Mirror updated

Lush summer growth for the mirror surround

Coming into its first proper season, lush high summer growth is beginning to merge with this garden mirror. In time, viburnum foliage flanking both sides will obscure the vertical glass edges and the top edge will be wreathed in Madagascan Jasmine (Stephanotis floribunda).

Richly scented Madagascan Jasmine (Stephanotis floribunda) will conceal rear fence & wreath across the top horizontal mirror edge
To avoid reflecting the roof tiles, the mirror is declined from the top and inclined from the left side, to reflect the illusion of another light filled garden space from the house step out view
Mirrors but no smoke …
Lime green textures cool the house view to garden space
Even a small space can be leveraged with the right planting & retractible awning, into a shaded & restful space to come home to every day

Make 2019 be the year your garden transforms into the living refuge you’ve always wanted !! 

Special thanks to Tansi McInerney for generously allowing Paradisus design images of her Mosman garden to be published on Garden Lovers Blog 🙂 Tansi McInerney for Prime Minister.  

Peter Nixon for Paradisus www.peternixon.com.au & 0418 161513 info@peternixon.com.au 

    

Somewhere to be …

Somewhere to be mindless… without thoughts

Have you got somewhere you have to be ? … is probably one of the most often asked questions from others or we ask of ourselves. Usually requires a quick response, wedged between appointments, paying bills and the weekly shop. When applied to our mental heath, slower consideration can bring us to a less clear idea of whether a place exists for us … just ‘to be’.

Gardens are much more than pretty infill of the step out void surrounding dwellings. I believe parts of them can be dedicated to quiet places, that let in the light of an uncluttered peace. This time of year can bring us closer to more frequent mental health breaks in the garden, when its easier to detach in the warm haze of a summer’s evening to the pulsing drone of cicadas, before the ferocity of an impending year carries us off at much faster pace.

Texture patch as meditation

If you’re thinking of making changes in the garden, are grappling with a renovation or even a new build, don’t forget consideration of a meditation space. For you to sit and let go, without the need for planning it. A sort of drop in spot, for a minute or ten or longer … And if this is something you would like to bring into the existing garden now, (well, why not ?), I’d love to help you !  … Enjoy your summer 🙂

Peter Nixon – Paradisus www.peternixon.com.au   0418 161513

Special thanks to Tania & Paul Wilson for generously allowing content of her Paradisus design                  

Inner City lush ..

Lush textures & foliage colours meet ground floor house sight lines

Shady relief from high summer heat.. to enter a place that’s visually cool is what this inner city court garden is all about. Uses Madagascan Felt Plant (Kalanchoe beharensis) with bromeliads (Aechmea comata foreground & Vriesea fillipo-cobergi ‘L’il Phil’ background) with Iresine herbstii left side.    

Hot reflective surfaces and harsh visual ‘bounce back’ from the built environment of the inner city, can make such places hard to find. That’s why we must make our own.

Heroic giant landscape bromeliads (alcantarea) pushing into flower, with companion pentas & ruellia,  Kurrajong (Brachychiton rupestrus with bidwillii X acerifolia ‘Tangerine Bells’ grafted hybrid) right side for future summer shade

Open to the northern from the street end, it’s good to get shady relief from a tree canopy for twin step out spaces from respective Living & Kitchen.

Kurrajong (Brachychiton rupestris trunk with B. bidwillii ‘Little Ripper’ from master hybridiser Brent Verietz at Colours of Eden Nursery)

Beware though, to match vigour to available space or the welcome dappled shade you had in mind might turn into a monstrous maintenance burden that will swamp your small space ! Brachychiton or  Kurrajongs are a beautiful tribe of natives adapted to the wet or dry sub-tropics. Vibrant early summer flowers cover almost leafless branches, followed by a lush canopy just in time for summer shade. Even though a relatively small grower compared to other species, B. bidwillii is made even more compact by grafting its ‘Little Ripper’ or ‘Tangerine Bells’ hybrid onto a QLD Bottle Tree (B. rupestrus) trunk.. 😮 Being winter deciduous, bare stems then also allow weaker, low angled sun to warm your back on days when that’s that’s really appreciated with your Saturday morning cuppa.

Conceal block wall with Grow Cable supported Costa Rican Bow Tie Vine (Dalechampia aristolochiifolia)

Provide a ‘green-back’ for all to read against with a cascading cover of Grow cable supported Costa Rican Bow Tie Vine, that will soon be speckled with rosy mauve metallic flower bracts and your inner city heat refuge is complete.

Costa Rican Bow Tie Vine (Dalechampia aristolochiifolia) flower bract detail

Perhaps your sister, friend you went to primary school with or twenty years long work colleague is facing the exciting but sometimes daunting prospect of home renovation, a new build or just wants to transform a section of the garden that’s been on their ‘to do list’ for longer than they can remember .. ?

Ask them to make contact at info@peternixon.com.au or 0418 161513 or head over to www.peternixon.com.au …. just to have a chat about how all their pain could be taken away and transformed into a daily Paradisus 🙂

Cocktail Court a place to relax

Special thanks to Lindy Ryan for allowing pix of her Paradisus design to be published on Garden Lovers 

  

     

 

        

 

 

  

Xmas Beachy is soon ..

 

Seaside fresh .. Copper Spoons (kalanchoe orgyalis), Coastal Poa (Poa ‘Eskdale’) with Madagascan Felt Plant (Kalanchoe beharensis)

Late December & a beachside Xmas are things that go together for a lot of Australians. A salty marine breeze with the drowsy drone of cicadas, bring on the great exhale. A chance for most of us to turn an undivided attention to beach umbrellas and a glassy clear wave to wash away the years that’s been.

High contrast Opuntia ‘Burbanks Spineless’ in the garden bring year round interest as ‘living sculpture’

Of course, some are lucky enough to live year round, close to the seductive charms of coastal living. This doesn’t mean a sea side garden has to be located close to the ocean to make a marine theme convincing. If a coastal combination pings hard on the must have qualities for a garden you’re thinking about, its just a matter of the right planting to suggest a coastal location to come home to every day.

Carissa macrocarpa ‘Desert Star’ ‘mounds’ separate the 2 step out spaces into the rear garden
Salt textured concrete steppers with sandy coloured oxide

Heat sink winter growing conditions facing north, store warmth and can incline minimum overnight temps higher to above 10 degrees, to encourage a micro climate that can allow for planting from the warmest sub-tropics to excel.

Bauhinia tomentosa a lacy tumble of sulphur yellow summer flowers

    

 

 

  

   

Bauhinia tomentosa sulphur bells
Hamelia patens – Fire Bush is a great nectar feeder attractant
Texture patch of crassula, sedums, stapelia and euphorbia makes an intriguing alfresco dining feature against the appealing roughness of an off form concrete retainer

Make this summer the time you chose to make lasting changes in your garden, to your new build or reno. It could be a ‘sea-side’ garden with plants that will be a pleasure to come home to every day. 

Special thanks to my dear client Tania Wilson, who kindly allowed these pix of her MacMasters Beach Paradisus design to be published in Garden Lovers Blog.

Tania Wilson loves her Paradisus designed garden

Peter Nixon for Paradisus 0418 161513 info@peternixon.com.au 

www.peternixon.com.au                          Consultancy Sequence

Paradisus Instagram

 

 

Pool-side Summertime … !

Pool, deck, ocean .. the more simple the better

Summer days are upon us and as increasing warmth draws us poolside, you might be thinking of the best combination for your setting. Least obstruction to this enticing Balmoral outlook uses frameless glass, with the beauty of plantation hardwood decking and large limestone pave units for the least joins and greatest cohesion across a handsome combination of finishes. 

Lush greenwall planting brings abundance to spare finishes ..

And if every deck meter is precious entertaining space for you, why not consider a greenwall in a ‘Green-band’ horizontal orientation. Can be independently supported behind and above a glass balustrade, bringing soft-cover balance to the built environment without space consuming pots or the high maintenance that comes with them. 

‘Greenband’ greenwalls, for year round screen AND a space saving way of bringing deck interest.

Leverage a foliage colour blast green-band, with deck up-lights for nocturnal glamour while your greenwall does double duty, providing visual buffer to give the deck experience more enclosure without reducing a desirable open sky aspect.

Get pool companion planting enclosure with Viburnum ‘Quick Fence’

Simple textural contrasts in poolside planting can give the greatest impact year round without having to rely on fleeting flowers. Maybe the perfect radial of a Giant Landscape Bromeliad (Alcantarea imperialis ‘Sugar Plum’), against the ultra fine of Ice Sticks (Senecio cylindricus) and backed with a ‘living of fence’ of glossy leaved Viburnum ‘Quick Fence’ (that stays non-transparent unlike the basic V. odouritissimum it come from ..).

Laser cut panels add focus as a foil for lush garden plants to read against

One end of your pools in need of focus ? Enter unframed laser cut panels, that merge and contrast with feature planting, without a harsh frame that would emphasise the panel rather that the planting.

Outdoor showers make a handy and swish convenience

Don’t forget to include an outside shower at the poolside, allows you to make the most of garden life so you can stay longer in your little piece of paradise.

Peter Nixon – Paradisus 

Garden Design – Project Management – Maintenance

Exciting gardens made from plants

0418 161513         info@peternixon.com.au  

Paradisus Garden Design Facebook

Paradisus Garden Lovers Facebook

Peter Nixon Instagram

Mark Paul – Greenwall Company

Rourke Hartwig – Equilibrium Pools  

Mark Hartwig – Amanzi Landscapes  

Geoff Chew – Waves Constructions

Andrew Maitland – M.E. Lighting

… and don’t forget Northern Beaches Botanical Artist Julie Hickson’s new exhibition Nutshell and beautiful hand made art for Xmas gifts (or just a little something for yourself ! )

Wishing everyone and very merry Christmas and Happy New Year !!! 

 

 

    

 

    

    

 

         

 

 

 

 

How to bring interest …

Mirror at mid point across rear fence will provide ‘look-thru’ interest
 

 

Textural contrasts make year round interest without having to rely entirely on seasonal flowers … and if your only view out looks limited, its probably because the entirety is available to the eye all at once. So how to leverage textural interest you ask ..? Garden Mirrors can make interest, especially to ‘view in one’ garden space. Its just a matter of getting the mirror angle right.

I’m really taking about intrigue here and how that can transform limited looking garden space, by creating an illusion to satisfy the viewer’s eye.

Before ‘open book’ dull … how to make interest ?

 

A lot of intrigue relates directly to an effective impeller, to get Peeps to leave the floorpan of their own volition and go outside into the garden, beyond bi-fold or slides doors. A mirror carefully declined from the top and inclined from the left side, appears at first glance to belong to the rear screen planting. Viewed from the left side on approach, the corresponding planting from the right side is reflected back to the viewer.

In time the grow cable supported climber will conceal the fence

Suddenly, it’s clear the mirror’s reflection doesn’t fit with its surround planting. Rather, it now appears as another light filled, walk thru garden space featuring plants different from the rear screen. The conceit is only made convincing once all mirror edges are obscured with planting. Serving this function in the case of this wee Mosman garden, are the screen shrub (Viburnum odouritissimum ‘Quick Fence’) flanking either side of the mirror and the Grow Cable supported climbers  (Stephanotis floribunda) backing it. 

Watch out for another post on this cheeky little duckling garden and how it will further transform into a graceful swan of beguiling charm.      

Spring is just around the corner and now is the perfect time to change the course of your garden for many years to come !! (while protecting your investment at the same time).

Call Garden designer Peter Nixon 0418 161513 to discuss further.

www.peternixon.com.au 

Trace Sunlounge by Tait designed by Adam Goodrum 9310 1333 Tait, 4/9 Danks Street, Waterloo

Felt & Tails Winter Textures

Madagascan Felt Plant, Giant Landscape Bromeliads with Foxtail Asparagus for wintery textures

Foliage colours and Textural contrasts …bring year round interest, especially when cold winter air falls on plants at this time of year making their winter colours show. Alcantarea odorata brings a chalky bloom over its strap leafed rosette, connecting with the sage green living sculpture of Madagascan Felt Plant (Kalanchoe beharensis). Inter-spaces of Foxtail Asparagus (Asparagus meyerii) are filled with bristly lime green tails for sense of arrival at ‘Sea-Changer’s’ garden gate. Flowers may come and go but for  high focus spots as walk-bys in your garden, its best to rely on plants like these that give generously all year sans flowers.. !

Needing a winter fixer-upperer in your garden before spring rush ? Make a call and we’ll have a chat on how to make your garden even better for the coming summer.

LOVE your garden 😮

Peter Nixon – Paradisus 0418 161513       

Climber/Shrub with winter charm ..

Dombeya ianthotricha soft orange July bells
Lax, open habit makes a good espalier

Garden Lovers,

Dombeya ianthotricha the climbing Dombeya, is a relative of hibiscus and now included into the extended Malvaceaemakes a useful if sprawling, small climber/shrub that lends itself as a kind of loose espalier here at ‘Sea-Changer’ or as a short run climber to less than 5 m wide. Delightful in combination with or alternative to camellias, in Sydney’s cool sub-tropics gardens. Makes an open twig work of arching stems bearing light as air, large fury round leaves like rice paper circles that move with the slightest July breeze. Bunches of persimmon coloured, pollen dusted bells dangle on thin strings, making this Madagascan super charming in the mixed shrub border as well. 

A good find for your garden from specialist growers like Wes & Lorraine Vidler at Weslor Nursery  from Plant Fairs like Plant Lovers Fair Kariong, 22nd to 23rd September ’18. If you’re looking forward to a lush high spring come October, now’s the time to get your garden in order with new planting, structural landscaping and other inclusions like led lighting and irrigation. If you’d like to chat about that, please make contact 0418 161513 and together we can make your garden even better !    

3 Winter Sparkles

Schaueria flavicoma – Golden Plume for the lowest level of your shade garden

Hi Garden Lovers, 

Thought I would send 3 of the best this month, to help brighten your winter garden. Not that the cooler time of the year should be dull by a long shot and flowering interest for the June – July period abounds, if you know the plants that will bring a little sparkle. Especially of interest from the super floriferous Acanthaceae  is a small sub-shrub

Schaueria flavicoma     

I first tried this plant thinking if could be rather cool sensitive. Contrary to my suspicions it excels in the cool sub-tropical winter of East Coast Australia and loses condition only in the worst summer heat. It seeds slightly but not enough to be thuggish and has proven itself a tried performer to less than a meter, beneath taller shrubs like iochroma, brugmansia and phymosia in lower light were few others would continue flowering.

Not unlike its close relatives of the justicia tribe, just mix in with other semi-shade lovers like the species Hippeastrum aulicum for lush appeal. If you’re facing challenges in the shade garden at home … even if its impacted upon by emerged bedrock this little sub-shrub is a star performer. Preparation now for the summer garden is perfect timing and if you’re planning to combine with other non-planted inclusions in paving, decks or shade devises please make contact so we can have a chat on how to make your changes sympathetic to your new garden.

See you in the next 2 posts of super interesting plants !!          

Good performers in the May garden .. for you !!

 

Holmskioldia sanguinea lutea – Chartreuse Chinese Hat

Garden Lovers, did you know there’s another interesting near evergreen shrub to brighten the late garden that’s flowering now.. ? For an intriguing fresh chartreuse splash in the May garden, Holmskioldia sanguinea lutea or Gold Chinese Hat from the lower Himalaya & Myanmar is for you ! I’ve used it here in the ‘Sea-Changer’ garden in the Sun Trap plot that receives northern sun all year but it would also tolerate half day sun as a an upright to lax, 2m shrub with a cut after flowers to bring new canes for the following season. 

Gold Chinese Hat combines well with yellow variegated flashed bromeliad (alcantarea)

Just nearby and for combined ‘pop’ at the same time of year, you could use Barlaria cristata ‘Lavander Lace’   as a really useful sub-shrub to around 1.5m with a cloud of pretty, striped, mini trumpets. 

Barleria cristata ‘Lavander Lace’

Soooooo pretty, just as the worst of the heat has passed and we look into the garden for some fresh seasonal change.