Archives for Horticulture

Salvia Leucantha or Mexican Bush Sage

Salvia leucantha or Mexican bush sage.

Salvia leucantha or Mexican bush sage an Autumn flowering perennial which can add colour to your Melbourne garden in early May. Salvias are generally drought tolerant and can handle subtropical as well as temperate climates. This makes them a good plant for temperate climates like Melbourne with its with warm to hot summers, mild and sometimes balmy springs and autumns.

Salvia Leucantha or Mexican bush sage is an Autumn flowering perennial. This evergreen small shrub which can grow to around 1.3m high.
Leucantha or Mexican bush sage is an Autumn flowering perennial. This evergreen small shrub which can grow to around 1.3m high. It is suitable for dog friendly gardens in Melbourne.

The Salvia Leucantha Family

Salvia leucantha belongs to the family Lamiaceae which is part of the sage genus. The significant sage genus, contains more than 920  species of woody and herbaceous plants of the mint family (Lamiaceae). These belong to the order Lamiales. Whilst they are attractive garden plants, many members of this genus are also important for culinary purposes such as flavouring, teas and food crops.

 

Garden ideas for Saliva Leucantha

These versatile plants are great for commercial landscapes, residential landscapes and coastal and beachside gardens. The plant can be used as either garden beds or borders as well as vegetable gardens. Most importantly, the salvia is also a must have for any ornamental garden Australia wide.

Salvia is great for garden borders and garden beds.
Salvia is great for garden borders and garden beds.

Garden Care for your Salvia Leucantha

Salvias, like many Australian native plants, have evolved to grow in fairly poor soils.   Apply a soil conditioner like a very dilute solution of Neutrog Seamungus occasionally.

 

Other Varieties and Species of Salvias

7 Great Salvia plants for your Melbourne Garden

 

More information on Landscaping and Garden Design

Banksia Coccinea Garden Ideas

 

 

Magnolia Landscaping Ideas

 

 

Coastal Garden Design

 

 

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

 

 

 

More information on the sage genus.

 

Cambridge Blue

 

Jerusalem Sage

 

S.Officinalis

 

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Tulips – 29 Great Colours for your Melbourne garden.

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

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

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

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

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

Tulip history and Tulip mania.

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

Garden Landscaping Ideas with Tulips

 

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

Tulips in an ornamental flower bed in Keukenhof Garden, Netherlands

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tulips grouped into small clusters near garden paving

Tulips grouped into small clusters near garden paving

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

 

Tulips along the edge of a garden path.

Tulips along the edge of a garden path.

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

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

 

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

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

Plant tulip bulbs in groups of terracotta pots.

Plant tulip bulbs in groups of terracotta pots.

Design Idea. Red and yellow flowers in the foreground with lighter creams in the background makes a small garden appear larger.

Design Idea. Red and yellow flowers in the foreground with lighter creams in the background makes a small garden appear larger.

Landscaping idea. Dark red tulip flowers go well with the yellow daffodils and the earthy brown stone behind.

Landscaping idea. Dark red tulip flowers go well with the yellow daffodils and the earthy brown stone behind.

Garden design idea. Grow two different varieties together in terracotta pots. One tall variety in the centre and a shorter one on the outside. For added effect try a blue trailing flower on the edge of the pots.

Garden design idea. Grow two different varieties together in terracotta pots. One tall variety in the centre and a shorter one on the outside. For added effect try a blue trailing flower on the edge of the pots.

 

Two different tulip colours in a concrete pot.

Two different tulip colours in a concrete pot.

Two varieties of tulips in a single concrete pot close up. This red and white tulip looks spectacular in pots.

Two varieties of tulips in a single concrete pot close up. This red and white tulip looks spectacular in pots.

Garden design idea. Try combining dark red and yellow tulips in the same garden bed.

Garden design idea. Try combining dark red and yellow tulips in the same garden bed.

Garden design idea. Tulips in garden beds with yellow and red flowers.

Garden design idea. Tulips in garden beds with yellow and red flowers.

 

Landscape garden idea. Two different shades of pink planted with white tulips.

Landscape garden idea. Two different shades of pink planted with white tulips.

The pinks and whites look great together.

The pinks and whites look great together.

 

Garden design idea. Cluster together with white daffodils.

Garden design idea. Cluster together with white daffodils.

 

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

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

 

Garden Design Idea. Plant with blue companion plants.

Garden Design Idea. Plant with blue companion plants.

Mixed Plantings with Tulips

Mixed Plantings with Tulips

Garden Planning. Plant taller lighter coloured plants towards the back and shorter plants near the edge.

Garden Planning. Plant taller lighter coloured plants towards the back and shorter plants near the edge.

Meadow planting with tulips and daffodils.

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

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

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

Garden Maintenance. Planting and Care of your Tulip Bulbs.

Growing tulips in Australia

 

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

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

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

Tulip varieties and cultivars

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

Affaire Tulip

Affaire Tulip

 

Blue Diamond Tulip

Blue Diamond Tulip

 

Bulldog a fringed tulip that grows to 50cm.

Bulldog a fringed tulip that grows to 50cm.

 

Chelsea Blue Parrot

Chelsea Blue Parrot

 

Tulips - Dream Land. Another white and red tulip.

Dream Land. Another white and red tulip.

 

Tulips - Estella Rijnveld. A white and red tulip with fringes.

Estella Rijnveld. A white and red tulip with fringes.

 

Tulips - Mariette

Mariette

 

Queen of the Night

 

Sauternes

 

Tulips - White Rebel

Tulips – White Rebel

Tulips - White Dream grows to 50 cm.

Tulips – White Dream grows to 50 cm.

Tulips White and Red Tulip. Carnaval de Nice Grows to 50 cm.

White and Red Tulip. Carnaval de Nice Grows to 50 cm.

Purple Prince early single grows to 40cm.

Purple Prince early single grows to 40cm.

Flaming Baltic a fringed tulip that grows to 50 cm.

Flaming Baltic a fringed tulip that grows to 50 cm.

Fringed. Grows to 50 cm

Fringed. Grows to 50 cm

 

Wedding Gift

Wedding Gift

 

Happy Generation. Mid season flowering grows to 50 cm.

Happy Generation. Mid season flowering grows to 50 cm.

 

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

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

 

Caribbean Parrot large fringed and ruffled flowers grows to 40cm

Caribbean Parrot large fringed and ruffled flowers grows to 40cm

 

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

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

 

Tulips - Uncle Tom Grows to 45 cm.

Tulips – Uncle Tom Grows to 45 cm.

 

Tulips - Sunny Prince grows to 40 cm.

Sunny Prince grows to 40 cm.

 

Tulips Apricot Parrot grows to 50cm.

Apricot Parrot grows to 50cm.

Tulips - Foxy Foxtrot an early double tulip. Grows to 40cm.

Tulips – Foxy Foxtrot an early double tulip. Grows to 40cm.

Tulips - Strong Gold a Mid-season flowering tulip that grows to 40cm.

Tulips – Strong Gold a Mid-season flowering tulip that grows to 40cm.

Tulips - Brown Sugar an mid-season flowering tulip that grows to 50cm.

Brown Sugar a mid-season flowering tulip that grows to 50cm.

Tulips - Francoise. This tall mid -season flowering tulip, opens as a creamy yellow flower. As the flower matures, the colour fades to a creamy creamy white. This is an ideal plant to put further back in your garden to increase the perception of depth. A great design trick for a smaller garden.

Francoise. This tall mid -season flowering tulip, opens as a creamy yellow flower. As the flower matures, the colour fades to a creamy creamy white. This is an ideal plant to put further back in your garden to increase the perception of depth. A great design trick for a smaller garden.

Tulips - Helmar is another tall mid-season flowering tulip. Growing to 55cm, this is a good plant to place slightly further back in your garden. The red and yellow petals look great.

Helmar is another tall mid-season flowering tulip. Growing to 55cm, this is a good plant to place slightly further back in your garden. The red and yellow petals look great.

Tulips Fly away is a tall lily shaped tulip growing to 60cm.

Fly away is a tall lily shaped tulip growing to 60cm.

 

Tulips

 

Tulips - Golden Oxford is a very popular Darwin Hybrid tulip growing to 45cm.

Golden Oxford is a very popular Darwin Hybrid tulip growing to 45cm.

Where can you see tulips?

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

Related Landscaping Ideas from Red’s Landscaping and Civil Pty Ltd

 

5 facts about the Daffodil In Garden Design

 

Path Design for Cottage Gardens

 

Cottage garden ideas from the Cotswolds

 

Cottage Garden Plants

 

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

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Banksia Coccinea Garden Ideas

Banksia Coccinea, like all Banksias, is a member of the proteaceae family, which is in turn a member of the protea order.  Banksias, also known as the Australian Honeysuckle, are named after the famous botanist Joseph Banks, who sailed to Australia with Captain Cook.

Garden Design Ideas. Banksia coccinea can be a great focal point in smaller gardens or in commercial landscape projects.

Banksia Coccinea Garden Ideas

Banksia Coccinea facts

Native to the coastal sand dunes on the southern edge of Western Australia, Banksia coccinea is also known as the Albany banksia, the Waratah banksia or the scarlet banksia. It natural habitat is slightly acidic, deep sandy soil in scrubby areas with reasonable rainfall. This makes it a good plant for coastal gardens with sandy soils. This Banksia can be grown either as a shrub or a small tree. Normally growing to around 5 metres, it can grow as high as 8 metres tall. If you are designing for a small garden, consider using one or two of these as a focal point in your small garden design. Banksia Coccinea is also a favourite with florists with its vivid dark red, orange or scarlet pistels. Banksia Coccinea’s magnificent flowers and attractive foliage make it popular with florists as well as gardeners. An added bonus is the very long flowering period.

 

It can be in flower from June all the way through to January, which is great for the wildlife which will come to feast on the abundant nectar. After the flowering season the seeds will also attract cockatoos to your garden.

Nice picture of a Banksia coccinea during an Australian sunny day

Garden Ideas. Banksia coccinea has dark green serrated leaves that are grey green underneath.

Garden Maintenance for your Banksia Coccinea

Better suited to sandy soils and warm dry temperate climates, this banksia can be sensitive to clay soils. If you are in a humid climate like the Melbourne, make sure you prune it to allow plenty of air circulation. As it is drought tolerant, and requires very little watering, this plant is ideal for sunny positions in your Melbourne coastal garden. Feed this plant  lightly twice per year with a low phosphorus fertiliser, and water sparingly.  A good fertiliser for native plants is Neutrog Bush Tucker.

Benefits for Wildlife in the Garden Landscape

In addition to its attractive appearance Banksia coccinea is a prolific nectar producer.  This will attract nectar eating native birds like Honeyeaters and rainbow lorikeets to your garden as well as bees and even small marsupials. The seeds are eaten by birds such as cockatoos, making it the perfect plant for attracting wildlife.

Garden Design Idea. Growing Banksias will attract wildlife like Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus) to your garden.

Contact Experienced Landscape Gardeners

For help with the design and development or your landscaping ideas, contact one of our experienced Landscape Gardeners. We can help with small garden design all the way up to  Commercial Landscape design.  Our specialities include fast growing screening plants, plant health and horticulture, garden lighting and outdoor pool landscaping ideas.

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

More Home and Coastal Garden information

Coastal Garden Design

 

Tree Landscape Design Melbourne

 

National Eucalypt Day

By Callum O’Brien –  Specialist Commercial Landscaper Melbourne

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Plant Horticulture Links

Western Australia Plant Database

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Coastal Garden Design

Melbourne Coastal Garden design, depends heavily on selecting the right plants for the conditions. Coastal garden plants have to endure salt spray, wind and often not very fertile sandy soils. If you have a home in one of Melbourne’s beachside suburbs these home gardening tips will help you establish a great garden.

Melbourne Garden plant selection

Limonium perezii, features beautiful flowers and foliage which can be hacked back to reshoot. This plant flowers nearly year round with minimal water and care. Limoniums handle Australia’s coastal garden conditions and climate well and are an absolute must have for any ornamental garden.  As you would expect for a plant native to the Canary Islands, these plants handle the coastal garden conditions very well, preferring a well-drained soil and full sun. These plants will also tolerate a moderate frost. The more than 120 plant that belong to the genus Limonium are often referred to as marsh rosemary or sea lavender, but they are not related to either lavender or rosemary. The small papery flowers can be dried and used in flower arrangements.

Limonium perezii for Coastal gardens

Limonium perezii for Coastal gardens

 

Limoniums handle Australia’s coastal garden conditions and climate well.

Viola hederaceae or Native Violet in an Australian native shrub that is ideal for your coastal garden. As its names suggest this trailing ground cover has violet flowers that can be seen from spring until autumn. This shrub can be used as an alternative to lawn.

Viola hederaceae or Native Violet in an Australian native shrub that is ideal for your coastal garden

Viola hederaceae or Native Violet in an Australian native shrub that is ideal for your coastal garden.

Viola hederaceae or Native Violet in an Australian native shrub that is ideal for your coastal garden

Banksia robur or swamp Banksia growing up to two metres in the wild, this plant is a small tree or shrub with large flower spikes and fruits from autumn to winter. Despite its name, the swamp Banksia will thrive in a variety of soils and conditions. The large oval shaped serrated leaves can grow as large as 120mm by 400 mm long. This plant can be planted as a group for screening neighbours or by itself as a feature plant.

Banksia robur or swamp Banksia in a coastal garden.

Banksia robur or swamp Banksia in a coastal garden.

Banksia robur or swamp Banksia growing up to two metres in the wild, this plant is a small tree or shrub with large flower spikes and fruits from autumn to winter. An ideal plant for your coastal garden.

Xanthorrhoea macronema or Coastal Grass Tree is a grass tree without a trunk but has a creamy flower spike around 1.5 metres long. The flower itself is around 45 to 140mm long.

A honey bee enjoying the flower of a Xanthorrhoea macronema. The Coastal Grass Tree is a grass tree without a trunk but has a creamy flower spike around 1.5 metres long. The flower itself is around 45 to 140mm long.

Native to coastal regions in New South Wales and Southern Queensland, this is a wonderful addition to your coastal garden.

Garden Maintenance for your Coastal Garden.

Many coastal gardens are very sandy and the soils struggle to hold moisture and nutrients. One solution is to put some clay soil into a bucket of water. Stir this until the clay forms a suspension in the water. Pour this around your plants to help fill the gaps in the porous sandy soil. A fast decomposing mulch like pea straw, as well as organic fertilisers, will help.

Contact us

For help with the design and development or your landscaping ideas, contact one of our experienced Landscape Gardeners.

We can help with small garden design all the way up to  Commercial Landscape design.

Our specialities include fast-growing screening plants, plant health and horticulture, garden lighting and outdoor pool landscaping ideas.

 

More information on hardy plants for severe conditions

Pool Landscaping Designs

 

Salvia Leucantha or Mexican Bush Sage

 

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

More Information on Coastal Garden Design.

Brunswick valley land care

 

 

By Callum O’Brien – The Gardener Melbourne Blog

 

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Magnolia Landscaping Ideas for Melbourne gardeners

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

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

The Magnolia Genus

The Genus  includes more than 230 species of trees and shrubs that are originally native to East Asia, the Himalayas, and to North and South America. They can be either deciduous or evergreen which is surprising in itself. Although famous for their spectacular  and fragrant pink, purple, yellow or white cup shaped flowers, some are even a source of timber. It it is not just the huge flowers that make the magnolia an attractive plant.

The much loved features of the Magnolia

The vibrant green smooth leaves are also an attractive feature as well as the often colourful cone shaped fruit. Magnolias exist in the fossil records for more than 25 million years. Meaning that they are one of the earliest flowering plants on the planet.

How does the magnolia get pollinated?

Magnolias existed even before most of our flying pollenating insects had evolved. As a result, they depended on beetles for pollination. Even today, you can see many varieties have  tough leathery outer petals, and woody carpels to make the flowers tough enough to cope with beetles pollenating the plants. Magnolias flower for just a short time, but when they do flower, they are spectacular.

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

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

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

Small Garden Landscaping Ideas with Magnolias

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

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

Small Garden Design Idea. Magnolia Little Gem in a planter pot. Box hedge and lavender as well as pansies provide design contrast with the dark green leaves of the magnolia.

 

Garden care and maintenance for your Magnolias

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

Contact us

For help with the design  and development or your landscaping ideas, contact one of our experienced Landscape Gardeners.

 

We can help with small garden design all the way up to  Commercial Landscape design.

 

Our specialities include fast growing screening plants, plant health and horticulture, garden lighting  and outdoor pool landscaping ideas.

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

 

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

 

 

More Information about Magnolias.

Gardening Australia

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5 Steps for a Great Melbourne Lawn

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 Removing weeds

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

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.

Hand Held Aerator. Great for renovation work.

Hand Held Aerator. Great for renovation work.

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 effect of aeration.

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 lawn

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.

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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

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-hydrophilic

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.

 

The Lawn Topsoil Conundrum.

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.

Soil moisture

The ability of your soil to provide moisture will depend on the soil structure and the amount of organic matter.

Restoring Commercial Landscaping Lawns

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 lawn

Commercial landscaping grass just starting to green up after the application of soil wetters and Neutrog Seamungus.

 

Many commercial landscapes will use a hard wearing kikuyu in either an instant roll out or using hydroseeding or hydromulching. 

Related Landscaping Ideas from Red’s Landscaping

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Landscaping Costs And Landscape Designs

Landscaping costs are, not surprisingly, one of a client’s biggest areas of concern. Like other fields of construction, often some labour-intensive processes are needed as well as the use of heavy machinery. Also, with good quality landscaping, much of the infrastructure work is unseen.

Landscaping Costs of Infrastructure

These include sub surface installations such as irrigation systems and agricultural drainage systems as well as garden lighting systems and good quality footings for retaining walls. The quality and depth of the topsoil often goes unnoticed. A quality topsoil of at least 150mm will give you a more sustainable garden in the long run, provided that topsoil is suitable for the plants selected. Another consideration for landscaping costs is site access. Often it is too difficult to get landscaping machinery in to a site or there is too much risk of causing damage. Another consideration is the difficulty in getting materials on to a site. All of these can add to the costs.

Professional Landscape Design

Estimating Landscaping costs

Why is landscaping so expensive?

Most experienced landscapers will have some rules of thumb when it comes to landscaping costs. Things like paving can be estimated per square metre or retaining walls can be estimated per lineal metre. Most of these costs will be based on the assumption of a straightforward landscaping job on flat ground and the usual Melbourne soil and subsoil conditions. The landscaping cost estimate can also be affected by what is under the soil. Things such as underground utilities, old wall footings, old drains and old swimming pools can really wreak havoc with a rule of thumb landscaping cost estimate.

What does landscaping cost for new home?

For new building sites on the Melbourne allowing a budget of around 15% of the value of the property will normally give you a great result. This will be a little cheaper for small garden designs. To find out the latest landscaping costs, contact us and we will be happy to give you an estimate.

Quality Standards and Landscaping Costs

Building an exposed aggregate driveway or path with roadbase underneath will provide a quality product for many years. There are always ways to make paths a little cheaper, but cracks may open up if the correct design and construction procedures are not followed.

Paving Lawn and Potted Plants add value to a property. Copyright Red’s Landscape Gardening – Gardener Melbourne.

Saving money on landscaping costs

One way to save money on your landscaping is to get all of your landscaping ideas down on paper. You can start with making a list of garden features you would like to see in your garden. Then make photocopy of your house site plan showing the location of utility services and easements. Prioritise and sketch in some of your most desired features such as water features, retaining walls, pathways and swimming pools. This can be done initially with a pencil and a highlighter pen. If you are good with computers, there are a number of low cost or free software packages you can try including Sketchup. At Red’s Landscaping, we operate with very low overheads and our cost estimates are very accurate to ensure the minimum amount of wastage.

 

landscaping costs minimised by planning
Sketching your Garden Design

 Plant Selection and landscaping costs

A great way to develop your garden design ideas, is visit some of the open gardens in the area. Here you can see some of the best garden designs in the area. Another way to help with the garden design is to visit the local botanical gardens or visit some of the regular garden shows on the Melbourne. This will give you the opportunity to see the latest landscape design ideas and assist with plant selection and grouping. Take a note pad and pen to take note of the plant species and garden feature you like.

Should you use an experienced Melbourne landscaping professional?

In a similar way to an interior decorator or stylist can save you money on paint, there are many ways an experienced landscape gardener and designer can save you money. No-one wants to see large puddles of water in their newly installed garden, or even worse, water flowing into the house. Planning the drainage of the water by slotted agricultural DWV pipe, spoon or French drains and subtle use of gradient will prevent these problems. Irrigation systems need to be designed to take water where it is most needed and to use water sparingly. Irrigation systems also need to be low maintenance.

Garden Design and Construction

Some landscaping companies do not offer garden design as part of their service. Often, in these cases they will outsource the design to a specialist garden design company or mark the design out on the ground. The advantages of a landscaper having in-house design facilities results in much better planning in the construction phase.

A Professional Horticulturist can reduce your landscaping costs.

With the horticultural aspects, there is a lot that the professional horticulturist can do to save you money in the long term. For example, plants with similar needs should be grouped together. This means plants with similar sunlight, moisture and even fertilizer (especially phosphorus) should be grouped together. This is especially true of the soils chosen. For example, lower cost soils could be used for some garden beds, but not for lawns in high traffic areas. Some plants prefer an acid soil, so these should not be planted with plants preferring neutral or alkaline soils. Also plants should be chosen with ongoing garden maintenance in mind. If you are looking for outdoor pool landscaping ideas, it is best not to plant palms that require regular cleaning and pruning nearby. The use of select native or indigenous plants can save a lot of money in garden maintenance and watering

Landscape Design and property values

When selling a property, first impressions go a long way. A professionally landscaped property will help increase the selling price of a property much higher than the cost of the landscaping. If you take note of some of the commercial landscape designs in your area, you can see how businesses use this strategy to create a positive impression of their business.

Working Landscape Garden Designers

A consultation with a landscape garden designer will involve going through the points discussed above and getting a feel of the property. The landscape designer will then develop your ideas into a rendered 2D sketch of your property and landscape garden. Once this rough outline is approved, the Landscape garden designer will develop detailed 3D CAD models of your property to help you visualise what the finished garden design will look like. Usually this will include the larger plants, retaining walls, water features and any fast growing screening plants or hedges. The next stage is create all of the schematics for irrigation, drainage, garden lighting and plantings.

Minimising Landscaping costs begins with a Bespoke 2D Garden Design Plan.
Bespoke 2D Garden Design Plan

Garden Maintenance and Landscape Design.

Another advantage of having a garden professionally designed, is facilitate the creation of a low maintenance garden. With 3D design tools, it can be established if there are any difficulties accessing lawns and hedges with  maintenance equipment. It is also possible to arrange plants with similar needs in groups to ensure that they receive the necessary irrigation of sunlight.

 

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.

 

Related Landscaping Ideas from Red’s Landscaping and Civil.

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

 

By Callum O’Brien

© Reds Landscaping – Melbourne Landscaper

 

 Free Garden Design Tools

https://www.yates.com.au/garden-club/virtual-garden

 

 

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Murraya Paniculata hedge in pots.

9 Ways Murraya Paniculata is Perfect for Melbourne.

Murraya Paniculata is a versatile plant for Melbourne Landscaping.

At Red’s Landscaping and Civil, we put a lot of thought into exactly which plants best suit your local environment and your specific outdoor area. There’s never a one-size fits all solution.

While one tree or shrub may be good here, perhaps it just does not suit there. But one of our favourite go-to plants is the Murraya Paniculata. One of the most gorgeous, luscious and sweet-smelling plants you’ll ever find.

Better yet, it seems to be handmade to thrive in the salty Melbourne coastal air! Almost every one of our designs recently puts the Murraya to good use, which is handy because it actually comes in a large number of varieties! From the full-grown to the hedge, or even the dwarf type.

Melbourne Landscaper - Dwarf Murraya paniculata

Dwarf tree Murraya paniculata.

 

The Murraya paniculata, more commonly known as the orange jasmine, orange jessamine, honey bush, mock orange, or satinwood is an absolutely stunning evergreen plant from the citrus family.

The Murraya paniculata, more commonly known as the orange jasmine, orange jessamine, honey bush, mock orange, or satinwood is an absolutely stunning evergreen plant from the citrus family.

Murraya Paniculata a garden favourite

This sub-tropical plant is very popular in the landscaping world and is often used in commercial landscaping and residential landscaping all over Australia, Asia, and the Pacific Islands.

Fragrant white flowers with curled up petals bloom on the orange jasmine plant during the springtime, and small red berries are formed in the summer months.

Thanks to its eye-catching white flowers and delicious berries, the Murraya paniculata constantly attracts beautiful birds, bees, and butterflies, and fills the air with delicious smells all summer long.

However, there is much more to this gorgeous plant than you think! Read below to find out ten things you need to know about the Murraya paniculata plant.

Murraya paniculata or Orange Jessamine, China Box Tree, Andaman Satinwood, Chinese Box-wood on fancy carp fish pond and mini waterfall. Reds Landscaping Melbourne Landscaper.

Murraya paniculata or Orange Jessamine, as a edging plant to soften the edge of a tranquil pool and mini waterfall. Reds Landscaping Melbourne Landscaper.

 

 

Murraya Paniculata. The Fragrant Sweet Smelling Orange Jasmine

Many who choose to add the orange jasmine to their garden do so because they are looking to add some sweet aromas to their backyards and around their homes.

Adding the yummy scents of orange blossoms from the orange jessamine to a garden will definitely upgrade the landscape design and will make house guests and family members enjoy being seated outdoors all throughout the day.

The orange jasmine, or Murraya paniculata as it is often called by landscapers, is an extremely fragrant flower that fills the air with its beautiful and memorable scent all summer long. It is said that the flower is most fragrant during summer evenings.

Perhaps the reason this flower is so beloved by homeowners is due to the old memories of summer fun that are brought back when they get a whiff of the orange jasmine flowers.

It is All Edible!

Along with its gorgeous smell and beautiful appearance, this amazing plant is also completely edible.

That’s right! Every single part of the plant, except the branches, is completely safe to consume by humans.

Being part of the citrus family, this plant grows citrus berries that look a lot like kumquats and are safe to eat and are even often added to salads or eaten on their own by owners of these trees.

On top of that, even the leaves of the plant are quite appetizing and are used to make delicious tea all over the world.

If you are ever hanging out around the orange jessamine tree while it’s flowering, grab some of the stamens from inside of the flower and have a taste!

It is absolutely delicious, and it is kind of fun to eat a flower right off of the branch.

Attracts Visitors to Your Garden

The Murraya paniculata is not only edible for humans, but it is also considered a delicacy among birds, bees, and butterflies!

The sweet stamen previously mentioned is often the food of choice of birds, bees, as well as butterflies in the area.

This is due to the very high sugar content in the flower’s stamen that gives it a very sweet taste, and nutritious compound.

Interestingly enough, honey farms that grow their bees near honey bush trees end up selling honey that has a hint of a sharp orange taste!

The delicious berries, on the other hand, often attract small frugivore birds to your garden to devour them.

While bees may not always be welcomed guests in your garden, seeing beautiful birds and butterflies fly around your home may all be worth it.

Murraya Paniculata. Good for Landscape Design

Thanks to its prominent white flowers that stand out against the deep green leaves, fragrant smell, and its attraction of lovely animals, the Murraya paniculata is widely used in landscape design for both residential and commercial landscaping.

This rather tropical looking flower may look delicate and soft, but it is actually an extremely hardy evergreen and a very durable plant which makes it great for creating all kinds of landscape designs that last all year long.

Along with its hardiness, the beauty and relaxed atmosphere it brings to any area makes it the perfect addition to any garden. On top of adding the generic orange jasmine tree to gardens, landscapers often also add the very cute dwarf varieties of this plant as well.

The Murraya Min-a-Min is one of these orange jessamine plant varieties that is often used to decorate the front of houses or commercial buildings by being placed in small pots.

On top of that, the dwarf orange jessamine trees are often kept indoors and shaped and treated as bonsai trees by enthusiasts.

The growth pattern of the Murraya paniculata branches makes it look very enchanting when they are revealed.

Murraya Paniculata. Perfect for Hedging

The Murraya paniculata plant is very widely used to create hedges or screens in Australia and the neighbouring countries.

Conveniently named the honey bush, this beautiful plant grows thick like a large shrub with glossy green leaves and gorgeous flowers.

The plant grows very fast, very dense, and very tall, which means your hedge will be full and impermeable to the wondering eye in no time!

You will rarely find missing chunks in between the orange jessamine leaves, which will leave all your hedges looking absolutely perfect all year round.

The smaller varieties of the orange jessamine are also used to create low hedges to add style to the landscape design.

On top of that, the growth pattern of this particular plant makes it very easy to maintain, so you won’t have to worry about reshaping your hedges very often throughout the year.

Murraya Paniculata. Shaping and Topiary

While the orange jasmine plant does grow incredibly fast for a plant of its kinds, it is actually best left without over pruning and shaping.

It is recommended that you prune your orange jasmines only once or twice a year to get rid of any dead or broken branches.

Like previously stated, this plant is very easy to shape due to its size and dense growth pattern, your landscaper will be able to create a hedge shape, tree shape, or shape the bushes into the artistic designs of your liking.

The tree shape is often adopted by those looking to add a mystical theme to their garden. The branches on the orange jessamine bush twist and turn as they grow upwards and look rather wicked when they are revealed through the shaping process.

Also, these sturdy branches holding the glossy evergreen foliage of the plant make it easy for the orange jasmine to hold all types of shapes.

You will often find the orange jessamine plant shaped in many different shapes in the same garden including spherical, rectangular, spiral, triangular, and even shaped like your favourite animal or cartoon character.

Thanks to this versatility in shaping and topiary, the orange jessamine is used in both commercial and residential landscaping to add beauty and artistic finesse to the area.

Murraya Paniculata. Perfect for Melbourne Conditions

Unfortunately, not many plants can survive very long in outdoor gardens given the rough weather in Melbourne.

However, this does not ring true for the Murraya paniculata which is actually the perfect plant for this local climate and general environment.

In fact, one of the cool things about this resilient plant is its dislike to living in waterlogged soil and preference for well-drained settings most days of the week.

It is actually recommended that the Murraya paniculata is only watered about once every ten to fourteen days for optimum results if planted directly in the ground; making it a very drought efficient plant.

The low need for water makes this sub-tropical plant the perfect tenant in Melbourne soil due to the lack of rainfall in the area. The orange jessamine is also a big lover of all-day full sunlight which can always be found on the Melbourne.

On top of that, the orange jasmine is also known to be stellar in wind resistance. Its strong branches and leaves hold up against some very tough long-term breezes which often hit the beaches of the Melbourne.

Finally, the orange jessamine is perfect for this beachside area due to its moderate to high salt tolerance, which means the high salinity of the Melbourne soil will not be in the way of this plant’s growth cycle.

If you live on the Melbourne, or anywhere that has similar environmental and weather conditions, then consider adding the Murraya paniculata to your landscape design very soon.

Related to another Favourite of the Australian garden!

One of the most interesting facts about this rather versatile plant is its genetic heritage. In fact, the orange jessamine, or scientifically the Murraya paniculata, is actually closely related to the curry plant.

Oddly enough, the orange jessamine we keep in our gardens belongs to the genus Murraya which belongs to the citrus family and includes the very well-known curry plant.

Of course, we all know the curry plant whose leaves are ground down and used in a ton of different dishes around the world; especially in South East Asia. Edible leaves seem to be a running theme in this genus of plant.

Murraya Paniculata. Low Maintenance in Winter

Murraya paniculata is actually a very easy plant to maintain, especially in the Melbourne winter months.

This is likely why Murraya hedges are so commonly found in Australia. As previously stated, this gorgeous plant needs minimal water and minimal shaping in comparison to other hedging plants.

On top of that, after the first two years of growth and once the plant is established, you will no longer need to fertilize the soil either.

The low maintenance aspect to the orange jessamine makes it absolutely perfect for hedges and formal gardens where there are too many plants to be constantly paying attention to.

Keep that in mind next time you need a low maintenance, yet attractive addition to your garden.

Murraya Paniculata. Orange Jessamine… for Medicine?

Finally, one of the most interesting facts about this member of the citrus family is its place in ancient and modern medicine!

The Murraya paniculata has been used for centuries by the people of India, China, the Philippines, and pretty much every other country this plant is native to, to treat all kinds of illnesses.

Some of the illnesses the orange jessamine leaves, roots, and branches have been used to treat include coughs, hysteria, rheumatism, dysentery, and general pain relief!

There is a lot more to this wonderful plant than just a beautiful look!

As we’ve seen on our journey learning about the Murraya paniculata, there is a lot more to this plant than meets the eye.

Thanks to its beautiful flowers, glossy strong leaves, and dense growth, this plant has become a favourite among landscape architects, and even homeowners who want to spice up their own gardens.

On top of that, its strong scent, as well as its delicious fruit and flowers make it the perfect attraction for humans, birds, bees, and butterflies alike.

If all that wasn’t enough, this gorgeous and very useful plant is also extremely easy to maintain, manipulate, and keep alive.

Keep all these interesting facts in mind the next time you are looking for a new addition to your garden. The Murraya plant is a versatile, hardy, evergreen and gorgeous plant with a sweet aroma that can offer great shade for your outdoor area.

Pool Landscaping Designs

Murraya Paniculata is a great hardy plant for swimming pool landscaping. It can be used as a fast growing screening plants in pots to help increase privacy around your pool. The dark green leaves and attractive flowers can help to create and exotic tropic look for your swimming pool or rooftop garden.

This hardy plant will survive a few splashes of swimming pool water and will not be shedding leaves into your swimming pool all year round provided it is well maintained. Buying good sized plants in pots means that you can have instant garden privacy for your pool.

Murraya Paniculata hedge in pots.

Murraya Paniculata hedge in pots.

Choosing your Murraya

In some parts of Australia the exotic cultivars of Murraya Paniculata can escape into the nearby bush-land and become a nuisance plant. In those areas look for plant nurseries that stock plants grown from cuttings.

Always buy your seedlings from reputable suppliers.

Grow Me instead buying advice

 

Commercial Landscaping with Murraya Paniculata

Once established in your commercial landscape, the Australian native Murraya Paniculata is low maintenance,  hardy and drought tolerant. The fast growing nature will ensure the plant will become quickly established in your corporate or business premises’ gardens. The attractive glossy dark green leaves and fragrant white flowers will create a tranquil environment for your employees and customers. The plant can be grown as a fast growing hedge to soften and hide parts of your business carpark, or grown as individual feature shrubs to create focal points.

 

Contact us

For help with the design  and development or your landscaping ideas, contact one of our experienced Landscape Gardeners.

We can help with small garden design all the way up to  Commercial Landscape design.

Our specialities include fast growing screening plants, plant health and horticulture, garden lighting  and outdoor pool landscaping ideas.

 

 

For Related Melbourne Landscaping Ideas, click on the following links;

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© Copyright 2020 Red’s Landscape Gardening – Melbourne Landscaper

 

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The Coastal Pandanus Tree Pandanus Tectorius Under Threat

Pandanus tree under threat on the Gold Coast

The coastal Pandanus tree (Pandanus tectorius) is now under threat from the native leaf hopper (Jamella australiae) in South East Queensland. Although the two have co-existed for a long time, the leaf hoppers numbers are normally kept in check by its natural predator a tiny wasp known as Aphanomerus pusillus. The problem is believed to have been caused by trees being shipped south from Northern Queensland with the leaf hopper on board. Unfortunately, the tiny Aphanomerus pusillus wasp missed the trip.
Drastic action is now being undertaken on the Gold Coast with Pandanus trees being heavily pruned back or even cut down in the interests of public safety. In 2015 on Fraser Island thousands of Pandanus trees died due to the diseases spread by the leaf hopper. Just North of Noosa at the Great Sandy National Park around 20 percent of the pandanus trees have died. Another 2500 trees were showing the effects of the infestation. Joel Fostin from the University of the Sunshine Coast has been studying the problem on Frazer Island and is undertaking research on biological controls using the Aphanomerus pusillus wasp.

How to check your Pandanus

Normally even healthy Pandanus trees will have some dead leaf at the base of the leaf head. If you see a large amount of unexpected dead leaf material in the centre of the head, there is a good chance you have the infestation. Look for the black sooty mould caused by the leaf hopper’s secretions on the tree’s trunk or leaves. Also look for cast insect skin casings or insect egg cases between the leaf sheaths or on the underside of leaves.

Treating the infestation

Contact your local council if you see signs of infestation. Prune the plant back hard and seal the trimmed material in a bag. This material should be mulched or composted. When buying plants use locally grown stock from a reputable plant nursery. Inspect plants carefully for any sign of infestation before buying. Your local plant nursery should have a skilled horticulturist on hand to check the health of your plants.

About the Pandanus tectorius or screw pine.

A small tree which can reach up to 6 metres tall with leaves up to 1 metre long. Prop roots at the base of the tree help to anchor the plant in sandy soil.

Contact us

For help with the design  and development or your landscaping ideas, contact one of our experienced Landscape Gardeners. We can help with small garden design all the way up to  Commercial Landscape design.  Our specialities include fast growing screening plants, plant health and horticulture, garden lighting  and outdoor pool landscaping ideas.

More Information

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

Tweed Shire Council – 02 66 702400.
https://www.qt.com.au/news/wasps-released-on-fraser-island/2819855/
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Copyright Red’s Landscape Gardening – Melbourne Landscaper and Gardener.

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English Classic Garden Design - Sissinghurst

English Classic Garden Design – Sissinghurst

English classic garden design.

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

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.

Sissinghurst Lawns. Classic English Garden Design.

Sissinghurst Lawns

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.

Classic English circular Yew hedge

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 meadow

Wildflower meadows like these are great for attracting insects and birds to a garden.

 

Wildflowers

A bee enjoys the wildflowers at Sissinghurst.

 

Pleached pruning

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. Classic English Garden Design.

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.

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. Classic English Garden Design.

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.

Melbourne Hedges

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. Classic English Garden Design.

Yew Hedge focal point

 

Yew Hedge garden Focal Point

Yew Hedge garden Focal Point with pleached trees in the background.

 

Classic English Garden Design. Hedges and a beautiful lawn.

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. Classic English Garden Design.

Succulents in a planter pot by a herb garden. Terracotta tiles placed edgeways.

 

Climbing Plants

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 Classic English Garden Design.

chaenomeles x superba knap hill scarlet

 

Japanese Quince

Japanese Quince looks great against this red brick wall.

 

Japanese Quince flower

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. Classic English Garden Design.

Tangled figs over the gothic arch on the garden wall

 

 

The famous Sissinghurst Moat.

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.

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.

 

Related Landscaping Ideas from Red’s Landscaping

Sandringham Gardens

 

Hampton Court Gardens

 

Brighton Espaliered Plants

 

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More information about Sissinghurst.

 

 

 

 

The National Trust

 

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