Dale Vine shares his tips for urban garden design.
Dale Vine shares his tips for suburban gardens.
1 FUNCTIONAL DESIGN New homes typically have less room for yards so your design needs to be smart. Ask what you’ll use the space for – kids play, entertaining, vegies – and pick a main functionality, incorporating bits of the rest.
2 PRIVACY Plant a screening hedge or trees to block out onlookers’ views. Deciduous trees will restrict views in summer when you’re likely to be out there, but let sunlight through in winter.
3 THE CONCRETE JUNGLE Apartment dwellers restricted to balconies and small courtyards for their outdoor areas can use pots to house herbs and flowers, or even small trees.
4 COMBINATION PLANTS With reduced garden areas, it’s great to use plants that combine uses. For instance, a fruit tree can also be used for shade.
5 NO-DIG VEGIES If you want to grow vegies in a suburban plot, no-dig, raised beds are ideal. Recycled plastic-lined timber fruit packing crates work well.
6 BIFOLD CONNECTIONS Bifold doors connect inside rooms with outdoor areas seamlessly – great for increasing the size and feel into a larger single space.
7 UNDERCOVER AREAS By putting a roof on an outdoor area you’re extending its usable period. Add a heating device for year-round comfort.
8 BRINGING BACK FAUNA Influence wildlife to take habitat in our suburban yards by planting more native species. This will help improve our ecology in city areas and bring our gardens back to life.
9 PERMEABLE SURFACES Stone toppings can be compacted with a vibrating plate to provide a solid surface that will allow rainfall to pass through, adding back to the natural water table.
10 UTILISING VERTICAL SPACE Incorporating vertical garden planters such as green wall systems and hanging planters into suburban gardens is a great way to utilise space and will also insulate walls from extreme weather.
Escape plan Using permeable surfaces will help reduce inner-city flash floods.
Secret garden Clever planting will ensure privacy and natural light.
Bifolds make both indoor and outdoor spaces appear bigger.