Best landscape design
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21 May 2018


A lot has been said about how the look of a garden or landscape could make or mar the valuation of a property. But very little has been said about how landscape architects can make gardens and landscapes heal the soul and mind with their garden designs. A garden could serve as a center point for relaxation, meditation etc. No wonder, the Ancients held a lot of religious rites and rituals in gardens. Some say you get closer to nature and to your creator in a garden. The senses come to live in a well-tended garden. Imagine yourself lazing away, soaking your skin in a lovely swimming pool. Assaulting your nostrils with the exotic smell of flowers and sensitizing your taste buds with juicy salads prepared from plants in your garden.



When you want to examine the importance of energy in an outdoor living area, a good place to start from is by taking a look at the core principles of Feng Shui. They are water and wind. Water is great for calming people. It can make healing faster, it can improve the overall physical health, and it is good for regulating the blood pressure. This is one reason why some landscape designers try so much to add water features to their landscape designs. Some even add large water features that serve as focal points or main points of attractions. These large water features include waterfalls, cascading ponds and fountains.

To implement a large water feature in a garden design, a landscape architect must consider the cost involved, the layout of the landscape and the overall size of the landscape. The water feature must fit in nicely with the whole garden else it risks becoming a nuisance instead of a beauty. For excellent jobs, a water feature should be designed and constructed by an experienced landscape designer. They must not be made hastily. They must be carefully customized to match with the garden.


The most popular water feature in gardens is a swimming pool. Finding a large house without a swimming pool is rare. With a swimming pool, one can relax in the calm water and exercise the limbs and heart by swimming laps in it. Swimming pools also serve to attract birds. The sound of the water has a special soothing nature, and it creates a nice ambience in a garden. Before building a swimming pool, some factors have to be considered. The size, depth, color, filtration system and others must be considered. Blue swimming pools are a favorite, but you can’t go wrong with black and white swimming pools.

A black swimming pool will look elegant and classy. It will also serve as a great place for reflection or freeing one’s mind of thoughts. A white swimming pool looks inviting and will serve to remind one of a beachfront. It recreates the feelings of nature and unsoiled beauty. White swimming pools reflect the sky above further enhancing their calming effect.

When selecting a filtration system, you can’t go wrong with mineral filtration systems. Mineral systems contain magnesium which is a vital mineral for the body. It helps to regulate the sleeping patterns and improve the general health. The use of a mineral filtration system won’t affect the color of the water. The water will feel softer on your body and your eyes, hair and skin will feel much nicer. Mineral filtration systems are not as expensive as you may think they are. They are cost-effective, easy to maintain and more conducive to the environment.


Apart from the water features, the flowers and plants in a garden also serve the purpose of tantalizing one’s senses. Textured plants like banksias and lamb’s ears are prime examples. They appeal to the senses, and they create a nice atmosphere in a garden. For lovely natural scents in a garden, a landscape architect can use sweet smelling flowers like honey-scented white flowers, jasmine, port wine magnolias, gardenia and sweet alyssum. You can cut off a leaf, keep it in your pocket and immerse yourself in the scent anytime you wish.


Plants in a garden are also great for healing and tending to one’s health. You can’t go wrong with aloe vera and eucalyptus. Eucalyptus can be planted in normal gardens and pots. Aloe vera can also be planted in naturally in gardens and in pots.

Herb gardens and veggie patches are perfect for tantalizing your taste buds while they still give off lovely scents at the same time. Herbs can be integrated into traditional landscape designs, and they can also be grown in balconies, atriums and rooftop gardens. To prepare a veggie patch, all you need is a small patch of land with good soil.

Herbs and vegetables can also be grown in little vegetable boxes from local retailers. Plants like lettuce, peas, kale, tomatoes, spinach and others can be planted. These gardens satisfy your senses of taste, touch, sight and smell.

If you don’t have a lot of space for veggies in your garden design, you can make use of planter boxes and pots. There you can grow ginseng, stevia, mint, thyme, basil, rosemary etc.

You will enjoy eating what you grow in your garden and you will also enjoy the cultivation process. Gardening is a good way to relax your body and take your mind off other matters. It is quite refreshing to plant something little, tend it, watch it grow and finally see it blossom.


For those that love hearing good vibes, a well-tended garden might just be the next place for you to enjoy your jams. You can attract birds, bees and other insects that will produce the sounds of nature and make you enjoy your garden better. Plants like palms, bottlebrush and banksias will do well to attract birds and insects. You can grow various types of plants that blossom in various seasons so that you can enjoy them all through the year. For even better results, you should consider getting nesting boxes and bird baths so you can attract birds to your garden.



14 Mar 2018

TYPES OF GARDENS: Productive garden design

In history, there were two major types of productive gardens, at the low end, we had the cottage gardens and some small areas of private gardens where produce was grown to complement food sources and also as a hobby. On the high end, we had large Victorian gardens with massive walls that supplied vegetables, fruits and flowers for parties and events.

Productive garden design

The Victorians really invested in productive gardens although this kind of garden did not originate from them. In France, Renaissance gardens produced decorative produce in potagers which are classy parterres. The word ‘potagers’ is still used today to refer to lovely productive gardens. The gardens of abbeys in the Medieval era had little vegetable and herb beds with a little decorative gardening involved.

During the Second World War, there was a Dig For Victory campaign that increased the rate at which homegrown vegetables and fruits were harvested. But food supplies increased after the war and this effort died down. But there has been an increased awareness on the desirability of organic produce and productive gardens are slowly making a comeback.

Productive garden designs include an orderly layout consisting of geometric beds that include paths for maintenance and easy access. The materials used differ, but most of them are strictly utilitarian. They include brick pathways, concrete slabs and compacted earth. Greenhouses and cold frames are used to protect plants that aren’t that strong and for plants still at infancy level. The types of plants changes per season but bushes and fruit trees are usually grown all year round.

Herbs that tend to spread round can be controlled by the use of low box hedges. Irrigation water is also used as a decorative element in such gardens.

Productive gardens contain a functional surface and layout creating a large sense of order. In history, there has been physic gardens and monastic gardens that are divided into various geometric beds filled with medicinal and culinary vegetables and herbs along with taller plants like rose and bay tree that are planted as a point of focus.

The attractive and practical designs are still being used today. Concrete, stone and brick are used to make the pathways. Pathways are usually wide and they can accommodate wheelbarrows and they provide a lot of space for one to work on the beds. Hedging is provided by timber and dwarf box hedging. The best productive garden designs have beautiful rows of plants, well-arranged pathways and lovely interplanting of crops making them visually appealing as a garden and productive endeavors that produce healthy food.


In the last hundreds of years, productive planting was just an alternative that was kept at one section of a major garden to give trees, flowers and plants a nice home. But, people now realize that productive gardens are great for growing healthy food and they also save money by growing expensive and unavailable food like redcurrants.

To manage productive gardens well, their garden design needs to be well planned. The flower beds must be planted with various crops every year so the soil won’t get weakened. Garden designers can also use cold frames and greenhouses so the planting season can be extended. For a more flowery feel in the garden, dahlias, nasturtiums, lavender hedging and other ornamental plants can be grown.

Instead of using box hedging, dwarf apples and other fruit trees can be used to create divisions between different areas of the garden. There could also be training along wires to create beautiful screens that accommodate both fruits and flowers along with a nice architectural framework for the winter season.

Productive garden design 2


This garden design involves the crops in rows creating a rectilinear pattern that is visually appealing. Clipped hedging and runner beans support can be used to enclose various sections and the garden can be made more colorful with the addition of lavender and dahlias.


Modern productive gardens have their root in the walled kitchen gardens of large country houses. The wealthy people in the Victorian era showcased their wealth by serving their guests with rare household produce. The gardens were also a source of food for the entire household.

The garden design saw the crops being laid out in geometric beds arranged in boxes and separated by gravel, ash and beaten earth paths. South facing walls that radiated heat were used as anchor points where tender fruit trees were planted. The fruit trees were positioned this way to protect them from hard frosts. Soft fruits were planted under netted frames to protect them from birds.

The garden design saw greenhouses being incorporated into the wall structure to accommodate early crops and tender crops like apricots and peaches.


Obelisks, trellis and other ornamental features can be used in the garden design to create rhythm and height in the garden. They also provide support for sweet peas, runner eans and other climbers.



Raised beds are used to make drainages better and create a sense of order. The raised beds had an increased height of 1m or 3 ft. giving disabled people better access to their gardens.



Pathways are a minimum of 1m or 3 ft. wide so that movement within the garden can be easy. Gravel, bricks, stone slabs and other hard surfaces are perfect as they can withstand everyday use.



Plant pots and terra-cotta rhubarb forcers provide practical decoration in the productive garden. There can be arches for cordons and patterned pebble or brick paths to provide additional decoration in the garden.



Planting of crops should be in rows so they can be well cared for and harvested easily. It also helps to keep good records. The spaces will also make it easy to remove weeds. The geometric garden design of crops in rows makes the garden unique.


Also read: The right approach to create a Perfect garden design.

07 Mar 2018

The right approach to create a Perfect garden design

Follow the rules
When you’re making any major changes to your garden, there’s one important guideline to consider – if in doubt about planning, check. One of the most common issues is removal of trees. If you want to cut one back or remove it, ask your local tree officer if it’s covered by a tree preservation order (TPO). If you’re in a conservation area they will be protected and you’ll need permission to fell or prune them. Front gardens have more restrictions than rear ones. For example, fences along a path or road are limited to a height of one metre without planning permission. Elsewhere, the boundary between you and your next-door neighbour can’t be higher than two metres. It’s always worth talking to your neighbours before commencing work to ensure good relations.
Finally, new houses often have covenants limiting what you can do, from putting up features to planting against a neighbour’s wall, so it’s worth checking it out before making a start.

Fix on finance

Having a budget really helps to focus the mind. Gardens, like any building work, can eat up housands of pounds. ‘Remember that it doesn’t all have to be done at once; staging the revamp can help to make it seem more do-able,’.But whatever job you decide to do first, always have a contingency of 5-10 per cent, just in case!

Wants and needs for a perfect garden design

When planning your job, it’s always best to begin with the simple question: What do I want? Maybe seating… If so, for how many people? Does it need to look good from the house? Perhaps you want
somewhere to store things to keep it tidy. Or do you need to create an area that’s safe and
appealing for children? ‘When you’re thinking about your priorities, be as specific as possible and you’ll limit and define exactly what you need to do. The clearer you are about what you want, the better the result will be.

Gather inspiration

Search through pictures in magazines, books and the internet for ideas. Pinterest is a great source and you can make your own boards of images that you like. Once you have a good selection, examine them closely so you’re able to identify two things – the overall theme and then the details. There will probably be some random choices, but are they mainly country or modern in style, dark
or light, cluttered or pared back? And then really focus in on the specifics. Take a close look at the materials, the shapes, the lighting and colours.
Flooring options
Careful detailing really makes a difference. If you’re creating a sitting area, think about both the look and the cost of paving – the price of the material itself and the cost of manpower to prepare the ground and lay it. Smoothand symmetrical paving looks more modern than riven, random shapes and patterns. Natural materials such as stone and timber work better in gardens than porcelain tiles and will look good over a longer period.
‘It pays to get the best quality materials as they have to last year after year. But it’s worth the investment. If you get the garden right, you’ll have an additional room to your house to enjoy. If paving is too expensive, consider gravel. Again, the details are important – gravel comes in different sizes, colours and shapes. Too big and it’s difficult to walk on, too small and it travels everywhere. Too dark and it will look dowdy, too pale and it doesn’t look real.

Zone in
Often the revamp will boil down to creating different areas in the garden, such as a place to sit, or a place for children to play. Make sure each space is large enough for the activity it will be hosting. A dining area, for example, will need to be big enough so that chairs can be pushed back from the table; a swing or slide for children will need a long clear area. Get hold of the dimensions of the tables, chairs or play equipment before you start work and mark them out on the ground to make sure you get it right.
Set the boundaries
These spaces would often benefit from being enclosed with plants such as shrubs or bamboos. However, a quicker way to divide the garden into different areas is to put up trellis screens.
Think about what sort of trellis to use. Consider the style of your surroundings; does your quaint country cottage call for something traditional such as diagonal trellis? Or perhaps your super-modern new-build requires something a little more contemporary, such as slatted panels.

Clear the clutter
Often a reason for gardens getting messy is lack of storage, so think about putting in a shed
that will work well in your space. It doesn’t have to be an eyesore to hide away. Some can
be beautiful given the right treatment. Give yours a lick of paint to complement your garden and this will extend its life too.
Add shelving inside to really get organised and make the most of your space.
Light your way
The key with lighting is Always to focus on what is being lit rather than the light itself. So light a tree, skim a wall,highlight a feature.
Draw attention to new elements you’ve included in the garden by lighting them up – whether it’s a water feature or a line of pots. Solar lighting is getting better but often the best time for garden lighting is on dull winter afternoons, and for that you’ll need conventional power. It’s always advisable to use a qualified electrician to install this.
Safety first
As children grow up you don’t need to worry quite so much about safety, but whatever their age, having standing water is a worry. Even if it’s very shallow it’s best to fence water off or put a sturdy grill at surface level. Another consideration in gardens is what material to use beneath play equipment: grass will wear out quickly; bark chippings will get kicked about.
Rubber tiles, mulch or bonded rubber are other options for safer landings. 
Essential extras
Don’t forget the finishing touches – pots, water features and ornaments. These can help draw the eye to a far corner of the garden, bring a sitting area to life and give structure. Always try to use them for a purpose, so three or five pots in a line will break up a wall and give a repeated pattern. A water feature next to a sitting area will visually give a reason for the seat to be there. An ornament at the end of a path acts as a view stopper, to prevent the lines of the path just fading away.

Top tips on how to create some magic in tiny spaces:

  • Stick to pale colours for plants, paint and furnishings to bounce light around the garden
  • Avoid using small plants or materials. Larger paving stones, for example, will help to give a cleaner look
  • Try to make sure walls or fences look the same or work together so the space feels coherent and not cluttered

Also read: Adromischus (Crassulaceae).

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.