Home' Outdoors : WAs Best Outdoors and Gardens 2010-11 Contents 40 WA’s Best Outdoors & Gardens 2011
External furniture should complement the
internal style, as should your choice of plants.
Then there’s the outdoor lighting – once
considered a luxury, lighting is now a crucial part
of landscape design, used to create drama rather
than simply light a pathway or set of steps.
Despite how well outdoor spaces integrate with
the home’s interior, they are still exposed to the
elements, so consider waterproofing, shading and
shielding from the wind. “In regards to outdoor
materials, they’re now easier to clean and we’re
getting smarter at selecting materials that don’t
show the dust, dirt and grime that sits on stuff,
no matter what you do to prevent it,” says Blake
Willis of Blake Willis Landscape Architects.
“Advancement in technology and materials
makes it easier to weatherproof the threshold, so
now you can open it all up and shut it down so
that you’re not losing any heat in winter, yet you
can drag the cooler air in during the summer.”
“Visual connection in some ways is more
important than the practical connection”
Janine, of CultivArt, urges her clients to look
for alternatives to simply sticking a covered deck
to the back of a house. “Don’t be afraid to site
your covered area away from the house a little.
By doing so, you will allow the winter sun to flow
into your living area. In fact, this is sometimes
less expensive and allows for a pleasing view to
be created between the house and the pavilion or
covered alfresco. The inside is then immediately
connected to the landscape rather than to an area
filled with furniture,” she says.
At the end of the day however, you can design
a stunning space and fill it with features and
ornamental knick-knacks... but if people don’t feel
relaxed there it completely defeats the purpose.
“It’s people who make a space successful,”
says Blake. “Go for informal, adaptable and
comfortable, and your outdoor space will not only
integrate well with the rest of your home, but
you’ll enjoy hanging out there year round.”
Indigenous plants are having a huge resurgence.
Natives, especially those local to WA, are the most
drought-tolerant, fast-growing and best-suited
to our alkaline soils. While people may have a
hangover from the native gardens of the seventies,
contemporary approaches have cutting-edge
designs emerging in uniquely Australian, or West
Australian, textures, forms and colours.
Horticulturalist Janine Fielder from Zanthorrea
Nursery, an industry leader when it comes
to native plants, says to select plants that are
small growing or are dwarf varieties. “ There is a
wonderful selection of native plants available to
suit any garden situation,” she says.
When it comes to entertaining spaces, Janine’s
top tip is to be careful that you don’t clutter
the area. “Raised garden beds or pots can look
fantastic,” she says, “foliage and colour contrast
adds depth and interest to any courtyard or
outdoor entertaining area, and curved garden
beds also create soft edges and can make a
garden feel more spacious.”
Principal Landscapes’ Cullen Longbottom
explains that adding a touch of green breaks up
the hard surfaces of an outdoor space. “If you
integrate greenery into the yard, it softens the
whole area. Foliage in the form of hedges, potted
plants and screens provides features and separate
areas so you get extra depth.”
Savvy gardeners are also growing reeds and
grasses between paving and to separate garden
sections for a softer approach to design.
Zanthorrea’s Janine Fielder
recommends the following
native plants and shrubs
to spruce up a small space
‘Pink Midget’ (Grevillea) A great little plant suitable
for pots or the garden. It has beautiful soft-pink
flowers most of the year and grows 30x60cm. Looks
good in a hanging basket.
‘Utopia’ (Dianella) Attractive blue/purple strappy
foliage and flower spikes held above the foliage – this
is a favourite for me. Excellent for mass planting or
just to add contrast foliage to the garden. The clump
grows to about 50x50cm and is a very hardy plant
that grows in sun or part shade.
‘Dusky Bells’ (Correa) Gorgeous pink tubular bell-
shaped flowers, this is a perfect plant for shady spots.
Grows to about 80cm and is an easy plant to grow. A
favourite plant of the New Holland honeyeater.
Pimelea ferruginea A hardy, small, compact shrub
growing to one metre with glossy green foliage and
pink flowers that cover the bush in spring. A colourful
addition to the garden.
Conostylis candicans A low-maintenance border
or rockery plant growing to about 30cm with soft
grey-green strappy foliage and yellow flowers.
‘Burgundy’ (Agonis) A large shrub or small feature
tree to three metres, with a graceful weeping habit.
The new growth looks fantastic with its burgundy tips.
Hakea laurina Looks good as either a shrub or
small tree. Its stunning flowers in winter contrast
with the foliage perfectly.
‘West Coast Gem’ (Alyogyne huegelii) A beautiful
plant for the garden. Dark-green foliage and purple
hibiscus flowers make a stunning feature or screening
plant. A good tip is to prune after flowering to create
a bushy plant to two metres.
Banksia ‘Birthday Candles’/‘Cherry Candles’
Slow-growing, small, compact shrub with showy
flowers growing to 70cm. Dark-green fine foliage is
an interesting contrast for pots and garden features.
Indigenous plantings are the way
forward for gardens – here’s all you
need to know
16/9/10 8:12:15 AM
16/9/10 8:12:15 AM
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