Home' Outdoors : WAs Best Outdoors and Gardens 2012 Contents 96 Scoop Publishing | WA’s Best Outdoors & Gardens 2011/12
With her award-winning landscape
design business CultivArt, Janine
Mendel has transformed local gardens
for more than 20 years. Now preparing
for the release of her second book
Urban Sanc tuary: Small Garden Design,
we asked Janine to share some expert
tips on creating a backyard sanctuary.
What garden styles are on trend at the moment? I prefer to design
gardens that are sensitive to the architecture of the home they adorn instead
of slavishly following trends that are quickly outdated. Many of the gardens
featured in Urban Sanctuary are contemporary in style, as a design response
to current architecture. Designing a garden that provides the modern
conveniences we expect while still honouring the traditional architecture
of a home can be more challenging and is also addressed in the book.
Best tip for designing a small garden? When space is tight, remember why
you like to be outside in the first place. Resist the temptation to fill your small
outdoor area with yet another kitchen, or large bulky furniture that obscures
your view from the inside to the garden. Determine how much space is
required for sitting and moving around and then give the rest over to plants,
water and other visually appealing elements that contribute to the ambience
you would like to create.
What should people avoid doing? It’s too easy to confuse good design with
the superficial addition of mass-produced statues or features from another
era or exotic location. The essence of good design is based on the form of
the garden. Everything else is cosmetic overlay.
Which low-maintenance plants grow well in Perth’s climate? In a
small garden, it is best to select plants that look good for as much of
the year as possible becauses they will most likely be on permanent
display. In a courtyard, plants will often be in full sun in summer and full
shade in winter. Some plants that can accommodate this are Philodendron
selloum ‘Compacta’, Nandina domestica ‘Nana’, Dracaena marginata
and Ophiopogon intermedius ‘Stripey White’.
What’s one easy way to create a sustainable garden? Sustainability is a
pressing issue today, particularly when we see larger and larger houses on
ever-reducing plot sizes. At the most basic level, Australians need to ‘live
smaller’ and consume less by preferring quality over quantity. We need to
value our trees, which are a perfect coalescence of beauty and sustainability.
On a practical level, in your own little patch, improve the soil, select
appropriate plants, use sub-surface irrigation, mulch and nurture your garden.
Then turn off that air-conditioner and go outside to enjoy your creation.
For more information, visit www.cultivart.com.au.
The definitive guide to Australian gardens, this volume
features some of the country’s best landscapers and designers.
Editor Gary Takle has selected 100 previously unseen spaces
in a diversity of styles – making it a must-read for hobby
gardeners and industry professionals alike. Peribo, $49.95 .
For author Holly Kerr Forsyth,
gardens hold much more than
ornamental value – they’re a way
of life. Taking a seasonal approach,
Holly shows how to make plants
blossom both outdoors and inside.
This book is brimming with ideas
for flower arrangements, table
decorations and recipes to make
from garden produce. Melbourne
University Publishing, $49.99 .
Are you a budding gardener?
Look no further than Grow.
Written by experts at the Royal
Horticultural Society, it’s a
practical guide for those looking
to brush up on their garden
knowledge. Covering everything
from the anatomy of plants to
the principles of seeding, there’s
an assortment of tips to get your
backyard blooming in no time.
GARDENS & LANDSCAPES
SEASONS IN MY
HOUSE AND GARDEN
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