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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

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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 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.


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.

25 Nov 2017

Garden Design: The Typical Residential Sites

Landscape architects that work on garden design plans for residential houses have three major factors to consider. They are the home, the site and the client. Every client, site and home is unique in its own way and none is the same as another. Every client has his/her own lifestyle, characteristics, habits, wishes and desires. Every site has its own vegetation, topography, view, site condition etc. Every home is also unique because it has its own decoration, architecture, furniture, floor plan, accessory etc.

The site that surrounds a home is a very important factor to be considered when creating a garden design plan. It serves various aesthetic, utilitarian and psychological functions for residents, visitors, passersby and neighbors. 

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People view the architecture of a home through the site that surrounds the home. The residential site also serves numerous purposes for outdoor living. Eating, sunbathing, cooking, relaxation, reading, socializing, gardening and other activities are carried out on the residential site. The residential site showcases the attitude and personalities of the homeowners towards their environments. The residential site also offers a safe harbor from the pressures and routines of daily events. When someone is at the outdoor residential site, the person can enjoy the fragrance of flowers in the garden, the sound of birds and the lovely sight of beautiful trees that can also be seen in garden design pictures. All these will serenade the mind with lovely feelings and thoughts. 

It is important that a landscape designer must create a garden design considering various factors delicately so that the residential site serves its purpose in the residential environment. Before creating a garden design plan for a residential site, there are various things to be determined. The residential area must meet a particular standard. It must look attractive and provide visual pleasures for the mind and the eye. The residential area must provide a nice setting for the house. It must also serve as a place where people can relax from the rigors of the day.

If you check for garden designs online and examine small garden design pictures, you will see that each garden design is customized to fit the residential site of each home. There must be an analysis of the backyards, front yards and side yards. The architectural design and style of the home must also be considered. The landscape designer must create garden design plans that blend the home and the site together. They must complement each other like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

The Archetypal Residential Site

The typical residential site has a lot of similarities with that of other houses around. Every neighborhood has a recurring style that is prevalent in houses in the neighborhood. Most houses are one- or two-story buildings with a large lawn and various plants. The house is usually in the middle of the site, so there will be backyards, front yards and side yards surrounding the house.

The front yard is the most visible part of a residential site. Most of the front yard is occupied by a lawn that is usually well manicured. Then there is usually a driveway to the side of the residential site. In arid areas of the USA, the front yard is usually covered with trees that cover various parts of the yard. There can also be a row of plants that extend along the entire base of the house. Broad-leaved and coniferous evergreens are usually planted around the house providing a wall of green all year long.  Then there is usually a walkway from the driveway to the front door of the house.

The backyard is usually the most private and varied part of a residential site. In western parts of the USA, the backyard is usually surrounded by fences, plantings and walls. This makes the backyard more private than other parts of the residential site. In the midwestern and eastern parts of the USA, the backyard is usually open. So, one may not know where different properties end or begin. These kinds of backyards have very little privacy. For most residential sites, the backyard is usually more utilized than the front yard for various activities. There could be an outdoor terrace, work space, open lawn and a simple garden design. Outdoor activities are usually carried out in the backyard. In some areas, the backyard is hardly used by the residents. It is just a piece of space that must be maintained so it won’t look unkempt.

At the left and right side of the house, we have side yards that hardly serve any purpose except to access the back and front of the house. You will hardly find anything in the side yards except for air conditioners, scattered paintings, heat pumps and objects like trailers, wood and other items that can’t be stored in the basement or garage.

The explanation given above is not exactly what you will find at every residential site, but it is what is common to so many places around the United States. Whether it is California, New England, New Orleans or Texas, the average residential site bears similarities to what has been described. Each region has variations in the selection of materials, attitudes towards the style and use of a residential site, construction techniques and other things. But no matter the variations, there are still some similarities in terms of functions, appearance and organization of residential sites all around the United States.

The backyard is often referred to as private space. The front yard is often referred to as public space while the side yards are not thought of as space.

The Front yard

The front yard of a home serves two major functions.

(a)  It is the area for gaining entrance into the home.

(b)  It is the area by which the house is viewed from the street.

To make the home look attractive to outsiders, the front yard is usually given the best garden design. It is usually the most attractive space in a residential site. Visitors and guests to a house usually arrive at the front yard. The first impression of the house is usually gleaned from the front yard.

 Also read: What to Expect as a Landscape Architect.