Archives for Landscaping Ideas

Hedge designs for landscaping

Creating a hedge and tree pruning are gardening techniques which can be used to great effect in any visually any size of garden. These techniques can be used to control and direct the size, shape and direction of plant growth. When combined with plant supports, such as trellises and other plants, an interesting garden effect can be created. Of course, pruning is also used to encourage fruit tree growth and to improve plant health by encouraging air circulation. The use of hedge planting and pruning has been a feature of mediterranean gardens and English classic garden design for centuries.

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

For flowering shrubs and trees, the correct pruning technique will encourage new growth of younger shoots and in some cases more flowering in the longer term. Annual pruning of fruit trees will often result in better quality and larger fruit as well as a reduction in fungal diseases.

Keeping your garden hedge well maintained in the first place, will save you money and add value to your property. A hedge that is not well maintained may not only lose its shape, but will leave bare patches of hedge when it is finally shaped with the trimmer or saw.

Espalier
Originally developed in Europe to grow fruit trees in a microclimate, a warm wall was used to provide heat and support to the plant. Later, trellises were also used to support espalier plants.

Supports for espalier plants now include wooden, metal and wire supports as well as stone, brick and even glass walls. Espalier is a great technique for improving the look of a fence or wall especially in the case of a small garden.

Pleaching
Pleaching is a great technique for creating a screen for garden privacy. Pleaching can be applied not only in a straight line, but also as a circle or rectangle.

Pleaching is a great way to create a green privacy screen in your garden. It can also be used to create an impenetrable hedge which can be used as a fence. It makes a nice alternative to a wire fence in rural areas.

If you would like a qualified horticulturist to take a look at your hedging needs contact us.

Click here for more Landscaping Ideas

Click here for more of our garden design blogs.

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

For mored advice on how to trim hedges ;

check the Stihl garden trimmer site;
https://www.stihl.in/the-correct-way-to-cut-hedges.aspx

Contact Experienced Landscape Gardeners

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

By Callum O’Brien – The Gardener Melbourne Blog

©️ 2020 Red’s Landscape Gardening Melbourne
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Hanson Bokhara Exposed aggregate concrete.

7 things you need to know about exposed aggregate concrete paths

Exposed aggregate concrete is a great design solution for public spaces. The attractive durable not slip surface makes it an ideal choice for landscape architects. High traffic areas around public buildings often use this type of concrete path.

Exposed Aggregate Colours

The aggregates are available in a wide range of colours to suit your landscape design.  The available colours include red, brown, dark grey basalt, green quarts as well as black and white. In combination with this selection, the fine grain aggregates or sands are also available in a wide range of selections. The colour of these these fine aggregate will also be the more dominant when the surface is lightly abraded. However, more heavily abraded surfaces will result in more of the colour of the course aggregates showing.  This will result in a different appearance for the exposed aggregate concrete path. Coupled with this, the cement matrix can also have colour added. Always take these factors into account when selecting the aggregates and especially during the process of exposing the aggregates.

Exposing the aggregate

In addition to this, exposing the aggregate at a different concrete curing time can lead to different appearance. Similarly, this can result in colour differences for the same site for the same aggregate concrete pathway. To maintain quality, the landscaper must use a consistent approach to exposing the aggregates. As a rule of thumb, no more than 1/3 of the aggregate should be exposed.

 

 

 

The suitability of Exposed Aggregate Pathways

The landscape architect needs to also consider the use of the exposed aggregate concrete path when selecting the aggregate. Use a fine rounded aggregate for areas near swimming pools. For exposed aggregate concrete paths where water drainage is important, 19mm aggregates should be used.  Exposed aggregates of more than 20mm can be very difficult to transport using a concrete pump.

Exposed aggregate concrete strength

When rounded pebbles are used throughout the path, the path will be slightly less strong. This is because the matrix will not bond to the aggregate as tightly as it will with rough shaped aggregates.  Generally, the path should be at least 100mm thick N25 concrete. N25 means that the concrete will achieve a compressive strength of 25 mPa after 28 days.

Preventing Cracks

Even the strongest concrete will be weak in tension or bending and even properly cured concrete will have microcracks. Therefore, to minimise cracking steel reinforcement must be used. For pathways, this should be at least SL 72 using saddles to keep it in the top 1/3 of the concrete.  SL72 means that the bars are each 7mm in diameter with grids of 200mm. The path should be laid on 100mm thick class 3 roadbase , if it is for public spaces. If there is any possibility of a vehicle driving on the path, then the path needs to be built like an exposed aggregate concrete driveway. This will be the case with any vehicle crossovers in the path design. In these cases the concrete needs to be at lease 125mm thick N32 (32mPa) concrete with SL92 mesh laid on at least 100mm of class 2 roadbase.

Landscape design with exposed aggregate concrete

Outdoor Furniture on Exposed aggregate concrete.

Durable Outdoor Garden Furniture on Exposed aggregate concrete. ACLA Consultants landscape architects.

Using alternating concrete colour to break up large areas of concrete.

When the customer requirements call for a large expanse of exposed concrete, alternating contrasting colours can help to break up the appearance.  The public space at Balwyn Community Centre, Melbourne, used alternating exposed aggregate concrete of Hanson Bokhara with Hanson Galaxy. The artificial turf also helps to break the appearance of the large area of concrete and gives the area a more tranquil appearance. (ACLA Consultants landscape architects.)

Contrasting Exposed aggregate concrete

Creating some shade with a tree in the concreted area. The tree roots are protected with a slotted stainless steel grate. The lighter colour Hansen Galaxy forms a geometric pattern around the grate.(ACLA Consultants landscape architects.)

 

Drinking Fountain and exposed aggregate concrete.

Drinking Fountain and exposed aggregate concrete. Hanson Bokhara contrasts well with the natural concrete in-situ walls. (ACLA Consultants landscape architects.)

 

Hanson Bokhara Exposed aggregate concrete.

Exposed aggregate concrete is ideal for garden steps and stairs to help maintain grip. Recent sealing of the concrete makes it appear slightly darker. (ACLA Consultants landscape architects.)

 

Alternating exposed aggregate

Alternating exposed aggregate path.  Garden beds also break up the space. Sunbury Global Learning Centre.

 

Alternating decorative finish path

Alternating coloured path with centre native garden. Sunbury Global Learning Centre.

 

Entrance and Alternating decorative finish concrete path

Building entrance and Alternating exposed coloured path. Sunbury Global Learning Centre.

 

Concrete block garden retaining wall with coping next to the decorative finish concrete path.

Concrete block garden retaining wall with coping next to the alternating exposed coloured path. Sunbury Global Learning Centre. Hanson Bruthen and Hanson Galaxy.

 

Alternating colours of the concrete decorative finish entrance way.

The decorative finish of the alternating decorative finish of the entranceway looks striking when compared to the old concrete footpath in the foreground. Sunbury Global Learning Centre.

Frequently asked questions about Exposed Aggregate Concrete

Is Exposed aggregate concrete expensive?

Exposed aggregate will be more expensive than normal concrete solutions. It will  however, add more value and landscaping interest to your property. There is also extra labour in exposing the aggregate. Alternating colours is  also great way to break up the large expanses of concrete. It will similarly add to the cost, but will add great value to your property.

Should you seal Exposed Aggregate Concrete?

Sealing is essential for these paths. The high quality sealer we use helps to maintain the appearance of the coloured concrete by preventing stains getting into the pores of the concrete. The sealer also helps to prevent dust coming off the concrete.

Newly sealed paths at Balwyn Community Centre

 

 

Is Exposed Aggregate Concrete Durable?

It is important not to exposed too much of the aggregate during the water pressure cleaning part of the process. This is because exposing the aggregate excessively will result in it breaking loose from the matrix. Do not expose them more than 30%. The concrete we use for pathways is N25 with SL72 reinforcement over a thick layer of roadbase.

Residential Concreting Solutions

For residential concreting solutions a smaller version of the commercial landscaping concepts can be applied. In some cases it will be necessary to cart the aggregate mix in by wheelbarrow.

Exposed Aggregate Concrete Melbourne

Concrete Designs, textures and colours

Outwest Concrete have a great range of  aggregate colours available.

Colours and Textures available.

 

More information on decorative concretes

 

Related Landscaping Ideas from Red’s Landscaping

Melbourne Landscaper – Mill Park Leisure

 

Balwyn Landscaping – Commercial Project

 

Commercial Landscaper Melbourne

 

In-situ Concrete

 

Concrete For Landscape Design & Construction

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil quality commercial landscaping Melbourne

 

 

Red’s Landscaping YouTube Channel

 

Concrete design Pinterest Board

 

 

Some more facts about Concrete Driveways

 

Enhancing your home with Concrete

 

Driveways – Solid Finish versus Exposed

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In-situ concrete retaining wall and garden steps.

In-situ Concrete

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

What is in-situ concrete?

In-Situ Concrete cast in place.

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

In-situ Concrete pumped into the formwork.

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

In-Situ Concrete – strong connection to footings.

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

Retaining wall footings.

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

Precast concrete versus in-situ in landscaping concrete architecture.

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

 

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

Commercial Retaining Walls Melbourne

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

Stripping the formwork off the walls.

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

Quality In-situ concreting footings.

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

Concrete reinforcement bars in the footings.

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

 

Concrete footing design

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

 

Formwork for in-situ concrete retaining walls.

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

Strong supports for the formwork.

Strong supports for the formwork keep the wall dimensionally correct.

 

Accurately positioned formwork under construction.

Accurately positioned formwork under construction.

 

Pouring the concrete retaining walls.

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

 

 

Stripping the formwork after the concrete pour.

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

 

Stripping the formwork after the concrete pour

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

 

In-situ concrete steel reinforcement

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

 

Pouring the in-situ concrete.

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

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

Landscape and Concrete Design

Landscape Design with in-situ walls.

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

In-situ concrete curved seating

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

 

Concrete stairs Cast in Place

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

 

 

In-situ curved garden retaining wall.

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

 

In-situ retaining wall and steps

In-situ retaining wall and steps

 

Curved In-Situ retaining wall.

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

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

In-Situ retaining wall.

A very straight In-Situ retaining wall.

 

In-situ retaining wall

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

 

See also Concrete Architecture in Landscaping

 

Concrete For Landscape Design & Construction

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil quality commercial landscaping Melbourne

 

 

More information on visual concrete for landscape design

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Concrete Architecture

Concrete Architecture in Landscaping

Concrete architecture in landscaping is often seen of as a brutalist approach to landscape design. It is however possible to soften the design of concrete architecture with the use of landscape design techniques such as ponds or garden beds as well as using textiles such as cushions. The concrete architecture can also be softened with the use of naturalistic materials in the garden design such as timber or terracotta pots. The bringing together of cottage garden design with concrete architecture create a fusion of two very different garden design themes.

Garden Rocks

Naturalistic materials like these garden rocks help to soften the look of the in-situ concrete stairs.

Concrete Architecture design ideas

Concrete Designs

To see how to use concrete architecture in garden design, a visit to one of the bigger garden shows will help. Possibly the most famous of these shows is the annual Chelsea flower show held over 5 days in May each year. Unfortunately, there will be no show in 2020.  Due to the time constraints of a 5-day garden show, much of the concrete will be precast elsewhere and craned into place. To see examples of in-situ concrete, a visit to some of the recently constructed Melbourne public spaces such as Balwyn Community Centre or the Sunbury Global learning centre will provide some ideas.

Concrete Architecture

Concrete Architecture can be softened with garden plants and garden furniture. Sunken garden Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal winner 2018. Kate Gould Gardens. Designed as a concept for a traditional square London West-End garden.

Concrete Designs

Precast Concrete Architecture

Formal blocks of stone and concrete with  foxgloves. Skin Deep. Garden designed by Robert Barker design. The blocks represent different human faces and skin conditions. Note the use of colour and texture in the concrete blocks. Plants were also chosen for form and texture.

 

Landscape design Ideas Urban Flow by Tonny Woods

An outdoor kitchen design using a concrete bench with cooktop, wooden paling fence and vertical kitchen garden. Urban Flow by Tony Woods combines bold landscape design with practical solutions.

 

Garden Pond. Landscape design idea

Garden Pond. Landscape design idea. A pond with overhanging flowers will soften the look of the garden.

 

Garden idea - Sunken Garden

Great colour coordination with the natural concrete colour with matching outdoor couches. Note how the cushions match the colours of the garden. Chelsea Flower Show 2018. Landscape design by Hay-Joung Hwang.

 

LG Eco-City Garden

The LG Eco-City Garden by Hay-Joung Hwang, represents one housing unit in a vertical forest. Note the use of coloured stone to provide a theme through the garden. The concrete has been softened with the use of soft furnishings, abundant lupins and a pond with concrete stepping stones.

 

Garden idea. Pond with concrete stepping stones.

Garden idea. Pond with concrete stepping stones. LG Eco-City Garden Chelsea Flower show 2018.

 

Curved Garden Seat garden design idea.

Curved garden seat with irregular stone paving. Design by Naomi Ferrett Cohen – Chelsea Flower show 2018.

Related Concrete Architecture and Landscaping Ideas from Red’s Landscaping

7 things you need to know about exposed aggregate concrete paths

 

In-situ Concrete

 

Concrete For Landscape Design & Construction

 

5 Great Landscaping Ideas.

 

13 Best Pool Landscaping Design ideas

 

 

Even More garden design ideas

Kate Gould Gardens

 

Landscaping And Gardening Ideas From The Chelsea Flower Show

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil quality commercial landscaping Melbourne

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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

Buddleia

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. This is a great plant for attracting butterflies.

Red Admiral Butterfly on Buddleia. This is a great plant for attracting butterflies.

Nemesia

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

Cottage Garden Plants-Blue Nemesia

Blue Nemesia flowers.

Rosemary

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

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

The rose is a popular and versatile cottage garden plant.

 

Bedding roses can be grown as a 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.

Wallflower

The wallflower is a late spring, 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

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

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

 

 

© 2020 Reds Landscaping and Civil quality commercial landscaping Melbourne

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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.

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.

Mexican Chia (Salvia Hispanica)

Salvia hispanica, more commonly known as Mexican Chia, is one of the most important food crops from the mint family. The seeds of this annual herbaceous plant are known for being high in omega 3 fatty acid and fibre. Salvia hispanica is native to the desert regions of Mexico which makes it a very drought tolerant plant.

Chia seeds from Salvia Hispanica. Now an important food high in omega 3 fatty acid and fibre. Aztecs and Mayans used chia seeds as a source of energy.
Chia seeds from Salvia Hispanica. Now an important food high in omega 3 fatty acid and fibre. Aztecs and Mayans used chia seeds as a source of energy.
Chia seeds from Salvia Hispanica. Now an important food high in omega 3 fatty acid and fibre. Aztecs and Mayans used chia seeds as a source of energy.
Chia seeds from Salvia Hispanica. Now an important food high in omega 3 fatty acid and fibre. Aztecs and Mayans used chia seeds as a source of energy.

Many Salvia species are native to tropical America. Wagner’s Salvia also known as chupamiel (Salvia wagneri), is probably the most spectacular of these. This shrub is really more like a tree are as it can grow over 4 metres tall in ideal conditions. Not only is this a huge shrub, but the 300mm long flowers appear as scarlet spikes with magenta calyxes.

In the hills of southwest of North America Blue Sage (Salvia farinacea) displays its bright blue flowers after rainfall.

The bright blue flowers of S.farinacea or Blue Salvia, also known as mealycup sage.
The bright blue flowers of S.farinacea or Blue Salvia, also known as mealycup sage.

 Vanguard (Salvia splendens) is native to Brazil. The dark green oval leaves provide contrast for the spectacular dense spikes of bright red flowers and bracts. This compact, erect annual grows up to 300mm tall and flowers from summer to autumn.

Splendens is native to Brazil. The dark green oval leaves provide contrast for the spectacular dense spikes of bright red flowers and bracts. This compact, erect annual grows up to 300mm tall and flowers from summer to autumn.
Splendens is native to Brazil. The dark green oval leaves provide contrast for the spectacular dense spikes of bright red flowers and bracts. This compact, erect annual grows up to 300mm tall and flowers from summer to autumn.

Salvia and Sage as food flavourings.

Salvia officinalis is an aromatic perennial native to the Mediterranean region. The Mediterranean climate has some similarities to the Melbourne climate, which means Mediterranean plants often thrive in Melbourne. This Salvia is  cultivated for its leaves, which can be used either fresh or dried to add flavour to your cooking. These shrubs grow to around 60 cm tall.  Sage has slightly stimulating properties and the leaves have been used for making tea for centuries. It was thought that the tea helped to improve wisdom and memory. In fact the name sage comes from the old French sauge which comes from the Latin salvus meaning healthy.

S.officinalis is a bushy, spreading evergreen sub-shrub to 80cm tall, with very aromatic, finely veined, greyish-green leaves and short spikes of beautiful pale blue flowers in early summer.
S.officinalis is a bushy, spreading evergreen sub-shrub to 80cm tall, with very aromatic, finely veined, greyish-green leaves and short spikes of beautiful pale blue flowers in early summer.

Another popular flavoring herb is the Salvia Sclarea. A biennial herb, this variety can grow a little taller. The hairy heart shaped leaves have a powerful aroma giving cooking a distinctive flavour. Its white flowers and leaflike bracts are violet or pink. Both of these species are native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean, and so you can expect them to be reasonably drought tolerant in climates like Melbourne. In many parts of the world, this plant can grow wild.

Field of pink flowers Salvia sclarea
Field of pink flowers Salvia sclarea

 

Landscaping Ideas with Salvia

 

Pet Friendly Gardens

As with most culinary plants, salvia will not generally be a problem with your pets. The good news is that you are unlikely to need any snail pellets to protect your salvias. A good variety for snail resistance is salvia x superba.

Garden ideas for Saliva

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.

Sage and Salvia Varieties for your Melbourne garden

Salvia Amistad is a Herbaceous Perennial which flowers all the way from early summer until the frosts start. Beautiful dark purple flowers with a calyx so dark it is nearly black. Great for sunny garden beds or borders.
Amistad is a Herbaceous Perennial which flowers all the way from early summer until the frosts start. Beautiful dark purple flowers with a calyx so dark it is nearly black. Great for sunny garden beds or borders.
The Salvia Amistad with its very dark purple almost black calyx.
The Amistad with its very dark purple almost black calyx.
Salvia × jamensis is a bushy shrub to 100 x 50cm, evergreen in mild localities like Melbourne, with aromatic ovate, toothed mid-green leaves. Suitable for both Beds and Borders the wonderful flowers can be Bright Red, rose-pink, salmon pink, orange or creamy yellow. Flowers in summer and autumn.
Salvia × jamensis is a bushy shrub to 100 x 50cm, evergreen in mild localities like Melbourne, with aromatic ovate, toothed mid-green leaves. Suitable for both Beds and Borders the wonderful flowers can be Bright Red, rose-pink, salmon pink, orange or creamy yellow. Flowers in summer and autumn.
Salvia Uliginosa or Bog Sage is, as its name suggests, ideal for that damp of moist spot in your garden. It grows in clumps and is a perennial that loves moisture. With clear blues flowers from late summer to mid autumn, it will grow up to 2 metres tall with a spread of around 1 metre.
Salvia Microphylla Pink Blush. is an evergreen shrub with light green, aromatic, ovate leaves and deep red flowers in terminal racemes in late summer and autumn.
An alternative to lavender. Salvia lavandulifolia or Spanish salvia is a compact shrub or woody-based perennial, to 60cm tall and wide, with narrow, grey-green, downy leaves that can be used in cooking. Spiky racemes of violet-blue flowers in summer.
An alternative to lavender. Salvia lavandulifolia or Spanish salvia is a compact shrub or woody-based perennial, to 60cm tall and wide, with narrow, grey-green, downy leaves that can be used in cooking. Spiky racemes of violet-blue flowers in summer.

A variegated salvia will add depth to your small garden. ‘Tricolor’ is a spreading evergreen sub-shrub with oblong grey-green leaves variegated with cream and flushed with purple on the youngest growth; light blue flowers open in early summer.
A variegated salvia will add depth to your small garden. ‘Tricolor’ is a spreading evergreen sub-shrub with oblong grey-green leaves variegated with cream and flushed with purple on the youngest growth; light blue flowers open in early summer.
For striking gold varigated leaves, the herb ‘Icterina’ is a evergreen dwarf shrub with aromatic, oblong leaves 3-6cm long, greyish, variegated with gold yellow and pale green. Two-lipped pale purplish-blue flowers 2cm long, in terminal racemes provide great colour contrast.
For striking gold varigated leaves, the herb ‘Icterina’ is a evergreen dwarf shrub with aromatic, oblong leaves 3-6cm long, greyish, variegated with gold yellow and pale green. Two-lipped pale purplish-blue flowers 2cm long, in terminal racemes provide great colour contrast.
Purple Sage is an aromatic perennial herb with purple grey foliage It grows to a height of 60 cm and will spread to around 45 cm. Plant in well-drained soil in a sunny sheltered location.
Purple Sage is an aromatic perennial herb with purple grey foliage It grows to a height of 60 cm and will spread to around 45 cm. Plant in well-drained soil in a sunny sheltered location.

Garden Care for your Salvia

Salvias, like many Australian native plants, have evolved to grow in fairly poor soils. Apart from the alvia Uliginosa or Bog Sage, soil needs to be reasonably well drained.  Apply a soil conditioiner like a very dilute solution of Neutrog Seamungus occasionally.

 

More information on Landscaping and Garden Design

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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.

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Magnolia Landscaping Ideas

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 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 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. They 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.

 

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.

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5 advantages of CAD Garden Design

CAD Garden Design using 3D design tools

CAD Garden Design for Melbourne Gardens provides us some unique challenges. Getting your landscaping design ideas on paper, or on the computer, is a great help with the overall landscape design plan. One landscape Design tool we use at Red’s Landscape Gardening is Sketchup. If you are designing a larger gardening on a sloping site, Sketchup has some great features. One of these CAD landscape design features is the ability to bring in the site topography into your design. This makes it much easier to design in the civil design infrastructure such as French drains and irrigation. If you have a site plan, you can also design in the existing services such as gas, electricity, fibre optic cabling and drainage. This can help to avoid an expensive mistake later on.

CAD Garden Design. Landscaping Services Melbourne. Using Sketchup to turn landscaping ideas into a plan

Landscaping Services Melbourne. Using Sketchup to turn landscaping ideas into a plan

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CAD Garden Design Using 2D site plans or photos

Another really useful landscape design feature is the ability to import 2D plans or photos. With some effort to get the scale right, your garden design can be quickly drawn over the top of your 2D site plan.

Landscaping Services Melbourne. CAD Garden Design - Designing the Landscape on top of the 2D Site plan

Landscaping Services Melbourne. CAD Garden Design – Designing the Landscape on top of the 2D Site plan

Library of Plants and Landscape Design features

With Sketchup Pro, there is a huge library of 3D garden design models you can import into your design. This includes many of the commonly grown Melbourne landscaping plants such as the Canary Island Palm, Banksias , Magnolias and Eucalyptus.

Landscaping Services Melbourne. Using the library of plants. Various palms, banana plants and other trees and shrubs are available.

CAD Garden design with water features, swimming pools, garden furniture, wall and fences.

As well as the library of garden plants, Sketch up Pro allows you to download models of water features such as garden ponds, swimming pools, garden furniture as well as retaining walls and fences. Garden buildings such as pergolas, outdoor barbecues, and sunken gardens are also available. These can really help to visualise your landscaping design concept plans.

CAD Garden design and construction

The ability to accurately visualise a garden design on computer is a great advantage when it comes to the construction phase of the project. With the services already designed in, construction can proceed knowing that the whole garden has been designed and planned down to the last detail on computer before a sod has been turned.

Garden maintenance and designing a low maintenance garden.

With a 3D garden design plan, the plants can now be arranged so that moisture loving plants are together in groups. This will help to save water and reduce garden maintenance. The same applies to selecting plants to suit conditions such as shade, part shade and microclimates. The garden can also be designed to anticipate the height the plants will grow to, so as to avoid any maintenance headaches later on.

Three-dimensional visualization of green design features.

 

Landscape Design. This Three-dimensional visualization of a garden shows the effect of clusters of brightly coloured flowers like tulips contrasting with grey green foliage. This rendered image is so realistic, it is difficult to tell from a real photograph.

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

 

We can help with small garden design all the way up to  Commercial Landscape design.  Our specialities include fast growing screening plants, plant health as well as horticulture, garden lighting  and outdoor pool landscaping ideas.

 

By Callum O’Brien – The Melbourne Landscaper  Blog

 

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

 

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6 Questions You Must Ask Yourself Before Re-Designing Your Homes Landscaping

Generally, redesigning your landscape involves choosing features of landscaping and incorporating them into the perfect design. You want a landscape that will last for years, so get ready to invest some time. Ask yourself these 6 questions before you re-design your home’s landscaping.

Do you understand your yard?

To begin with, the landscaping design reinvents your yard by introducing new different features. These features that are determined by three components:

  • The level of shade.
  • Topography.
  • The plants, shrubs and trees that populate your yard.

How do these three components influence your design? Specifically, summers are a pretty hot time, and while people might spend their late afternoons or evenings in the backyard, the sun hangs out all day. The extreme heat can damage landscaping, while tree canopies can leave dry, shaded areas that aren’t easy to populate with lovely plants. The shade of your yard becomes an important component in landscape design.

In addition, the topography influences design because it creates opportunities to add beautiful features while it still engages in a functional role, like draining your yard. Such functional roles won’t be altered by landscaping that improves a swale or an existing crest for instance. Transforming a ridge and low lying area with terracing or a sloping flower bed succeeds at different levels. Your neighbours will be impressed by your landscape design Melbourne.

Finally, the climate you live in has a lot to do with the plants, trees or shrubs you choose to put into the landscape. At the same time, your selection of trees, shrubs and flowers also influence the types of soil in your region.

How do you expect to use your newly landscaped yard?

One of the great things about landscape design Melbourne is how people determine to use it? The backyard bar-b-q expert will attest to a design’s success when it makes possible saucy smoked ribs or pulled pork. So, the obvious question to ask before you begin is how will people use the new landscape? Will children use the yard? How about adults or animals?

With that in mind, the landscape design’s objective is to create a place apart from the hustle and bustle of the world and give the occupants a sense of place and belonging, as strong a sense as they enjoy inside their house. Landscapes can shut out the outside world and inspire the imaginations of people in it.

To illustrate, the families’ focus on the children today might determine the focus of landscape design. When looking at orienting the design toward people, the placement of ordinary furniture becomes important. The design for a family’s space can include cooking area, dining area, and a place identical to a family room, a place where kids can dig in, have fun and share space with adults. It can involve anything as simple as a swing or as big as a kid’s double chaise lounge.

With the users in mind, designers may create spaces for furniture like hanging Hammocks or sprawling lounge chairs that capture the imaginations of the people in it. Also, the adults might want to create a kids’ corner with a kiddie’s picnic table and umbrella, a place where kids can enjoy some independence from the adult world.

How much money do you want to spend on your new Landscaping?

The budget and the value of the property are both determining factors of how much money you want to invest in landscaping. While landscaping doesn’t increase the living space of your home, it does have an impact on your home’s value. Experts estimate that landscaping improves your home’s value by at least ten per cent, give or take a few percentage points. On the other hand, if the home isn’t an investment, then landscaping adds to the personality of the home. The return-on-investment may be irrelevant in that case. In landscaping Melbourne, you don’t want to spend $100,000 on landscaping on a house that’s valued at $250,000.

In the second place, you should consider the question of labour when drawing up a budget for landscaping. At this point, you might want to do the work yourself or hire the job out to a professional. Farming the work out may be expensive, but you get a professional’s skill and experience, and a contractor who takes responsibility for the work. On the other hand, a do-it-yourself job can often be as good and you have money to either pocket or invest in a feature like privacy landscaping trees.

What is the design premise for your back yard?

Speaking of privacy landscaping trees, often there’s a feature you want to emphasize or experiment within landscape design. It can be an overarching idea, or it can be just one part of the landscape that subtly resounds through the design.

One of the most popular landscape premises is the backyard bird or butterfly garden. People who want to attract birds and butterflies can do it with landscape design. By the same token, a landscape devoted to growing organic vegetables is another concept. Clearly, limiting the design to one idea is possible, but the likelihood is that the landscape will be used for many reasons, but none of that violates the idea that is expressed in the design. The family who wants to devote the landscape to raising children have a host of ideas to communicate but aren’t limited to creating only kids’ spaces.

You can combine your many interests in the design too. For example, if you’re an avid golfer, put a putting green into your landscape design. If your pets love the yard, create an emphasis on pet life. The special premise for a landscape doesn’t have to be much more than a token decorative detail, or it could be a dominating feature in every corner of the design.

What’s the composition of your new landscaping design?

One of the unspoken rules of landscape design is that it will incorporate lines, colours and forms to express ideas. If you flew a drone over your yard and found a bird’s eye view of the landscaping below, how many linear elements, colours or geometric forms fit in some way with the composition? These linear features, colours and forms can be seen in flower beds, coloured brick walkways, open greens and steps or stairs.

The pre-production process in landscaping captures this best by looking at the landscapers’ tools. Those tools include sketchbooks, tracing paper, camera, printouts on construction paper, reference books, and markers and pens. The design reduces your space to scale so that it can be rendered on a computer. These are important tools in getting the composition of your landscape right. The process is complicated but it can also be inspired. Every new landscape design poses a unique challenge in composition.

What elements of your landscaping should be emphasized when you bring it together in your final design?

The principles of landscaping design bring all the elements together in a perfect design.

When your landscape design is complete, all the elements from plants to trees to walkways and green areas should adhere to the notion of harmony in proportion. An oversized potted plant won’t work in a small corner of the yard devoted to the kids. Your features might line up perfectly with one another across a central walkway to create a remarkable symmetrical space. On the other hand, you may opt for something a little more asymmetrical, with a walkway off the centre line or a path winding to a corner. One way of creating a sense of the familiar is to repeat sequences of flowers in flower beds or repeat breaks between hedges that are equal distant throughout. This repetition can be a desirable element of your landscape. Since unity is highly valued in design, it can be achieved by simply using an arrangement in a flower bed and repeat it over and over. That suggests unity to space in landscaping Melbourne.

 

 

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