This Week On The Build
It’s all a bit stop and start on the build at the moment. Unfortunately we only completed the waterproofing last week. If all goes to plan the suspended slab for the garage will start this week. (Keep your fingers crossed there’s no rain!)
There is so much going on behind the scenes, with planning every inch of internal and external spaces, that I do allow myself to get a bit excited and to keep ploughing forward.
Planning The Garden
Believe it or not this is a good time in the build to start to shop for your plants. I do this so the plants have a year’s worth of growth by the time they get planted into the ground. This allows you to buy smaller plants which means the cost can be significantly cheaper than more mature ones.
I am working on design for the back garden and what I am going to do to screen the neighbour’s house. I have a few things I need to consider:
- Our house will look directly onto the back of the neighbour’s house so we need to research the type of plants that will have height & width for privacy.
- They also have a pool close to the boundary, so I don’t want to plant anything too close to the back fence that has height as it will take away the nieghbours sun light. So I plan to plant along the retaining wall which is 3m from the back boundary to create a planting layering effect with a hedge on the back fence. (That will just cover the height of the fence.)
- We need to design a cover for the pool electrical and filter box that blends with the look and feel of the house.
- Also, we have the 60cm high retaining wall 3m from the boundary which creates a sunken zone. Here I want to put in a fire pit and seating area. I envisage lots of entertaining in this house with friends & our young adult kids. We would like them to bring their friends home to unwind & relax. So this is why the zoning of the area is important.
- The trees that we place on the retaining wall need to be shallow rooted so that they won’t damage pipes or the pool surrounds. Looking for shallow rooting trees that love full sun, are bug resistant, don’t drop leaves near the pool and look bloody good.(I don’t think that’s too much to ask!)
What Research Has Uncovered So Far
I’m thinking of using a pleached hedge to create the illusion of space. I really like the cleared understory that creates a two-storey garden. The contrasting textures and colours can be planted underneath against the bare pleached trunks of the trees.
Pleaching allows large, tall-growing plants to be grown in a narrow bed without looking clumped and crowded.
They do require regular maintenance to keep the elegant pleached form; it also keeps these large screening shrubs and trees in check.
There are many great plants that can be use to get the pleached effect. Pleaching trees are great to screen out adjacent buildings, roads or neighbouring windows, making a very attractive feature.
The plants that I have been recommended for a pleaching effect are as follows:
1. Gracillis ‘Slender Weavers’ Bamboo
2. Prunus lausitanica ‘Portuguese Laurel’
3. Prunus laurocerasus ‘Cherry Laurel’
4. Pyrus ussuriensis ‘Manchurian Pear’
5. Pyrus calleryana ‘Everscreen’ Pears
6. Ficus hillii ‘Flash’
7. Waterhousia floribunda‘Weeping Lilly Pilly’
8. Carpinus ‘European Hornbeam’ Tree
9. Fagus ‘European Beech Tree’ Green
10. Photinia robusta ‘Red Robin’
These are the species that will work in our yard as their roots are not too evasive. We would like a classic / resort style garden.
Pyrus calleryana ‘Everscreen’ Pears
A tall, fast-growing pleached tree when screening is required, the evergreen ‘Everscreen’ Pear is a great choice. It is capable of growing up to 2m a year, tolerant of most soil and weather conditions and will maintain its lovely green foliage throughout the winter in warmer climates.
Grows up to 20-25m in height and 15-20m in width.
Fast growing tree
Plant 1.5m-2m apart
Waterhousia floribunda ‘Weeping Lilly Pilly’
An elegant Australian native plant with cascading foliage, the ‘Weeping Lilly Pilly’ is a fast-growing and easy to trim pleaching hedge. It is a good choice where a less formal or very modern look is required and, rarely growing flowers, makes it a good choice near pools. Grows up to 2m a year. New growth produces a bright pink powder puff flowers in summer. Weeping Lilly Pilly can be grown in full sun to part shade positions, preferring well-drained, moist, rich soils. Can grow 5m – 6m high. Plant 1m-1.5m apart.
I love the formal look of the formal gardens below and would like to plant a mix of tropical and hedge type vibe. So really a classic / casual look.
The External Designers that I am loving at the moment. Check out their Insta accounts