Our modern-day backyard…
There’s no better feeling than rising on a Sunday morning and strolling outside with your cuppa to breathe in that fresh morning air. That is unless you’re staring right at your neighbours doing the same. Our homes are our sanctuaries, and whilst it’s lovely to get to know your neighbours, most of us would prefer to do so sans pyjamas, and post-coffee! As land sizes become smaller, and houses move closer together, backyard privacy is increasingly a consideration for homeowners.
Curtains of green
One way to achieve more backyard privacy is through the strategic use of plants. To start with, it’s really important to do your research. There’s no point in investing money and time into a range of plants that die in two weeks because conditions aren’t ideal. Have a think about the conditions you’re working with. Will plants need full sun, some shade, or a lot of water? The next step is to plant precisely and consider layering. Even a single tree might provide the privacy you need if you pinpoint exactly what you need to hide. Similarly, if it’s a large space you wish to block, consider layering plants to add depth and dimension. This technique has the added bonus of providing a line of defence against pest attacks.
As with any landscaping venture, it’s important to be realistic about maintenance. Make sure the plants you choose match the level of effort you will put into maintaining them. Hedges, for example, require a great deal of clipping and effort. However, if you love being in the garden on the weekend, clippers in hand, a clipped hedge can be a great choice!
Modern screening options
Not feeling a full plant blockade? Perhaps a low concrete, timber or brick wall which can be topped with colourful planters, is your style. Another option is a privacy screen or partition. There’s a huge range available, from bamboo to steel and timber, plus a variety of decorative options. Privacy screens don’t have to be boring. Many people opt to plant climbing vines to add a natural, vibrant effect.
A living wall can create an interesting statement which offers privacy to boot. A tall fence becomes a focal point by adding a vertical garden, using succulents, planters with herbs, or a simple jasmine vine.
If you just can’t decide, consider seeking professional assistance. A designer or landscaper can assess your options and help you find a style that suits you.
Go with the flow…
Landscaping in the Australian climate can be challenging, but it’s a challenge worth embracing. As with so many things in life, the trick is to go with it, not against it. It all starts with choosing the right plants!
Enter, natives. Plants which are native to Australia offer a plethora of advantages when it comes to creating eye-catching and practical landscapes.
Hardy, and used to the ever-changing extremes of the Australian climate, native plants take little maintenance to thrive.
The sheer size of our country means we have a diversity of climates and soils. Choosing the right natives for your location is essential. What works on the western side of our great southern land, may not necessarily work on the east coast.
However, there are a few incredible native plants which can thrive everywhere in Australia. Not least of all the resplendent, and highly coveted Kangaroo Paw.
Functional, and often economical, native plants require significantly less water than most introduced species. Particularly for Queenslanders, it’s good to know that they can hold their own through the harshest summer.
Spoilt for choice
Native shrubs, trees and flowers grow in harmony and offset each other beautifully. But perhaps one of the most appealing aspects of landscaping with natives is the sheer variety.
From the iconic Wattle Tree through to the distinct Australian Grass Tree and our small flowering Boronias, there are natives to suit any landscaping space or style. Natives come in an array of colours too, from the golden hues of the Orange Heliconia to the incredible bronze tones of the Cordyline Green Magic.
Australian-made gardens are also excellent for our environment. Native plants bolster our stingless bee population and attract and provide food for birds, butterflies and lizards. Connect animal and plant populations in your own backyard!
Per our edible gardening post, we don’t offer a gardening service. However, it helps to have a fresh space to start your garden project. Award Winning Group can create a blank and ideally structured canvas for your gardening pleasure.
Planning a garden…
Do you want your garden to be functional, as well as pretty? A well thought out landscape can add value, style and flair to your home, but it can do so much more. Your garden is an untapped resource of flavour, colour and sustainability – why not make it edible?
An edible garden has many virtues, the most obvious being that you can, of course, eat it. There’s nothing quite so satisfying as using herbs, fruits and vegetables that you’ve grown yourself to nourish your family or throw a sophisticated dinner party.
Here at AWG, we do not offer a gardening service, but we do regularly provide the perfect garden framework – fences, garden beds, turf, paths and retaining walls, to neaten up your landscape and make your edible garden a success now and in the future. Our clients bring us their vision, and we find and build a garden structure to suit.
If you dream of tomato plants, rosemary and lettuces all in a row, here are some ideas for where to start with edible gardening.
Beautiful and practical
Edible Gardens don’t have to take the form of a veggie patch. You can scatter edible plants throughout your garden, like small hidden treasures in across the landscape. Edible plants such as red cabbage, nasturtiums and lemon trees look beautiful and can provide pops of colour in an otherwise green outlook. Rosemary can be planted instead of shrubs, and shade-loving herbs thrive under taller trees and fill the space.
Growing food in the Queensland sun
We all know that Queensland summers are hot, so ensure you mulch the area around your edibles, and water regularly. During summer, be prepared to water your herbs and veggies daily if needed! As with any plants, research and choose varieties that are suitable for warmer climates. Where possible, an irrigation system can help automate your watering and ensure your garden stays beautiful, even when you’re busy.
Making the most out of small spaces
We have good news for people with limited garden space – you don’t need a lot of room to grow food. Strawberries, herbs and tomatoes can grow comfortably in pots or smaller areas. A sunny courtyard is an excellent space to grow food, especially if it’s close to your kitchen! In recent years, an expansive selection of dwarf fruit trees has come on the market too, meaning you are spoilt for choice when it comes to small-space options.
Getting started with growing edibles
Never grown edibles before? Here’s a list of easy-to-grow plants, perfect for beginners:
Mint is hardy, delicious and smells great. Pests usually leave mint alone, and it’s not as prone to disease as other plants in the herb family. A frequent watering will keep mint happy in your garden.
Beans are so satisfying to grow because they grow and produce food quickly. A small trellis or a few stakes are all you need to get started. Fertilise your beans regularly to keep them producing!
Lettuce looks beautiful planted in rows, and it’s quick and easy to grow. Plant a new row every couple of weeks to ensure a consistent supply of lettuce for your summer salads.
Create a blank canvas
Whether you’re an advanced green thumb or a veggie garden novice, it helps to have a fresh space to start your edible garden project. Talk to us about creating a blank canvas for your gardening pleasure.