Courtyard Gardens

Posted by | Courtyard Garden, Garden Design, Succulents, Vertical Garden | No Comments

Succelents

In a small courtyard style garden, bringing together the functional properties without cluttering the limited space can be a challenge. Here are a few design considerations that may help maintain the important sense of spaciousness, ambiance and calm that can make your small garden a relaxing haven from the business of everyday life.

Using the vertical planes for planting is a great move in a limited, walled space. It maintains the ‘space’ while providing you with the essential ‘green effect’ – for relaxation and rejuvenation. You can install simple espalier frames of Boston Ivy or go all out with a complex vertical wall of succulents, herbs or a rainforest wall of lush lilies, begonias, ferns and bromeliads. Green walls have the added ‘green benefit’ of absorbing reflected heat and cooling us down in the summer season.

Vertical planting also provides the element of texture and colour as the construction elements of the small courtyard garden should be kept simple and clean – large pavers add a sense of space, large wall mounted mirrors also contribute to the sense of space and serve the dual purpose of directing light and brightening shady spaces.

When considering the hard landscaping elements – the bones of the garden – delineate the functional spaces within your courtyard with internal walls, benches and planting etc. that are long and low on the vertical plane; allowing you to layout the area in a practical way without fragmenting and cluttering the overall space.

Choose your materials carefully; smooth textures and a consistent colour palette will create an uninterrupted visual flow that can make a small space appear more generous; match the existing building, pavers, retaining walls, timber and gravel.

The ‘borrowed landscape’ is an opportunity often over looked in small gardens; beyond your borders, neighboring views, trees etc. can become an essential element of your own garden adding ambiance and greenery. Consider the heights & material density of walls and fences, use screening plants and external windows, all without compromising your sense of privacy.

Japanese Garden Design

Posted by | Garden Design, Japanese Garden, Landscape Advice | No Comments

Japanese Garden 2smJapanese Gardens are part of the great tradition of landscape design. Did you know there are five basic styles of Japanese Gardens? Each highly stylized, they all have a specific theme and purpose and use plants and objects as symbols.

Chisen-shoy?-teien or pond gardens

Influenced by Chinese garden design, the ponds represent the seas and the hills symbolize the islands. Traditionally Chisen-shoy?-teien are large gardens but can be recreated on a smaller scale. Typically the garden features artificial hills contoured around a pond, a waterfall, and an island while carefully placed rocks also play a leading role. Other architectural elements of the garden are wooden bridges, stone lanterns, a viewing pavilion, the torii or gateway, and a shrine

Roji or tea gardens

Tea gardens were created as part of the traditional tea ceremony which features in traditional Japanese culture. The gardens were designed to be an intimate space for meditation and preparation before participating in the tea ceremony. They included architectural elements such as a water basin for cleansing and benches for resting. In a modern setting, they can be a secluded garden space attached to the home that is entered via a leafy pathway, nestled in dense greenery that provides quiet relief from busy lives.

Kaiy?-shiki-teien or promenade gardens

Promenade gardens were built to play on the existing natural elements of a larger landscape including mountains, forests, watercourses, lakes and oceans. The gardens were formed around a network of walkways; playful but highly controlled they concealed and revealed the views and highlights to visitors at precise points for maximum impact, to delight and surprise.

Tsubo-niwa or courtyard gardens

As they name suggests, courtyard gardens are tiny walled gardens located within or adjacent to a residence or building. Originally intended to be viewed rather than inhabited, the little gardens were ornamented with lanterns, basins, stepping-stones and plants. Modern Japanese courtyard gardens offer the all the pleasure and relaxation of a small garden within a home; they are meant to be used and enjoyed.

Japanese Garden 1sm

 Karesansui, Zen or dry rock gardens

Simple, modern and architectural, originally used to define sacred spaces, modern Karesansui or Zen gardens are familiar to all. Using fine pebbles, stones and sand they are garden for quiet contemplation and reflection. Perfect for small spaces, they can encompass a whole site or be a feature within. The pebbles, stones and sand are raked ritually into shapes that represent nature; water, hills and mountains and are interspersed with carefully positioned rocks and stepping-stones.

Which of the five styles appeals to you? Talk to Simon about your garden or courtyard and see how any of the elements from the five styles could be married in a beautiful, relaxing, peaceful Japanese inspired retreat.

 

Gardening in Winter?

Posted by | Landscape Advice, Winter | No Comments

Gardening in winter

Not too cold for some…

Winter in Melbourne can be cold and gloomy and we are all happiest snug inside our warm homes…the last thing we are thinking about is our gardens and outdoor areas…however, there are a few reasons why winter is a fantastic time to consider revamping your outdoor spaces… Read More

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