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Innovative people and their amazing outdoor spaces





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Editor April Ossington Email Designer Michaela Primiano Sub-Editor Michelle Segal

Sales Manager: Miriam Keen Mobile: 0414 969 693 Email: Advertising Art Director Martha Rubazewicz Advertising Production Ian Cassel Publisher Janice Williams Subscriptions & Mail Orders Phone: 1300 303 414 Cover Photo Garden Design Apex Landscapes Photography Jenna Fahey-White

editor's note ike many metropolitan cities around the world, Sydney is facing the challenges of an increasing population. Rising property prices mean a substantial number of people can’t afford to buy houses and so for many, apartment living is the norm — not just for single people and couples, but families as well. This is unfortunate for those who have always dreamed of having a backyard to call their own, but it’s not all doom and gloom. It’s still very possible to create a flourishing garden on your balcony, but there is another way to satisfy your green thumb if you live in an apartment. An increasing number of communities around Sydney are turning patches of vacant land into community gardens where residents can grow their own produce. In Designer Gardens this issue, we visit the Kurraba Point Community Garden on Sydney’s lower North Shore. This amazing collaborative garden even overlooks spectacular Sydney Harbour. We also take a tour of an outstanding rooftop garden in Melbourne’s Mount Waverley. The company’s brief was to take an ugly, disused roof space and transform it into something that would not only be stunning to look at, but encourage staff to head outside and get some fresh air before they went back to work. If you live in a high-density area and a community garden is out of the question, there are plenty of other ways to get the most out of the space you have available. For example, our Vertical Gardens Guide will help you turn a spare wall into living art. In This Weekend, Holman Industries introduces us to its extensive vertical garden range. Here you can find a vertical garden to suit any backyard. In our brand-new section, Snapshot, we take a quick peek into some inspiring backyards around the country. In line with our theme of space saving this issue, we visit a trendy Melbourne property with a hidden and unexpected rooftop garden that is brimming with edibles. It’s a little warmer, the birds are chirping, the sun is out and butterflies are gracing our gardens once again. Spring has sprung! In The Makers, we celebrate with a springinspired line-up of beautiful gardens. Later on in Yard Shop, you can learn all about the different types of mushrooms as well as how to make your own skincare from things you find in your very own garden. Happy reading.


April Ossington Editor


Chairman/CEO Prema Perera Publisher Janice Williams Chief Financial Officer Vicky Mahadeva Associate Publisher Emma Perera Finance & Administration Manager James Perera Circulation Director Mark Darton Creative Director Kate Podger Editorial & Production Manager Anastasia Casey Marketing & Acquisitions Manager Chelsea Peters Backyard is published by Universal Magazines, Unit 5, 6–8 Byfield Street, North Ryde NSW 2113. Phone: (02) 9805 0399, Fax: (02) 9805 0714. Melbourne office: Suite 4, Level 1, 150 Albert Road, South Melbourne Vic 3025. Phone: (03) 9694 6444, Fax: (03) 9699 7890. Printed by KHL Printing Co Pte Ltd, Singapore. Distributed by Gordon and Gotch, Australia. Singapore & Malaysia Distributor: Carkit (F.E.) Pte Ltd, 1 Charlton Lane, #01-02, Singapore 539631, Phone: +65 6282 1960, Fax: +65 6382 3021, Website: www.carkitfe. com. This magazine may have some content that is advertorial or promotional in nature. This book is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission. Enquiries should be addressed to the publishers. The publishers believe all the information supplied in this book to be correct at the time of printing. They are not, however, in a position to make a guarantee to this effect and accept no liability in the event of any information proving inaccurate. Prices, addresses and phone numbers were, after investigation and to the best of our knowledge and belief, up to date at the time of printing, but the shifting sands of time may change them in some cases. It is not possible for the publishers to ensure that advertisements which appear in this publication comply with the Trade Practices Act, 1974. The responsibility must therefore be on the person, company or advertising agency submitting the advertisements for publication. While every endeavour has been made to ensure complete accuracy, the publishers cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Environmental statement: This magazine is printed on paper produced in a mill which meets Certified Environmental Management System ISO4001 since 1995 and EMAS since 1996. Please pass on or recycle this magazine. * Recommended retail price ISSN 1448-5001 Copyright © Universal Magazines MMXVII ACN 003 026 944 We are a member of


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WWWPARADISEPLANTSCOMAU Lavish4- Rose & Lavish4- Musk


more exciting new colours in the range coming soon

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Urban abundance A permaculture garden in the heart of suburbia Beyond the back fence A garden that’s not just a pretty face





From the rooftops An outstanding commercial rooftop garden Inner-city sustainable A courtyard that uses recycled materials Community spirit A beautiful harbourside community garden Match made in heaven This space has exceeded expectations



No fuss This small, modern garden is a busy family’s dream Less is more Bigger isn’t necessarily better in this backyard


Living the dream Create a little slice of heaven in your backyard


Growing up All you need to know about vertical gardens

12 MAKERS Spring Fling Flowers, pastel colours, chooks and more

“We know the benefits of a beautiful garden for our homes, but what about at work?” 34 YARD SHOP 104 The magic of mushrooms Get to know your fungi today 110 Sticky business Protect your citrus plants from scale 112 Totally rad Grow some radish in your veggie patch 114 Garden to skin The answer to good skin might be in your backyard

WEEKEND PROJECTS 117 Go bush Make a bushman’s table and chairs for your garden


Space for living Innovative outdoor living ideas 30 Snapshot A quick look at some inspiring backyards around Australia 88 This weekend Products for weekend projects 122 Backyard stuff Tools, screening, furniture and more 130 Index of advertisers


120 GROW Our Cup of Tea Grow some chamomile in your garden

FOLLOW US BackyardGardenDesignIdeasMagazine outdoor-living

don't miss a beat Keep in touch to keep up-to-date

BUDDY UP In Australia, we’re blessed to have some of the most diverse wildlife in the world. More than 90 per cent of our plant species, 89 per cent of our marsupials, 87 per cent of our mammals and 45 per cent of our birds are found only in Australia. Unfortunately we also have the worst record for vascular plant and mammal extinctions in the world. Backyard Buddies — an environmental education initiative spearheaded by the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife (FNPW) — may well play a significant part in creating a solution. Backyard Buddies is a free community environment initiative that raises awareness and provides information on native plants and animals that are likely to be seen in urban environments. Backyard Buddies has just launched its brand-new website to commemorate 10 years of operating; it provides fun, simple ways of engaging with and conserving Australia’s native flora and fauna.

SUN’S OUT At this year’s Milan Design Week, Sunbrella presented an artistic installation called “Connexions” by French photographer and artist Charles Pétillon at Super Studio Design. The installation was more than 4.2m tall and made up of 10 majestic balloons linked together and covered with the latest Sunbrella textiles. The structure was transported and photographed in various indoor and outdoor spaces to contextualise and magnify these cuttingedge textiles. A result of the brand’s origins in developing textiles for marine activities, Sunbrella fabrics are the go-to choice for outdoor furnishings due to their durability and superior sun protection.

WATER SMART The Skydrop intelligent, smart-controlled watering system uses intuitive, cuttingedge technology and saves money on water bills by cutting water usage by 50 per cent, while keeping lawns and gardens in top condition. Skydrop operates via Wi-Fi and allows you to easily set up zones and manage sprinklers from a computer or smartphone. You can control up to 16 zones at a time, with settings for soil type, plant type and sprinkler type, plus shade, slope angle and more. The system allows you to customise watering settings by zone, adjusting watering frequency and duration to respond to each zone’s specific conditions. Real-time data, drawn from up to 2000 weather stations across Australia, helps to forecast exactly when to water. By watering each zone separately and only when required, the system ensures water use is significantly reduced. “Skydrop is ideal for areas in Australia where there are water restrictions, so you can simply enter what days and times you’re allowed to water and Skydrop will adjust your water schedule automatically,” says Reece Irrigation business manager, Rob Nadebaum.


Photo: Courtesy of Sikkens


DECKED OUT A recent Master Builders Queensland member survey has found one of the most popular renovations are decks, and 23 per cent of home owners add on a deck or patio. Master Builders Queensland deputy CEO Paul Bidwell says this reflects lifestyle choices. “The deck has become one of the centres of the home and is pivotal to people’s chosen lifestyles,” says Paul. The survey also found that outdoor kitchens are an area of growing demand, becoming more integral to the liveability of a home. To some extent, they are still regarded as a luxury item and are generally one of the first things to go if the budget needs to be reduced. Their size is increasing and their amenity is becoming more sophisticated. Typically, there is a connection to water and electricity for sinks, fridges and rangehoods. Mains gas, good lighting and stone tops are important. The stainless-steel industrial look is in, as are pizza ovens, ideally wood-fired.

PLAYING WITH FIRE Just like the interior of a home, the exterior should also be well designed. “The latest landscape trends reflect a desire to bring the indoors out, creating comfortable landscapes that are both functional and beautiful,” says Adbri Masonry brand ambassador and expert landscaper, Jason Hodges. Fire tables were one of the biggest trends in 2016 to upgrade outdoor living spaces. A premium alternative to the firepit, the table provides warmth and a great centrepiece when you’re entertaining friends and family. In smaller backyards, fire tables are preferred over fireplaces due to their size, affordability and point of difference. To construct a fire table, use concrete masonry retaining wall blocks to create a wall around the turnkey hardware. A block such as Adbri’s AB Courtyard has specialty corner units to save you cutting the block. This block is easy to stack, does not require mortar or glue and gives a great finish. To finish the table, use pavers or a sealed concrete slab for the top.



the Makers Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a time to grow, to stretch your wings, be bold and embrace the new. Put some spring in your step with these inspiring projects

PRETTY PASTELS Nothing says spring more than pretty pastel shades in soft pinks and minty greens. There are shimmering crystal glasses catching the warm spring sunshine to be filled with bubbling pink lemonade, delicious delicate pastries and treats laid out on a soft linen tablecloth to be nibbled and enjoyed. This spring, the picnic is under


a leafy tree adorned with sculpted bunting. The table is decorated with cut-glass vases and bottles with a selection of spring blooms to celebrate the season. Why not have your next springtime get together under the shade of a tree, surrounded by pretty pastel things, yummy sweet treats, a beautiful view and maybe even a glass of sparkling â&#x20AC;&#x201D; or two.


CHICKEN DANCE If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ever thought about keeping chickens before, spring is the perfect time to start. Not only will you have fresh eggs at your fingertips but the humble chook can also be a great pet. Did you know there are certain things that chickens require in order to lay eggs regularly? They may seem simple, but the humble hen is quite

particular about her nesting area and perches and is also sensitive to climate and stress. At Backyard Chicken Coups, they have a range of coups to cater for chickens of all shapes and sizes. The Penthouse chicken coup will have the neighbouring chickens clucking with envy! With its modern design and neutral colour scheme, it looks great in many backyard settings as well.


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FOLLOW THE FLOWERS Spring flowers planted either side of a pathway form a stunning garden vista that is as pretty as a picture. Planting flowers along pathways defines the flow of the pathway, can add colour and fragrance, and creates an inviting journey that appeals to the senses. Choose flowers that are soft and flowing and not too leggy. Avoid those that have thorns or spikes, and also flower species that clump â&#x20AC;&#x201D; they could encroach on the pathway. As the weather warms up, water the flowers along the pathway regularly to keep them looking beautiful.



SOFT AND SNUG Spring is all about rebirth; it’s bright, fresh and new. It’s also cosy and comfortable, like this stylish hanging wicker chair that invites you to sit and relax. As the days get longer, there’s more time to enjoy being outside with nature. Behind the chair, curling ivy winds its way up a rustic wall, and a robust cactus sits in a matching wicker planter. There’s a baby pink throw to keep you snug when the sun dips beyond the horizon and a book to read while you swing to and fro.


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Photo: Grab Photography

Photo: Patrick Redmond

A GARDEN SEAT On a sunny spring day, there’s no better place to be than relaxing in the garden — whether you’re potting up a new plant, pruning the rose bushes or watering the vegetable patch. Keeping up with garden maintenance is important, but so too is making time to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Surrounded by fragrant blooms, dappled warm sunshine and the sweet sound of birdsong, this pergola is the perfect place to share a cuppa with friends or spend a lazy afternoon soaking up the warm rays. It’s tucked into a private space in a garden designed by Tim Davies Landscaping.

Photo: Neil and Jenny Delmage


BLOOMING ROMANCE Crisp white on white is indulgent, luxurious and delicate. This beautiful garden was designed and constructed by Neil and Jenny Delmage of Naturescape Creative. From the white agapanthus with splashes of blue to the soft foliage plants that curve around the outdoor space, it’s springtime in bloom. A curved ornate pot positioned on a square

pedestal rises up from the ground and injects a frisson of formality into the space. The pot is a focal point of the design, with delicate white flowers spilling over the rim. A leafy tree in the background provides dappled shade near the covered outdoor space of this historical home. Check out Naturescape Creative’s book Spring — A Classical Influence for Today’s Gardens.


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RUSTIC FINDS It can be surprising what a garden lover can find tucked away in the back of the shed, on the side of the road or even discovered at a recycling centre. These can be treasure troves for those who enjoy finding forgotten gems and making them their own. This rustic paling fence is a feature; the well-worn timber tells a tale of


days gone by. Rustic farm implements, including an old handsaw, sheers, a shovel and even an old pot are fixed to the timber fence. In front, a barrow full of blooms brings fresh spring colour, the bright tones juxtaposing with the rustic farm implements to create a clever and unusual contrast. The rustic aesthetic is certainly all the rage in recent years, so why not get upcycling today?


SPRING REFLECTIONS Taking it outside on warm spring days means finding somewhere inviting to soak up those rays. A stylish bistro seat positioned in a corner of the garden is a great spot to relax and enjoy the tranquillity. On the wall behind, a large flowered mirror makes a delightful statement piece, positioned perfectly to reflect the

greenery. A garden mirror creates the illusion of more space and adds depth to an area. Mirrors are a great way to accessorise the garden, either as wall art or in a secluded part of the garden surrounded by greenery. An outdoor rug provides contrast and anchors the furniture to the space, completing the look. This look is both modern and classic at the same time.


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Potted seedlings ready to plant.



A sumptuous permaculture garden in the heart of suburbia is a feast for the eye and the table Words: Diane Crawford Photos: Diane Norris arel Vine and Anne-Louise Dampney share a passion for gardening but come from quite different life perspectives. Karel is an experienced counsellor, registered psychologist and clinical hypnotherapist. She started the garden in 1992 and recalls, “In the beginning there was only clay, weeds and building rubble.” Anne-Louise has been an enthusiastic gardener since she was a child and has always had a passion for nature, art and design. She has a very practical approach to finding creative solutions to difficult problems and has a keen eye for the unusual, whether it’s quirky plants or unique artworks. With an excellent working



knowledge of horticulture, landscaping and garden design, she runs her own business, InsideOut. Anne-Louise started working in the garden, Krackatinni, in 2005 and the rest, as they say, is history. Together, this clever pair has created something very special. Krackatinni is a garden of rare appeal. It’s imaginative, productive and brimming with flowers, fruits, veggies, herbs and whimsical artworks. The plants are superbly healthy: green, lush and vital. Karel and Anne-Louise have a clear vision for their garden. As AnneLouise puts it, “Our philosophy is simple: to create a sanctuary for both people and wildlife; to combine beauty with productivity; to encourage a sense of community, sharing

The garden is full of edible greenery.

This garden is delightfully unique.

food and resources with our neighbours; and, most importantly, to sit back with a beer in hand (hence the name) to enjoy our space and plan the next step.”

QUIRKY AND UNIQUE As soon as you enter the street, it’s clear this garden stands apart. The plantings are right up to the road edge, the colour blazing across the whole front, drawing your eye around the corner into the action-packed backyard. Every time you look, there’s more to see. Behind the flowering annuals pops up celery, iridescent red-stemmed rainbow chard, fennel and myriad lettuce varieties, all interspersed with colourful flowering plants such as forget-menots, nasturtiums, stocks, irises and poppies. Sweetpeas bloom on reclaimed builder’s reo and similar structures tame beans. Which leads us to Karel and Anne-Louise’s ingenious use of recycled and reclaimed things. “Recycling has been an integral part of the garden development,” says Anne-Louise. This savvy pair love finding new ways to use things harvested from roadside council clean-ups. Old wooden ladders provide a home to fruit-bearing pots or lend support to climbers, while former wine barrels have been converted into garden tables and pots, and several old workboots now


serve as planters. Unique garden furniture and other objects complete the picture. The garden has the illusion of being much larger than it is thanks to the ultra-clever use of space. With interesting pathways, hedges, garden rooms and backyard working hubs, it’s amazing to think this garden sits within just 634 square metres of mostly clay soil. Frosts are common during winter and summer can deliver hot, humid conditions with consecutive days over 40 degrees. But climate and size restrictions have been catered for with careful design and constant monitoring. Karel and Anne-Louise love that the garden is reminiscent of treasured childhood days when life was lived at a less frenetic pace and permaculture values, so often seen in backyards back then, came to the fore.

There are several raised tank-beds on the back patio area within easy reach of the backdoor, providing a neat partition. A recycled wooden ladder leans casually against the wall, giving rise to pots of organic strawberries. When it became apparent they needed more space, Karel and Anne-Louise removed the



barbecue tongs are brilliant 2 Long-handled for picking off caterpillars, stink bugs and snails (wash before turning the sausages).


FOOD GROWING Large existing trees meant that growing fruit and veggies could have been a problem. To overcome this, Karel and Anne-Louise grow edibles in pots of all shapes and sizes. Handy to the kitchen are containers filled with herbs, tomatoes, peas, strawberries and citrus, including lemon, kaffir lime and mandarin. Gorgeous old favourite annuals, such as stock, live there, too, adding a splash of colour and sweet fragrance.

A quick garden tour each morning or evening ensures that any potential problems (pests and diseases) can be dealt with swiftly.

Use liquid nectar food for native birds rather than seed so as not to attract pest birds such as Indian mynas.

short of space, think and grow up! 4 IfCucumber and zucchini will happily grow up support structures, saving ground space.


It’s important to maintain your balance in the garden, especially as you get older, so when you have the hose in one hand, ensure you have a drink in the other.


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Talk about pretty in pink.

A beautiful place to rest in the shade.

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?


â&#x20AC;&#x153;The plantings are right up to the road edge, the colour blazing across the whole front, drawing your eye around the corner into the actionpacked backyardâ&#x20AC;?

LEFT AND BOTTOM A garden filled with flowers in all the colours of the rainbow. BELOW Wood storage that’s artistic, too.


entire front lawn to make way for edibles. It’s worth mentioning that they allow their crops to self-seed throughout the garden but also save some seed for future propagation. They like heirloom varieties from the renowned Diggers Club and enjoy growing from seed. In the back corner is the fenced-off composting area, furnished with recycled ladders and a shed as well as a chook pen, providing fresh eggs and fowl manure for the compost heap. Tools are stored there and adjacent to the chooks’ enclosure is a timber saw-horse for wood cutting — an idea borrowed from a fellow gardener. Ideas are what this garden is all about and Karel and Anne-Louise want to share their knowledge and gardening ethos with everyone interested. Both Karel and Anne-Louise spend considerable time in their haven and relish how satisfying that is. Karel says green space is “good for the soul”; and, of course, it’s good for the environment. It’s very rewarding to recycle and re-use rather than throw away, to grow produce and share the abundance with neighbours. This garden is a treat; one of unusual sensitivity, beauty and productivity. It’s dotted with unique artworks and knick-knacks and clearly has been created with passion, love and knowledge. BACKYARD

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What an abundant garden.


back fence

How an ornamental suburban garden has become a sustainable source of produce Words & photos: Angela Kristens t all began three-and-a-half years ago with a small veggie patch and a large area of concrete. In 2005, I decided to add two ponds and a small bridge to my garden to create a more relaxing, aesthetically pleasing landscape. I later installed a water tank linked to my toilet to cut down on our water usage. Little did I know these were the first steps in a long journey toward the creation of a sustainable and productive garden. I wanted to reap more from my land. I was tired of buying tasteless supermarket produce and not being aware of where it came from or what chemicals it had been treated with.



Plus, given my full-time workload, I needed and wanted to establish garden beds that did not require an excessive amount of maintenance.

WICKING WAYS One day, I came across an article about a man living in a flat who rode his bike to work. His car park was left unused, so he decided to install two apple crate “wicking beds” in the unoccupied space. I was hooked and began searching the internet for a better understanding of wicking beds and their construction. Along with my partner, Kent, I built four apple crate wicking beds on the concrete

A cabbage from Angie’s wicking bed.

BACKYARD REVOLUTION LEFT Aquaponics in the herb garden. BELOW The Ivanhoe Community Garden.

a wasp nest — an interesting event as we scurried for the sanctuary of indoors to work out how to remove the nest without a trip to the doctor or, in fact, killing the wasps. (We eventually removed the nest without harm.) Removing the creeper allowed us to plant three kiwifruit and passionfruit vines over a lattice, which we attached to the roof of the shed. We also built a bed outside the kitchen window for our herbs and planted espaliered apricot and plum trees nearby. They are quite fast-growing trees, which makes the espalier process a little trickier. area in our backyard. This enabled rainwater to fall on the garden beds without running off from the concrete, which meant the beds didn’t need as much maintenance. A deep watering system covered with lucerne further decreased evaporation. We added a few more garden beds for fruit trees but, being on a standard suburban block, I soon realised that to have a variety of trees they would have to be espaliered. We planted 15 all up along the fence line, facing either north or west. I also installed two rotating compost bins and two free-standing ones. The compost in the rotating bins becomes too moist over the winter, so I move it into the free-standing bins to allow mixing with dried leaves and older soil. This gives its texture a more friable consistency.



The front yard was next for our attention, beginning with a couple of garden beds featuring a red-brick path through the middle. But then it grew — and grew and grew! We laid a path around it and added more beds, continuing the front yard’s ornamental theme of decorative plants and flowers. But we eventually decided we wanted to reap more from the front yard and planted two avocados, a dwarf persimmon, tamarillos, olives, apples, blueberries and gourmet pear trees. The front landscape became an edible forest. Most of these plants are quite small and I continue monitoring them to see which thrives where. This helps with future planting decisions. The back lawn was next to go. We dug up half of it and added more vegie beds. Then the creeper came off the shed, which uncovered

In 2011, we installed solar panels on our roof. Next on the agenda is to connect more tanks for the purpose of watering in the warmer months. Earlier this year, our garden was featured in the Transition Banyule Garden Tour, along with other local gardens. This provided me with an opportunity to visit other gardens and gather more knowledge and ideas. The next step was to choose between a chicken coup and an aquaponics system. The area set aside for the chickens wasn’t quite ready, so the aquaponics came first. I searched out all the information I could about aquaponics, visiting different setups to make an informed choice on exactly what I wanted. I eventually opted for a larger tank sunk into the ground with a bed built up around it, which allows an even temperature around the tank. BACKYARD

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The perfect place to rest after gardening.

“We planted two avocados, a dwarf persimmon, tamarillos, olives, apples, blueberries and gourmet pear trees and the front garden became an edib le forest” At this stage, I am still waiting for the system to cycle, but I have high hopes for a successful outcome. My daughter and son-in-law are looking forward to a fresh fish dinner when the system’s trout are fully grown. My understanding of the cycle is that fish excrete ammonia, and good bacteria in the bed eat the ammonia and convert it to nitrite. Another bacterium, Nitrobacter sp, plays an important role in the nitrogen cycle by oxidising this nitrite, which feeds the plants in the grow bed. We have 10 trout that leap out of the water for food and it still amazes me every time I see it. What I really love about these projects is trying new ideas, evaluating the results and marvelling at the beauty of nature along the way.

COMMUNITY GROWTH Two years ago, I received a leaflet about a new community garden planned for Ivanhoe. The space earmarked for the project was just over my back fence. Until then, the property was owned by Ivanhoe Uniting Church and housed three tennis courts and some open, unused land that the church had kindly offered for the establishment of the community garden. Plots were measured out, fruit forests and compost bins were set up, an amazing shelter was built and we used as many


recycled materials as we could. It was truly an exciting time. We also added two beehives with the assistance of local beekeeper Peter Castaldo and Barry Cooper from the Victorian Apiarist Association. I’m lucky enough to have a gate that provides access to the community garden from my own garden, so it’s like having a second backyard. Kent and I built a brick wicking bed for our community plot — my first, and probably last, attempt at bricklaying. Thankfully, Kent had had some previous bricklaying experience, which saved the day. This project provided other opportunities. We decided to decorate the wicking bed walls with mosaics and, even though this proposition was very labour intensive, it was a great initiative. Then, along came NEAMI, a national mental health organisation that provides rehabilitation and support to people with mental illness who require assistance with skill development and social contact. Working with the Livingstone Community Centre, NEAMI has begun a mosaic project for the garden bed and we can’t wait to see what beautiful creations they will come up with. Other community groups have also

This garden is so green and inviting.

Check out the nifty bird feeder.


Lots of veggies!

partnered with the garden. The Ivanhoe Scouts have made three amazing scarecrows, some garden signs and insect boxes, while the local library plans to hold its “story time” sessions there this summer. Our garden committee meets for a working bee on a monthly basis and community workshops are held throughout the year for locals to learn about pruning, propagation, permaculture, beekeeping, wicking beds and a wide range of other gardening practices. Last month, the community garden held its first open day, a wonderful event with children’s activities, plant sales, a barbecue, a “wok-off” and a brilliant beekeeping presentation. So, from my backyard stems a community organic edible garden that inspires other gardeners to become true organic gardening folk. To contact the Ivanhoe Community Garden, visit its Facebook page, web page at or send an email to

ANGELA’S TOP TIPS planting seedlings, use recycled, small, 1 When clear water bottles (tops and bottoms cut off) to keep the seedlings protected. This also keeps the thick layer of mulch from covering the seedlings when the birds dig around. considering a wicking bed or 2 When aquaponics system, do your research. Don’t forget to talk to different people who’ve installed one of these systems and find the one you feel you can manage and that suits your garden area. plant lots of flowers. Your veggies 3 Always look great planted in among them and they also attract more insects — win-win. Keep a diary with a sketch of your garden 4 and what you’ve planted each year, one for spring/summer and one for autumn/winter. This will assist in following a crop rotation system.


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“ Since we upgraded to HardieDeck™, we’re no longer embarrassed to invite people over. There’s no rotting, splintering or warping. It looks and feels just like a deck but is completely different.”



why would you ever choose a timber


DISCOVER MORE AT HARDIEDECK. COM. AU ©2017 Copyright James Hardie Australia Pty Ltd ABN 12 084 635 558 ™ and ® denotes trademarks and registered marks owned by James Hardie Technology Ltd.

Snapshot A quick look at some inspiring backyards around Australia


Made by Australian Plunge Pools, the pool is heated, which is essential in Victoria as the family wanted to enjoy it year-round. The north-eastfacing “morning deck” on the other side of the house sits higher to take advantage of the superb coastline views. The homeowners say no matter where they go in their house, they can see glimpses of the view and outdoor area, making it seem like they are outside. Wouldn’t you just love a dip in that plunge pool?

Photo: Dianna Snape

JUMP IN There’s no doubt the Australian backyard comes in all shapes and sizes, and a perfect example is this residence by Emma Mitchell Architects. Located in Anglesea, a town situated along the Great Ocean Road of Victoria, the residence, known as A Postcard Home, features two deck areas. The “plunge pool deck” is orientated to catch the lateafternoon sun and has ground access. The family use this space to get together at the end of a long day and have a few drinks before dinner.


whimsical quality to the garden, also working to soften the space and frame the unique straw-bale house. Other virtues of this home, which are almost too many to mention, include a vermiculture (worm) waste system, 110,000l rainwater tank, low-VOC paints, and LED lighting throughout. At the end of the day, Ben likes to kick back and enjoy a cold beer on the shaded deck while watching the kangaroos frolicking and boxing in the bush nearby.

Photo: Simone Vivers

FINAL STRAW With sustainability and rising energy costs in mind, this home in Tarana, NSW, incorporates local materials such as straw and cob where possible. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We actually liked how shearing sheds sit in the rural landscape, so this gave us the inspiration for a simple design with a corrugated tin roof that would blend into the picturesque surroundings,â&#x20AC;? says homeowner Ben. While the bush beyond is one big backyard, the use of flowers in a rainbow of colours adds an almost


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floats as if it were a leaf on a tree branch and connects the interior to the external landscape, capturing views of the trees and sky. The dwelling will change continually with the landscape due to the angled glass that blurs the lines between the roof and walls. The rooftop vegetable garden resolved the lack of backyard space and ensures the homeowners rarely need to buy vegetables these days. Those Melbournites sure know a thing or two about design, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t they?

Photos: Alessandro Cerutti

RAISE THE ROOF There is something just so cool about this home in Melbourne, Victoria, from the sharp, modern angles and glass exterior to the trendy materials and innovative use of space outdoors. The bold form of the extension linking the two existing buildings has been abstracted from the existing roof forms and respectfully acknowledges the heritage dwelling and streetscape. The play of sunlight filtered by the trees embraces the building as part of the landscape. The glazed roof



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DESIGNER GARDENS This wasted rooftop space has certainly been put to good use.

FROM THE ROOFTOPS An outstanding rooftop garden that is sure to increase morale at this forward-thinking company


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The perfect place for a bite to eat and some fresh air.

Anyone fancy a game of chess?

WORDS: APRIL OSSINGTON PHOTOS: CLAIRE TAKACS e know the benefits of a beautiful garden for our homes, but what about at work? An increasing number of companies are going that extra mile by supplying a beautifully landscaped outdoor space for their employees to enjoy. One such example is this rooftop garden at Pentana Solutions, an automotive software company in Melbourne’s Mount Waverley. The team at Ian Barker Gardens were commissioned to design and construct a relaxing, social space for the company’s staff to utilise while at work. “This was a fantastic creative opportunity for our design team as this garden just happened to be situated on a rooftop, offering the chance to create something truly spectacular and a little quirky,” says director, Ian Barker. “The brief was to take an ugly, disused roof space and transform it into something that would not only be stunning to look at, but encourage staff to head outside and get some fresh air before they went back to work,”



BELOW This verdant grass area overlooks the city. BOTTOM Yellow, orange and bright green — lovely.


says Ian. “We first looked to departmentalise the large space into areas that would have different uses. These were to include a medium-sized space for presentations for up to 100 people, a shade area with tables and chairs for comfortable outdoor dining, as well as some smaller private spaces where staff could have a moment to relax. These areas would be softened with a natural planting palette.” A square expanse of synthetic turf reboarded by garden beds of mixed planting in the south-east corner of the rooftop provides the perfect place for gatherings or perhaps even group exercise classes. In the north-east corner of the garden, a bright orange car sits among a bed of natural planting, injecting an element of fun and whimsy in the garden. An Ekologix composite deck with block seating and a timber walkway edged with bench seats provides ample space for staff to sit and relax or mingle in the garden surrounded by beautiful plants. The north side of the rooftop features a large area of paving and a strip of turf flanked by a hedge contained in BACKYARD

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The various flowers fill the garden with uplifting colours.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;A bright orange car sits among a bed of natural planting, injecting an element of fun and whimsy in the gardenâ&#x20AC;?

Modern laser-cut screening adds an extra design element.


This bright orange car makes the ultimate garden feature.

large rectangular planter troughs. Dividing this area from a row of timber benches and tables is a giant chessboard made of turf and pavers. This playful addition not only adds a feature, but makes the space more interactive and, of course, fun for the employees. A steel pergola with a retractable awning from Melbourne Awning Centre covers the entire area, ensuring the space can be enjoyed in all weather conditions. Plants in gorgeous copper tones such as Helenium, Sanguisorba ‘Tanna’, Achillea ‘Terracotta’, and Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’ were chosen to add stunning warm colours and interesting textures throughout the seasons, providing the team at Pentana with a magnificent space in which to relax and enjoy nature. As you can imagine, there were some challenges creating a rooftop garden on a five-storey building: getting the car, soil and building materials up to the top posed quite the challenge. The solution? A crane and careful planning! The garden also had to float above a membrane so that it could be accessed if there were any leaks. Attaching items directly to the membrane would cause punctures that would most likely leak water into the offices below. “We had to find another way to secure items in the garden and stop them from being swept off the rooftop by high winds,” says Ian. “We used Elmich VersiPave, which is a lightweight, high-strength plastic paver support designed to eliminate the use of sand when laying pavers, resulting in reduced


A place to rest amongst the lush planting.

weight-bearing loads on building structures. It also allows easy access to waterproofing membranes and services when required. We also chose large 1200x600mm pavers and weighed down planter boxes with bricks to ensure that they would not be swept away, no matter how strong the wind.” The result is a smartly designed rooftop garden brimming with plantings and

designated spaces for staff to utilise and enjoy. “Green spaces, particularly in built-up urban environments, have been proven to reduce stress levels, encourage activity and improve social interaction,” adds Ian. “This ideology sat perfectly with Pentana’s goals for their staff. When I go back to maintain the garden, I notice that now the cafe is empty and the garden is full!” BACKYARD

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The Tetris-style panelling perfectly complements the sustainable and rustic aesthetic of this outdoor space.



INNER-CITY SUSTAINABLE This small terrace is making a giant contrib ution to the environment with its self-sustaining and eco-friendly qualities BACKYARD

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Wicking pots and a custom-designed irrigation system mean these edible plants will be well looked after while their caretaker is away.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Inner-city sustainable is how I would sum up this garden. It is contemporary and rustic while not being too preciousâ&#x20AC;?



ABOVE The courtyard is actually unfinished. The homeowner wants a local artist to paint a colourful, contemporary bird mural on the brick wall at the side of the terrace, evoking the design intent of creating a habitat for local bird and wildlife. LEFT This versatile and functional space provides an abundance of opportunities for the homeowner, as well as a home for local wildlife.

WORDS: KARSHA GREEN PHOTOS: ANDY JONES PHOTOGRAPHY n one of the hottest and driest summers in Newcastle’s history, this terrace home in Cooks Hill underwent a major transformation. When it came to redesigning the home’s courtyard, the biggest challenge was that it had to be self-sustainable. Mark Tisdell from MUD Design was employed to reimagine this small space and create a warm and wholesome spot with functional elements, including an area to wash off after the beach, hidden storage, space to entertain friends and family, and a self-watering, permaculture ecosystem that supported local wildlife. To achieve all of this in a tiny terrace courtyard wasn’t going to be easy, but together with builder Anthony Ferguson from Green on Green Landscapes, and Lachlan Storrie from Tree Frog Permaculture, Mark and MUD Design were willing to take on the challenge. “The brief was to create a garden that made best use of the space, aspect and privacy. It needed to be very sustainable, incorporate



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recycled materials, create a habitat for local birds and insects, and facilitate the growing of food,” says Mark. With sustainability at the core of this project, the first step was to source recycled materials. Mark reused the existing concrete pavers, layering them on top of a sandstone base. Sandstone was chosen because it’s very sustainable and provides great drainage for the earth in an urban environment. “It’s also very cost effective,” says Mark. To create the edible green wall, Mark sourced recycled hardwood in all shapes and sizes, carefully arranging the pieces in an artistic, Tetris-style pattern. But it’s not just the appearance of the reclaimed timber green wall that is so special; each plant has been specifically chosen for its permaculture properties and has been planted in wicking pots. Wicking pots have a space at the bottom which acts as a water reservoir, filtering the water slowly into the soil through a wick. Along with a custom-designed irrigation


system, the green wall would be completely self-sustaining. With the owner living in the property only part of the year, this would be especially convenient for the periods of time the owner wasn’t there. It was very important to the client that this courtyard benefit and contribute to the environment. From materials to design and the planting palette, this courtyard was to be a home for the local wildlife. Permaculture is a design process that aids in producing intelligent systems that meet human needs while also enhancing biodiversity and reducing our impact on the planet. Working closely with Tree Frog Permaculture, MUD Design chose a specific planting palette that was centred around the permaculture principles. Zingiber officinale (ginger); Passiflora edulis (passion fruit), Ocimum basilicum (basil), Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary), Thymus vulgaris (thyme), Salvia officinalis (sage), chilli, Tropaeolum (nasturtium), aloe vera, Brassica oleracea (cabbage), Lactuca

TOP The plants chosen for the edible green wall were based on their permaculture properties. The plants support the local bees, birds and insects, and will add some freshness to the homeowner’s dinner recipes. ABOVE As space was an issue, storage was integrated into the recycled timber bench seating — this is perfect for storing cushions and gardening tools when not in use. ABOVE LEFT Some of the timber panels of the green wall are removable. This design element allows for easy access to the wicking pots when maintenance is required.

sativa (lettuce), Rheum rhabarbarum (rhubarb), and Brachychiton (beau bells) were some of the main plant species used in this garden. “There is a small hole in one of the recycled timbers of the green wall — this is to create a home for a local robin. It’s the little touches like this that make the garden so special,” adds Mark. From the reclaimed timber and edible green wall to the no-waste, outdoor shower and the self-sustaining wicking pots, this tiny Cooks Hill courtyard is making a huge contribution to the environment, and looks great at the same time.

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Community Spirit This beautiful harbourside community garden is a hit with the locals


DESIGNER GARDENS A pretty sea of lavender.


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WORDS: MANDY LEE PHOTOS: NORTH SYDNEY COUNCIL here is no doubt that in Sydney, space is a commodity, so it can be rather frustrating to see vacant or misused land. Of course, with the increasing population and property prices, there is also an increase in apartment living. This is why a growing number of communities around Sydney are trying to make the most of the space they have available. Located on the Lower North Shore of Sydney, the Kurraba Point Community Garden was built in a neglected sloping area adjacent to the reserve at Kurraba Point that overlooks beautiful Sydney Harbour. There are lots of people in the area who live in unit blocks and don’t have their own space to garden, and there are others who simply want to meet people in the local area. Therefore, the design brief was



to create a functional yet beautiful area that makes the most of the harbour setting so local residents could meet and test out their green thumbs by growing a range of edible plants and ornamental species. They also wanted to build pathways to make the space more easily accessible. The garden is a mass of contrasting colours described as a “Mediterranean cottage garden” look. From bougainvillea climbing over the back wall to a vibrant lavender infinity knot to dwarf citrus trees growing in terracotta pots, it’s like a little slice of Spain in Sydney! The garden has two seating areas for locals to relax and enjoy the surrounds, and six raised beds to grow and harvest vegetables and herbs. It is a great success in the local community, with volunteers meeting for a community working bee once a month and individual volunteers performing garden maintenance. All equipment and

plants are provided by North Sydney Council. Members of the public regularly visit the garden and say how wonderful it is — a feast for the senses with amazing colours, smells, tastes and textures. The main volunteer originally involved in the development of the garden and the one responsible for getting the whole project off the ground was a local guy named Dan (who has now sadly passed away). Dan created structures in the garden that were imbued with meaning for him, from the central heartshaped bed (currently containing roses) to the infinity knot of lavender, together symbolising everlasting love. There is also a spiral bed (said to be a serpent) and a sun and a moon. Rather than an individual feature standing out, the whole garden works together to create a rambling Mediterranean cottage garden feel. If we had to pick an absolute favourite feature


RIGHT The garden features six raised beds for vegetables and herbs.

though, it would be the lavender infinity knot, with orange trees growing in the centre of the loops. It looks breathtaking when it comes into flower in the spring. The site where the community garden is located historically housed part of a large depot and engineering works for the Port Jackson and Manly Steam Ship Company. As a result, the ground in the area may be contaminated and is not ideal for growing edible plants, yet this was one of the main objectives of the community garden. Therefore, the garden design had to factor in a considerable area of raised garden beds, filled with fertile potting mix, in which to grow food. In addition, the site is on a westfacing slope, that receives hot afternoon sun. A terraced area has been created halfway down BACKYARD

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LEFT, BELOW AND BOTTOM Kurraba Point Community Garden was built in a neglected sloping area adjacent to the reserve at Kurraba Point that overlooks beautiful Sydney Harbour.

“It’s like a little slice of Spain in Sydney!” the slope with seating and an arbour. Climbing deciduous plants are growing over it to provide shade in summer and sun in winter. I wasn’t living in the area when the garden was originally designed about six years ago, but I have been managing it for the past four years and it has evolved significantly in that time. Sustainability was a consideration when designing the garden. It features three compost bins in which local residents deposit their compostable food waste. A worm farm is another method for turning food waste into nutritious compost for the plants. The garden doesn’t have an irrigation system, but instead is regularly monitored by volunteers who take it in turns to water as necessary, rather than watering on a timer system. The aim is to reduce food waste by growing plants in the garden for when you may only need a small amount for your recipe (such as herbs or leafy vegetables). If you buy these


from the supermarket you may use a little and then throw away the rest. The premise of this garden is that you can just pick what you need. We try to be as organic in our approach as possible, feeding the soil rather than the plants and sacrificing some crops to nature rather than spraying with strong pesticides. Our weed control is all done by hand by our team of volunteers. Due to the location of the garden, we need to use plants that like full sun and are fairly drought-tolerant (not including the veggie crops, which we cover with shade netting and water regularly). We tend to pick plants for their colour and scent — which fits with our Mediterranean cottage garden style. So lavender, roses, herbs such as rosemary, oregano, basil and marjoram, climbers like bougainvillea, mandevilla and jasmine, citrus trees (growing in pots) and gardenia all feature. The seating area and paths are made from

irregularly shaped sandstone pavers, which are relatively cheap and readily available and also work well with the cottage garden theme. I love to take a quiet moment to relax with a coffee on the bench under the arbour in the centre of the garden surrounded by amazing scents and colours. I also love the selection of herbs and leafy veg available, which I use in many of my recipes. How members of the community wanted to use the garden and the various elements that were important to them had to be considered when the garden was designed. Of course, it’s all about addressing the needs of the users. In a community context, you need an adaptable approach as the volunteers involved will have various reasons for their involvement in the garden and volunteers will change over time (particularly in an area with lots of unit blocks and high turnover of tenants). We have had retired people who want to spend a few hours

DESIGNER GARDENS The garden is a mass of contrasting colours described as a “Mediterranean cottage garden” look.

WINNER, WINNER The Kurraba Point Community Garden won the award for Best Edible Garden (Public) at the 2016 North Sydney Garden Competition.

pottering on a regular basis, people with kids who want fast-growing plants like sunflowers, a guy who wanted to grow a range of chillies for home-made sauces, and so many other different people. The aim is to try to have the garden functioning as a whole while meeting the needs of individual members of the community. I have always been interested in gardening and used to help my mum in the garden when I was growing up in England, but it wasn’t until about four years ago that I decided I wanted to graduate from growing a few herbs on my balcony (mostly unsuccessfully) to growing more edible plants to incorporate in my recipes. At the time I was working full-time in a busy job, so I started gradually — first by taking a free six-week course run by North Sydney Council called “Harvest North Sydney”. This excellent course taught me the basics of growing edible plants, but because it was free there was a catch — you had to share your newfound knowledge with the local community! So I very nervously contacted the coordinator of the Kurraba Point community garden (at this point assuming everyone involved must be an expert gardener) and asked if I could get involved. He said I was more than welcome, so I went to a

couple of working bees and tested out my green thumbs (and discovered most of the others were amateurs like me). It was at this point that the coordinator announced he was moving to Queensland and would need someone to take over managing the garden. I looked around and no one put up their hand, so I thought that even though I didn’t really know what I was doing, I was better than no one. I reluctantly volunteered and became a rather unqualified/inexperienced coordinator of the community garden. I have now been doing it for the last four years and in terms of the planting, it has primarily been a trial and error approach, which I feel has worked quite well as we have learnt so much. We have also won several awards in the local council’s garden design competition, most recently the best edible food garden in the North Sydney area. In fact, my experience inspired me to the point where I quit my nineto-five office job and I’m now halfway through studying for a Certificate in Horticulture and working part-time with a local landscape designer. My passion is to combine community and gardening, particularly edible food, and that is my aim for my future career. BACKYARD

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This outdoor lounge area enjoys a view to the pool.

MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN Every dream home needs a backyard thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just as impressive, and this garden design went beyond all expectations 52 | BACKYARD



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TOP LEFT The backyard was designed to be mostly on one level. This maintains a spacious feel, as well as a seamless flow between inside and out. LEFT When the doors are open, it feels as though you are outside and the garden is inside. TOP RIGHT By playing around with raised circular planter boxes in the front yard, the team created an interesting aesthetic that highlights the house facade.

Here, greenery creeps into every corner.



WORDS: KARSHA GREEN PHOTOS: JENNA FAHEY-WHITE fter building their dream home in Northcote, Victoria, this family wanted a backyard that matched the modern grandeur of their new abode. The homeowners’ ideal garden was a seamless indoor/outdoor living environment that was spacious and reflected the contemporary lines and modern style of their new home. The homeowners wanted a beautiful and elegant backyard but they didn’t want it to be boring; it had to be a space that had personality and a subtle pizzazz. Landscape designer Nicholas Goff and Apex Landscapes were hired to turn the homeowners’ dream into reality. “The owners wanted us to design and construct a pool and landscape that tied in with their newly built home,” says Nicholas. “They wanted a kid-friendly space that flowed from the house to create seamless indoor/ outdoor entertaining … they wanted it to be unique and have personality.”


A whimsical theme was chosen for the garden as this would allow Nicholas and Apex Landscapes the creative freedom to introduce personality into the garden design, while still maintaining the subtlety and aesthetic flow between inside and out that the homeowners desired. The newly built home has a clean charcoal and white colour palette, which was adopted in the garden, as well as an integration of the home’s concrete and timber construction. Blackbutt decking matched the cedar house cladding while sandblasted bluestone pavers added a concrete-style element to the poolscape. Open steel-designed fencing was chosen for around the pool due to its intense charcoal colouring and artistic aesthetic. The architecture of the house incorporates lots of straight lines and strong edges, so to counterbalance this, Nicholas integrated soft, curved lines in the design of the garden, including round pavers, round garden beds, and even a few round hedges scattered throughout the backyard. This subtle

contrasting provides balance and harmony across the look of the home. At the heart of the garden is the pool and spa with a wet area for relaxing, shaded by a custom-designed, laser-cut metal pergola. Another unique feature was also to play a big role in the aesthetic and performance of this garden. A shipping container was positioned at one end of the pool area and the homeowners wanted it to be converted into a sheltered kitchen/bar space, ideal for backyard parties and entertaining. “Two large openings were cut into the container: one for an automatic tilt-up door and one for a bi-fold window that was connected to the pool area while still meeting pool-safety regulations. The container’s interior was also fitted with plywood panels to match with the interior surfacing of the main residence,” says Nicholas. The plant palette of this garden design was important in creating the subtle “wow” factor the homeowners desired. The main plant BACKYARD

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Curved lines and circular shapes were incorporated into the garden design.

BELOW The palette of plant species chosen for this garden design adds texture, colour and intrigue, giving the backyard the personality the homeowners desired. MIDDLE Although glass is a popular choice for pool fencing, this steel, open design was chosen to blend the backyard with the homeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s modern aesthetic.

This blackbutt decking matches the cedar cladding used in the interior spaces.



“The homeowners wanted a beautiful and elegant backyard but they didn’t want it to be boring; it had to be a space that had personality and a subtle pizzazz”

ABOVE An effective integration of lighting in this garden design highlights all the best features, making the backyard look just as beautiful after the sun sets. LEFT A unique addition to this modern backyard, the shipping container is fitted with a kitchen and bar, as well as beer taps, creating an oasis for entertainers.

species that Nicholas and Apex Landscapes chose for this garden included Ficus hillii, Flash; Betula pendula, White Moss; Acer palmatum, Autumn Blaze; Trachelospermum jasminoides, Chinese Star Jasmine; Ophiopogon japonicas, Nana; Buxus sempervirens, Bucus Balls; Gracillis bamboo; Phormium tenax, Apple Green; Cycas revolute, Cycad; Dichondra Repens, Kidney Weed; Liriope muscari, Giant Liriope; Ophiopogon intermedians, Stripey White; Asparagus Meyerii, Asaparagus Fern; and Hebe ‘Emerald Green’. This arrangement of plants played with height, texture and shape, accenting areas of the garden when it was required, providing shade and privacy, and inevitably creating a natural, artistic masterpiece that will grow and evolve as the plants mature. A clever combination of spacious planning, a minimal colour and surface palette, and an effective use of plant species to add texture and intrigue to the outdoor space have resulted in a backyard that is everything the homeowners wanted. Nicholas and Apex Landscapes have created a modern garden design with elegant lines and indulgent outdoor spaces. Dramatic charcoal steel accents, artistic foliage and the grandeur of the space achieve everything these homeowners wanted. BACKYARD

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DESIGNER GARDENS This small space packs a lot in.

NO FUSS This small, contemporary garden is a busy familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dream


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WORDS: KATE WAGNER PHOTOS: PETA ANNE NORTH or many of us struggling with hectic day-to-day lives, sustaining a highmaintenance garden is out of the question. While we would all love a backyard resplendent with roses and seasonal greenery, gardening doesn’t always make its way to the top of our to-do lists. The owners of this garden are no different, but that doesn’t mean they were ready to concrete over the entire space. They wanted to reinvent the backyard into something they could use every day and link it with the interiors to create space for outdoor entertaining. This meant the designers at Lifespace Landscape


Design had to remove the large retaining wall at the rear that suffocated the space, making the already low, narrow, sloping site even more closed off. The designers used the vertical space and impressive garden features to add depth and a sense of grandeur that would’ve been impossible in the existing narrow zone. “Focal points such as the laser-cut screens added wow factor as well as supporting the climbers that grow on the shady south-facing boundary wall,” says director of Lifespace, Jenny Thomas. “Tiered garden beds, a sophisticated mix of materials and plantings and custommade laser-cut screens are used to create a multidimensional alfresco area that is as much a focal point as it is a functional space.”

TOP Using different sized rocks is an easy way to add texture and a point of interest to your garden. ABOVE Loose pebbles are an easy way to make a space more tactile and fun. ABOVE LEFT Using focal points, like this wall feature, add an easy wow factor.

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;The team steered clear of overpowering colours and let the shapes do the talking. â&#x20AC;?

Lush foliage perfectly complements the hardscaping.



The spherical theme from inside is most obviously continued in the garden with the water feature.

The team steered clear of overpowering colours and let the shapes do the talking. “Inspiration was taken from the interior design, which featured spherical motifs and a colour palette of neutrals, charcoal and lime green,” says Jenny. This is most apparent in the huge, spherical water feature in the courtyard, although the theme continues subtly with the laser-cut metal screens patterned with interlocking circles. “These colours and shapes were replicated in the painted feature wall, charcoal powder-coated circular screens, eggshell pebble mulch, bluestone pavers and the alpine drystone wall,” adds Jenny. A continuing theme between the indoor and outdoor areas was vital for a cohesive space. This ensured the outdoor entertaining area felt like an extension of the other living spaces, rather than a detached, clunky addon. The reason the two areas gel so well is that Lifespace was given the somewhat rare opportunity of working alongside the interior designer. “Working with the interior designer was a real treat as we could combine our talents and design all the spaces to relate to each other,” says Jenny. “I had designed her garden, so she knew my work well. We were both involved early on in the project, which was

fabulous as plumbing, drainage, irrigation prelays, electrics, paving, painting etc could be coordinated and organised as required and not after the build was finished.” This also meant the backyard was designed taking into account the view from inside. “The water, feature wall and screen were placed in the semi-enclosed courtyard where few feature plants would grow. This provides a great view from inside, especially at night when lit up,” says Jenny. “An added bonus is that water can be heard trickling from the living areas, adding another sensory dimension to the space.” With Western Australian coastal soils, scorching summer conditions, large areas of winter shade and sea breezes to take into consideration — all while ensuring the space remained low maintenance — foliage choices were crucial to creating the perfect backyard. “Syzygium ‘Resilience’ was used as a screening plant as it is very low maintenance and hedges easily,” says Jenny. “Strappy foliage plants, such as Lomandra ‘Tanika’ and Liriope ‘Evergreen Giant’ were used to soften plantings and are tolerant of sun and shade, while two Magnolia grandiflora ‘Dwarf Magnolias’ were planted into Serralunga feature pots to add another layer of green lushness. The evergreen climber Cissus

Framing the boundary wall with tall plants is an easy way to add levels.


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Subtle uplighting will turn your plants into an art feature.

TOP The neutral palette lets the wall feature pop. ABOVE Circles as far as the eye can see.

This contemporary sculpture fits in perfectly with the theme.


‘Ellen Danica’ was used on the boundary wall as it is evergreen, tolerates shade and does not drop leaf or flower. Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Dwarf Mondo grass’ was used to soften pavers and pebbles around the water feature.” With the front entry garden creating the first impression, the plant choice was equally as important. “Lomandra ‘Tanika’ was planted here. Two advanced Crepe myrtle ‘Natchez’ deciduous trees were planted in the front lawn, with Trachelospermum asiacticum groundcover underneath,” says Jenny. The neutral palette and contrasting materials ensure this garden is contemporary and stylish, while still offering lush-green foliage and fascinating focal points that make this backyard the ultimate space for entertaining.

This backyard is simply teeming with greenery.

Less is More

Sometimes small is better, as this smartly designed space proves




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The indoors flow to the outdoors with ease.

Words: Tessa Hoult Photos: Brigid Arnott n a country famous for its outdoor lifestyle, having a seamless transition from inside to out is an essential factor for many Australian homeowners. However, for the expert team at GOODMANORS Pool + Garden, this latest project had an extra layer of difficulty with issues concerning a small outdoor space and neighbours who are too close for comfort. “The existing site included decking and some masonry raised planters around the boundary and towards the rear,” says GOODMANORS’ Raoul van de Laak. “And it had no inviting elements or privacy from the neighbouring properties.” Both designed and built by GOODMANORS, this free-flowing outdoor area has dealt with the issue of space so well that it doesn’t even seem a factor. Rather, a brilliant layout and expert planting create an immediate sense of relaxation upon entering this outdoor space. With the aim of creating an environment that was not only an extension of the home, but also a place where entertaining and lazy days could go hand in hand, it was clear that every corner



of the existing space needed to be exploited. The clients wanted to incorporate a pool for leisure into their small garden and redesign the space to complement the house’s architecture. “They wanted to create a seamless transition between indoors and outdoors and provide a relaxed atmosphere for outdoor entertaining,” says Raoul. Material selection was integral to ensuring the various zones of the outdoor area felt “in harmony with each other without being overwhelming”. However, the owners’ request to make room for a pool meant some clever thinking would be needed to ensure the layout didn’t end up cluttered and claustrophobic. The significant challenge was to incorporate a pool into the restricted size of the space without it taking up too much room. GOODMANORS didn’t want to make the space feel more restricted and divide it from the indoors. The team succeeded and now a large spotted gum hardwood deck flows outside from the interior dining area, enabling you to step out onto the pool area and up to a private seating zone that overlooks the relaxing waters below. Every corner of the space has

The Bluestone pavers add a bold contrast to the rest of the colour scheme.


â&#x20AC;&#x153;Every corner of the space has been well utilised, with sumptuous greenery and strategic planting creating a private and harmonious atmosphereâ&#x20AC;?

Level changes help seperate a space into different zones.


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LEFT AND BELOW Upstairs, a daybed creates a place to escape and rest under the shade of plants. BOTTOM The perfect place to sit back with a cold one and enjoy the pool and garden views — isn’t it just divine?


DESIGNER GARDENS A pool will always provide an attractive view or focal point from the home.

The red and orange hues of these cushions add a needed pop of colour.

been well utilised, with sumptuous greenery and strategic planting creating a private and harmonious atmosphere. Textural interest and contrast were achieved through the selection of plants, with a focus on foliage colours to complement the neutral tones of the architecture and interior while providing a lush and relaxing feel. The muted colour of the bluestone pavers and astute use of sprayed concrete around the pool wall have combined with the rest of the colour palette to create a sense of calm. However, with neighbours able to overlook the outdoor area, the existing walls needed some tinkering to give the area an air of seclusion. The existing rear rendered brick wall was extended and raised to be level and the side boundary brick walls were raised to address privacy issues. Designing an outdoor space that flows from one zone to another while maintaining privacy and adding a pool in such a small area was always going to be a challenge. This immaculate design shows that, with some smart material selection and clever layout solutions, even small-sized backyards can transform into a perfect outdoor space. BACKYARD

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LIVING THE DREAM Create a slice of heaven in your own backyard WORDS: CARROL BAKER ith an enviable climate, sunkissed beaches, lush tropical rainforests, vibrant cosmopolitan cities and a relaxed vibe, it’s no wonder Australia attracts hordes of tourists to her shores. We’re also getting pretty good at creating our own beautiful outdoor living spaces at home. From contemporary to cottage, coastal to industrial, rustic to French provincial, there’s a diverse range of styles popping up in suburban backyards across the nation. Putting a unique stamp on an outdoor space begins with defining the look and feel that you’d like to create.


STYLISH OUTDOOR LIVING Gathering friends and family together at home is one of life’s simple pleasures, and it’s part


of the Aussie way of life for many. Whether you like to cater for a crowd, enjoy more intimate gatherings, or just want a place for your family to relax, doing it in style is easy. Do you love smooth clean lines and slim furniture with modern colour accents? Do you like rough textures, weathered materials and warm earthy colours? What about uncluttered spaces, Corten steel and select accent planting? Or perhaps your look is gorgeous pops of spring colour, plump comfy furniture and pretty-as-a-picture decor? Or you can create your own unique look — a snippet or two of different styles, an eclectic mix. While there are no hard and fast rules, the key to exterior design is to create a sense of balance between the hard and soft landscaping elements; one should not overwhelm the other.

Katrine Mardini from Outhouse Design says planning an outdoor space begins with getting a good understanding of the space and the lifestyle requirements of those who will use it. “Consider the surroundings and how to make the space complement existing features. We look at the tones, colours, textures, shapes and vertical heights. Outdoor spaces should have a relationship to these things,” she says. It’s all about creating a sense of harmony. Aim to incorporate similar colour palettes and materials from the home’s interior to flow through to the outdoors for a seamless look. Then decide on the lifestyle elements you’d like to include. Is firing up the barbecue high on your wish list? What about gathering friends and family on the deck for a regular get together? Perhaps you envision curling up in a comfy chair or hammock and catching up on reading? Or you’d like to create a secluded place to dine for two. Create different zones or garden rooms to serve different functions. For example, somewhere to eat, somewhere to pull up a

Photo: Jason Busch Photo: Katrine Mardini


Photo: Jason Busch

ABOVE Creating beautiful outdoor spaces is all about texture, colour and form. TOP RIGHT A pathway through a garden can take you on a journey of discovery. RIGHT The right outdoor furniture makes a design statement.


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Nothing spells relaxation quite like a swimming pool.

Photo: Tony Phillips


chair and relax, or somewhere to gather around a firepit. Want to freshen up your outdoor space with some cool new looks? We’ve got some great ideas.

Get cosy with some stylish seating.


Photo: Grab Photography

COVER UP Have you ever watched the UK’s Escape to the Country? While beautiful outdoor spaces are often part of the package for potential homeowners, there’s rarely an outdoor roof in sight. Here in Australia, no shade solution limits use of outdoor spaces, especially in the warmer months of the year. Natalie Watts from Branat Designs says permanent structures like pergolas are definitely the mainstay in shade structures. “Pergolas fixed to the home extend outdoor living space and also give it that sense of connectedness and flow,” she says. “Many are aluminium or timber and we are even seeing some clever new recycled products in pergolas, like galvanised railings, to give them an industrial feel.” For patios, balconies and verandahs, innovative folding-arm awnings are a popular choice because they give you so much control over creating the desired amount of cover. They can be operated manually or motorised, and there are optional sun, wind and rain sensors. Retractable roofing gives you shade when you need it on those scorching summer days, and with a flick of a switch it disappears, allowing in warm winter sunshine. Or you can create your own resort-like feel at home with a cafe-style umbrella or a cantilever umbrella with moving arm that provides shade wherever you need it.



The Lifestyle Modular Outdoor kitchen range Visit our website, to see videos of our BBQs in action and get detailed information on how to specify your ideal Outdoor Kitchen. We manufacture in Australia and you buy direct from the factory. Lifestyle BBQs can be shipped Australia wide. Built-in and mobile BBQs also available.


113A Fairford Rd, Padstow (Just off the M5 Motorway) SYDNEY PLEASE CALL: (02) 9773 6245 AUST WIDE CALL TOLL FREE: 1300 849 790 Open: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-2.30pm

Margaret River

A hammock is the perfect place to unwind.



LEFT Get creative with outdoor lighting to set the mood. BOTTOM LEFT Beautiful outdoor spaces are timeless.

These Voyager lights cast a warm inviting glow.

FEEL GOOD UNDERFOOT Natural timber is a popular flooring option. It’s durable and suits most home styles. Timber requires some maintenance to keep it looking fresh, or you may choose to let the timber age gracefully; in time natural timber will turn a grey-green. As an alternative, hard-wearing composite decking requires less maintenance. Katrine says pavers are another outdoor flooring material that’s very much in demand — including limestone, sandstone and travertine and the ever-popular bluestone. “Bluestone pavers are a wonderful neutral product to work with; they particularly suit the clean lines of rendered walls and modern homes, and their tone complements the green of the landscape,” she says. Pavers are easy to clean and if laid and sealed properly, will look fabulous for many years. In walkways, choose non-slip pavers with a rough finish to prevent slips. Remember in sunny areas, darker colours will hold heat and can be hot underfoot. Also opt for larger-format pavers in smaller spaces. Katrine says there are also some new materials that are making their mark. “With technological advancements in flooring BACKYARD

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Firing up the barbecue outdoors makes food taste so much better.

Photo: Peter Brennan

Expert advice from John McGran from Lifestyle BBQs: • Make sure the barbecue has cooled down completely before touching any surface. • Avoid using harsh or caustic chemical cleaners as they may damage metal surfaces. • Stainless-steel cleaning products from your retailer will do an excellent job of removing a wide variety of stains. Otherwise, warm soapy water and a plastic scourer will work. • Take care not to run your hand along the edge of any stainless-steel components. They aren’t sharp, but you may risk cutting yourself. • If you live close to the ocean, you’ll need to clean your barbecue more frequently to avoid a build-up of invisible salt deposits that can cause tarnishing or “tea staining”. • Occasionally remove the burners and check that the small burner holes are unclogged. If you need to remove grease and food residues, you can clean with a wire brush and water. • Change the fat-absorbent material in the fat tray frequently to avoid a build-up of grease.

Think beyond the square when segmenting spaces.

materials, a new permeable flooring that resembles small particles gelled together is also proving popular,” she says.

ILLUMINATE THE SPACE Few things can dictate the mood of a space like lighting. The right lighting is warm and welcoming; it can create playful shadows and silhouettes on featured plants and provide safety in outdoor areas. Lighting also gives the outdoor chef enough illumination to cook a meal outdoors, and it lights the way for guests attending an outdoor party. Fairy lights, or hurricane lanterns strung from trees, create a romantic ambience. Solar lighting positioned in


the right places casts a warm eco-friendly glow. Natalie says lighting is also finding its way into flooring. “We are seeing integrated lowvoltage lighting incorporated into decks to create a warm ambience,” she says. Another popular type of lighting is LED strip lighting. “It works well on steps to provide safety, and around the edge of decks to guide traffic flow.”

SCREEN IT Screening can serve several functions. Often its purpose is purely practical — screening out traffic noise or neighbours who are too close for comfort. It can also be used to block the view of an unsightly pool pumphouse or rubbish bins.

Screening can segment spaces and create garden rooms, and it can also be a focal point. So what’s currently popular in screening? “Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) screening or laser-cut Corten steel is popular,” says Natalie. “Over time the Corten takes on an orange-brown tone that is very appealing.” Slatted timber screens bring a natural warmth to a garden space and Natalie says new-look aluminium is also on trend. “It is available in a range of colours and is a lower-maintenance option than timber,” she says. Screens can also be pieces of garden art; a well-placed mirror, group of pots or a statue can all serve as screens. Many are lightweight, moveable, and include decorative elements and lighting for showcasing at night. And of course, green screening will never go out of style. New looks in natural screening include vertical gardens and espaliered planting.

COOKING OUTDOORS Ask landscape designer Katrine Mardini from Outhouse Design what one of the most popular lifestyle inclusions is and cooking outdoors is a winner. “Cooking these days has been taken to a whole new level with cooking shows that motivate you to cook outdoors,” she says. “Having a barbecue space is definitely a priority with lots of our clients.” Barbecues, pizza ovens, sinks, even outdoor dishwashers can all be part of outdoor kitchens. Outdoor cooking spaces are often positioned near a vegetable garden. “Edible gardens are popular in outdoor spaces these days,” says Katrine. “We’ll often allocate an area to create an edible garden. Homeowners love to pick a sprig of rosemary or sage, for example, while they’re cooking up a meal outdoors.”



* contains one panel with 8 pots and

Create a fresh herb garden

/ /holmanindustries /holmangarden

GreenWall - Vertical Gardening Discover the endless possibilities Create a stunning living wall with the HOLMAN Vertical Planting Kit. This simple to install modular system comes complete with inbuilt adjustable drippers watering each pot so you can have an edible wall of herbs or stunning feature GreenWall all year around. Create a fresh herb garden HOLMAN - Still proudly Australian Owned for over 50 Years.

Watering Kit Pre-Installed

Photo: Manuel Rodriguez Vertical gardens can make a clever design statement.;

GROWING UP Looking to screen a space, grow your own veggies, or create a green living area with a tiny footprint? Install a vertical garden WORDS: CARROL BAKER ith backyards diminishing in size and apartment life on the increase, many people seek out a touch of green for their living spaces. With little need for lots of room, vertical gardens can offer the ideal solution. Some vertical gardens are freestanding, while others are fixed to a permanent structure such as a fence or wall. There’s a diverse range of styles, types and kits you can buy with everything you need, including integrated watering systems and drip feeders so just the right amount of moisture reaches the plant. Or you can DIY your own unique take on a


vertical garden by hanging unusual pots and objects, like wooden pallets or bottles, in an outdoor space. So what can you grow in a vertical garden? Just about anything that will grow in a container garden or pot will do well, although vertical gardens aren’t designed for very large plants. Landscape designer and horticulturalist, Tim Rioseco, from Dry River Gardens, says when planning a vertical garden, placement to receive adequate sunlight is something to consider. “Plants or vegetables generally need four hours of sunlight per day,” he says. “It gives the plants enough photosynthesis to carry through to the shadier times of the day.” A beautiful pot filled with pretty blooms.


A corner is all you need to create a cosy little lounge area in your garden.


The art of espaliering is timeless.

Pockets of produce is a vertical twist on a classic herb garden. Pictured is the vertical garden by urbanature.


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Photo: Tim Rioseco from Dry River Gardens

LEFT The right lighting can complement a vertical garden. BELOW Create a pea teepee and watch your productive garden flourish. BOTTOM Take a pre-loved tyre, a lick of paint and a splash of colour with some flowers, and you have a unique vertical garden.

WHAT TO GROW PLANTS IN? Vertical gardens can be either individual pockets, pods, or pots; some are individual segments, others are interlocking modular systems. Tim says felt is a popular option for those who want to DIY. “It’s very accessible, inexpensive, easy to set up, and it’s lightweight,” he says. “Conversely, felt pockets do run through quite a lot of water, so more frequent watering is required.” If you choose felt, opt for a quality product to increase the longevity of the pouch. Pots, of course, are another popular option. They can be easily replaced if needed, and may be more water effective than felt pockets. They do vary in quality, and Tim’s advice is to avoid pots that are too small. “With some of the smaller kits with pots, I’m always asked by people why their plants aren’t looking very happy,” he says. “You need a pot space of at least 100ml square so there’s enough space for the roots to take hold.”

THE ROOT OF THE MATTER When planting into a vertical garden, the planting material needs to be lightweight and free-draining. “Plants will do better in a light mix substrate of vermiculite, perlite and potting



MAKE IT EASY Of course, we know the importance of water, and it’s just as necessary for vertical gardens. “Water is one of the most important aspects of ensuring a vibrant and healthy vertical garden,” says Ashley Hazelwood from Holman Industries. “For us as a brand, we are always trying to find solutions for customers to make their experience in the garden more enjoyable. Our products are designed and engineered in Australia and we were the first to pioneer a vertical garden DIY product. All of our products have an inbuilt watering system. “Our primary product is our GreenWall vertical planting kit. It’s a modular kit with a watering system included in the back plate of the panel, allowing customers or installers to extend that vertically or horizontally Within that panel system there is a dripper that individually waters each pot. It’s adjustable so you can control the amount of water, and when combined with a tap timer, you can really manage the water flow to your vertical garden. For example, based on seasonal needs, you can increase watering to four or five times a day. Because of the size of the pot, you don’t want to be running water for too long; ideally you want short one- to two-minute cycles of water. “We also recognise that not everyone wants to install a garden permanently on a wall, so we have a mobile vertical garden kit. You can reposition it closer to the barbecue if growing herbs, or move it around outside from full sun to part shade if it’s really hot and you are concerned about your plants and vegetables perishing,” adds Ashley.

A vertical garden near the barbecue makes it easy to grab some herbs to add to your cooking.



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PETITE GARDENS If you have a balcony or courtyard, there’s limited space to grow vegetables or plants. But with vertical gardening, you can go up! As well as giving you privacy and blocking unattractive views, creating a vertical garden in a courtyard space can buffer strong winds and give you a sense of connectedness to the outdoors. It can also bring colour, delicate fragrance and texture to an outdoor courtyard or balcony. Keep the design simple and don’t overcrowd the space — select plants that can withstand the buffeting effects of winds and hot sun or shade depending on the position. There are many hot new looks in compact vertical gardens. Hanging glass terrarium planters look striking with an array of hardy succulents. Hang several in a row, at different heights. Frame a patio space with a pretty vertical garden. Bring an artwork to life with succulents in a frame. Repurpose packing crates for a fresh new look. Or create a contemporary garden with metal pots on a metal frame. Vertical gardens are blooming all over the place. Imagine the possibilities.

Going vertical is easy — even in small spaces.

PICK OF THE CROP Tempt your tastebuds with a themed vertical garden. Enjoy a taste of Italy with flat-leaf parsley, oregano, rosemary and chives, or spice up your culinary faire with an Asian-inspired green wall. Plant with Thai basil, peppermint, dill and lemon mint.

mix, with a small amount of organic matter,” says Tim. “The light mix allows plants to take root quite quickly — it’s the water that’s passing the nutrients and the soil biodiversity through to the plant that helps it grow and thrive,” he says. Without dense nutrient-rich soil, plants need a regular nutrient boost. “You can use a seaweed concentrate and fish emulsion concentrate, and depending on how your plants are responding and how hot it is, apply weekly or fortnightly,” suggests Tim. The easiest way to ensure your plants get the right amount of water is to set up an irrigation system — with a timer. It’s a lowmaintenance option that gives you more time to relax and enjoy your vertical garden rather than spending time hand-watering it. If you do


There are many kits you can buy to create a vertical garden.


The right mix of plants in a vertical garden becomes a piece of living art.


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hand water, you’ll need to do it frequently as vertical gardens do dry out far more quickly than other gardens.

WHAT WILL GROW WELL? According to Tim, vertical gardens tend to look better when they are well filled out. “If you are happy to experiment and are able to afford swapping plants more often, you can get systems with pots and can have pots waiting to be swapped over that are already established, so the grow wall can be more dynamic,” says Tim. Here are some of his suggestions to create your own signature vertical wall. You might be surprised at what you can grow: Rockery or arid garden: most succulents especially hanging, Rhipsalis, Sedum, Senecio. Edible gardens: leafy greens and herbs. Softer planting: Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’, liriope, smaller fern varieties, nandina and philodendrons.

GROWING VERTICAL VEGGIES There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of growing and harvesting fresh produce from your own patch. Sweet succulent strawberries


picked right from the garden wall, a handful of fresh basil with al dente pasta, or crisp greens to give a signature salad the right crunch. With vertical gardens, fresh wholesome food is at your fingertips. Growing vegetables vertically saves space too, and it’s kinder on knees when you garden. It’s easier to spot garden pests, and just as you would in a regular vegetable patch, Tim advocates companion planting to attract the right kind of insects to the garden and help to get rid of garden pests. “Plant things like marigolds and nasturtium, comfrey and borage — these invite positive insects to assist in the micro eco-system,” he says.

TRELLIS PLANTING FOR VEGETABLES As well as growing vegetables in pods or pots along a wall, you can also have plants grow upwards on trellises. There are, of course, naturally vining vegetables like beans and snow peas — tame them along a trellis fixed to a fence. Locate your trellis in a sunny spot and carefully secure it to the ground or fence, as the added weight of your harvest will require a sturdy framework.

ESPALIERED FRUIT TREES These can look fabulous in a garden, they take up a lot less room than other trees, and you can eat the fruits of you labour. Basically, espaliering is growing against a flat surface, like a fence line, to green the space, or along a driveway to define the space. It involves clipping and training the branches of the tree to the right shape. Lemon, orange, apples, kaffir lime, olives and pears can work well.

SCREEN SCENE If you’d like to segment spaces in your garden, green some fencing or create private spaces in your backyard, why not go vertical? The concept of vertical gardening suits a multitude of garden styles, whether you prefer a rustic naturalistic garden, a more provincial or Hamptons-style greenspace, or an ultramodern arid garden. The right screening plays with garden light and shadows, it brings a new dimension to a space rather than just acting as a cover-up, and it allows you to get creative in the garden.

Photo: Grab Photography


A mix of different types of plants creates texture on a green wall.

LEFT A water wise succulent vertical garden. ABOVE A garden on the move â&#x20AC;&#x201D; some vertical garden systems allow you to position the garden where you like. TOP A pretty as a picture vertical garden brings life to a bare wall.


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Lavender growing wild in Italy.

Lavender will add a luxuriant touch and scent to your garden this spring


pring 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. In Australia today we commonly garden with three different types of lavender: Spanish lavender, French lavender and English lavender. These common names have very little to do with where these species originate, but they are generally used Australia-wide. 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. 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 and are bred in Australia. 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. These are being called ‘Lavish’™ lavender and have been developed right here in Australia. 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 lavenderblue. 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. English lavender (Lavender angustifolia) is more commonly known and used in the cooler regions of Australia 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


Sensation Rose.


Lavishâ&#x201E;˘ Musk.

cooking and perfumery, but individual varieties have different chemical characteristics, so always seek advice before using in cooking. 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.


Lavishâ&#x201E;˘ Rose.


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Grow a thriving garden all-year round with a little help from a greenhouse


reenhouses are designed to provide a controlled horticultural environment where you can adjust the temperature and humidity. This allows you to grow plants, fresh fruits and vegetables, and flowers and herbs with ease. The beauty of greenhouses is that whatever you grow is protected from the harsh summer sun, drenching rains, cool frosts and high winds. Within the structured environment, seedlings sprout faster and you can grow a more diverse range of plants than you might otherwise be able to in your climate zone. Sproutwell Greenhouses is a family business that has enjoyed helping gardening enthusiasts and commercial growers alike to achieve their vision of an efficient and


flourishing garden. Based in Victoria, it has two display locations in Geelong and Officer, though interstate customers can view its range of greenhouses in a growing number of retail stores across the country. Sproutwell has supplied thousands of greenhouses to everyday Australians, professional growers, nurseries, landscape gardeners, schools, community gardens and large insurance companies. The company offers three very distinct ranges of greenhouses according to your requirements. Often the range that appeals to you will be determined by size, budget, location, weather (particularly if your garden is subject to high winds), style and colour.

Sproutwell is different from the average greenhouse company in that it keeps designs unique and is transparent when it comes to showing customers exactly what makes each range different. Many of its designs are patent, which means you’ll be getting a greenhouse like no other. Visit the website to check out Sproutwell’s new range of ShadeHouses, MultiZone Greenhouses (a combination of a winter and summer house), stylish outdoor room ranges and the new innovative ‘M Series’ that allows any number of greenhouses to be joined together side by side. Sproutwell Greenhouse’s Venlo Series offers flexibility in terms of length and width


(which is unlimited) as well as options for 8mm polycarbonate glazing or toughened 4mm safety glass. There is an option to add internal partition doors, which provide more control by creating isolation zones. The greenhouses in this unique range are suitable structures for test facilities, research greenhouses and biosecurity plant quarantine containment as well.

GET THE LOOK SPROUTWELL GREENHOUSES Phone 1300 657 174 Email Website


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Grow better-quality plants and produce without using chemicals


ave you ever taken a bite from an organic or homegrown vegetable and thought how different it tastes from the produce at the supermarket? There’s no doubt commercial fruit and vegetables have lost flavour and quality over the years, but you don’t have to settle for an inferior product. You can grow quality fruit and vegetables in your own backyard that simply burst with flavour without using chemical fertilisers or bug sprays. Seagold is a soluble seaweed extract made from fresh seaweed (algae) such as Ascophyllum nodosum, Sargassum and Laminaria, which are rich in micronutrients and natural hormones. Put away all those chemical fertilisers with technical names that you can’t even pronounce and smell like they would be more at home in a paint factory, and take the first step to growing your own fresh fruit and vegetables that are actually good for you. Seagold is a natural, non-toxic and nonpolluting soil conditioner, that improves quality in all crops by strengthening the cell walls and boosting the plant’s natural resistance to


disease and adverse conditions. It promotes the development of vigorous root systems for the plant to access nutrients and water, which ultimately leads to increased yields. Improved quality is evident in bolder foliage, enhanced skin colour and texture, higher sugar content and longer shelf life. Additional applications can be made immediately prior to or following stress periods such as frost or drought. Seagold is available in container sizes to suit any garden, even those with very little storage. This means no bulky, heavy bags to lift and store. The company’s kelp products are so concentrated that just 150g will make 150l of ready-to-use liquid fertiliser. Seagold’s kelp powder readily dissolves in water and can be applied in just minutes to the plant roots or directly to the leaves. As it is rapidly absorbed into the leaves of plants, the effect is fast and the plant food is delivered right to where it is needed. For an even greater effect, you can add some to the root zone of the plants as well. This will deliver a sustained boost to the plant.

Seagold liquid fertiliser can be used on a wide range of crops and plants including many flowers, palm trees and herbs. The product is available in garden or nursery centres across the country.

GET THE LOOK SEAGOLD PO Box 96, Cambrai SA 5353 Mobile 0410 335 633 Email Website


Are you looking for a one-stop shop for your landscaping needs?


s we look at pictures of beautiful landscapes around the world, it’s easy to forget how much work and maintenance goes into them. Whether you are a homeowner or landscape designer, you will need quality tools and products to get the job done efficiently. StrataGreen supplies an extensive range for the construction and maintenance of landscapes. The range includes products for the planting and maintenance of trees and gardens, revegetation of natural areas, erosion control, drainage, soil improvement, weed and pest control and onsite safety and PPE (personal protective equipment). StrataGreen is a single-source supplier for the landscape industry. This means customers can enjoy increased efficiency and cost savings by purchasing products from the one place, rather than having to shop around. The company’s new StraightCurve landscape edging has proven extremely popular. Available in a range of heights from 75mm up to 560mm, the only limit is your imagination. It’s available in weathering steel to give you an attractive rust finish or in galvanised steel for a beautiful

silvery-grey finish. Also in the StraightCurve range are the modular planter boxes. Made from weathering steel to give you maximum durability and that ever-popular rust finish, this modular system allows you to create planter boxes of varying heights, lengths and widths on site or at home with ease. StrataGreen’s TerraCottem soil conditioner consists of a proprietary mixture of more than 20 components from six different groups that all assist plant growth processes in a synergetic way. TerraCottem can be added to existing poorquality soil, ensuring it has all the goodness it needs to support healthy plant life. The broad scope of StrataGreen’s products allows designers and landscapers to enhance their garden designs in both aesthetic and practical ways. Products such as landscape edging can be used to create well-defined garden borders that both look good and reduce maintenance needs. Planter boxes can be used to create beautiful features within landscaped areas. TerraCottem soil conditioner will ensure expensive plants survive and flourish, as well as

reduce watering and fertiliser costs. The company’s extensive range doesn’t stop there. Other products such as root-control barriers, gabions, fertilisers, drainage products and quality garden tools are also available to enhance both the garden design and a homeowner’s outdoor living experience. StrataGreen operates from an office/ warehouse complex in Canning Vale, Western Australia. This central industrial location facilitates the distribution of products Australiawide. The company strives to provide customers with the highest level of service, including friendly phone assistance. Products are also available for purchase on the website.

GET THE LOOK STRATAGREEN 5 Barrel Way, Canning Vale WA 6155 Phone 1300 866 367 Email Website


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Improve the condition of your soil and let your rose garden be the envy of your neighbours


arthlife rock mineral products create conditions that allow plants to grow as they are meant to. First, the products break up the water-repellent crust that forms on all soil types, then they open up and condition the soil. Finally, they create a pool of nutrients in the soil. As a result, less watering is required for upkeep, fewer chemicals are needed, and you no longer have to stock up on different fertilisers for different plants. Most of the advice given regarding garden health and maintenance revolves around composting, mulching and fertilising, both soluble and slow-release. Little mention is made of minerals and the important role they perform. Combined with the necessary microbes, the minerals in the soil are the foundation upon which everything else is built. If your soil has a high mineral content, everything else you add to the garden works better and more efficiently.


Interestingly, Earthlife’s products also protect against insects but not in the traditional sense. Due to increased minerals for the plant, during the photosynthesis process, the plant is able to build complex sugars/carbohydrates in the leaves to make them unpalatable to insects. According to Earthlife, insects are Mother Nature’s mechanism to stop unhealthy plants from propagating. One of Earthlife’s stand-out products, Garden Mate, is a 100-per-cent natural garden soil and plant conditioner containing plant-available silica, minerals, trace elements and gardenfriendly microbes. “I have grown roses for nearly four decades,” says Earthlife customer, Annette Russell. “In my present garden ‘Montview’ in Killarney, Queensland, there are 470 roses including garden roses, Heritage roses and modern roses. For the first time last winter, I applied

an average of 500g of Garden Mate with cow or horse manure to all roses. A second application of Garden Mate was applied after the spring flowering and the result has been remarkable. Despite a long, hot, dry summer, and a long wet period at the end of March, the vigorous growth and healthy, dark-green foliage of the rose bushes, shrubs and climbers were the best I have ever grown, while the size, colour and fragrance of the spring and autumn blooms were magnificent. Best of all, there has been no need to use fungicides during the past six months. There were some outbreaks of black spot and powdery mildew in autumn, but absolutely nothing like what I have experienced in the past. I also observed that the yellowing of the new growth on some roses was corrected. I believe that Garden Mate was the key to such a marked improvement in the vigour and health of the roses.”


GET THE LOOK EARTHLIFE 78 Vanity St, Rockville QLD 4350 Phone 1800 819 003 Email Website


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Introducing a greenwall to your garden is much easier than you think


ooking for a one-stop shop for all of your gardening needs? We might just have the solution. Enter Holman Industries, a proud Australian and family-owned business that specialises in watering, gardening and plumbing products. Its major products include retractable hose reels, GreenWall vertical gardens, tap timers, sprinklers and raised garden beds. Constantly innovating and keeping their finger on the pulse of the gardening world, Holman has recently released a tap timer operated via Bluetooth. Its new range of Bluetooth-integrated watering and gardening products keep the company ahead of the pack. Holman’s products utilise the latest technology and are manufactured for the Australian market and weather conditions. The modern and stylish product designs stand out in the crowd. The company prides itself on designing products to complement the homeowner’s garden using neutral, modern colours that create a natural, fresh and contemporary feel.


Of special note is the company’s GreenWall Vertical Garden range. All Holman GreenWalls provide super-easy DIY assembly of a grand vertical garden. The range offers options to suit any living arrangement, whether it’s a large property or small apartment, and each model is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The company’s most popular model, the GreenWall Vertical Planting Kit (GW1001), features a modular design with eight mediumsized pots that provide total freedom of plant selection. With this GreenWall, there are no boundaries except your imagination. The GreenWall can be extended by adding another module, either vertically or horizontally, to suit the desired layout. You can even create an extravagant vertical garden that covers an entire wall or, as Holman calls it, a “living piece of art”. The pots can be filled with herbs, flowers, plants or a combination off all three. A GreenWall filled with herbs next to a barbecue provides ingredients for fresh organic cooking. Alternatively, filling one with exotic plants creates

an art piece in an outdoor entertaining area. The GreenWall Vertical Planting Kit includes an inbuilt watering system to ensure every pot receives its own water. This is an easy way of keeping the vertical garden hydrated and healthy. Contemporary and sleek, the GreenWall Pixel Pot (GW1016) has no backing module — just wall brackets and a thin panel. Each panel holds four pots and there are four panels in a kit (16 pots in one kit). This product gives you the freedom to place the panels at the desired distance apart. This is particularly beneficial if the design includes tall, overgrowing plants. Similar to GW1001, the Pixel Pot can be easily extended with additional Pixel Pot kits — it’s as simple as adding the extra panels to the wall. The GreenWall Pixel Pot is the ideal GreenWall to use when designing a masterpiece for a large outdoor area. It also comes with an inbuilt watering system. The Slim GreenWall (GW1006) is the perfect GreenWall for people with limited outdoor space. The thin module is designed to fit on a



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narrow apartment balcony or a kitchen wall. The Slim GreenWall is a smaller version of GW1001; while it is comprised of the same features, there are six pots instead of eight. The Mobile GreenWall (GW0005) is a solution for those who don’t want to grow plants in the ground or on the wall. As its name implies, it is a completely mobile vertical garden. It’s great for growing plants that need consistent sun as the unit can be moved around to follow the sun. Like the other GreenWalls, the mobile GreenWall can be extended by connecting another unit. The Mobile GreenWall also includes an inbuilt watering system. It consists of nine small pots and two large ones that all connect to the contemporary frame which is finished in black. The Benchtop GreenWall (GW1008) is designed to bring life into the kitchen. This neat, compact unit sits nicely on a kitchen bench. Fill it with herbs and you can incorporate fresh ingredients into your cooking every day. The Benchtop’s drip tray catches excess water, meaning no mess. The GreenWall range is a simple way to bring an outdoor entertainment area to life. Vertical gardens turn a plain wall into a colourful vibrant living wall, they create a conversation piece and add colour, fun and freshness to your backyard. Incorporating herbs into the GreenWall creates


an edible piece of art that also improves health by having fresh ingredients at your fingertips. A unique feature of Holman’s GreenWall range is the inbuilt watering system. When attached to a garden hose and tap timer, the GreenWall is automatically watered. A vertical garden that automatically irrigates, provides minimal maintenance and delivers healthy hydrated plants — what more could you ask for? The pots in the GreenWall range are all removable, making it super easy to plant and replant when necessary. Need some guidance? The Holman website features a blog called Holman Garden that provides detailed how-to projects, including how to assemble a GreenWall. Head to Holman’s Facebook or Instagram page for inspirational images of its GreenWalls. The GreenWall range is available at Bunnings and other leading garden centres.

GET THE LOOK HOLMAN INDUSTRIES 47 Walters Drive, Osborne Park WA 6017 Phone 1300 716 188 Email Website

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With a flexible steel-edging product, you can give shape and definition to any garden


hen it comes to garden edging, you need a product that is strong, versatile and weather resistant — and you can’t get anything that fits the bill better than steel. Greenlines Gardenware’s FormBoss range of low-maintenance steel garden edging lets you be the boss of your own garden design. Greenlines Gardenware offers a large array of easy-to-install domestic and commercialgrade steel edging solutions ranging from flush edges to 400mm-high retaining walls. You also have a choice of galvanised steel, ZAM (exclusive looking and ultra durable) or Corten steel (that boasts a weathered finish), and various gauges to ensure the edging is the appropriate strength for your project. FormBoss edging systems allow you to create curves and angles with ease and,


thanks to the rounded top edge and hidden stakes and connectors, the finished result is elegant and clean. For a fully coordinated look, ask about FormBoss tree rings and premade raised planter beds, which are ideal for vegie or herb gardens. Once installed, FormBoss edging stays where it is put. Its strength, durability and longevity make it ideal for every application from family gardens and urban outdoor living spaces to commercial projects, and it comes with a 10year replacement warranty. So impressive is the FormBoss range that it is often employed by leading Australian garden designers participating in the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show. FormBoss edging has played a key role in a wide variety of display gardens, including the 2013 winner

of Best in Show. In recent shows, FormBoss edging featured in multiple gardens, many of them award winners. Greenlines Gardenware offers a full range of services, including free quotes, precurving of edging products and Australia-wide delivery. You can buy direct from the Melbourne factory or from one of the ever-increasing number of re-sellers popping up all over Australia.




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Meet the Levines, a busy family of five who love to get their hands dirty in the backyard. They’ve just enjoyed a bumper crop of tomatoes from their veggie patch, and when they’re not tending to their giant magnolia, they’re trying to get the whole back deck swallowed up by the garden. For the Levines, having lots of green around has become a way of life. “I couldn’t think of any other way to live,” says Aaron. “We spend so much time in the built environment; having nature in sight keeps everything in balance.”

The benefits of having a garden for a growing family are pretty clear, from physical exercise to active learning.

“HAVING NATURE IN SIGHT KEEPS EVERYTHING IN BALANCE” “Our youngest follows me all around the veggie patch digging holes with me, getting absolutely filthy - loving every minute,” says Aaron.

And having a veggie patch gives the Levines fresh, nutritious food at their fingertips. “The best thing about growing your own produce is eating it,” says Daniela. “We recently picked a few snow peas, and the crispy crunch of them – well – there’s nothing like it,” adds Aaron. The Levines’ plant life balance is up there with the best, but you don’t need a lot of space or a veggie patch to reap the health benefits of plants.

WHAT’S THE LOOK FOR YOU? Fantastic Feasts is a brand new look for your garden or balcony that looks great and tastes even better. It will have you enjoying your own fruit, veggies and herbs within no time, just like the Levines. Child’s Play is designed to spark interest and creativity in your budding little gardeners. It’s made up of lots of easy-care, non-toxic plants and splashes of colour. They’re just two of seven looks to inspire you to get more green in your scene, and improve your health, wellbeing and style. Take a leaf out of the Levine’s book, get the looks, get gardening and improve your plant life balance.


THE MAGIC OF MUSHROOMS It takes very little space and not much effort to have lovely clusters of mushies appear almost out of nowhere Words: Kirsten Bradley & Milkwood Permaculture Photos: Diane Norris o you think you have no space to grow your own food? Perhaps it’s because your yard is shady or small. Or maybe you’re in an apartment, with no yard at all. Not to worry! Growing your own mushrooms could be the perfect project to add a little home-grown goodness to your diet, no matter where you live. Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of fungus and typically they pop up either on the soil’s surface or on the food source the fungus


has been eating. Different mushrooms have different nutritional and medicinal properties, some of which even increase after harvest. Shiitake mushrooms, for example, have the unusual quality of increasing greatly in vitamin D content when dried in the sun. Depending on the type of fungus, you can cultivate mushrooms on wood shavings, straw, soil or even grain that has been inoculated with the particular mycelium (the vegetative part of a fungus) you’re hoping to fruit from. Many tasty mushrooms will grow in any hospitable, contained environment, as long as the fungus has the right food. That

environment could be a closed bucket or a bag — it doesn’t need to be outside in a garden or in an old train tunnel. The food fungi eat is called the substrate. When growing your own mushrooms from scratch, you first need to sterilise that substrate so your mycelium aren’t competing with other fungal spores that are naturally present in the air all around us. Once you’ve sterilised your substrate (coffee grounds, sawdust etc), you add your chosen mycelium, seal the bag or bucket and wait for the mycelium to colonise (ie eat) the substrate. Where you place your bags or buckets of



Yellow Oyster

Pink Oyster


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Swiss Brown




Do you want to grow your own organic mushrooms from scratch? Milkwood can teach you how in their weekend Mushroom Cultivation courses. Students learn how to grow mushrooms with logs, bags and buckets to allow for whatever technique suits your backyard (or bathroom) best. See for upcoming course dates and locations.

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future mushrooms is up to you, but it doesn’t need to be in a backyard. Anywhere that is not too hot and has a reliable and stable temperature is great. Light won’t bother your bags one way or the other; it’s all about moisture and temperature. The laundry cupboard, under your back stairs or in a corner of the study would be just fine. And this is the great thing about growing mushrooms: once you have made or bought your bags or buckets of mycelium, they exist in a closed system until fruiting time. This means you don’t have to worry about your


house being eaten by fungi (that might sound crazy but some people do worry) while your mycelium is quietly eating all its substrate and getting ready to fruit. Once your container is fully colonised with the mycelium, it’s fruiting time. You’ll be opening up some holes in your container to enable the fungi to slowly bloom out into the world — in the form of a cluster of mushrooms. Now is the step where you do need to look after your future mushrooms a bit so they can develop happily and produce much deliciousness. The trick of looking after mushrooms during the fruiting phase is

humidity and moisture. You need to keep your fruiting container moist. Often the best spot to do this at home is on the kitchen bench (where you’ll see your container multiple times a day and remember to give them a quick squirt with a water mister). Another good idea (if no one in your family objects and you can find a spot) could be the bathroom – allowing your mushrooms to benefit from all that steam. Wherever you decide to fruit your “shrooms”, keep them somewhere you go every day so you can easily check their progress. And, before you know it, you’ll be adding fresh mushrooms to the menu.

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Protect your precious crops from scale.

STICKY BUSINESS These tiny honeydew-producing vandals are the most common problem for citrus, but control is in your hands Words: Diane crawford Photos: Dan Papacek & Keilidh Ewan cale, mealybug, aphids and whiteflies are closely related sap-sucking, honeydew-producing insects. Sweet, sticky honeydew oozes from these pests as they suck the juices from various plant parts. One problem for the garden is that, wherever the sugary honeydew solution lands (on leaves, fruit or stems), sooty mould can take hold. This fungus can cause unsightly, sooty-looking fruit. It does not infect plants but can interfere with photosynthesis, thus affecting plant growth and causing leaf drop.


Citrus scale are small insects that suck plant sap and are the most common pest affecting Australian citrus. There are two types: • Hard (or armoured) scale: produce a hard waxy cover that protects the soft body. Some of these insects inject toxins into the tree as they feed, which causes dieback of twigs, branches and eventually the whole tree. • Soft scale: do not produce a hard cover but some become quite tough and leathery as adults. Soft scale produce honeydew, which forms a sticky coating on leaves, twigs and fruit, providing an ideal environment for certain fungi to develop. Scale are unusual insects, appearing to lack legs and eyes. They look like tiny (3–6mm)

white, pink or brown raised domes or bumps on leaves or stalks – sometimes misidentified as part of the tree. They are usually only mobile when young and remain stationary as adults, often along the veins of leaves or stems of citrus where they suck the sap. They lay their eggs under the scale shell and when the young “crawlers” emerge they are transported by wind or by ants. Some species produce several hundred to thousands of eggs, giving great potential for huge numbers in the home garden. Apart from sooty mould, honeydew causes additional problems by attracting ants onto citrus trees. Ants seek honeydew as an


energy-rich food and while they forage for it they disturb and attack beneficial insects, altering the ecological balance in the garden.

TAKE CONTROL • Maintain tree health: water and fertilise properly. • Scale can easily be scraped off with a fingernail or toothbrush if the infestation is small — a useful daily job. • For larger infestations, a suitable organic horticultural oil, such as Eco-Oil, is an effective control. The oil works by smothering the scale, so the application of it must be enough to completely coat the scale — ie more rather than less. Oil Spray Recipe: 2 cups vegetable oil 1 cup pure liquid soap (organic) 1 litre water Blend thoroughly until the mixture turns white. Add one tablespoon of this blended mixture to one litre of water and spray scale thoroughly. Spray only on mild days or in the early morning to avoid burning foliage.

Other Methods: • Ants crawling up and down your citrus are a good indicator of a scale problem. (Note that ants are also attracted to the nectar of citrus flowers.) The best organic solution is to apply a sticky band around the trunk to prevent ants from climbing the tree. The bands should not contact the ground or tree foliage and they must be kept clean of debris. Make sure nothing else, such as a stake, is in contact with the trunk. • Grafting tape is useful against ants. Wrap a 6–8cm band around the trunk and coat it evenly and thickly all over with organic palm oil or beeswax and the ants won’t go up or down. This might take a few days to work.

Though easy to see, scale don’t look like insects but more like part of the plant.

NATURAL PREDATORS Scale are attacked by a wide range of enemies, including tiny parasitoid wasps, predatory ladybirds, mites, lacewing larvae and hoverfly larvae. Growing suitable flowers, like Good Bug Mix, throughout the year will maintain beneficial insect numbers. BACKYARD

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TOTALLY RAD Looking for fast-growers? These spicy little beauties will fit the bill Words: Melissa King Photo: Damien Creatz xplore the world of radishes (Raphanus sativus) and you’ll discover that there’s a whole lot more to this fast-growing root vegetable than the cherry-red variety with crisp white flesh most of us are familiar with. Take Black Spanish Round, for example, with its decorative black skin and pure white flesh. Radish Watermelon is another unique and tasty variety. Slice through the pinkish root and you’ll reveal a white outer ring and pink flesh. Bite into it and you’ll recognise the familiar spicy radish flavour. French Breakfast is also attractive, with finger-like red-and-white radishes, or you might like to try the aptly named White



Icicle with elongated snowy-white roots and crisp flesh. But, if you like growing truly unusual things, look out for Heirloom Mix, a collection of radishes in a kaleidoscope of shades. People never fail to be intrigued and delighted by their Easter egg-like colours. Radishes are vigorous and fast growing and can be grown and harvested year round in many climates. Because you get quick results, they are often recommended as a good crop for kids to grow, but from my experience not many children actually like radishes. It often takes mature tastebuds to appreciate the crunch, freshness and spicy kick radishes can bring to salads and sandwiches — and they add flavour to soups and stews, too. Choose a full-sun position and work in plenty of compost before sowing.

Radish seeds are best sown directly into the garden; just watch that snails don’t devour the young seedlings as they push their way through the soil. Because they develop quickly, they’ll benefit from a good dose of liquid food every one or two weeks.

FAST FACTS Planting: Sow in all seasons in most climates Position: Full sun Height and spacing: Roughly 20cm × 5cm Growing tip: When the seedlings develop two leaves, thin them to around 5cm apart Cooking tip: Use young radish sprouts in salads and sandwiches for a kick of spiciness

Honey is known for its antibacterial properties.

GARDEN TO SKIN There’s a long and beautiful tradition the world over of making beauty products straight from nature

these ingredients are completely natural. Without preservatives, such as parabens and formaldehyde-producing chemicals, many of them will have the same sort of shelf/fridge life as any fresh food —unless oils or honey are the main ingredients.

FROM THE ORCHARD Words: Kerry Boyne he golden rule of skincare is easy: never put on your skin (including scalp) anything you would not put in your mouth. In other words, if you can’t eat it, don’t wear it. The one exception is essential oils, which are lovely for fragrance but are used in only very tiny amounts. Most commercially manufactured beauty and personal care products on the supermarket and pharmacy shelves break that rule big time. Many people think that using a substance externally means it doesn’t enter the body. That’s understandable, because there are a lot of products out there that say something like “for external use only” on the label. The thing is, many substances, both helpful and harmful, are absorbed efficiently transdermally (through the skin) and go straight into the bloodstream.



In the case of a lot of very common, and very nasty, beauty ingredients — parabens, petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances, ethylene glycol and propylene glycol, to name a few — you definitely don’t want that to happen on a daily basis if good health is as important a goal as good skin. Happily, these days there are many natural and organic skincare products available in healthfood stores and even pharmacies, but it’s also fun and satisfying to make your own using fruit, veg, herbs and flowers from your garden, as well as common ingredients from your fridge and pantry. Here are just a few natural ingredients you may find in your garden or local fruit and veg market along with ideas on how to use them to make your own skincare products. Note that another golden rule of DIY skincare is never make a lot at once —because

Avocado Used inside or outside your body, avocado nourishes skin. The fruit contains the minerals zinc, potassium, sodium, magnesium, copper, iron and calcium as well as vitamins A, C, E and K. Its good fats and antioxidants combat ageing too. The inside of the peel is particularly good for skin, as is the pure oil extracted from the seed. Rub your (clean) face with the inside of a piece of skin. Leave for 15 minutes before washing off. You can also mash the avocado pulp and smear it over clean skin. Face mask: Mix the mashed pulp of ½ avocado with 1 egg white and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Spread evenly on the face and neck and leave for 15–20 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water. For hair, mash ½ avocado, mix with olive oil and leave on for half an hour before rinsing off.



Is there anything an avocado can’t do?

When using essential oils, including tea-tree, only add as drops — not too many — and never use internally. Always dilute in carrier oils such as almond, argan or olive oil, shea butter or other agents. Never use on children or pets.

minutes then wash with lukewarm water. For dry skin, mix it with some yoghurt and leave for 20 minutes before washing off. You can also use the inside of the papaya skin as a cleanser. Rub it over your face and rinse.

Calendula oil is a potent night-time moisturiser.


Banana Ripe or not-so-pretty bananas make a great beauty product. Rich in potassium and vitamin A, banana has a moisturising action on skin and hair. As with avocado, you can simply mash a ripe banana (not overripe) and smear it on your face. Leave for 10 minutes and rinse with warm water. To soften dry and cracked feet, do the same. You can also mix it with ingredients such as honey, oatmeal or yoghurt. Hair treatment: Mash ripe banana with ripe avocado and a squeeze of lemon and rub the mixture through your hair. Leave for half an hour and shampoo and condition as usual.

Papaya The same enzyme in papaya that helps digestion — papain — also helps to exfoliate skin by removing dead and damaged cells. Papaya is rich in antioxidants, particularly vitamins A and C and carotene, which help to repair DNA damage in skin cells. Regular use of papaya will help to reduce blemishes, acne, age spots and freckles. It’s also great for superficial wounds, especially if mixed with a little raw honey. Face mask: Take a small piece of papaya and gently massage your face and neck with the pulp for 5 minutes. Leave on the skin for 10

Aloe Vera This infinitely useful plant is easy to grow in the garden or a pot. The clear gel from the leaves contains vitamins C, A and E, amino acids, polysaccharides, enzymes and proteins. It’s soothing for burns and skin irritations and helps with healing. It has a moisturising and anti-ageing effect on skin and is also thought to be an effective treatment for herpes (cold sores). Simply use the gel as it comes from the plant to moisturise, especially after sun exposure, which is hard to avoid for gardeners. Face mask: Mix the white of an egg with a tablespoon of gel and a tablespoon of cucumber juice. Smear over clean skin, leave for 20 minutes and wash off. Calendula Perhaps the most soothing and healing of herbs, calendula has anti-inflammatory powers that make it useful for treating acne, eczema, dermatitis, rosacea and other skin conditions as well as a potent anti-ageing ingredient. Rich in carotenoids, lutein, lycopene and flavonoids, it can be made into a tincture, tea, salve or cream, or infused in oil. Drinking calendula tea daily will also do wonders for your complexion. Moisturising oil: Place ½ cup of dried flowers in a sterilised glass jar with a lid and cover well with BACKYARD

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ABOVE The clear gel from aloe vera is soothing and healing. TOP LEFT Another benefit of having chooks: eggs are great for the skin, too. BOTTOM LEFT Banana helps to prevent dryness in the skin.

into a small container with a lid. (Tint with a few drops of beetroot juice if you want a little colour.) Allow to set. Honey Honey is a potent healer with its antibacterial, anti-microbial and anti-irritant actions. Its humectant (water-retaining) properties make it a skin moisturiser and a useful partner to other beauty ingredients. Long used to heal wounds, honey, along with other bee products, is said to help prevent scarring. Face scrub: To help dryness and soften skin, apply honey to clean skin, leave for 15–20 minutes and rinse off with warm water. For a gentle exfoliating face scrub, combine 1 tablespoon of raw honey with ½ tablespoon of fine oatmeal, massage over skin and wash with warm water.

olive or sweet almond oil. Leave to steep for a few weeks, strain and use as a night-time moisturiser. Extend its shelf life by putting it in brown or opaque glass and storing in a dark, cool place.

FROM THE BEES AND CHOOKS Beeswax Many commercial beauty products have beeswax as their base, and for good reason. It contains vitamin A and, like other bee products, has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and


antioxidant actions. It has emollient properties, too, which help to soothe and soften skin. With its firm texture, beeswax is particularly good for making lip balms but can also be mixed with oils and butters such as shea to make body creams and lotions. Lip balm: Take 2 teaspoons each of beeswax, coconut oil and rosehip or sweet almond oil and melt together. Add 5 drops of essential oil such as peppermint for a fresh zing or sweet orange or ylang ylang for fragrance. Pour

Egg The protein in eggs makes them excellent for hair and skin. The yolk, rich in fats and proteins, has a moisturising effect, while the enzyme-containing white deals with oiliness and skin debris. The whites have a smoothing, tightening effect on skin when used as a mask — drawing out impurities and closing pores, thus making the skin look finer. Face mask: The simplest of all face masks and one of the most effective is just lightly beaten egg white smeared over clean skin and left to dry. Wash off with lukewarm water. Add the juice of ½ lemon for a bit more zing — the fruit acids are good for skin. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to make it a moisturising mask. Add a tablespoon of finely grated cucumber for an even better effect. Hair conditioner: Beat an egg yolk until it’s frothy, add a teaspoon of olive oil and half a cup of water. Rub through clean hair, leave for a few minutes and rinse with warm water.


GO BUSH Create a Bushman’s table and chairs that not only looks great, but can be used by the whole family WORDS: MARK VISSER PHOTOS: DALLAS OLSEN There is nothing like making something with your own two hands, particularly when you know it will be used by you and your family for years to come. Outdoor furniture is expensive to buy, so why not make some yourself? The rustic style will look great in a garden setting so take up the challenge this weekend. For more information on the tools used in this demonstration, visit

WHAT TO DO WHAT YOU NEED • 6 x pre-cut slabs of camphor laurel timber (2440mm long, 50mm thick, and 400mm wide) • 35 x 4in Bugle Batten screws (stainless-steel) • PKS 18 LI Bosch circular saw • Tape measure • PSM 18 LI Bosch cordless multi-sander • PSR 18 LI-2 Bosch lithium-ion cordless two-speed drill/driver • AKE 30 LI — 1 battery pack Bosch cordless chainsaw


Step 1. After viewing the picture of the Bushman table and bench seats, lay your timber on the ground or bench before cutting. Decide which pieces will best suit your desired look.




4 Steps 2 & 3. Starting with your tabletop pieces, trim off the inside edge of your two outside pieces. Then select your centre slab piece and trim both outside edges. Now trim length to 2240mm.

Step 4. For your table base, select your chosen pieces and cut your base ends to height. Our table leg base height is 660mm.

Step 5. Next, take the piece you have selected for the centre brace to go between your table ends and cut one side edge so that it will mount flush up under the tabletop centre board. Your piece should be at least 200mm wide after cutting one side. Now trim length to 1400mm.


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Steps 8, 9 & 10. To finish off, simply place your tabletop edge boards on either side of your centre board and pre-drill and screw into position, leaving about a 6mm gap between your timbers. Also trim and sand any edges. Your table is now finished. Steps 6 & 7. Assemble the table base. Measure the width of your base and mark the centre. Checking the width of your centre brace, make a mark either side of centre on the base end so the brace is positioned correctly. Pre-drill two or three holes down the centre line to make the screw assembly easier. Take one table end and centre brace piece and turn upside down on a flat surface. Line up marks and continue with pre-drill holes, then screw together. Once done, replicate the procedure for the other table end. Once done, turn the table base assembly upright. Place your centre tabletop board on the base. Using your tape, find the centre position and then adjust so the overhang on either end is the same distance. Once done, pre-drill a hole and screw the centre board to the table ends. Then find the centre of the brace under the centre board and pre-drill three holes equally spaced along the tabletop.





Steps 11 & 12. Now for the bench seats. Seat base procedure is the same as the table base. Take the pieces selected for the seat base ends and cut to a length of 365mm. Next, trim one edge off your seat brace base and cut to a length of 1850mm. Mark the centre points of the bench seat ends and pre-drill and assemble. Once again, having the pieces placed upside down on a flat surface makes assembly easier.

Steps 13 & 14. Once both seat bases are done, turn upright and place your timber seat slab on top. If not already done, make sure your slab is cut to a length of 2240mm. This will give an overhang of approximately 140mm on either end of the seat. Find the centre of the seat base ends and approximately 60mm in from each edge, pre-drill and screw the slab into position. Then, along the centre line of the seat, secure the seat brace with three equally spaced screws.



Step 15. Your slab table and bench seat assembly is now done. Depending on the size and quality of your timber, extra bracing and pieces may be required. Now you can choose to finish your project the way you like. Sand the sharp or rough edges as desired or leave as a rough cut.

A DIY handyman in his spare time, Mark Visser is an Australian big wave surfer and ocean adventurer. His dedication to the sport is unprecedented. With an intense training regimes and freakish skills, he is known as one of the fittest watermen in the world.


Photos: Bigstock

Chamomile tea is thought to help with the common cold.


Cup of Tea A power plant it may be, but pretty chamomile is as sweet and gentle as it looks Words: Kerry Boyne hen a plant has the official seal of approval in the pharmacopoeias of 26 countries for its effectiveness in treating many ills, you can be certain it has a lot going for it. Chamomile has a long and illustrious history as a folk remedy, though mostly it’s enjoyed as a calming tea these days; in fact, it’s easily the most popular herbal tea in Western countries. With its pretty little daisy flowers, chamomile is a beautiful addition to the herb patch or, indeed, anywhere in the garden. The common types will flower most times of the year (except winter) and their leaves have a lovely apple scent.



Chamomile was known in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome for its health benefits. In fact, its name, which comes from Greek via Latin and French, means “earth apple”, a reference to the fragrance of its foliage. Part of the Asteraceae family, chamomile is native to Europe, North Africa and some parts of Asia. The two main types used for medicinal purposes are German chamomile (Matricaria recutita, also Matricaria chamomilla), a taller, bushier annual; and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), a low-growing perennial. Though different plants, they like similar conditions and German is grown more commonly, though the flowers of Roman are sweeter. Roman may be grown as a groundcover or filler between pavers or rocks.

There’s also a lawn chamomile, Chamaemelum nobile ‘Treneague’, which is a dwarf type. It’s a non-flowering, matting variety with feathery leaves that give off an apple scent when trodden on. It won’t stand constant heavy foot traffic, though, and like the other types it won’t like full, all-day sun in hot climates.

HEALTH BENEFITS With their anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-allergenic, antipeptic, antispasmodic, antipyretic and sedative properties, the pretty flowers of chamomile can be used both internally and externally. Active constituents include azulene, flavonoids, tannins, bitter glycosides, salicylates and coumarins, as well as minerals calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Used internally as an infusion (or tea), chamomile is known to relieve upset stomachs and other gastrointestinal conditions, as well as menstrual cramps, morning sickness and colic in babies; but it’s perhaps best known for reducing stress and inducing calm and relaxation before bedtime. A tincture can be a great soother for teething pain in infants too. When used as a poultice, salve or mouthwash, chamomile may relieve inflammation and infection of the eyes, speed the healing of ulcers,


wounds and burns, soothe other skin problems and rashes including eczema and sunburn, and help to prevent gum disease. Animal studies on German chamomile have shown it reduces inflammation, speeds wound healing, reduces muscle spasms and acts as a mild sedative. Few such studies have been carried out on people, though a recent German study showed chamomile to be effective in healing weeping wounds caused by tattooing. Laboratory studies have also shown it can kill bacteria, fungi and viruses.

GROWING Chamomiles are relatively easy to grow given the right conditions, though they are not especially fussy. They like plenty of sun but not blazing hot all day — morning sun and semishade in the afternoon would be ideal in hot climates. The plants like well-drained, sandy to rich soil and they need regular watering in summer but, once established, they’re not too thirsty at other times. The plants can be susceptible to fungi, insects and viruses if not kept healthy. White rust and powdery mildew can cause problems and aphids and thrips may attack but most insects will steer clear of chamomile. For that reason it’s a good companion plant in the vegetable garden. It’s also said to strengthen neighbouring plants, a quality that has earned it nicknames like “the plant doctor”. Plant from seed or as a seedling in warmer months.

or, using your fingers as a rake, break off the individual flowers and spread on paper. If you have a food dehydrator, that’s an easy way to dry the flowers, or you can spread them on a tray lined with baking paper and place in an oven that has been heated then turned off, with the door open a fraction. We even know someone who spreads her chamomile on kitchen paper across the dashboard of her car parked in full sun with the windows slightly open. Once the flowers are completely dry, store them in a glass jar with a tight lid, such as a mason jar.

however, it is not recommended for pregnant women as it can stimulate contractions. Also, those who have allergies to other types of daisy plants may have a problem with chamomile.

USING There are lots of uses for your chamomile flowers other than putting them in a teapot. • Place dried or fresh flowers in a basin of boiling water and use as a facial steam bath. • Use warm water filled with flowers as a hand soak after working in the garden. Also makes a good foot soak. • Boil flowers for 20 minutes, strain when cooled a bit and use as a final hair rinse to condition and lighten hair. • For a throat gargle or mouthwash, make a tea and let it cool. Gargle as often as desired. • To soothe skin conditions, including insect bites and burns, throw a few handfuls of dried flowers into your bathwater. • Make a poultice by grinding the dried flowers to a powder and mixing it with water to form a paste. Apply to inflamed skin.



Pick the little flowers when fully open. To dry them, you can either hang a bunch upside down

Chamomile is generally considered very safe, even for children and babies (in small amounts);

CHAMOMILE TEA Chamomile makes a calming tea before bedtime and can be given to children as well as adults. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2–3 teaspoons of dried flowers and steep for 10–15 minutes. Keep in mind that the longer it steeps, the more bitterness it develops. Drink up to 3–4 cups a day, including one before bed.


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LOOKS AND LONGEVITY OUTDECO’s modular screens offer good looks, longevity and versatility. Screens can be adapted to any purpose: think partitions, arbours, gateways, fencing and bench boxes. Also think decorative panelling to dress up or mask a dull garden wall, or screening to conceal a shed, water tank or pool equipment. Made in Australia from compressed hardwood board, OUTDECO screens can be easily framed or finished in various ways. They can also be painted any colour you like, sealed with decking oil or left to weather naturally, so no matter what the style of your project, there’ll be a finish and pattern to suit. Pictured here is the Mahjong screen.



SO UPLIFTING If you’re a regular reader of Backyard, you’ll know how important it is to treat your soil with a little TLC. Nowadays there are many fantastic organic and natural products that you can use on your garden that will not only make your plants thrive, but keep your family and pets safe too — not to mention reduce your impact on the environment. Before sowing or transplanting flowering plants into a garden bed or pot, enrich the soil or potting mix first with some Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food. It’s rich in organic matter and encourages earthworms and beneficial soil microorganisms.


LOCK AND KEY Kellock Trading’s new Geo Rok range of glass-fibre-reinforced cement pots embodies timeless design and attention to detail. Geo Rok is twice as strong as fibreglass, much lighter than concrete and resistant to UV and water penetration. Kellock supplies the landscape and building design industries with a range of pots and garden features, including wall-mounted and free-standing decorative screens in Corten and mild steel.


Renowned for their charm and whimsy, Think Outside’s remarkable metal sculptures and pieces of outdoor decor can transform any garden — and bring a smile to any face. Each artwork is custom-designed by Aaron Jackson and handcrafted by skilled craftsmen using reused and recrafted materials, meaning no two will ever be exactly the same. What sets Think Outside ahead of the crowd is its originality, from concept to creation. Its signature collection, EE-I-EE-I-O, makes a bold and colourful statement, with all items created from recycled 44-gallon drums. EE-I-EE-I-O strives to radiate joy by embracing quirkiness and colour. Think Outside products are sold in garden and gift retailers across Australia. To find your nearest stockist, visit the website.

NEW! 2018 Our Australia Wall Calendars available now


$19.95 each

GREAT GIFT IDEAS FOR EVERYONE Grab your copies now at or from your local newsagent

STRIP IT The range of strip overhead radiant heaters from New Age Outdoors is ideal for outdoor heating. These infrared heaters provide comfortable warmth without the disturbing red light emitted by traditional infrared heaters. The heaters can create warmth indoors or revitalise outdoor environments such as terraces, patios and outdoor entertaining areas to create a warm and cosy atmosphere during the cooler months. Delightfully easy to install, these strip heaters can be incorporated into most settings and, although they do not require gas to operate, they are just as efficient as gas heaters, covering up to 10-40m².

SAVE WATER AND MONEY Harvest the rainwater that falls on your roof with a Polymaster tank and keep your garden green for free. Just imagine … no more high water bills. Polymaster tanks can be fitted to a drip irrigation system or the water can be used for car washing. It can also be plumbed into bathrooms and laundries. Polymaster slimline tanks, designed for maximum volume and minimum footprint, are available in two modern styles, many sizes and more than 22 Colorbond-matched hues. For peace of mind, these tanks come with a 10-year warranty and have a seamless selfsupporting roof structure for added strength. Underground tanks and large round tanks are also available.

NEW GENERATION House of Bamboo’s decking for outdoors is a true alternative to non-sustainable timbers. It is an engineered product from selected bamboo strips, which gives it continuity of colour and strength. The boards are straight, which aids in installation and lessens wastage. The standard long lengths of 5.4m or 6m, widths of 140mm or 90mm and its beautiful appearance make this product a must for all decking projects. The bamboo species used is Moso bamboo, which is highly sustainable, selfregenerating and the fastest-growing bamboo species known to mankind, making it one of the most affordable and eco-friendly building materials available. Whether it be a fence, feature panel, wall or privacy screen, decking board panels can be used vertically, horizontally or diagonally to add another element to the overall design of your indoor and outdoor living spaces.

LET THERE BE LIGHT Effectively illuminate your outdoor space while maximising energy efficiency with BoscoLighting’s range of LED and energy-efficient lighting. With an extensive collection of in-ground uplights, underwater pool lights, path lights, spike spotlights, step lights, brick lights, exterior wall lights, waterproof flood lights, waterproof linear extrusion and strip lights, and so much more, BoscoLighting will be able to outfit any landscape project from front to back in one order. While lighting can create a fantastic ambience in outdoor environments, it also adds a layer of security. With IP65/67 weather protection, BoscoLighting’s range of outdoor fixtures is perfect for gardens, drains and driveway applications, even colourwashing for trees.

WHAT A TOOL! Yard maintenance has the potential to be a nuisance. To really control your yard you need a mower, a brush cutter, a hedge trimmer, and the list goes on. The ECHO PAS265ES Boom Multi Tool is an all-in-one solution for yard maintenance. A range of nine attachments are all heavyduty and can stand up to the rigours of use in an Aussie backyard over a long period of time. The Boom is equipped with ECHO’s ES Easy Start system, which allows effortless engine starting every time, while a digitally controlled C.D.I (Capacitor Discharge Ignition) system enables operation in any weather. An easy-to-use, quick-change coupler makes changing attachments straightforward, and the robust drive shaft guarantees your Boom will live a long and productive life.





Heralded as one of the most innovative and comfortable boot brands in the USA and UK, Muck boots are continuing to take Australia by storm. The range caters for everyone, merging comfort, style and high performance. Every boot in the line delivers the same 100 per cent waterproof quality. The women’s wear range caters for all women, from fashionista to gardener to outdoor adventurer. No matter the purpose, all footwear is designed to tackle tough conditions in work, agriculture, lawn and garden, outdoor sporting, equine, urban commuter and even pet care without neglecting style. Garden enthusiasts will appreciate the versatile nature of the Muck boot, with many options featuring 100 per cent water protection and comfort at their core. The range is available at Koolstuff.

Known for its premium-quality outdoor furniture, Dune Outdoor Luxuries provides everything the discerning homeowner could possibly need for an outdoor living space. A beautifully furnished alfresco area becomes a part of your home. The more comfortable it is and the higher its aesthetic value, the more often you will be drawn there and encouraged to linger, relax and enjoy. With Dune Outdoor Luxuries’ extensive selection of premium-quality furniture, such as the Parkway Curvilinear lounge, pictured above, and its highly trained staff, a design solution can be tailored to meet the most exacting requirements. Dune Outdoor Luxuries’ Gold Coast and Brisbane stores are open seven days a week for customer convenience and the company offers a by-appointment consultation service.

No sanding - No stripping - No staining Take a dull, worn, faded or marked varnished surface like this ‘before’ chair and achieve a result like the ‘after’ chair with the two products in our new Restorer Gift Pack, it’s magic!



$49.9 5

1800 00 672 646 ONLY AVAILABLE ONLINE Buy online, see a demo, find a stockist BACKYARD

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As the New Year unfolds, so do the exquisite gardens we have found to captivate you throughout 2018 in this beautiful diary. Each week is enhanced by inspiring words from literary greats, keen gardeners through the ages and some surprising celebrity gardeners. Whatever form your own garden takes â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from a few cherished pots on a balcony to a sprawling country estate â&#x20AC;&#x201C; these pages will offer you miracles of nature shaped by the human hand and creative mind to inspire, admire and delight. May your year ahead be full of such miracles, large and small.

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ard work pays off


To advertise in the new-look Backyard magazine, call Miriam Keen on (02) 9887 0604 Email: 128 | BACKYARD

DIRECTORY Birds & Animals Gates & Fences Numbers & Signage

Outdoor Artwork Stylish and Practical

Letterboxes Planter Boxes

Weathervanes • Windsocks • Sun Dials • Model Windmills • Water Pumps • Gate & Fence Panels Russ Brebner 0419 432 454

18 Enterprise Circuit, Carrum Downs

View the entire Glenview range online at For more information call Bob on 02 9449 9892

“It’s ok if you haven’t seen one, we designed it that way”


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INDEX OF ADVERTISERS 202020 Vision ........................................... 10,102 All Stake Supply ................................................ 7 Bosch ............................................................ 119 Cinajus .........................................................OBC Doggie Rescue .............................................. 107 Earthlife .................................................... 45, 94 FormBoss ..............................................IFC, 100 Glenview Products ........................................ 129 HardieDeck ..................................................... 28 Holman Industries .................................... 79, 96 Howard Products .......................................... 125 Lifestyle BBQs ................................................ 75 Paradise Plants .......................................... 5, 88 PETA .............................................................. 113 Pope Products ................................................ 99 Rolaway Underground Hose ........................ 129 RSPCA ........................................................... 109 Rusty Sculptures .......................................... 129 Seagold ................................................... IBC, 92 Sproutwell Greenhouses .......................... 61, 90 StrataGreen .............................................. 65, 93 Superway Group of Companies.................... 128

Photo: courtesy of GOODMANORS

DESIGNER GARDENS â&#x20AC;&#x201D; WHO TO CONTACT From the rooftops (page 34) Ian Barker Gardens Inner-city sustainable (page 40) MUD Design Community spirit (page 46) Kurraba Point Community Garden Match made in heaven (page 52) Apex Landscapes No fuss (page 58) Lifespace Landscape Design Less is more (page 66) GOODMANORS


Photo: courtesy of Ian Barker Gardens

Photo: courtesy of Apex Landscapes


Seagold is a Soluble Seaweed Extract made from fresh Seaweed (alga), such as Ascophyllum Nodosum, Sargassum and Laminarials, which are rich in micronutrient and natural hormones. Seagold is a natural, non-toxic, harmless and non-polluting soil conditioner which improves quality in all crops by strengthening the cell walls and boosting the plants natural resistance to disease and adverse conditions. It promotes the

development of vigorous root systems for the plant to access nutrients and water which ultimately lead to increased yield. Improved quality is readily evident in bolder foliage, improved skin colour and texture, higher suger content and longer shelf life. Additional applications can be made immediately prior to or following stress periods such as frost and drought. Available in 150g, 1kg, 5kg and 20kg sizes.

For more information call 0410 335 633 or email |



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DISPLAY, SALES & WAREHOUSE â&#x20AC;&#x201C; SYDNEY 32 Bryant Street, Padstow NSW 2211 Ph: 02 9773 5677 Fax: 02 9773 5644 Email: Online Catalogue:

Issue#15.3 2017  

Create your dream backyard and garden with Backyard Magazine! Backyard covers a wide range of topics for the consumer who is doing a complet...

Issue#15.3 2017  

Create your dream backyard and garden with Backyard Magazine! Backyard covers a wide range of topics for the consumer who is doing a complet...