Best landscape design
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28 Feb 2018

With outdoor screening, you can add privacy or create a series of inviting garden rooms

Screening can create attractive garden rooms, add more defined spaces to outdoor living areas and make your home more private. Screening also hides unappealing elements, such as air-conditioning units, clothes linesor garden sheds. However, screening outdoor areas is a delicate balancing act. You want togenerate privacy and separate specific areas, but still capture breezes and scenic views all without unnecessarily closing in spaces.


There is a diverse range of garden screening solutions. Some will filter views; others will block them altogether. Some screens are comprised of simple timber slats; others are of metal and feature highly decorative laser-cut patterns, such as the designer screening range from Entanglements.

When choosing screening for your outdoor spaces, the key, according to those in theknow, is to achieve consistency and continuity.

Look at the aesthetics of what you already have and what you plan to do, will vertical or horizontal lines in your screening work with your pavers or style of garden? Will the materials used complement existing features such as decking? Doing your homework can save a lot of heartache in the long run. Some types of screening, such as traditional hardwood screens, will require ongoing maintenance so you have to ask yourself, are you prepared to put the time in to keep them looking great?

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Screening can divide open-plan spaces to create beautiful rooms. The panels can be fixed or freestanding — the latter allows you to move them to make the most of seasonal elements or when you want to change the look of your outdoor spaces.

For a contemporary look, there are steel, aluminium and wood-composite screening panels you can use to divide and define various garden areas. When you want something ornamental, look for metal or pressed hardwood screens featuring laser-cut patterns. When portability is important, there are folding screens that will shield you from the sun and create a cosy nook. Natural timber screening looks fabulous and designers are creating bold new looks. Spotted gum posts placed vertically and fixed at the base at varying heights create an interesting staggered look. For complete privacy, rendered walls offer the ultimate in seclusion. If you want to soften the architectural planes of the wall, add a stylish water feature or pots brimming with colour.


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Of course, what better option is there than a living green screen? The canopies of small to medium trees or a row of hedging plants can make the perfect screen. Before you plant, think about the cultivation aspects — you need to have the right soil and position for the plant’s specific needs. Plant a sun-loving plant in shade and it can become leggy and sparse, making it unsuitable for a hedge. You also need relatively fast growing plants that don’t have intrusive root systems.
There are some Pittosporum varieties and some lilly pilly varieties that suit taller hedges. For smaller (1.5m) hedges, box-leaved privet works well and for flowering hedges, try Camellia sasanqua. Non-clumping bamboo is a popular screening choice, especially in narrow spaces (such as down the side of the house), urban settings and gardens of Asian or tropical design.



Bamboo pole screens are a popular option.These will gently wear to blend in with the earthy look of a garden and they work particularly well in Balinese-, tropical- and resort-style gardens. Bamboo screens can hide bins, utility areas and pool equipment.
They can act as a backdrop for a work of art or fountain or they can be used as privacy barriers. And if you want to dress up a dull fence, just attach bamboo panels.
To vary the look, the screens can be installed with the poles running in a vertical position or on the horizontal — or a mix of both. Screening panels are available in various widths and heights; also various colours depending on the bamboo used and the finishing coat of lacquer.
Bamboo screens are eco-friendly and, in many cases, harder than wood. Because of this, the screens can withstand the effects of weather exposure and they are termite- resistant, which is a big plus. If you like a natural look, reed screening is another good choice for native, rustic or tropical style
gardens. It can be used as a standalone or built-in screen, or as cladding.


Can’t decide on the style of screen you like?
Tap into your artistic self and get those creative juices flowing. A shabby door in need of a lick of paint, a rustic mirror recovered from a recycling centre, or an old window frame can all make beautiful and unusual screens. So, too, can old aluminium screen doors or wrought iron balustrades.
Branches can be stacked and ‘woven’ between uprights to form a natural and very eclectic screen or leaves collected between vertical panels of fine wire mesh. Or water running between two framed glass panels can make for a stunning water feature that can double as a decorative screen.
And be artistic in how you use your screens.
You might like to place screens so that all your garden’s wonders aren’t revealed at once. If people sense something is “hiding around the corner” it will entice them further into your garden. Screens can also be used to create children’s play areas, they can be used as decorative climbing frames for plants and they can be attached to walls like a piece of art.


The strength of steel is one of its most appealing traits for use as outdoor screening. Able to withstand the harshness of outside conditions, steel is non-combustible and termite-proof, guaranteeing the screen’s staying power.
Steel screens make an excellent artistic statement, work well as trellises for climbing plants or garden walls, and can be used to disguise functional garden spaces such as utility areas.
Modern laser-cutting techniques allow steel to be manipulated into patterns in a variety of appealing designs, or you can have custom-made panels that reflect your individual flair. There are a number of finishes that can be applied to steel to achieve the desired decorative effect, including powder-coating and painting. One of the most popular contemporary choices for steel panels is Corten steel, which has a rust-like patina.

steel corten screens

Also read: Lets go with  the flow with a Water feature.

25 Feb 2018

Garden project for a surprising and idyllic secret garden design

The owners wanted a secret and surprising garden to complete the expansion of their terraced house.

They needed a space for lunch, but also a secluded and hidden corner for reading and meditation. The garden also had the bond of neighboring houses, and needed effective shielding for a large shed and for the outdoor unit of the air conditioner.

In the final project, which uses limited colors and materials to unify the space, the garden is partially divided to create a space sense of mystery: it is in fact impossible to embrace it all at once with the look.

The focal points are located at the bottom of the paths, to guide the visitor through the garden.

Garden project for a surprising and idyllic secret garden design
1  Table 2 – Pool 3 –  Areas of vegetable garden and aromatic herbs Gear shed 4 – Moden statue – 5 – Pergola 6 – Sauna 7 – Grindstone fountain  – Patio 8 – Trees 9- Stone Floor 10 – Stone Floor With Green Grass 11 – Tree / hedge to create privacy

An open and sunny dining area near the house contrasts with a smaller, shaded space, located about halfway up the garden, and also with the service area at the end, well shielded by grates.

The flooring materials contrast in the finish but not in the color, which is instead unitary: slabs of cement honed against granite tiles with a rough surface.

The vegetation follows a theme of complementarity of texture and color, in shades of green. Intertwined linden hedges provide shielding from neighboring houses, while Betula utilis var. jacquemontii and Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Umbraculifera’ provide height and privacy, and miscanti, fatsie, hoste and Rheum palmatum work at the plot level.

Flourishing with spaces for leisure and relaxation, the garden brings together hard and soft elements in harmonious fashion.
Those entering the garden from the home’s rear living area are greeted by the cascading water of the water feature spilling down from the raised pool above.

As one is drawn further into the garden, drama is created by the contrasting hard and soft elements.

To one side, lush green lawn-rls up toward the tennis court beyond. To the other, bluestone steps ascend past the water feature.

At night the space enjoys a quiet ambiance, with lighting attentively arranged to showcase the garden’s features and create a soft mood. As a result, this backyard can be enjoyed at any time of the day or night.
Creatively finding ways in which the space around you can interact with and compliment your intervention.

DIMENSIONS 22 x 6.5 m (143 sm)



DISTINCTIVE TRACES comfortable contemporary space

LOCATION Landscape design Doha

TEAM Landscape designer Doha

Also read: Garden project: One space, two different ideas!

21 Feb 2018

Garden project: One space, two different ideas!

Most properties have a corner or alleyway where absolutely nothing will grow – like th is long , narrow space in a reader’s garden.

It ets hot afternoon sun but a section of it also gets lots of shade because of a tree on the adjacent property.
In addition, the soil is hard and barren, and the vibracrete wall, as well as the neighbour’s Wendy house behind it, are unsightly. We propose two graden project solutions!

Example of garden project number 1: For the kids


When your kids are little, an entertainment area near the stoep is ideal so you can keep an eye on them while they play.

Place a table and chairs at the top of the garden and build or place a bench against the vibracrete wall; add a structure over the seating area and plant a star jasmine or climbing rose to conceal it. Cover the rest of the boundary wall with granadilla, star jasmine and tickey creeper.

Use good quality artificial grass for the entire area. It will be able to handle lots of little feet and it will create a green area that requires no water or maintenance.

Kids love a sandpit and jungle gym with a swing. Place them as close as possible to the boundary wall to create a larger play area.

Plant lemon and other citrus trees; trim them regularly to fit the space. Build planter boxes for more planting space and fill them with good soil.

Make sure the boxes against the house are watertight so they don’t create damp problems inside your house. Fill them with your favourite flowers, herbs and veggies.

Remove the pavers around the existing pomegranate and plant roses and perennials to create a cheerful flowerbed.

Frame these beds with Echeveria hybrids.

Garden plan 1 | The elements: 1 Star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) and tickey creeper (Ficus pumila) for a trellis, 2 Bench with star jasmine or climbing rose, 3 Lemon trees (Citrus limon ‘Eureka’), 4 Jungle gym and sandpit (Playground area), 5 Artificial lawn, 6 Low walls with raised planters for flowers, herbs and veggies of the homeowners’ choice, 7 Any other citrus or fruit trees, 8 Granadilla (Passiflora edulis), 9 Gazebo, 10 Flowerbeds with roses, garden, heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens ‘Royal Marine’) and gaura (Oenothera lindheimeri ‘Pink Butterfly’), 11 Echeveria hybrids to frame the flowerbeds, 12 Pompon tree (Dais cotinifolia)

Garden project - For the kids - solution 2 - The elements

Example of garden project number 2: Invite your friends over!


The existing stoep on the side of the house is too small to entertain properly.

We recommend that the stoep be extended into this narrow strip to provide more space for socialising.

For the sake of continuity, he suggests that the homeowners use the same surface as the existing floor for the new section of the stoep.

A pergola is the perfect solution for providing shade.

Plant a deciduous creeper, such as a grapevine, a climbing rose or wisteria to cover the structure – this ensures shade in summer and a lovely sunny spot in winter.

Hang a pretty chandelier on the pergola to give it character, or hook up solar- powered Consol jars for lighting.

With a built-in bench – consider mosaic for the backrest – and freestanding chairs, this stoep will be the perfect place to hang out!
Add a small water feature next to the vibracrete wall.

This will immediately draw the eye and the sound of water will enhance an atmosphere of tranquillity.
Place latte or trellises all along the vibracrete walls as a support for climbers.
The plants will not only cover the unsightly wall but also provide privacy – if the structure is raised above the height of the wall, it will also hide the Wendy house.


Steps lead you from the stoep down to the next level.

Pave this section with square pavers or bricks of your choice. Place a table here – just make sure it can withstand wind and the elements.

Plant a lemon tree in each corner of this lower section and trim off the lower branches of the trees to create a planting area for herbs and vegetables underneath.
Keep the trees fairly small and neatly trimmed in keeping with the size of the space.

There is enough sun and light here for these plants to thrive, even though the neighbour’s tree is casting a lot of shade.
Put up metal shelves under the Windows and display terracotta pots filled with succulents.

They need little water and the window garden will soften the long, bare wall of the house.
Remove the paving around the existing pomegranate and plant grass as a play area for the kids in this sunny corner. You can even put up a jungle gym.

Garden project - Invite your friends over! - solution 2

Garden plan 2 | 1 Bench with mosaic backrest 2 Extended stoep and pergola with Grape (Vitis vinifera) or Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) 3 Latte covered with tickey creeper (Ficus pumila), star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) and/or Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) 4 Water feature 5 Lemon trees (Citrus limon ‘Eureka’) with the homeowners’ choice of herbs and veggies beneath 6 Granadilla (Passiflora edulis) 7 Succulents such as Echeveria hybrids for the window garden 8 Jungle gym 9 Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) 10 Gazebo11 Leopard tree (Caesalpinia ferrea) 12 Sandpit

Garden project - Example of garden project number 2 Invite your friends over - solution 2 - The elements a



DISTINCTIVE SEATS garden project for the famaly

LOCATION Landscape design Abu Dhabi

TEAM Landscape architect Abu Dhabi

Also read: Understanding a landscape design plan

Garden projects:

A formal garden project

Garden project on a sloping terrain

A simple garden project for the family


18 Feb 2018

A simple garden project for the family

The owners of this garden wished to create a simple space for the whole family, with beautiful plants, a corner for children to play and a large dining area.

It was also important to take into account the new glass extension of the house, which unified the interior with the exterior.

A simple garden project for the family

In this garden project for the family to make the most of the sun, the main dining area has been placed at the opposite end of the house, with a pergola that provides shade to the guests and acts as a support for the wisteria.

The view from the house is that of a long rectangular lawn with a formal look. Olive trees and box spheres are arranged at regular intervals between the luxuriant and exuberant vegetation of perennial grasses, which give structure, scent and color to the edges.

A bench is placed on one side of the garden, in the middle of the vegetation, so that you sit down to watch the children’s play can catch up to the last ray of the evening sun.

A small border of lavender and boxwood fencing the play area, equipped with a swing and a carpet of bark shavings.

All around the garden, a fence made of trellises and support poles guarantees privacy.

Mirrors mounted on the wall amplify the feeling of space under the pergola, where, around the base of a tree, in a corner, a bench has also been inserted.

DIMENSIONS 16 x 10 m (160 sm)


DISTINCTIVE SEATS garden project for the famaly with big dining area and pergola

LOCATION Garden Design Dubai

TEAM Landscape architect Dubai

Garden project for the famaly with child-resistant borders

Many plants react quickly enough to occasional contact with children and their activities; others, however, if continuously tormented end up having such a miserable and battered air to induce you to abandon them permanently.

Therefore, on the borders of the areas most frequented by children, it is better to include relatively robust plants or those able to quickly recover from possible traumas.


Garden project for the famaly with child-resistant borders

1 – Ajuga reptans ‘Pink Surprise’
2 – Alchemilla mollis
3 – Amelanchier lamarckii
4 – Aucuba japonica ‘Picturata’
5 – Buxus sempervirens ‘
6 – Elegantissima ‘Choisya ‘Aztec Pearl’
7 – Corpus alba ‘Sibirica’
8 – Corylus maxima ‘Purpurea’
9 – Cotoneaster x suecicus ‘Coral Beauty’
10 – Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald’ n ‘Gold’

11 – Geranium clarkei ‘Kashmir Purple’
12 – Geum rivale ‘Leonard’s Variety’
13 – Hedera helix ‘Goldchild’
14 – Hemerocallis ‘Stella de Oro’
15 – Lonicera nitida ‘Baggesen’s Gold’
16 – Viburnum davidii
17 – Viburnum tinus
18 – Vinca minor ‘Atropurpurea’


Also read: Playground areas and risk.

14 Feb 2018

Understanding a landscape design plan

When you think about a landscape design, it can be described as the blueprint for an outdoor area. Just like building floor plans, a landscape design visually shows where natural and artificial elements of an outdoor area will be. These elements include grass, tress, water fountains and even systems like irrigation and lighting.

Landscape plans are important when constructing a commercial or home garden. Also, when you need to make repairs or upgrades, the landscape plan is a great reference point to help guide the project in terms of choosing the right materials, making budget plans and selecting contractors.

How to Design a Landscape Plan

 Start with an outline

An outline of the outdoor area to be designed is how mostlandscape design plans start out. Once you have the outline drawn out, you can then add the elements found in an outdoor area to it. Just the area to be developed should be included in the landscape plan. The landscape plan also ensures that the area of focus is clearly defined.

Landscape design plan Create the outline

Include existing elements

Once done with the outline of the outdoor area, you can then add permanent fixtures on the landscape plan. These include rocks, streams, structures, elevations and rock formations. Always use the right annotations, colors or signs for elements on the landscape plan so that anybody can read it without confusion. Also indicate the North compass point which is important when making considerations for sunlight and other factors. Most people also include ground cover where necessary. Indicate which one is used such as grass or asphalt. Visualizing cover on a landscape design can be done by using textures.

Landscape design plan Add existing features

Add new landscape design elements

The next step of the landscape plan is to add all the new elements, both natural and man-made that you want to implement on the new area. These include driveways, walking trails, stairs, furniture and plants. Other proposed installations can also be included in the landscape plan to see how they fit with the existing elements.

Landscape design plan Add new landscape design elements

Also read: Playground areas and risk.