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).
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.
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .. ?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ..).
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.
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.
Apartment living is here to stay and as many choose the lower maintenance option this lifestyle brings, interesting challenges are being met with innovative and sustainable outcomes for the ‘garden in the sky’.
So you’ve decided to leave the expense of a high maintenance family home for apartment living. Ok, well while there are going to be some adjustments to be made now you’re ‘living in the sky’, you’ve probably noticed a big change from a garden growing on terra-firma as a ground dweller. While its lovely not having to worry about gutters and rising damp, unrelieved hard surface surrounding your every moment might be a little jarring to get get used to ….
What to do to trade off some of that unyielding hard surface for lush green cover .. to bring back balance in a living surround.. ?
Combination Greenwalls with Eco Pillow runs are the new frontier in transformation of the built environment. Super water efficient with their own irrigation system and drip trays, 2m x 1m panels cover majority vertical spaces in ‘portrait’ orientation and are extended across horizontal expanses using 800 x 400mm Eco Pillows end to end in ‘landscape’ orientation.
Once reliable water is connected, the impact of high exposure aspects from the 4th floor and much higher, can be made sustainable with a fertiliser injector for easy nutrition to a vast band width of plant selection adaptable from epiphytic and lithophytic habitats. A myriad of various bromeliads from aechaea, neoregelia, vriesea, canistropsis, canistrum and even the Giant Landscape species alcantarea. These can form a majority planting space at uppermost reaches for the most sun tolerance, with native hoya australis on grow supports to extend cover to higher horizontal hard surface. Progressively self shaded, the lower reaches are best for a mix of foliage contrasts as understory in peperomia, plectranthus, begonias, streptocarpus, epiphyllum and ferns to take up lower position micro climates.
Growing media comprises a majority of inorganic component parts that won’t disintegrate, leaving plants in ‘root block’ depletion and susceptible to predation with nothing to grow in after the first year. Instead available pore space is kept above an acceptable minimum, so your Greenwall has a beautifully long life expectancy. Maintenance is built into your installation contract and can be arranged after the initial grow in period.
Why live in a hard surface environment closer to the polar bear exhibit at the zoo, when you could frame the view, back the bathroom or grow a wreath of rich contrasts just where you need it most !
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dombeya ianthotricha the climbing Dombeya, is a relative of hibiscus and now included into the extended Malvaceae, makes 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 !
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
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 !!