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Anyone really bored - designing garden ideas

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#1 Guest_atelier_*

Posted 09 February 2009 - 02:47 PM

Just wondering if anyone is really bored and likes to give out garden design ideas.

I hate my garden, we attempted to make a start on some of it and then i let it go both times i was pregnant so it is horrible.  It is a largish area and i need some design ideas for a simple and cheapish garden that looks nice.

I have some pics if anyone is interested and has some spare time.

#2 Amanda_R

Posted 09 February 2009 - 03:19 PM

Show us some pics and I'm sure you'll get heaps of ideas.  Seeing the space is always so much better than trying to picture it in your head from a description.

Upload them and link them here!

Amanda original.gif

#3 Guest_atelier_*

Posted 09 February 2009 - 03:46 PM

Here are a couple of pics

Front Side
Other front side adjoining driveway
Opposite side of driveway
Back to right of path to garden shed
Back to left of path to garden shed
Back side adjoins to right of path to garden shed

Edited by atelier, 09 February 2009 - 03:46 PM.

#4 beabea

Posted 09 February 2009 - 05:21 PM

Wow, yes, quite a blank canvas.  What sort of thing are you after?  Eg do you want lawn for playtimes, or more of an all-plants-all-the-time feel?

#5 Guest_atelier_*

Posted 09 February 2009 - 05:40 PM

Beabea - We are on stage 3 water restrictions so cannot have any lawn. Otherwise i don't know anything about plants etc but plants would need hardy.

Sorry i really am not alot of help which is why i need help  ph34r.gif

#6 Sal78

Posted 09 February 2009 - 05:48 PM

r u sure u can't have lawn...it takes a few days to water in but then usually it will kinda of die until it rains and then grow back. We never watered our new lawn and it died and grew back and now it's ok.

otherwise it might be quite an expensive project. I think the split level bit where the shed is would look nice mulched with big boulder rocks and plants....you can put down a path using different coloured river gravel  through the mulch.

#7 Jembo

Posted 09 February 2009 - 07:03 PM

From the looks of things with the gum trees it is a bit of a bush area, so I would go with that and do a bit of a native theme - definately no lawn out the front.

I will sneak up and take a pic of our neighbours, it looks great.  Basically they have used limestone blocks (smaller ones) to create some garden beds - one in the middle with a path around it and a garden bed around that - will see if I can draw it.  In the middle one, you could put some black boys, kangaroo paws, bit of bambino bogenvialla (sorry sp?) for a bit of colour, and some grass varietys, there are many around.

Around the oustide other natives, such as grevellia etc.  The key I find with natives is to keep them trimmed, it stops them getting so scraggly and looking over grown and untidy.  It does mean a bit of work, but really there aren't too many plants you can bung in and leave without at least giving them a trim every so often.

Then you could put small pea gravel around the beds you have created to form a path.

The back, if you can't have a small lawn patch, I would look at creating an entertaining area with pavers or decking, or as a cheaper option, slabs and gravel (will show you what we have done with an area of ours really cheap).  Then create some garden beds again and plant with natives, try and put some colour in amongst the natives in levels - ie larger shrubs an bushes at the back, lower at the front with some colour.

For cheap options on doing garden beds, see if you can get railway sleepers - we got ours all for free, we just had to collect them, you may be able to pick up rocks yourself - hard work, but costs nothing.

#8 Jembo

Posted 09 February 2009 - 07:32 PM

Here are some pics, bear in mind ours is still very much a work in progress as we have a large block and started from scratch.

This is what we did cheap under our clothesline.  It is just coloured concrete slabs, and blue metal, we have lily pillie on the sides to screen our fence

This area contains a path up to an area under a Jacaranda tree, all the plants in their aside from roses don't need much water (I love my roses, so put them in).  We have railway sleepers bordering until we can afford limestone walls.  It has a variety of grasses in there as well, as greveillia, after dark, some day lillies I think it is and some other things, frangepani trees - all don't get watered often and have survived

#9 Banana Pancakes

Posted 09 February 2009 - 07:44 PM

Jembo, your garden is beautiful!

#10 beabea

Posted 09 February 2009 - 10:00 PM

Wow, Jembo!  And yes, the natives are a good choice as they're used to the climate.  Remember though that Australian plants come from all over Australia, so you do have to double-check that they'll work in your particular area.  (Likewise, some non-native plants will come from similar climates in other countries - don't ask me for details, Jembo is way ahead of my gardening skills!)

You're going to be spending some money and doing some work anyway - have you considered putting in a rainwater tank?  You could use it for the garden but also plumb it into the laundry etc?  Also get your hands on some greywater recycling to keep things from getting so dead (just a simple hose from the laundry might do, depending on your setup)?  Any council rebates for those sorts of things available in your area?

#11 Sal78

Posted 10 February 2009 - 04:41 AM

this is really easy to do. dh and I spent an afternoon doing an area of about 7m x3m a few weekends ago. It would be easier for you as your place is a blank canvas. We laid ours on top of grass.

It's quite pricey but does end up way cheaper than concreting and concrete pavers. With concrete pavers, the ground has to be completely flat and level, involves heavy lifting, cement mixing and very time consuming.

all we did was get all the materials, laid down tarp, poked holes for water flow, laid the decks out (just clicks on at the corners) and the filled the areas around it with pebbles. I designe dthe layout on paper first.

We bought the timber from freedom 1m x1m (4 squares) for $52 each..it was jan specials. Normally $80+ Project cost about $700. have to apply 2 coats of decking oil.

It's expensive but you could do a small sitting area, use it as paths, strategically put them around your garden using coloured gravels as paths etc. depends on your budget. You have quite a lot of yard so would need a lot of gravel, I think at least 5 cubic metres and depending on the gravel, prices can range from $120 to $220 per 3m.

For mature plants, check out the sunday markets. so much cheaper than nurseries and bunnings.

Edited by Sal78, 10 February 2009 - 04:47 AM.

#12 Guest_atelier_*

Posted 10 February 2009 - 10:34 AM

Wow Jembo and Sal your gardens look great.

Jembo where did you get the railway sleepers from?

Beabea - I was thinking about getting a water tank alot of houses in this area are installing them. I have just found there is a rebate here of $150 for a tank of 600 litres or greater and and additional $150 if connected for toilet flushing.

We are in Vic in a semi rural area so yes our yard does have alot of gum trees especially at the very front of the yard that we are not allowed to remove.

Thanks for the names of some plants and also the photos it helps heaps, every time i walk into a nursery i stand there looking dumbfounded by all the different types.

#13 Jembo

Posted 10 February 2009 - 04:51 PM

With concrete pavers, the ground has to be completely flat and level, involves heavy lifting, cement mixing and very time consuming.

You don't have to cement concrete pavers in at all, the gound does need to be level, but will have to for anything you do original.gif.  The large blocks were $3 a block I think it was original.gif.  Ours have been down for nearly 2 years and haven't moved.

atelier - lilrope I think it is called is a fabulous grass like plant, it is quite soft and does really well.  I am north of Perth so hot, dry and dusty, and have this everywhere, looks fabulous and is very hardy here.  You can see it here in front of the yuccas.

Ask for plants at your nursery, that is what they are there for, and they can show you the more hardy drought tolerant ones, so at least you are looking at ones more suited to where you are.  Nuseries where the plants are outside are better (not like Bunnings etc where they are kept in the shade and watered heaps), as plants are more likely to already be suited the climate you are in.   Also look at what your neighbours have and is growing and look for those plants, that way you know they already do alright where you are.

Jembo where did you get the railway sleepers from?

The railway line were we are was pulled up and they were in a big pile for burning, my DP is a truck driver so knew who carted them, so we got in contact with her had them.  Think we took about 4 trailer loads in the end.

I think you can sometimes find them in salvage yards or some garden centres have a similar thing.  For us they are only temporary until we can afford put put more limestone walls about.

#14 SqueakyPeanut

Posted 11 February 2009 - 08:42 AM

You don't have to cement concrete pavers in at all, the gound does need to be level, but will have to for anything you do . The large blocks were $3 a block I think it was . Ours have been down for nearly 2 years and haven't moved.

Jembo - I really like your concrete pavers.  We are just trying to decide between pavers / concrete / deck.  That looks like an affordable option.  Where would we get them from?

#15 Jembo

Posted 11 February 2009 - 11:35 AM

Jembo - I really like your concrete pavers. We are just trying to decide between pavers / concrete / deck. That looks like an affordable option. Where would we get them from?

We got them from Readymix Concrete.  You will find too anywhere that sells limestone blocks and all that will also sell them.  Here they have a choice of colours (not just that boring concrete colour - red, black or a cream colour), it is just coloured concrete.

One thing to keep in mind is cause it is smooth concrete when wet it can be slippery so I wouldn't use in a large area where kids will be running about.

Also have a look at Litewall from Midland Brick to do retaining walls or garden beds.  We did ours out the front with this, and it is heaps cheaper than other things, and because you don't need to cement it in, was something I did, plus the bricks arent heavy.


Most of our garden has been done on a tight budget.  We have such a large block we have to.  I also use lots of plants I can split and use elsewhere to save money, so I can do mass plantings - ie moses in a cradle, society garlic etc.

Edited by Jembo, 11 February 2009 - 11:37 AM.

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