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30 Dec 2017

Lets go with the flow with a Water feature

According to the ancient Chinese art of feng shui, flowing water brings with it health, happiness bring the beneficial and harmonious sound of running water to your garden is with a water feature. A well-placed water feature can also become a garden focal point.
Water features add texture and form which is continually changing, and they appeal to all our senses. A water feature can be integrated with an abstract sculpture, mounted on a wall, be part of a swimming pool — or it can be a standalone garden feature.
Water features can be made from a range of materials — natural stone, glass, glass-reinforced concrete, pre-cast concrete, steel or copper — and either pre-fabricated or constructed on site.

WORLD OF CHOICE FOR WATER FEATURE

You have a wealth of water feature options to choose between, including:
• Water walls: Typically, this involves a steady stream flowing down a facade into a hidden reservoir or pool where the water it is then reticulated. Another option is a rain curtain which creates the illusion of falling rain.
• Waterfalls and fountains: Sheer-descent waterfalls look fabulous flowing directly into
a swimming pool. Standalone fountains, whether single or multi-tiered, suit formal spaces. Many are sculpted pieces of art that bring beauty and sound into the garden.
• Water spouts and taps: Arcs of water cascading into a pool or reservoir from a wall are one of the original types of water features from the early Roman era. For a modern twist, stainless-steel spouts combined with a rendered wall can look great.
• Water bowls, pots and urns: Sometimes understated looks best — perhaps a water bowl as a table centrepiece or an urn placed near an outdoor lounge. Even a simple birdbath connects you to water and nature.
• Unique pieces: For something to become a water feature, it need only be watertight and allow water to flow thorough or around it. Preloved kettles, barrels and even wine bottles can be cleverly fashioned into water features, or have one custom designed.

EXPERT TIPS

  • Determine your water feature’s purpose. Is it to screen out noise? To add ambience to an alfresco area? To add a playful element to your pool?
  • Keep in mind that the water feature should harmonise with the overall style, colour scheme and materials used in your garden. And it should complement the design of your home.
  • Don’t make the mistake of buying a feature you like and then look for somewhere to put it. Plan where you’d like to position it first as this will influence the size and style you choose.
  • Consult with a water feature or landscape design expert. They can offer guidance on what’s available to suit your budget and offer advice on pumps, filters and water quality issues.

water feature introduces an air of elegant simplicity.

SOOTHING SOUNDS

Water features can flow, trickle, stream, bubble or arc, creating a varied symphony of sound. The height of the falling water, rate of flow, and whether the water is falling directly into the water or onto something else like rocks, dictates the sound it makes.
Ideally, it should be easy on the ear and not too noisy as it might drown out conversation.
The flow of the water should evoke feelings of serenity similar to the relaxing sounds of the
gentle pitter patter of raindrops on a roof or waves rolling into the shoreline.
Before you commit to a particular water feature, listen carefully to the sound it makes. Is it soothing to the senses or is it a bit jarring? Also see how much water will splash outside the confines of the feature onto grassy areas or tiles.

water feature

PRIME POSITIONING

Aside from the sound and aesthetics, position and proportion are important. A water feature should sit comfortably in the space, not overpower it. The water feature needs to be scaled correctly so it’s not too small and insignificant or too large and dominating.
A well-placed water feature should be able to be enjoyed from many vantage points, including from inside some of the rooms of the home as well as from outdoor entertaining areas. Avoid positioning it in a high wind area or you could get drenched if the water feature is too close to your dining area. And if you don’t want to spend your spare time scooping out leaves, position the water feature away from trees.

ACHIEVING HARMONY

It’s also best if the feature has a relationship to the architecture of the home and the landscape. For traditional or period homes, key components of classic architecture come
to the fore. Fountains with brass taps, bronze elements, masonry and ceramic usually mean there’s an aged component. It’s very different if you were having a conversation about contemporary style — that’s glass and stainless steel. The clean straight lines of steel-framed and pattern-etched glass
or stainless-steel mirrored walls with water flowing down can look very dramatic.
For Eastern-inspired landscapes, bamboo water pipes flowing over rocks or curved ornamental bowls work well, while country-style homes suit cascading rocky water features.

BEING WATER WISE

With precious water a valuable commodity, some homeowners might be concerned that
water features use too much water. It’s a popular misconception. In fact, they use very little. However, if you’re concerned, a pondless or enclosed feature will have less water evaporation.
While water features aren’t maintenance-free,  a dual-pump system (one to run the feature, the other to filter water) reduces ongoing maintenance. The second filtration system runs separately, taking water out of the reservoir and running it through a UV filter and back so the water is turned over
constantly. You’ll also need to top up water levels as needed and skim leaves. What other ongoing maintenance will be needed will depend on the type of feature so check with your supplier.

LIGHTING THE WAY

The soft luminescent glow of lighting is both enticing and inviting and it helps to set the mood. From festive lighting on a pool water feature to get the party started to warm intimate lighting on a wall-mounted feature, there is no shortage of ways to shed some light.
You can highlight a water feature by lighting it from above so the surface of the water sparkles, or below so the play of light and shadows creates movement. Lighting is part of great design. Not to over-illuminate the water feature. The idea is to highlight particular elements of the feature by illuminating them and allowing the rest of it to fade to black.

SOMETHING TO PONDER

A pond creates a calming oasis and brings a garden to life with colour, reflected light and movement. From a simple water bowl planted with miniature lilies to elaborate natural freeform ponds with waterfalls and exotic fish, a pond has universal appeal.
Ponds and even streams are now a much-loved, now we’ve come so far from just having a little hole in the ground down the corner of the backyard. 

A MATTER OF BALANCE

There are many variables that create a healthy pond. With the correct ratio of plants and fish, adequate sunlight and the right pond depth, your pond can naturally evolve into a healthy ecosystem. They key here is balancing the elements. Fish forage for food, their waste is consumed by bacteria, which converts into nutrients for plants to grow and the cycle continues.
If your pond is in a sunny location, aim for 60-70 per cm water coverage with plants such as water lilies, as too much direct sunlight can promote green algae and cause other water quality issues. Your pond also needs to be situated where it won’t be subject to soil or fertiliser run off, which can adversely affect water quality. But with the right location and a healthy ecosystem, a natural pond can bring countless hours of pleasure.


Also read: Garden design and plants: Lavender will add a luxuriant touch and scent to your garden next spring.

23 Dec 2017

Garden design and plants: Lavender will add a luxuriant touch and scent to your garden next spring

Spring is the perfect time for lavender. Use of the herb dates back more than 2000 years and historically it has been used in mummification, perfumery, cooking and bathing. In fact, it’s believed the name lavender comes from the Latin word lavare, which means to wash.

Because of its popularity, lavender most likely spread throughout Europe during the early years of colonisation and trading. It is now common in the Mediterranean region and grows wild in many areas.

Spanish lavender (Lavender pedunculata) and its hybrids are tough, drought-hardy perennials that thrive on dry, sloping sites. They also love sandy conditions and are salt-tolerant. This lavender type is not suitable for cooking but great for gardens, cut flowers and potpourri.

Spanish lavender (Lavender pedunculata) garden design

They come in many different colours.Lavender Sensation Blue (L. pedunculata ‘Senblu’ PBR) and Sensation Rose (L. pedunculata ‘Senros’ PBR) are both forms of Spanish lavender.

They are well suited for use as low, colourful borders. They are both low maintenance and drought-tolerant once established, and full of flowers to attract bees, butterflies and birds to your garden. A recent breeding breakthrough has resulted in a new range of Spanish lavender that has enormous double flower heads.

French lavender (Lavender dentata) is also tough and drought-hardy. It is generally more long-lived in the garden, but has a limited colour range. The common colour is lavender-blue. There are white forms but they often burn in our Australian sun. As with their Spanish cousins, they are also not suitable for cooking but are great for gardens, cut flowers and potpourri. One popular variety that is very tolerant of heat and humidity is Lavender Superfrench (L. dentata ‘Parfren’).

French lavender is at its best in spring, but will continue to flower all year round.

French lavender (Lavender dentata)

English lavender (Lavender angustifolia) is more commonly known and used in the cooler regions as it generally does not like hot, humid conditions. It is almost deciduous, meaning it can lose a lot of its leaves and look a bit ugly during the winter months. It will flush with new leaves in spring and can make a stunning flower show in summer. This is the lavender that is most commonly used in cooking and perfumery, but individual varieties have different chemical characteristics, so always seek advice before using in cooking.

English lavender (Lavender angustifolia)

All lavenders contain fragrant essential oils and when planted strategically, will release a beautiful perfume when anyone brushes past them. The flowers can be harvested for potpourri or cut-flower displays. Although lavender is tolerant of very dry conditions, best results are obtained from mulching well and regular watering. Most are well suited to growing in tubs or pots.


Also read: Modern garden furniture | Garden design: How to design with plants.

References: Wikipedia Lavandula or Lavander

You can visit also our home page: Best Landscape design

16 Dec 2017

Modern garden furniture

The modern garden is characterized by a primitive formalism and a rigorous geometric arrangement of furnishing and decoration elements.

In an exterior area characterized by a modern design, there must be no well-defined lines, controlled geometries and strict, minimal spaces that blend perfectly the sobriety of the modern with the futuristic look of a well-designed lighting for every corner and furnishing elements .

In a modern garden, the spaces are outlined by sinuous lines, ready to extend the home, where nature, light, rhythm, art, science and technology all converge.

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How to decorate a modern garden

The first step to decorating a modern garden is to choose the style of furnishing.

Contemporary garden furniture items
The purchase of furniture must take account of the exposure to the atmospheric agents, which is why they should be chosen in water-repellent materials.

Materials to choose from outdoor furnishings include: aluminum alloys, stainless steel, iron, cast iron, wood, marble, wicker, rattan, polypropylene and pvc.

Umbrellas, Gazebo, Curtains and Sails for the Garden

Choosing an umbrella, a gazebo, and a sail for your garden is essential to having the right sun protection during daytime and evening humidity.

The right cover allows you to have maximum comfort and functionality as well as being aesthetically of great effect.

Also for the choice of the cover it is imperative to make sure it is weather resistant, and therefore waterproof, if you want to use it even during rainy days.

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Vases and flower boxes for modern gardens

The architecture of homes of contemporary art requires inexorably an exterior environment that reflects lines and essential shapes that emphasize planar walls, almost mathematical elements and informal vegetation.

You can indulge your imagination with pots, flower boxes, and lots of other garden furniture items.

Modern garden colors

Choosing the right colors is indispensable to recreating a modern environment characterized by a certain rigor.

Then it is in shades such as white, beige, brown, olive green, but also black and also color spots (such as yellow, red, orange, etc).

Also read: How to Decorate a Garden: Useful Tips.

09 Dec 2017

How to Decorate a Garden: Useful Tips

Having a nice garden, well-kept and furnished, though small in size, is so much of a home.

And to decorate with a taste a garden just really little!

In fact, once you have chosen the style, you need to buy the indispensable furnishing items to house friends and relatives in a cozy and functional environment.

Garden design: How to decorate a garden?

1. Have a table with chairs; to prefer those in weatherproof materials such as synthetic rattan so that they can leave the furniture in the garden even in winter.

2. It is important to have good coverage (sail, gazzao, umbrella, etc) for the evening hours (to protect yourself from moisture) and during the sunshine (to have a shaded area). Our advice is to choose reclosable versions to better manage the spaces.

3. Use a good lighting system (which allows for soft light, for romantic evenings, and live light for festive evenings!);

4. If the garden is characterized by the greater grass areas, it would be useful to construct a platform for access to and living the living area;

5. Decorating a garden does not mean buying a table with 4 chairs and an umbrella, but you have to give it your own style, your own impression, and above all through the objects (pots, cushions, curtains, candles, fruits, etc …). We recommend reading the guide: arrange and decorate the table in the garden;

6. In a garden that respects, you can not miss the barbecue, the undisputed protagonist of outdoor parties. And for those who have no space problems a great idea would be the realization of an outdoor kitchen.

7. Remember that it is important to have a fountain in the garden, mainly for irrigation. Obviously, if you have the possibility, you can also create a comfortable external shower, which will be useful during the torrid summer.

8. If, then, you are among the luckiest and have enough space and money, do not miss a chance to dive into the pool! In this case also think of a dedicated furniture, which is mainly made of water-repellent material.

9. For those who have children at home do not forget to devote them to a cozy and safe play area.

10. And for those who want to devote part of their garden to direct cultivation, we recommend creating a space dedicated to the equipment.


Also read: Garden design: Illuminate the garden.

02 Dec 2017

Garden design: Illuminate the garden

One important aspect in garden design is the illumination. With the arrival of summer, what’s better than spending time in the open air, under starlit skies, letting it be pervaded by dreamy atmospheres? 

In this scenario, the lighting of outdoor spaces certainly plays a fundamental role. 

Properly designing garden lighting is indispensable to enhance its appearance and enrich your moments of conviviality with elegant and sophisticated scenery. 

In addition to its aesthetic importance, garden lighting plays a key role in home security.

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How to illuminate the garden: guide

Illuminating the garden in the correct way is equivalent to enhancing the spaces and exalting its shades, through scenic effects of lights and shadows.

Basically there are two types of exterior lighting in garden design: the first one is functional, the second is scenographic.

FUNCTIONAL LIGHTING

Functional lighting is the kind of lighting needed to make space safe and livable in the evening.

 An example? Because they are well visible to everyone, it is important to properly illuminate the paths, as well as the patio, the pool, the gazebo, the entrance door threshold, and all the living areas of the garden.

Typically for light-type lighting, lighting installations that use LED technology are preferred, thus offering the ideal solution to maximize space with limited power consumption.

SCENOGRAPHY LIGHTING

The scenic lighting is the kind of lighting that substantially highlights the elements (trees, fountains, walls) through a play of lights and shadows to give rise to suggestive atmospheres.

But it is also scenic the lighting obtained from the luminous furnishings, such as vases, tables, chairs, sculptures.

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Lighting systems in garden design

In the choice of lighting systems, lamps with a soft, diffused, never direct (dazzling) light should be preferred. 

There are various and varied media to choose for outdoor lighting: from spotlights to streetlights, from jars to solar arrays, from spotlights to street lamps. 

Surely creativity will be the key weapon to recreate suggestive settings.

One of the latest novelties is the management of lighting systems by home automation.

 Being able to control the lights comfortably seated from their own sofa, or remotely, allows you to build special scenarios with lights on / off. A valued way to illuminate the garden is to choose solar lighting systems that involve a remarkable energy saving.

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Garden design: Hot or Cold Light?

A question that everyone puts on: what light tone choose to illuminate the exterior?

There are essentially two tones of light, the cold white (5400-6500 ° K) and the warm white (<3300 ° K), and different intensities.

Choosing the color of bulbs depends essentially on people’s taste.

Trendy for gardens featuring a modern design, cold lighting is preferred; Conversely, for traditional gardens, hot lighting is preferred.

But more and more often, gardens are designed where hot tones are mixed with the cold ones.

Do not forget a whole new range of bright effects that create unique atmospheres.


Also read: Garden Design: The Typical Residential Sites.