is essential to choose such species that can thrive with limited sunlight exposure. It's also vital to think about how much sunlight you can provide. In apartments with fewer or no windowsills, there are plenty of indoor low light plants that you can choose to decorate your space. You can always brighten up your low light indoors with some gloomy, colourful indoor plants like philodendrons and lady's palms.

Not Enough Lightning: Don't Worry

Below is a list of the best plants that will do well indoors under low-light environments. No matter which dark nook of the room you place them in, they will still survive.

1. Philodendron

Philodendron is at the top of the list among the best plants for indoor low light conditions. Their tolerance for dark interiors makes them the number one indoor household plant. The plant loves wall climbing and can be grown in hanging baskets. Philodendron leaves are typically large, glossy, and heart-shaped, with colours ranging from vibrant to deep, rich green. Philodendron has two colourful foliage named 'Brasil" and Micans". Each philodendron can grow up to 8 feet high.

Philodendron - Redslandscaping

2. Maidenhair Fern 

Maidenhair, scientifically named Adiantum, is renowned for its lacy, fan-shaped fronds composed of numerous small leaflets. Its tiny, widespread leaves clustered around the dark stem give it the appearance of a fuzzy head. With an average size of 1-2 feet, Maidenhair ferns can bring colour to your study or kitchen table, making them perfect for indoor low light environment.

Maidenhair fern - Redslandscaping


3. ZZ Plant 

The ZZ plant, or Zanzibar Gem, is another low-maintenance indoor plant that can survive without natural sunlight. The plant has shiny, broad, oval-shaped leaves that grow upward. The stems of the ZZ plant are stout and succulent. The plant originates from Eastern Africa and has adapted to survive in arid and dry conditions. Above all, the ZZ plant has air-purifying qualities, contributing to a healthier indoor environment.

Zanzibar Gem - Redslandscaping

4. Lucky bamboo 

As the name suggests, Lucky bamboo is considered a plant to bring good luck and fortune to the house. Lucky bamboo can grow in soil as well as in water. They have structural stalks with dotted to dark green leaves. Embrace this lucky bamboo to your indoor space to bring a sense of joy and optimism to your space. Lucky bamboo is also a low-maintenance indoor plant and can reach up to a height of 5 feet.

Lucky bamboo - Redslandscaping

5. Spider Plant 

The plant is named spider plant as its long-elongated leaves evolve like spider legs. Its dangle-down leaves from the parent plant make him look like a spider stuck in the web. Spider plants can be grown in hanging trails, climbing on the walls and in a pot. Spider plants are a good choice for rooms with low light conditions, and they do survive well with minimal water intake.

Spider Plant - Redslandscaping

6. Golden pothos

Golden Pothos are trailing plants with native roots from South-east Asia. The plant can tolerate humidity and can also survive with nearly no water. Being one of the most popular houseplants, the pothos are easy to grow and care for. Pothos has beautiful heart-shaped leaves in various colours, including dark green, chartreuse, and white green. A great choice as an Indoor low light plant.

Golden pothos - Redslandscaping

7. Snake Plant 

Sansevieria plant species is another low-light indoor plant that requires nearly little maintenance. Thick sword-like leaves of the snake plant give him a striking appearance. Its leaves are also sometimes referred to as mother-in-law tongue as sharp as that one. Snake plants have minimal water intake requirements, so remember not to overwater them. Snake plants are visually striking, bringing touch to nature and beautifying your indoors.

Sansevieria plant - Redslandscaping

8. Staghorn Fern 

Staghorn ferns are epiphytic means they can naturally grow over other host plants instead of soil. Staghorn fern has distinct green leaves that grow large and looks like deer antlers. Staghorn fern can be grown over wooden boards and other plants as external saplings, making them look like one-of-a-kind art pieces in the household. Staghorn fern is an indoor low light plant that can burn out in direct sunlight.

Staghorn ferns - Redslandscaping

9. English Ivy 

English ivy, native to Europe and Western Asia, is a versatile and widely used indoor plant. English Ivy, with its beautiful trailing and dainty green leaves, spreads over the ground creating an elegant appearance. English Ivy can add visual appeal to landscapes when hung against walls. With its ornamental value, English Ivy is also suitable for its air-purifying properties making it an ideal choice for offices, homes and kitchens.

English ivy - Redslandscaping

10. Peace Lily 

Large dark green leaves and blooming white flower of peace lily had gained him immense popularity among tropical Americans. Its leaves emerge from a central crown, and the foliage looks aesthetically pleasing. Peace lily prefers well-drained soil and needs to be watered nearly twice a week. Peace lily can adapt to various temperatures and is a cherished indoor plant to decorate yours indoors.


No doubt, the plants mentioned above can survive under low lighting. But still, they require some amount of indirect sunlight to stay healthy. It's always good to monitor your plant's watering needs and not to overwater your indoor plants. You can create a tranquil and lush atmosphere by incorporating these unique and captivating 10 best indoor low light plants into your space. Embrace the opportunity to transform your shaded corners into vibrant oases reminiscent of the natural wonders found in tropical forests. With some care and attention, your low-light plants will thrive, adding a touch of serenity and nature's beauty to your home.


Bradley, Nicole. “23 of the Best Houseplants for Low-Light Spaces.” Better Homes & Gardens, 22 Feb. 2023,

Barry, Laura. “10 of the Best Low Light Indoor Plants.” Better Homes and Gardens, 16 May 2022,

Briones, Isis, and Jessica Cherner. “The Best Low-Light Indoor House Plants (That’ll Even Thrive in Dark Rooms).” House Beautiful, 26 June 2023,

Notification. Accessed 28 June 2023.

Kellogg, Kristi. “31 Best Low-Light Indoor Plants and How to Care for Them.” Architectural Digest, 18 May 2020,

VanZile, Jon. “20 Best Low-Light Indoor Plants for Your Home.” The Spruce, 27 Mar. 2023,

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Irrigation Plan Design - Reds Landscaping and Design

Everything You Need to Know about Irrigation Plan Design for a Successful Garden

A well-designed irrigation plan is essential for maintaining a healthy garden irrigation system. An irrigation plan involves the irrigation design and installation that deliver water to your plants at the right time and in the right amounts. This ensures that your plants receive consistent water without the need for manual watering, promoting healthy plant growth and reducing water waste. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of irrigation plan design for home gardens, including improved water conservation and more efficient irrigation, as well as provide tips and insights for creating the perfect irrigation plan for your garden.

What are the benefits of a well-designed irrigation plan?

The benefits of having a well-designed irrigation system for a home garden are numerous. First and foremost, it can help in water conservation by reducing wastage and ensuring that the right amount of water is applied to each plant. This not only helps reduce water bills but also promotes sustainability by reducing the amount of water that is consumed.


Subsurface Drip Irrigation - Reds Landscaping and Design
Soaker hoses installed in trenches for water irrigation to a garden flower bed.

Additionally, an irrigation plan can help promote healthier plant growth by providing the necessary amount of water at the right time. This can also reduce the risk of plant diseases caused by overwatering or underwatering. Furthermore, an efficient irrigation plan can help save time and effort, as it eliminates the need for manual watering and ensures that plants receive water even when you are not present to do it yourself.

Creating the Perfect Irrigation Plan for Your Home Garden

To create a successful irrigation plan for your home garden, there are several important steps to follow. These include:

Landscape irrigation design: Before choosing an irrigation system, you need to assess the layout of your garden and identify areas that require water. Our 2D Landscape Design Package contains detailed plant schedules, quantities, spacings, and placement locations in accordance with a set of irrigation and hydraulic drawings. This will help you determine the best type of irrigation system to use and where to place water distribution points.


Garden Landscape Plan - Reds Landscaping and Design
Landscape architect design traditional chinese garden plan.

Drip irrigation system design: Drip irrigation is a popular option for home gardens, as it provides water directly to plant roots, reducing water waste and promoting plant health. When designing a drip irrigation system, you need to consider the type and size of tubing to use, the spacing of the emitters, and the placement of the water source.


Irrigation Drip System - Reds Landscaping and Design
Drought tolerant landscaping - Irrigation drip system delivers water to the right place.


Sprinkler system layout: Sprinkler systems are also a popular option for home gardens, as they provide even water distribution across a large area. When designing a sprinkler system, you need to consider the type of sprinkler head to use, the spacing of the heads, and the placement of the water source.


Irrigation System Schematic - Reds Landscaping and Design
Schematic of a commercial irrigation system with both sprinklers and drippers.


Computerised Watering Systems: If you want to take your irrigation system to the next level, you can opt for a computerised watering system that can be programmed to water your garden automatically at specified times. These systems are especially useful if you have a large garden or are frequently away from home.


Irrigation System Repair Still - Reds Landscaping and Design
Computerised Watering Systems.

How to Choose the Right Type of Irrigation System for Your Property

Before choosing the ideal type of irrigation system for your property, first you have to measure the size, layout, and type of plants you have in your property. Some of the best home irrigation systems include:

Underground sprinklers for small yards: If you have a small yard, an underground sprinkler system can be a good option, as it provides even water distribution and eliminates the need for manual watering.



Commercial Irrigation Sprinklers - Reds Landscaping and Design
Automatic lawn sprinkler watering green grass. Sprinkler with automatic system. Garden irrigation system watering lawn. Water saving or water conservation from sprinkler system with adjustable head.


Above-ground sprinkler systems: These sprinkler systems are easy to install and can be adjusted to provide water to specific areas of your garden. They are also relatively affordable.

Drip irrigation systems: Drip irrigation systems are ideal for gardens with plants that require consistent watering. They can also be adjusted to provide water to specific areas of your garden and are highly efficient in terms of water conservation.

The Role of Technology in Making Irrigation Design More Efficient and Sustainable

The way we irrigate our gardens has evolved thanks to technology, making it simpler and easier to conserve water and guarantee the watering of plants at the exact time. The following are some of the most significant technological developments in irrigation design:

Automated sprinklers: By programming automated sprinkler systems to water your garden at predetermined intervals, you may avoid manually watering your plants while still giving them a steady supply of water. Additionally, they can be altered to take into account variations in the climate. Soil moisture and other elements that influence plant development.


Sprinkler Irrigation System - Reds Landscaping and Design
Smart garden automatic sprinkler irrigation system working early in the morning in green park - watering lawn and colourful tulips narcissus.

Smart water management systems: These systems employ sensors and other cutting-edge technology to continuously monitor environmental elements such as weather patterns, soil moisture levels, and other environmental considerations. The irrigation system is then adjusted based on the data, ensuring that plants receive the ideal amount of water without wasting any.

IoT-enabled gardening: With the advent of smart sensors and tools that allow for remote monitoring and management of irrigation systems, the Internet of Things (IoT) has also had a significant impact on irrigation plan design. With the help of this technology, you can control the irrigation system and monitor the water usage in your garden from any location using a smartphone or other internet-capable device.

How to Calculate Water Demand and Usage in Your Irrigation Design

Calculate your garden's water demand and usage to make sure your irrigation system is using water effectively and efficiently. A water budgeting calculator is a helpful tool for estimating water demand and usage. It estimates the amount of water your garden needs by taking into consideration variables like soil type, plant type, climate, and irrigation system type. You can confirm that your irrigation system is using water effectively and efficiently, preventing water waste, and fostering sustainability by using this tool.


A well-thought-out irrigation plan design is crucial for fostering healthy plant development, water conservation, and time- and labour saving garden upkeep. It's crucial to take into account the shape of your garden, the kinds of plants you have, and your water source when developing an irrigation plan, as well as the most recent developments in irrigation design technology. You can make sure that your irrigation system is optimized for optimal effectiveness and sustainability by considering these elements and using resources like water budgeting calculators.

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The Complete Murraya Hedges, Plants, and Trees - Redslandscaping

The Complete Murraya Hedges, Plants, and Trees Growers Guide 2023

Murraya hedges, also known as orange jessamine or Chinese box, are a popular choice for hedges and screens due to their attractive glossy leaves and fragrant white flowers. In this article, we will discuss different types of Murraya hedges and where to grow them, as well as answer some of your questions, such as "how to propagate Murray hedges from cuttings."

What Kinds of Murraya Hedges Are There?

There are several different types of Murraya plants, including Murraya paniculata, which is the most common variety and can grow up to 3 metres tall, and Murraya exotica, which is a smaller variety that grows up to 1.5 metres tall.

To care for Murraya hedge plants, it is important to provide them with well-drained soil, full sun to partial shade, and regular watering. They also benefit from regular fertilisation and pruning to promote healthy growth and shape. The best time to prune them is early summer or late spring.

Murraya Hedge Flowers and Fruits – What You Need To Know And How to Care for Them

Murraya Hedge Flowers and Fruits - Redslandscaping
Murraya Hedge Flowers and Fruits.

The flowers and fruits of Murraya hedging are small and white, and they bloom in clusters. The fruit is a small, round berry that is green when unripe and turns black when ripe. But how do you care for the Murraya hedge plant and its fruits? It is important to provide the plant with the proper growing conditions, such as adequate sunlight and watering, as well as regular fertilisation. Let's look at the care routine in detail below.

Growing Murraya at Home

Growing Murraya at home is a great way to add some greenery to your home. They are known for their glossy green leaves and fragrant white flowers that bloom in the spring and summer.

Growing Murraya at Home - Redslandscaping
The Lowdown on Care and Maintenance.

First, it's important to note that Murraya are tropical plants and prefer warm, humid environments. They do well in temperatures between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit and thrive in bright, indirect light. If you're looking to grow Murray's indoors, a south- or west-facing window would be ideal. If you're planting them outdoors, make sure they are protected from strong winds and direct sunlight.

The Lowdown on Care and Maintenance

  • When planting, make sure to dig a hole that is slightly larger than the root ball of the plant. The depth of the hole should be the same as the depth of the root ball; this is how deep you plant a shrub. Murraya prefers well-draining soil, so make sure to amend the soil with compost or other organic matter before planting.
  • Once your Murraya is planted, it will need regular watering to establish its roots and keep them hydrated. Don't overwater plants because this can cause root rot. Murraya should be watered when the soil is dry to the touch. In the summer, you may need to water them more frequently, while in the winter, you can reduce the frequency.
  • Fertilizing your Murraya is also an important part of caring for them. They prefer a balanced fertiliser with equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. They should be fertilised every 4-6 weeks during the growing season.
  • Pruning is also an important part of maintaining your Murraya Hedges. They can grow quite large, so pruning will help to control their size and shape. The best time to plant shrubs in Melbourne is in the spring or summer. Prune your Murraya in the spring, after they have finished blooming. Cut back any dead or damaged branches and shape the plant as desired.
Murraya Pruning and Trimming - Redslandscaping
Prune your Murraya in the spring, after they have finished blooming.

Growing Murraya at home is a great way to add some greenery to your home. They are easy to care for and maintain, but they do require regular watering, fertilising, and pruning. With the right care and attention, your Murraya will thrive and bring beauty and fragrance to your home for many years to come.

Murray's Frequently Asked Questions

How frequently do you water Murray's?

It is one of the common questions about growing Murrayas, and the answer is that it's best to water the Murraya regularly. The amount of water needed to keep your Murraya happy and healthy depends on the climate, the season, and other factors, such as soil type However, as a general rule of thumb, Murrays should be watered on average two to three times a week.

How often should Murray be fertilised?

Fertilize them at least once a month. When fertilising Murrays, use a balanced fertiliser and apply it according to the instructions on the packaging Generally, Murrays should be fertilised at least once a month to ensure they stay healthy and are able to achieve their best blooms.

How do we control pests and diseases?

Keep an eye out for pests and diseases and treat them promptly with fertilisers or pesticides. Murrays are quite susceptible to pests and diseases, so it is important to be vigilant in checking them regularly and treating any symptoms that appear quickly to avoid serious damage to the plants.

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Dog garden ideas

9 Toxic Plants to avoid for pet friendly gardens

Some plants are toxic for a good reason. The toxins are usually naturally present in plants, but can sometimes be added by the use of insecticides. The natural toxins are usually secondary metabolites produced by the plant to protect themselves against various threats such as bacteria, fungi, insects and predators. Some of these natural insecticides are used as stimulants or medicines by humans. An example of this is caffeine.

Caffeine and related compounds are potent, natural insecticides that help plants ward off damaging pests,
Chemical formula of Caffeine. Caffeine and related compounds are potent, natural insecticides that help plants ward off damaging pests.

Another natural insecticide, that Australians will be familiar with, is eucalyptus oil. The original inhabitants of Australia have been using these oils for tens of thousands of years for medicinal purposes and eucalyptus oil is now widely used by the pharmaceutical industry.  The species often used for commercial essential oil production is the Tasmanian Blue Gum Eucalyptus globulus and the black peppermint tree E. salicifolia. The oil is often the active ingredient in inhalers and expectorants.

Eucalyptus essential oil distillation process
Eucalyptus essential oil distillation process


Plant toxins may enter the body either by inhalation, swallowing, or contact. The action mainly depends on their phytoconstituents like alkaloids, glycosides, proteins, tannins, terpenes and steroids. They act in the animal body by specific mechanisms, including receptors, transporters, enzymes and even genetic materials.


Your pet is more than just a companion animal, it is integral part of the family. Pets provide great physical and emotional benefits to the owner and family. Popular pets are often considered attractive in appearances, intelligence, and relatable personalities.

Dog garden ideas
Dogs love to spend time in the garden

Keeping dogs and cats is very common throughout the world. Dogs are the best friends of humans. They form a strong emotional attachment to their owner. Recent research showed that owning a dog is good for your physical and mental health. Walking with a dog can provide both the human and the dog with exercise, fresh air, and social interaction.

Concrete Lawn pavers and sandstone lawn edging.
Concrete Lawn pavers and sandstone lawn edging. Hard wearing dog friendly garden surfaces.

Gardens are wonderful stimulating spaces for dogs. Because dogs can potentially cause havoc, too, digging up the plants and urinating on lawns. Therefore creating dog-friendly gardens is very necessary for you and your pet. Here are some ideas through which you can create a pet-friendly garden.

Make a stimulating garden

Creates different routes through the garden that clearly defined paths, playing digging areas. It will keep your dog stimulated. Different plants and ornamental grasses dance and sway and provides entertainment to your pet.

Plant vigorous plants

Dogs can damage young plants in your garden by digging them or running through them. Therefore always plant large, established perennials and choose robust plants.

Protect your plants and lawn

Dogs can destroy borders and lawns. So, create a selected area for digging and playing by using barks and sand. You can prevent the dog from running through your borders by creating paths through them or creating large boundaries and hedges.

Plant dog friendly plants

Use those plants which are non-toxic to dogs. Plant those plants which are dog safe and friendly and which will add colors to your garden. Many plants are dogs' favorite and friendly.

Avoid toxic plants

Several plants are poisonous to dogs. Consumption of these plants can cause symptoms from vomiting to serious illness and even death in some cases. Therefore avoid these plants from your garden and keep away your pet from these plants by fencing and hedging. Here are nine plants that are toxic to your pet.




Azaleas are one of the most popular flowering shrubs, with hundreds of varieties that come in various forms and sizes. A type of Rhododendron, azaleas bloom primarily in spring, though some cultivars re-bloom later in the growing season. Nothing is more beautiful than an azalea shrub in spring bloom. It can be grown in nearly any garden, instantly adding interest and color to dull areas. Azalea bushes are also a valuable background plant in woodland settings and borders. This versatile shrub can be used for hedging, screening, or foundation plantings. Its smaller specimens are suitable for containers.

azalea toxic
Beautiful vibrant azalea flower tree blooming in the botanical garden, in Kyiv. Azalias contain a toxin called grayanotoxin

This one of the most beautiful plants is also one of the most poisonous. The entire azalea plant is toxic to dogs and cats, but it will also make horses, goats, and sheep sick. They contain a toxin called grayanotoxins. Eating these toxins could cause vomiting and diarrhea, and the long-term effects could be serious. So, if you have pets, pass on azaleas. If you already have them in your garden, you need to remove this dangerous plant or watch your animals.

Grayanotoxin IN AZALEA
Grayanotoxin is a toxin harmful to pets found in azaleas.



Daffodils are easy, reliable, and perennial spring-flowering bulbs that grow in most regions. They multiply quickly and return to bloom again each spring, year after year. Daffodils add vibrant colours to every garden, larger or small. These plants give out fascinating blooms that make any landscape beyond impressive. Yellow is the most common colour for daffodils, but they also bloom in white, cream, orange, and pink. They can be mass planted under ground covers or mixed with shrubs and other perennials. They also work well as an edging ornamental plant in landscaping or mixed borders. Daffodils in pots are also popular as indoor ornamentals.

daffodil toxic pet
Daffodils contain lycorine which is toxic to pets

Daffodils are also poisonous and dangerous for your pet, especially dogs and cats. They contains a toxic chemical called lycorine, it can cause serious sickness, and in most cases, your dog will suffer from severe vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In most severe cases, your dog suffers from arrhythmias whose heart rate is too fast or slow. If you have seen your dog eat daffodils, you need to contact your vet.

daffodil pots toxic
Plant daffodils in high pots to keep them out of reach of little puppies

ALOE VERA mild to moderate toxic plants

Aloe Vera is a species of the genus Aloe and a favourite for Palm Springs garden design. The leaves of Aloe Vera are succulent, erect, and form a dense rosette. Several species of Aloe Vera are cultivated as ornamentals and houseplants for their medicinal leaves. Aloe Vera can be used as a solitary focal point or massed in the landscape in a Mediterranean, drought-resistant garden. Small and medium Aloes are perfect for mixed containers or rock gardens.

Aloe Vera is toxic for dogs
Aloe Vera is toxic for dogs. A medicinal plant for humans, aloe vera's level of toxicity is mild to moderate for cats and dogs. Vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, depression, anorexia, tremors, change in urine colour.

Aloe Vera is not safe for dogs to ingest. This plant contains a chemical called anthraquinone glycosides. When your dog ingests this toxin, the intestinal bacteria metabolize it and form the compounds that increase mucus production and water in the colon. These can result in vomiting, severe diarrhea, and low blood sugar. The toxicity can be so extreme as to cause the breakdown of red blood cells, which can be fatal.


Chrysanthemums, also called mums, are among the most popular fall garden flowers. It is a member of the Compositae family and is available in a wide range of brilliant colours, shapes, and sizes. Fresh chrysanthemums make gorgeous yard decorations, add spectacular waves of colour to yard landscaping in autumn and allow you to enjoy the fall flower versatility and elegance. Chrysanthemum flowers bloom in a range of colours in shades of white, yellow, orange, lavender, purple, red, and bicolour flowers.

Chrysanthemums are toxic
Chrysanthemums have been bred to produce flowers in a range of beautiful colours. Chrysanthemums can produce allergic reactions in certain pets, especially small dogs.

Chrysanthemum is very poisonous for pets and dogs. It has a natural insecticide called pyrethrins which affects the sodium channel in dogs' bodies. As a result, overactivity is created in the central nervous system. In addition to that, hypersensitivity and respiratory failure occur, leading to death if not treated immediately. Symptoms of chrysanthemum poisoning in dogs are coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, breathing difficulty and blindness and much more.

TULIPS are toxic for dogs

Tulips are a genus of spring-blooming perennial herbaceous bulbiferous plants. They are among the most popular and colourful of all garden flowers, and numerous cultivars and varieties have been developed. There are hundreds of beautiful tulips to choose from in enough colours, shapes, sizes and bloom times to inspire the creativity of every gardener. Whether you plant them in groups of 10 or 1000, tulips always put on an impressive show. Tulips will fill your garden with colour long before most other plants have emerged from their winter sleep.

Tulips are toxic for dogs.
If you have dogs, plant tulips in a pot to keep both your dog and tulips safe.

Tulips are not generally dog friendly and toxic for dogs. Many chemicals inside the tulip plant can cause skin irritation and hurt the mouth and throat. The poison in the tulip plant also causes gastrointestinal problems in dogs. This poison can also interfere with your dog's nervous system, making it difficult for them to move in severe cases.


Iris is a genus of 260-300 species of flowering plants with showy flowers>irises are perennial plants growing from creeping rhizomes. They have a long, erect flowering stem that may be simple or branched, solid or hollow. The flowers are in the shape of a fan and contain one or more symmetrical six lobbed flowers. Irises are available in many varieties of colours and size, which it is suitable for every area of the garden. Iris flowers make spectacular additions to perennial borders. Irises also provide a beautiful contrast with ornamental sages and peonies.

Dicksonia Antarctica under planted with hostas, irises, azalias, salvia and assorted smaller ferns.
Dicksonia Antarctica under planted with hostas, irises, azalias, salvia and assorted smaller ferns. The Irises and Azaleas are both toxic for dogs.


Irises are toxic to all animals, including dogs, cats and even cattle. Irises contain irisin, which is known to be a primary toxic agent. If your dog eats irises, they may salivate, vomit, drool, have diarrhea or lose energy. Irises can also cause skin irritation. The severity of iris poisoning in pets varies depending on the amount of exposure and which part of the plant was ingested.



Are peonies poisonous to dogs?

The peony or paeony is a flowering plant in the genus Paeonia. Some perennials come back every year to take your breath away. The peony is beautiful in bloom with the fattest, most gorgeous flowers and lush green foliage. Peonies bloom from late spring through early summer, depending on your location and the variety. There are six types of peony flowers. Fragrances also vary, such that some flowers have intoxicating rose like scents while others are lemony or have no scent at all. Peonies make fine guards lining walkways or a lovely low hedge.

Peonies contain contain paeonol, a toxin which can cause vomiting, diarrhea and decreased energy when ingested by your dog.
Large white flower blossomed tree peony. Peonies contain contain paeonol, a toxin which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and decreased energy when ingested by your dog.

The peony plant is considered one that mild to moderate signs of poisoning. It contains phenol, which is toxic to dogs and can cause illness. Peonies can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, depression, stomach pain and decreased energy when ingested by your dog.


Are hydrangeas poisonous to dogs?

Hydrangeas have been popular ornamental garden plants for decades with flowers that come in a wide array of colours, including white, many shades of blue and pink, maroon, red and even pale green. Some hydrangeas have large, round flower heads, while others have smaller, flatter and more delicate flowers and varying foliage shapes depending on the species. Hydrangeas have a long blooming season and a beautiful display of flowers, so planting them in the front garden is a good idea to create an attractive landscape. Grow hydrangeas near the boundaries of your garden because the cool colour of hydrangeas near the borders creates an impression of enlarged space.

The toxic component of the hydrangea plant is a cyanogenic glycoside.
The hydrangea plant contains a toxin known as cyanogenic glycoside.

Contrary to its beauty, it is poisonous to cats and dogs. The toxic compounds in hydrangeas are cyanogenic glycosides. The most common symptoms associated with hydrangea poisoning are related to the gastrointestinal tract. Dogs or cats that consume enough hydrangea leaves, flowers and buds can suffer from vomiting and diarrhea.


Lilies are among the most recognizable of all summer garden flowers. Their large, bright flowers suit all types of gardens. There are several modern hybrid varieties of lilies that offer colour, elegance, fragrance, and many modern landscapes. They fit into the smallest gardens, either in the open ground or in the pots. They mix well with roses, shrubs and perennials, adding summer colour and fabulous fragrance.

Ginger lily is native to the Himalayas, but has now found its way into bushland areas on the east coast. Ginger lily is very poisonous to grazing animals as well as dogs, and can be fatal if enough of the plant is ingested.

Lilies are toxic to dogs. Some species of lily are non-toxic but still cause illness if eaten. If your dog eats any part of the lily plant, it will probably show signs of gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

About 1000 species of plants in Australia are toxic to animals and humans, and plenty more cause skin and eye irritation, rashes and discomfort. These are always just as pretty as they are poisonous. Due to their beauty, these plants are always used in gardens. Therefore be careful if you are a parent or pet lover and keep the children and pets away from these plants. Fencing off or not growing poisonous and dangerous plants.

Invasive plants

A plant that is non-native and able to establish itself on many sites, grows quickly and spreads to the point of disrupting plant communities and the ecosystem. Invasive species adversely affect habitats and bioregions, causing ecological, environmental and economic damage. Many invasive weeds contain toxins that are dangerous to cats and dogs.

Toxic Invasive weeds in Victoria

Invasive weeds are plants that infiltrate the native environment and have the potential to harm the survival of native flora and fauna and the ecosystem's functioning. They include species imported to Australia from other nations and local species that have expanded beyond their original range. Invasive weed species are widely acknowledged as a severe danger to biodiversity worldwide. Their effect is expected to be worsened by their interaction with other new and present challenges like climate change. In Australia, around 1235 weed species, subspecies, varieties, and hybrids developed in native vegetation. Many of these invasive weed species contain toxins.

Related Landscape Design Information from Red's Landscaping

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Landscape Design for Commercial Landscaping

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5 top Landscape Design trends in Melbourne in 2022

Commercial Landscaping of Public Spaces.


More Plants to avoid for your pet

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commercial sunflower crop

Sunflower: A beautiful flower and national symbol

The Sunflower (Helianthus annum L.) is a member of the Asteraceae family. Helianthus is derived from the Greek words helios (sun) and anthos (flower) and has the same meaning as the English name Sunflower, which was given to these flowers based on the belief that they follow the sun during the day.


Sunflower flower parts
Sunflower flower parts

It's an annual flowering plant with a big inflorescence. The plant has a 1 to 4 metre high rough, hairy stem, broad, coarsely toothed, rough leaves that are 75 to 300 mm long, and circular heads of flowers that are 75 to 150 mm across and contain numerous individual flowers that mature into seeds. Because of their short growing season, they are big plants that are planted all over the world.

summer sunflowers
A field of summer sunflowers. Galilpoli


Researchers suggested that first nation people cultivated the plant in present-day Arizona and New Mexico about 3000 B.C. Some archeologists suggest that it may have been domesticated from corn. Although the scientific consensus had long been that Sunflower was domesticated once in eastern North America. The discovery of pre-Columbian Sunflower remains at archeological sites in Mexico led to the proposal of the second domestication centre in southern Mexico. However, evidence from multiple evolutionary important loci supported single domestication that the sunflower plant originated in eastern North America.

Uses of Sunflower

Sunflower is the fourth largest oilseed crop globally, and its seeds are used as food, while the dried stem is used as fuel. It has been utilised as a decorative plant and in ancient events for centuries. Additionally, elements of these plants are used to create dyes for the textile industry, body painting, and other decorative purposes. Sunflower oil is used in salad dressings, cooking, margarine, and shortening manufacture. The oil is used in the manufacturing of paints and cosmetics. The seed cake that remains after oil extraction is utilised as livestock feed in several areas.

Sunflower Oil
Sunflower Oil has many health benefits

Additionally, it has been reported that sunflower is used medicinally to treat pulmonary ailments. Sunflower seeds have a variety of health benefits, including lowering your risk of developing diseases such as blood pressure or heart disease. Additionally, they include minerals that can help strengthen your immune system and increase your energy level. Sunflower seeds include vitamin E, flavonoids, and other anti-inflammatory plant components. The oil has been shown to lower total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol while also possessing antioxidant capabilities. Sunflower tea is used to treat respiratory problems and malaria. Leaf tea has antipyretic and astringent effects.

Varieties of Sunflower

Sunflowers are among the most beautiful types of flowers that you should grow in your garden. These annual plants are available in various sizes and colours due to more than 70 varieties. Sunflowers are one of the most simple flowers to grow and maintain because of their Drought tolerant and pest resistant, s. Sunflowers thrive in the summer heat, and there are several varieties of sunflower that do well in a garden with plenty of sunshine.

sunflower field
A sunflower field in summer. Galilpoli

Tall sunflowers, dwarf sunflowers, and coloured sunflowers are the three types of sunflowers that can be found. Tall varieties may grow up to 5 metres in height, whereas dwarf sunflower varieties can only grow up to around 1 metre in height, making them ideal for growing in limited places.

Dwarf sunflowers
Balcony gardening: two terracotta flower pots with yellow dwarf sunflowers by stainless steel railing, on white tiles, sunny summer day

Sunflowers are available in a range of colours as well. Even though all kinds are derived from the same species, each has been carefully bred to exhibit a unique set of features. Some popular varieties:

  • Russian mammoth
  • American Giant
  • Sundance kid
  • Suntastic Yellow with a black centre
  • Earthwalker
  • Ms. Mars
  • Strawberry Blonde
  • Sunforest Mix
  • Skyscraper
  • Italian White
  • Teddy Bear
  • Golden Bear
  • Helios Flame
  • Moulin Rouge (Deep red petals)
  • Ring of Fire
  • Choco sun

and many others.

Commercial production of Sunflower

Sunflowers are more than just a beautiful sight to see. Furthermore, they are a source of income for farmers, as it is one of the most profitable crops they cultivate. Sunflower farming is quite widespread and popular in many countries. In the last three years, the production of sunflowers has increased by up to 12.30 %. The primary reason for commercially cultivating sunflower is to produce sunflower oil, which is why it is grown in many nations.

A field of sunflowers
A commercial crop of sunflowers

Sunflower oil has been highly popular, making it highly wanted after by food processors and manufacturers. Harvested sunflowers are particularly well-suited for crop rotations since they help in the long-term management of weeds and diseases and contribute to the soil's biomass after harvesting. Statistics show that sunflower production would climb to 56.96 metric tonnes in 2021-22, up from 50.74 metric tonnes in the previous season. Ukraine, Russia, the European Union, and Argentina are the top four sunflower-producing countries globally.

Sunflower as a care and national emblem

Plants have been chosen as symbols in several countries to represent certain geographical regions. Some countries have a floral emblem representing the entire country, while others have additional symbols representing the many subdivisions. The sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine. Sunflower is becoming the global symbol of solidarity. Ukrainians have always considered the sunflower their national flower, and it has long maintained a special place in their hearts. In the east of Ukraine, beautiful fields of sunflowers greet the rising light as it rises.

ukraine sunflowers
A panorama shot of sunflower fields in Ukraine

Ukrainians consider them to be their national flower, and in folklore, they symbolise the warmth and might of the sun, which was revered by pre-Christian Slavs. In a weird twist, Ukraine is one of the world's leading producers and exporters of sunflower seeds and sunflower oil, which is a surprising development. Through the efforts of early North American explorers, sunflowers made their way from their native North America to Ukraine. The seeds were sent to the ancient world, where they were discovered to thrive in hot, dry climates with rich soil, such as Ukraine.

An Embodiment of Summer

Sunflowers are the embodiment of summer in their blooming beauty. Their bright yellow petals and tall green stalks make it simple to see why they are so popular amongst flower lovers. The sunflower is a beautiful flower often used to signify pleasure and congratulations; nevertheless, there is much more to this gorgeous flower.

sunflower summer
Sunflowers are the embodiment of summer in their blooming beauty

The sunflower is linked to a variety of different meanings around the world. Various cultures understand it to signify anything from optimism and strength to admiration and loyalty, among other things. Sunflowers are considered to provide good luck and long-lasting happiness in Chinese culture, which is why they are frequently given as graduation gifts and at the launch of a new business.

Bees and Honey

While the honey bee is one of the most widely spread pollinators on the planet and the sunflower is one of the most widely distributed flowers, not every kind of sunflower is attractive to honey bees. Consequently, to produce honey, you must select the best variety for honey bees because only a few sunflower varieties contain both nectar and pollen. Here are few sunflower varieties for honey bees:

  • Black Russian
  • Red Sun
  • Teddy Bear
  • Sungold
  • Autumn Beauty
  • Mammoth Grey Stripe
  • Henry Wilde


Sunflowers are great for bees like this bumblebee.

The honey is a sweet fluid made from the nectar of sunflowers. It is mild in flavour, and its colour is a medium shade of yellow. This type of honey is a highly viscous, crystalline fluid at room temperature.

Read more

Weeding a Dandelion

Melbourne Garden Weed Prevention

Weeds are a part of gardening in Melbourne. One of the great things about gardening in Melbourne is the enormous range of plants that can be grown and also how quickly everything grows especially when some good rain comes. Unfortunately, this also applies to the weeds. There is also a wide range, and they grow rapidly under certain weather conditions. The key to effective Garden Weed Prevention and Control is to identify them and take action early. The best defences against garden weeds are vigorous plant growth and lots of mulch. The presence of particular weeds may be an indicator of other garden problems like compressed soil or incorrect PH.

What are weeds?

By definition, weeds are wild plants growing where they are not wanted. These can be split into the categories of garden, lawn, or environmental. These categories will include some broad-leaved trees, small noxious weeds, and even some commonly used lawn grasses such as Kikuyu grass and Clover. Invasive species can be either territorial or aquatic. For the environmental ones, the local councils like Melbourne City Council have provided some excellent resources for identification and eradication.

Where do invasive weeds come from?

Around 66% of these invasive species originated as garden ornamental plants or flowers, so care must be taken with garden plant selection, cultivation, and waste removal. An example of this is the Sweet Pittosporum (Pittosporum undulatum), which is often spread by the berries of variegated Pittosporums in gardens. Up to 40% of Australian native plant species are under threat from invasive weeds, and as most of these are escapees from gardens, it is up to the home gardener to take action. Often, weeds are quick growing, very hardy plants that can adapt to a wide range of growing conditions.

Also, the seeds can be spread by animals, especially birds, flowing water, wind, or human activities. Tasty weed berries or seeds are often spread over a wide area by birds. Weed seeds often take advantage of disturbed soil or other changes to the environment.

Docks and Sorrels

The docks and sorrels of the genus Rumex can be a problem in different parts of Australia. Broad leafed dock (Rumex obtusifolius) is more likely to be seen in the cooler climate of the southern states. The curled dock (Rumex crispus) looks similar but the leaves are more tapered with a wavy edge. The curled dock can be a pest in Victorian gardens and is difficult to remove due to its long tapered tap root. To prevent these regrowing it needs to be dug down to about 15cm. Dig them out in spring when they are most vulnerable.

Docks and Sorrels - Reds Landscaping and Design
Docks and Sorrels have a long tap root that needs to be dug out to prevent the weed returning.


Dandelion weeds

Dandelions also have long tap roots. If all of the tap roots are not removed, the weed will soon grow back. Dandelions in your lawn or garden can be an indicator of compressed soil or a lack of calcium. Dandelions can be dug out with a garden fork or with a special tool designed to dig out garden weeds with long tap roots.

Weeding a Dandelion - Reds Landscaping and Design
Weeding a Dandelion. Dandelions have a long tap root which must be dug our to prevent the weed returning.

Mimosa pudica

Mimosa pudica is a small prickly herbaceous shrub with divided leaves which react to being touched. It is native to Brazil and can be seen in Melbourne growing in damp conditions. Growing to around 50cm, it has fluffy pale purple or pink flowers. It is often seen on roadsides, pastures, crops and other disturbed soil in summer.

Mimosa prefers damp conditions - Reds Landscaping and Design
Mimosa prefers damp conditions.

Red pigweed

Red pigweed or Common Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) also known as verdolaga, pigweed, little hogweed, red root, pursley, and moss rose). This annual succulent may reach up to 40 cm in height. Widespread around the world, it is believed to also be an edible Australian native plant. Perhaps calling this one a weed is a bit harsh as it has been used as a herb and for medicinal purposes. See the link on edible weeds below.

Portulaca oleracea Garden Weed - Reds Landscaping and Design
Portulaca oleracea weed with thick, dark green tongue-like leaves and a small yellow flower in the center.

Common chickweed

Common chickweed or chickenweed (Stellaria media) This weed is often seen in gardens and cultivated land as it thrives where the lighter soil has been disturbed. It prefers high PH and humid, wet conditions. Common chickweed has small, star-like white flowers and fresh green oval leaves. It was once used to feed birds and chickens.

Stellaria media Garden Weed - Reds Landscaping and Design
Chickweed (Stellaria media) is regarded as an environmental weed in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.

Onion weeds

Onion weed, also known as onion asphodel (Asphodelus fistulosus), has scattered populations in Victoria. Onion weed is native to the Mediterranean, so it is well suited to the climate in most parts of Melbourne. It is, however, a declared noxious weed. It is found in arid environments and sub-humid warm temperate regions in cropping areas, pastures, rangelands, open woodlands, grasslands, shrub-lands, roadsides, railway lines, waste areas, coastal environs, and disturbed sites, which is pretty much everywhere except in water. When this weed takes hold, it is very difficult to eradicate due to the multiple tiny bulbs in the ground.


Hollow-stemmed asphodel or onionweed (Asphodelus fistulosus) - Reds Landscaping and Design
Hollow-stemmed asphodel or onionweed (Asphodelus fistulosus) in its natural Mediterranean environment (Apulia, Italy).


Asphodelus fistulosus - Reds Landscaping and Design
Asphodelus fistulosus a declared noxious weed in Victoria. A very widely naturalised species, that is particularly common in the southern parts of Australia.

Lantana camara is a perennial or evergreen shrub with sometimes prickly stems. Lantana species grow up to 1500 millimetres tall with thin, wiry stems. It is toxic to pets and children, so it is best not to let this one get a foothold in your garden. This species has been widely cultivated as a garden ornamental but is regarded as a restricted weed in many parts of Victoria. Most of the cultivated ones will be hybrid species. The wrinkled, 2.5 cm long leaves are oval-shaped and located in opposite pairs with serrated edges. Flowers are clusters of small yellow or orange flowers. As with many of the other weeds, they are often spread by the dumping of garden waste. When digging these out, note that lantana can re-establish if their roots or growing parts are left in contact with moist soil.

If you have a backyard pond, you might see the invasive species Salvinia (floating moss or water spangle), these are actually tiny ferns that float on water. There are about a dozen species Salvinia has three leaves and no roots, but one of the leaves functions as a root. They are used to decorate aquariums and garden pools. However, some species of Salvinia molesta is one of the species that has escaped garden ponds and become a noxious weed. It is important not to confused it with the native Azolla species which has a more conventional root system and two rows of bilobular leaves.

Salvinia molesta - Reds Landscaping and Design
Salvinia molesta floating moss or water spangle. Potential to invade any slow-moving or still freshwater habitat.


Controlling Weeds

Prevention of Weeds

For garden beds you could try ECO weedmat with a healthy layer of mulch above. Another approach is to wet down some newspaper and lay it down in interlocking layers. This works surprisingly well, if you can get enough newspaper layers to achieve a minimum thickness of 8mm. On top of this you need around 100 mm of mulch. Cane mulch is fairly easy to move and lay on your garden bed and is reasonably priced. If you prefer a different look, this can be covered with more expensive pine bark, red or black mulch. The newspaper and mulch will kill most of the existing weeds as the sunlight is effectively blocked off.

Any weeds that grow after the much is laid, will be easy to pull out. For best results, top up the mulch up as it rots down. Annual topping up should work well, depending on the type of mulch used. Take care not to mulch up against the stems of any woody plants, as this can cause collar rot. An very effective way to prevent weeds is to have a healthy garden full of vigorous plant growth. Tiering plants on different layers creates harmony, structure and reduces future maintenance by vertically spreading competition. Most weeds will not thrive if they are starved of sunlight. An Australian native ground cover like Creeping Boobialla (Myoporum parvifolium) will be very effective at suppressing weeds as well as providing food and habitat for birds and lizards.

Myoporum parvifolium or creeping boobialla - Reds Landscaping and Design
Myoporum parvifolium or creeping boobialla is a ground cover that makes life difficult for weeds.


Creeping Boobialla (Myoporum parvifolium) is a hardy prostrate groundcover. It can grow upto 1 metre high, but rarely reaches to this hight when it is free to spread. During summer months it will have either purple or white flowers.This is an excellent choice for a spreading groundcover for a sunny well-drained position where some weed suppression is desired.


If you have weeds growing in your brick paving, then a simple and cheap method to eradicate them is to use boiling water. Spraying vinegar will kill off the leaves, but generally the roots will be unaffected. For your lawn, a weed removing tool like the Fiskars Xact Weed Puller is worth a try. Weeds can then be removed without bending or kneeling. For broadleaf weeds like dandelion in the lawn, you can try topdressing with sand.

One of my favourite methods of weeding the lawn, is to use the lawn aerator to take the tap root out and aerate at the same time. If you have unwanted clover growing in your lawn, then decreasing the PH will make it difficult for the clover to thrive. Rhizobium bacteria in the legume nodule are less able to fix nitrogen for the plant under these conditions. As with the garden bed, the best prevention for lawn weeds is to have a health thriving lawn. For particularly bad infestation, you may need to use a selective herbicide.

Environmental Invasive species

Environmental Weeds Victoria

Assistance with weed identification and control

The government has produced an Environmental Weeds booklet which aims to help residents identify weeds and provides information on how to control environmental weeds. The link is below.

Controlling Weeds in Commercial Landscaping

In commercial landscaping, weeds are generally sprayed with glyphosate or the garden beds are cultivated to dig the weeds into the sub-base. It is vitally important that any environmental invasive weeds are completely eliminated from the entire construction project. Commercially landscaped gardens will usually be covered with 75mm of a high quality, weed free mulch.

Commercial Landscaping Weed Control - Reds Landscaping and Design
Commercial Landscaping Weed Control. Lush plantings of native grasses and thick high quality mulch.

Commercial Landscaping Maintenance

Modern Commercial landscaping uses lush plantings of Australian native grasses. To control weeds in these cases, a Yates Zero Weeding Herbicide Applicator Brush from Bunnings is used. The top tip with these is to use a coloured dye so that it can be easily seen which weeds have been treated already. The special weed application dye can be purchased at your local hardware store, or you can use food dyes. For commercial use, a higher concentration of herbicide is generally used, but very good weed identification skills are required. One of the advantages of this weed control method is that the herbicide is only used where it is needed and not spread over a wide area.

Commercial landscaping native grasses and quality mulch - Reds Landscaping and Design
Native grasses and mulch in a commercially landscaped garden.

Commercial Landscaping Weed Mat

Organic mulches eventually decompose into the soil, due to which the fertility of the soil increases and sometimes the ground becomes a fertile bed for weeds. Plastic and crushed stones are inorganic mulches and do not decompose, but they draw enormous heat and prevent air, nutrients, and water from getting into the soil. Therefore, Commercial landscaping weed mats are sometimes used by landscaping professionals, farmers, or enthusiastic gardeners to keep weeds at bay. This mat is generally made of heavy plastic and designed specifically for use over the soil to reduce the need for heavy weeding. This weed mat is porous and allows air, nutrients, and water to pass through. It is a clean, durable weed barrier.

A landscaping weed mat is an excellent choice for preventing weeds, diseases, and pests. It is also used for other purposes, such as placement under decorative rocks or gravel to beautify a garden. It is also useful under landscaping stones on a walkway or playground mats. This mat is also beneficial for controlling soil erosion. The weed mat is generally made of plastic, cloth, and other recycled materials, which is environmentally friendly and will save you time and money in weeding and maintenance costs.

Types of weed mat

Three main types of commercial landscape weed mats are most useful for specific applications in gardens or outdoor spaces.

  • Woven

This type of landscaping mat is used most commonly. It is usually made from polypropylene or linen fibres woven together to create a durable, semi-permeable material. A woven landscaping weed mat is best for shrubs, trees, and flowering beds with a plant that would not be changed often. This is because of its porous quality. This mat is available in several colours in the market, such as black, green, and brown. The woven landscape weed mat has small holes that allow water and nutrients to ooze through the earth. Most woven mats have an ultraviolet resistance property.

  • Non-Woven

 A non-woven mat is not as porous as woven and is less permeable. This type of mat is ideal for preventing weed growth in walkways, gravel, playgrounds, or other commercial applications. It is made from polyester or polypropylene. As mentioned, these mats are not porous and permeable; that’s why they prevent water and nutrients from getting to the soil below.

  • Perforated

Perforated landscape weed mats are generally cheap and lightweight. This mat is usually made from natural materials like linen, cotton, or other breathable materials. These mats are perfect for vegetable gardens and gardens where plants are consistently placed and changed frequently. Due to the lightweight nature of the perforated landscape mat, it should not be used in places with high foot traffic, animal activity, or large roots.



Some of the benefits of using landscape weed mat are:

  • Prevent weed seeds buried in the soil beneath from sprouting. It stops the sunlight from reaching weed seeds, which reduces or eliminates them.
  • It limits the need to use herbicides for weed control.
  • It is also environmentally friendly because most weed mats are made from recycled materials and also limit the use of chemical herbicides.
  • It helps retain soil moisture by reducing evaporation by preventing sunlight. So it will help to keep the valuable moisture in the ground.
  • Mats can last for years. So there is no need to buy mats every season.


  • Landscaping weed mats discourage garden-friendly earthworms that need to reach the soil surface to survive. These earthworms play a key role in soil health.
  • It prevents organic mulches like grass clippings or shredded leaves from reaching the soil. Due to this, these organic mulches cannot replenish nutrients in the soil because the fabric acts as a barrier.
  • Landscaping weed mat is time-consuming to install, especially around existing planting.

Weeds are part of gardening in Melbourne. Due to good climatic conditions for many plants and some good rain, the plants in Melbourne grow rapidly, and these conditions are also favourable to the pest plants. The most common nuisances in Melbourne are the docks and sorrels, dandelion, common chickweed, onion grass, red pigweed, mimosa pudica, nutgrass, thistle, etc. Several methods were used to control these weeds. Commercial landscaping weed mats are also used in Australia to control weeds. Most gardeners in Australia use ultraviolet stabilised weed mats, which are porous, permeable to water and nutrients, and easy to install.

Landscape Design for Weed Prevention

In landscape design, there are a few measures that can be taken to minimise infestations. The best prevention by far is vigorous plant growth, particularly with some thick and robust ground covers. Creeping Boobialla makes for tough competition. Vigorous plant growth is also aided by quality landscape design. This includes high quality topsoils; irrigation drip systems, aimed at the correct part of the plant roots; and thick, high quality mulch. Our Botanical Design Package will assist with the correct plant selection for your conditions. The Botanical Design Package is uniquely tailored to your preferred colour palette and style of plants, whilst also maintaining symmetry and consistency with existing buildings and architecture.

Myoporum parvifolium  - Reds Landscaping and Design
Myoporum parvifolium or creeping boobialla is a ground cover that makes life difficult for weeds.

Our dedicated horticulturalist will ensure the plants selected will work with your soil and weather requirements and will sustain growth for years to come. This package comes with 2 snapshot renders detailing how the planting scheme will look once established in your landscape. This package also features an installation guide and a care guide. These guides will help you understand the water, shade, and fertilising requirements of each plant and will help you spot early warning signs of stress or disease. These guides will ensure that you have the knowledge to understand each plant's specific requirements and maintain them to maturity.

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Hedge design for Landscaping

Creating a hedge design and tree pruning are gardening techniques which can be used to great effect in 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.

Hedge Designs for Cyder Cottage - Reds Landscaping and Design
Hedge Designs for Cyder Cottage.

Hedge Design for Shrub Growth Control

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

Privacy Trees and Hedges - Reds Landscaping and Design
Plant Privacy Trees and Shrubs just for privacy purposes to shield out unwanted activity.

Hedge Design using the correct Pruning Techniques.

For flowering shrubs and trees, the correct pruning technique will encourage new growth of younger shoots and, in some cases, more flowering in the long 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.

Living Hedge - Reds Landscaping and Design
A living hedge not only keeps livestock fenced but also prevents soil erosion and water runoff.
Hedge Design around a central boxed plant - Reds Landscaping and Design
Hedge Design around a central boxed plant.

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.

Shredded Hedge - Reds Landscaping and Design
Shredded Hedge.


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.


Hedge Design with Pleaching - Reds Landscaping and Design
Hedge Design with 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.


Hedge Design with Pleaching on a Tree - Reds Landscaping and Design
Hedge Design with Pleaching on a Tree.

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.

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For more detailed advice on how to trim hedges,

Check the Stihl garden trimmer site at

Contact experienced landscape gardeners

For all of your garden maintenance needs or help with the design and development of 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 specialties include fast growing screening plants, plant health, as well as horticulture, garden lighting  and outdoor pool landscaping ideas.

3D Renders – What To Expect

3D render allows you full access to see your future landscape as it would be built.
Renders allow you to visualize the designed spaces not only from top and side views but from every view: out of key viewpoints such as balconies, views from the spa, underneath the pergola: 3D modelling lets you spatially see how it all fits together.

Our render package includes 5–10 images like the one here, as well as a flythrough video, which takes you on a journey through your landscape. These are great for understanding how the area would be experienced, as you are seeing it as you would if you were really there.

Design Fee Proposal Options

Please see below the 2 options for your landscape design. These prices have been custom priced according to your brief, site conditions, and the landscape elements required.

2D Landscape Package

  • This option includes a 2D fully scaled landscape plan drawn at 1:100, with annotation depicting design elements on the plan.
  • A mood board document with indicative imagery, such as Pinterest photos of poolside paving, planting styles etc – all included to give an indication of the design intent.
  • A planting schedule and materials schedule will break down exactly what plant species and hardscaping materials are within the design.
  • You will be able to obtain quotes and build from these plans once the 2D Landscape Package process is complete and you’re happy with your design.
  • 4 hours of allocated change/revisions included in price, revisions beyond quoted amount will be charged at an hourly rate
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Cottage Garden Plants

Cottage Garden Plants

Cottage Garden Plants to include in your home garden design include many of the flowering plants traditionally grown in cottage gardens. In the list below, we have included some of our favourite cottage garden plants for you to use in your design. Traditional cottage garden plants often had practical uses as well as their beauty. Historically many cottage garden plants had medical purposes or could be added to food as a preservative or flavouring. An example of this is the marigold which is often grown as a companion plant in cottage gardens. Marigold flowers can be used to create a soothing skin ointment. The Cottage plant list here is for the plant’s beauty and we are making no recommendations on food or medicinal purposes.

Our favourite cottage garden plants


The Buddleia, also known as Buddleja or butterfly bush, is a great plant for attracting butterflies to your home garden. This will in turn attract birds. Depending on the plant variety, buddleia can be deciduous, everygreen or semi-evergreen. Buddleja davidii (île de France), also known as the summer lilac, is famous for its ability to attract butterflies. The butterflies will love the large pointed sprays of violet, purple, blue or white flowers in late summer. This buddleia will grow to around 3 metres high with a 3-metre spread if left unpruned. Consider this plant for your cottage patio or as a background plant against a fence. As a feature plant, it can give your small garden greater depth. This plant will be deciduous in cold climates, but semi evergreen in warmer ones, so home garden microclimate might be a factor.

Cottage Garden Plants-Red Admiral Butterfly on Buddleia - Reds Landscaping and Design
Red Admiral Butterfly on Buddleia. This is a great plant for attracting butterflies.


Nemesia is an early flowering annual with a great show from early summer through to autumn. Nemesia will grow to around 300 mm and is good for cottage garden beds and borders. There is a huge variety of colours available.

Cottage Garden Plants - Blue Nemesia - Reds Landscaping and Design
Cottage Garden Plants-Blue Nemesia.

Blue Nemesia flowers.


An evergreen shrub with aromatic long narrow leaves. The leaves of the rosemary are excellent for flavouring and is a popular food flavouring herb. The shoots can be distilled to make an essential oil. This slow growing plant can grow as high as 2 metres tall, but there is a dwarf variety available. Small blue rosemary flowers appear intermittently in clusters from Spring until Autumn. Rosemary prefers a sunny position in well-drained soil.

Rosemary Plant - Reds Landscaping and Design
Rosemary Plant.

An attractive garden plant as well as a tasty herb. Rosemary is a great choice for your cottage garden.

The Rose

Roses have been cultivated for thousands of years and have long been prized for their scent and beauty. No cottage garden should be without one. As well as beauty and adding scent to home gardens, roses have been grown in cottage gardens for their fruit, known as rosehips, from which syrups and teas can be made.

Rose Plant - Reds Landscaping and Design
Rose Plant.

The rose is a popular and versatile cottage garden plant.


Bed roses can be grown as an herbaceous border in well-drained soil. Try combining these with lavender for an aromatic sensory home garden. The etheric oils in the lavender will also help to repel pests.

Climbing Roses

Climbing roses can be grown over an arch to create a stylish and fragrant welcome for visitors. They are also effective in your cottage garden for growing on trellises or walls and can help to make a small garden appear larger. Climbing roses are varieties bred for their vigorous growing habits.

Shrub Roses

Shrub roses look great as the back of a garden border. They can also be used as a feature or garden focal point. Always grow in a sunny location with good drainage. Prune regularly to ensure there is good air circulation to help prevent black spot.


The wallflower is a late spring or early summer flowering biennial bedding plant. Also known as cheiranthus, wallflowers are members of the brassica family. Like most brassicas, the wallflower will reward you with a colourful and fragrant show of flowers. Most wallflowers will grow to around 45 cm and are available in a range of colours. From the brilliant scarlet "Fire King" to the yellow "Cloth of Gold" and every colour in between. Like most Brassicas, wallflowers will like some added garden lime in the soil.

For smaller areas, there is a dwarf variety available that grows up to around 22cm.


Orange Wallflower - Reds Landscaping and Design
The wallflower is a member of the brassica family.

Salvia Leucantha Cottage Garden Plants

Salvia is a bushy plant with brightly coloured terminal bracts of white, purple, pink, or blue. This is a great plant for your cottage garden border. Mexican bush sage, or Salvia Leucantha, is an autumn flowering perennial which can add colour to your Melbourne cottage garden. As a bonus, salvias are generally drought tolerant and are well suited to Melbourne’s temperate climate. Salvias are also pet friendly.


Salvia leucantha purple flowering shrub - Reds Landscaping and Design
Salvia leucantha is a purple flowering shrub growing to around 1 metre tall.

More information on Cottage Garden Plants

For more information on Roses - The Royal Horticultural Society

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French Landscape Design

French Landscape Design

French landscape design was said to have originated 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.

André Le Nôtre: French Garden Design - Reds Landscaping and Design
André Le Nôtre: French Garden Design.

The 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 here that 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 the liking of King William III.

Versailles Orangerie - Reds Landscaping and Design
In the winter, the Versailles Orangery houses orange trees from Portugal, Spain, and Italy. In the summer, the gardens are home to lemon, oleander, palm, and pomegranate trees, some of which are more than 200 years old.


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’s crowning achievement, replacing the Louis Le Vau design of 1663. The Orangerie doubled in size and was modelled on theories by 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 - Reds Landscaping and Design
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 preference for the smell of citrus trees, his favourite being orange trees, which he had potted in silver tubs and placed around the palace. After the Fouquet incident, Louis had over 1,000 orange trees removed from Nicolas’s property and transferred to the Orangerie. By the 1790s, 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 having 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, 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’s inner city and south eastern suburbs, such as Toorak, Malvern, and Armerdale, where you can find beautiful French provincial homes with classic gardens inspired by the Versailles orangerie.

The gardens at the Palace of Versailles in winter - Reds Landscaping and Design
The gardens at the Palace of Versailles in winter.


It is easy to be tempted into driving straight into a design for your landscape. It is advisable to take your 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 the subject.


“Top 10 Astonishing Facts About Versailles Orangerie - Discover Walks Blog.” Discover Walks Blog, 23 Sept. 2022,

“Gardens of Versailles.” Wikipedia, 30 Apr. 2023,

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