A design project can be something very simple or indeed very complicated and although there are many specialist landscape designers available it is something that is very rewarding to do yourself. A garden is something that evolves so there is plenty of opportunity to change it if it doesn’t quite turn out the way you envisaged.
Having 15 acres to play with gives me the freedom to design different areas for different activities. We try to develop these areas using materials that are either recycled or available on the property.
The basic design elements of landscape design are colour; form; line; texture and scale. Incorporating these elements into your design will enable you to plan a garden area that will be both beautiful and practical.
This area previously had a chicken coup which Peter had demolished not long after we arrived.
The area had been levelled and cut into the slope. Once the area was cleared I started thinking about what I would like to do here.
I decided that because of the location, soil and sun that it would be an ideal area to plant our few olive trees and turn it into the area for us to indulge our hobby of croquet.
The plan was to build a raised bed in front of the “cut-in” of the slope and plant a row of olive trees on the side facing the house. And of course to turf the majority of the area to make it the ideal surface for a game of croquet.
I call this area our Olive Grove, hoping that one day the trees will be a major part of defining this space.
We intend to use these trees for fruit and oil, however we will need to be very patient.
As you can see they are still quite small and will need about 5 years before they will be fruiting.
Over a number of months I collected rocks to build the raised garden bed and started filling it with soil and rock that had been removed when building the steps. This started giving the area form and I could start to picture what it would eventually look like.
I still haven’t completed the planting in this raised bed however I do know that it will be filled with a combination of Westringia, Grevillea and Dianella. These shrubs will grow to a height of 1-2 metres shielding the cut away at the back of the bed.
The steps were made from recycled timber sleepers, they are very sturdy and don’t succumb easily to the termites.
As you can see from the picture it is a reasonably steep slope from the path to the “Olive Grove” and without the steps very difficult to access.
I plan to keep this area around the steps as natural as possible with native grass, eucalypts and some local shrubs. In this way I hope the new area will come as a surprise once you walk up the steps.
Although this area is still very much a work in progress we have now had some turf laid which has really brought the two garden beds to life. I can’t wait to see what it looks like in another year.