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.

18 Nov 2017

Vertical Garden Design Styles

The massive rural to urban migration has seen more people stay in apartments and backyards. A lot of people want to have their own garden designs but there is a lack of necessary space. Vertical gardens are the perfect fit for those that want to create a garden in a place with limited space. Some vertical gardens are attached to walls, fences and other structures while some are freestanding. There are various types, styles and kits that can be used along with other things like drip feeders and watering systems that will give your vertical garden the right amount of moisture needed.

 You could also come up with your own vertical garden design with objects like pallets, bottles and pots in any outdoor space you have.

Anything that can be grown in a pot or container garden can be grown in a vertical garden. But vertical gardens are typically designed for large plants. When creating a vertical garden design, you must consider the sunlight in a certain area. The plants must receive a certain amount of sunlight daily. This will give them enough photosynthesis that will last them even when they are in the shade.

Vertical garden garden design


Vertical gardens could be pots, pockets or pods. Some are interlocking modular designs while some are individual segments. Pots are also great. Pots are inexpensive so they can be replaced more easily than felt pockets. They are also more water effective than felt pockets. Pots have various qualities. It is advisable to avoid pots that are too small. Do not use pots that are too small for your plants. A plant needs a pot space of at least 100ml so there will be adequate space for the roots to hold firmly.


Planting materials for a vertical garden need to be free-draining and lightweight. The soil could be a light mix substrate mixture of perlite, potting mix and vermiculite with a little amount of organic matter added. A light mix substrate allows plants to take root very quickly. The biodiversity of the soil and the water that passes through the nutrients allows plants to grow well. Fish emulsion concentrate and seaweed concentrate can be used as a nutrient boost for the plants. The nutrient boost can be applied weekly or every two weeks. To ensure that plants get the right amount of water, an irrigation system could be setup. The irrigation system could also have a timer. This way, your plants will be getting water regularly and you don’t need to spend so much time watering them. If you water plants in a vertical garden by hand, the watering must be done regularly because vertical gardens dry out faster than other gardens.


Vertical gardens look more attractive when they are filled out. You can experiment as much as you wish and swap out plants anyhow you want. You could have a vertical garden design with pots and have along extra pots with plants growing in there that you can swap easily. The following combination of plants can be grown in your vertical garden:

  • Softer planting: These include nandina, varieties of small ferns, philodendrons and liriope
  • Arid or rocky gardens: You can plant succulent plants here like Sedum, Rhipsalis and Senecio
  • Edible Gardens: These include herbs and leafy greens.

 the secret for perfect Vertical garden design


Vertical gardens are perfect for growing vegetables. You can grow basil, strawberries, salad veggies and other kinds of plants. You can make your vertical garden design your source of fresh vegetables. Vegetables will help you spot pests easily in a vertical garden. They also save space and won’t require you to spend much time on your knees. When planting vegetables, it is advisable that you plant the right pairs so you can get rid of garden pests and invite the right kind of insects. Pairs like borage and comfrey, nasturtium and marigold are perfect. These kinds of combinations bring in positive insects in a vertical garden design.


You can have espaliered fruit trees in your vertical garden. These look great and they do not take as much space as other kinds of trees. You will also enjoy the fruits they produce. Espaliering involves training the branches of a tree and clipping them so they grow in the right direction. The trees should be grown against a flat surface like a fence line or along a driveway to define the space of a driveway or green the space. Trees like pears, apples, kaffir lime, oranges, olives, lemons and others can be planted.


Apart from pods and pots, plants can also be grown on trellises in a vertical garden. There are some vegetables that are vines like snow peas and beans. You just need to tame them along a trellis that is fixed to the wall. The trellis should be positioned in sunny areas. The trellis should also be secured to the fence or the ground. The additional weight of the vegetables needs a strong framework.

vertical garden design 2


Water is very important for any garden. You can buy some vertical DIY garden products in the market that come with their own inbuilt watering system so you do not have to go through any stress in watering the garden. The watering system is usually at the back plate of the panel. The panels can be extended vertically or horizontally. In the panel system, there will be a dripper that waters every pot individually so the amount of water to each pot can be controlled. Some systems come with a tap timer so you can manage the water flow to the vertical garden. The rate of watering can be adjusted as needed. For small pots, a short one or two-minute water cycle is perfect. You can also buy mobile kits that can be moved from one place to another as needed.

vertical garden design 3


If you have limited space for a garden, a vertical garden is perfect for you. A vertical garden will block strong winds and bring the outdoors closer. It will also block unattractive views and give you the privacy that you desire. It will bring you texture, color and delicate fragrance to a balcony or outdoor courtyard. It is advisable that you go with a simple garden design that won’t overcrowd the space. You can also select plants that will withstand the effects of the shade, hot sun and winds depending on their position.

When creating a vertical garden design, you can come up with numerous creative designs. You can use hanging glass terrarium planters that will look beautiful with succulent plants. You can hang these planters in a row at several heights. You can also use a vertical garden to frame a patio space. You can create a contemporary garden with metal pots on a metal frame. With succulents in a frame, you can make an artwork look beautiful. Packing crates can be repackaged as you wish for a creative look. Vertical gardens are getting more and more popular and people are coming up with so many creative vertical garden designs.

Also read: Hiring a landscape architect for your new garden.