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Boost Your Backyard: Green Walls and Shelf Gardens

If you’re looking for an innovative and modern way to enhance the greenery in your garden, green walls and shelf gardens are  trends that you can consider adopting within your own home.

Both options allow you to incorporate plants in your front or backyard without minimising your outdoor space, and are also an effective way to inject life in your existing garden or patio.

GREEN WALLS

If green walls are unfamiliar territory to you, don’t be intimidated. Commonly found in many large modern office spaces and building surfaces, green walls are vertical gardens built on panels that have in-built water delivery systems. The plants that grow on these walls are highly adaptive to its surrounds and contribute to insulation.

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via LizTurner
The different types of green walls include:

  • Interior or exterior walls
  •  Free standing walls
  • Building facades

Installation of green walls can be specially fitted by businesses that specialise in building the structural system, bit if you’re after a cost-effective alternative, you can DIY your own wall.

The best part about green walls is that you can control the surface it populates; these vertical gardens can be built according to the size of your available space.

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via Freshome

SHELF GARDENS

Like green walls, shelf gardens are conscious of space and add design element to your outdoor living area. Shelf gardens are typically free-standing racks that contain potted or planted vegetation, flowers and shrubbery. This option is an easy way to showcase various plants in one area, and is also a popular method used to grow organic herbs.

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via Kim Vallee

Using this method is a low cost option and an ideal solution to adding plants in minimal spaces such as an apartment balcony, a small backyard corner or a section of a patio deck. Shelf gardens are flexible in design and size, making it easy to customise to your specification.

So next time you choose to add plant life around your home, consider adding a vertical or shelf garden to easily boost the liveliness of your outdoor area.

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5 Easy Backyard Inspirations For Your Home

Revamping your garden or outdoor area is a fantastic way to bring life into your home. The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating a style that best suits your space. We’ve narrowed it down to our top five garden styles to help you revamp your home.

The Classic Garden

Classic gardens never go out of style. If your home already has classic elements, this will easily complement the existing structure. Classic gardens usually feature geometric patterns and symmetrical ornaments to create balanced proportions. Add to your classic garden by assigning focal points by using sculptures and water features to help draw the eye. Lastly, be mindful of your landscaping by making sure to keep your grass manicured and shrubs groomed.

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Image via HGTV

A Floral Affair

Why buy flowers, when you can grow them in your backyard? Floral gardens are the perfect way to add a bit of vibrancy and beautiful scents to your outdoor space. Consider matching your floral garden to your home’s colour schemes to ensure fluidity. Also consider flowers that are best suited for the climate in your particular suburb and land type. Don’t forget to investigate different types of foliage to help break up the colours and add that extra bit of texture to your design.

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Image via Town N Country Living

Go Alfresco

Alfresco areas are best for larger families or if you just love entertaining and having a lounge outdoors. The extra outdoor living space is the perfect location to unwind after a long day or to have a lazy weekend. To keep your alfresco area looking fresh all year round, we recommend installing a veranda or pergola to protect it from the weather. Simply add a cosy sofa bed, throws and pillows, and you’ll have extended space to spend time with friends and family.

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Image via Pinterest

Bare Minimal

Minimalist gardens are among our favourite as they complement almost every home type and are easy to maintain. When creating a minimalist garden, think about clean lines, geometric shapes and keep it simple. Create beautiful landscapes by using negative space through large areas of trimmed grass and shrubbery. Water features are also a great way to add that finishing touch to your minimalist garden.

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Image via Stylish Eve

Sustainable Gardening

If you’re a fan of fresh produce and love to cook your own meals, a sustainable garden would make an amazing addition to your home. Not only will it be more cost effective, but it will also help to reduce your environmental footprint. Sustainable gardens do need regular upkeep, so make sure to read up on how to take care of your plants to get the most out of them. Think about implementing a compost bin or worm farm to even further your green initiative. However if you ever start to feel a little overwhelmed at the thought of owning a sustainable garden, don’t be afraid to get a professional opinion to help you get on your way.

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Image via Pinterest

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Creative Ideas For Your Home’s Outdoor Space

Looking to add that extra special something to your alfresco area? Sprucing up your outdoor living space can add to your home and help you to enjoy your home and all it has to offer. Whether you’re looking to create your own Garden of Eden , a minimalistic modern and cool look, or a romantic alfresco dining area, read on for our ideas on how.

Relaxed afternoon tea

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Photo: Pinterest

There’s nothing like an afternoon of relaxation with friends on a shaded, breezy porch with tea and treats. Create a whimsy and elegance with wicker furniture, decorative cushions, patterned china, and bright florals. Choose light and sunny hues for your furniture and décor to channel those summer vibes.

Cosy fireplace retreat

Who says you can’t make use of your home’s outdoor area all year around? With an outdoor fireplace, enjoy the natural beauty and fresh air of the outdoors without the winter chills. Invest in some throws and comfy lounge chairs and get ready to snuggle down.

Relaxed sun deck

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Photo: Better Homes & Gardens

Turn any outdoor deck into the perfect sunning spot with couple of chaises,vibrant cushions, and a trestle table for those glasses of lemonade. Perfect for lazy summer days spent sunbathing and enjoying mellow tunes.

Classy alfresco dining

Enjoy a stylish evening meal with friends or family by dressing up your home’s outdoor area. A glass-topped table, straight back chairs, and candle centrepieces should do the trick. With home-cooked meal, you can create a dining experience to rival that of any fancy restaurant.

Sunny breakfast nook

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Photo: Buff Strickland

Wake yourself up the right way by converting your outdoor space into an alfresco breakfast or brunch patio. Look out for eclectic café tables with matching chairs, checked tablecloths, and miniature pot plants to add life and colour to your morning meal.

Lazy naptime spot

Nothing’s better than curling up with a book with the warm sun falling over you. Whether your bed of choice is a swinging seat, a hammock or a cosy day bed, don’t forget to invest in comfortable and breathable fabrics in soothing hues to send you off into a blissful doze.

Peaceful nature haven

Keep your furnishings simple – think basic wooden furniture and lounge chairs in neutral colours. A selection of pot plants and leafy foliage can create a relaxing retreat away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

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Top 3 Outdoor Design Styles for Summer

Looking to design a fantastic outdoor entertaining area? While house design can vary with time, there are some classic looks that never seem to go out of fashion, especially when it comes to outdoor spaces. If you’re looking to put together fabulous alfresco area consider these three styles:

Sleek and modern outdoor design

Outdoor-Design-Styles-for-Summer-300x199 A sleek and modern backyard incorporates smooth lines, modern materials such as steel and glass, topped off with some low maintenance plants. Sleek and modern outdoor spaces are becoming more and more popular as they look beautiful and are easy to maintain.

Outdoor covering ideas: if you’re opting for this type of look in your backyard, your best option when it comes to an outdoor covering is sturdy steel pergola in a colour to match the rest of your backyard. Go for a neutral sandstone option or you even go for a more industrial look with polished concrete.

Vegetation: if you’re going for a modern and minimalist approach for your backyard, as a general rule of (green) thumb, you’ll choose soft edged but tough leafed variety of plant such as a bromeliad or other hard leaf variety. These plants are hardier than other varieties and will usually require less water and less attention. So you spend less time looking after your plants and more of your time relaxing in your sunny backyard!

The rustic outdoor living area

Rustic-Outdoor-Living-Area-199x300If you consider yourself a traditionalist, then you’re all about timber decking and a beautiful patio that opens out into your lush garden; the perfect spot to enjoy your afternoon cuppa. When you’re going for a more traditional and rustic approach, think earthy colours, plenty of wood and a well-trimmed lawn.

Outdoor covering ideas: wooden patios are the classic outdoor entertainment space. You can choose a natural timber frame or you can coat it with a slick of paint so that it matches your home. Find the best location for your patio site, you can enjoy plenty of sunshine.

Vegetation: nothing is more traditional than a lush lawn. It’s the perfect space for the kids to play cricket or if you want to string up a hammock for a bit of a well-earned snooze. If you have a bit of a green thumb, you can try planting some beautifully traditional flowers such as azaleas, lilacs, or even a lavender bush for extra fragrance. For furniture, there’s nothing more rustic than wicker.

 
 
The great Aussie backyard & garden

Aussie-Backyard-300x199Enjoy the great Aussie backyard barbecue in your perfect outdoor space. Australia’s wide variety of native plants has developed unique abilities to withstand our harsh climate – and they look stunning too.

Outdoor covering ideas: to weather our harsh weather conditions, a steel framed pergola is the perfect addition to your outdoor space. You can pair this with beautiful timber decking sourced locally from a native Australian hardwood, such as blackbutt or spotted gum.

Vegetation: Native Australian plants are drought resistant and require little water so they’re easy to care for. Some colourful options include bottlebrushes, daisies or a variety of goodenias. You might also want to try and grow a citrus tree or two, there’s nothing better than enjoying the literal fruits of your labour.

Oh and don’t forget the Hills Hoist!

What’s your favourite outdoor design?

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Patios, Pergolas and Verandas – options for outdoor cover

Australian summers are always perfect for outdoor entertaining. So when it comes time to upgrade your outdoor area the first thing you probably think of is installing a patio or another type of covering to keep your BBQ guests cool in the shade. An outdoor covering also gives you the flexibility to use your outdoor space all year round and even during inclement weather.

So what kind of outdoor covering can you use in your backyard or courtyard?

Patios – a covered wooden structure providing good, basic cover.

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Pergolas– like a patio except that it is built with a steel frame providing a longer life.

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Sunroof – these have the option of providing more shade and protecting against the rain. You have the option of having adjustable louvres to suit any situation.

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Verandas– – Traditional verandas (sometimes spelled verandahs) are outdoor extensions to a home. This type of outdoor living and entertaining has become an important part of the Australian way of life especially in summer. Verandas can also be added to an existing house and design as a way opening up the livable space of a home.

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Retractable Awnings– – A cheaper alternative to a sunroof, an awning will allow you to retract it when you are not using it.

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When looking at what kind of outdoor cover you want to build, you have to consider your unique situation. One determining factor will the size of your outdoor space. The larger the backyard the more options you will have. Budget will also be a factor and you’ll also want to go for a quality and trusted brand, such as the Stratco Outback which has become one of the most popular brands in Australia.

Here are some of our thoughts on how to choose the perfect outdoor covering.

Patios and Pergolas

A patio is a great starter option for when you want permanent cover for your outdoor area. You should build with treated wood supports. They can also look a lot better with certain styles of housing. Your patio frame can be ‘stained’ or even painted a colour to match your house.

On the other hand you can invest a little bit more in a pergola that will be stronger and more durable as it is built with steel.

As for the actual cover you can usually choose between stopping all the light for a cooler area or having transparent sheets put in to let a bit of light shine through. A lot of people opt for a mix between these two options so that it does not get too hot in summer but there is enough light getting through in winter.

Verandas

Australians love their verandas and it was a main feature of older homes with some designs having the veranda wrap around the entire house. In addition to being great for entertaining, verandas can help to keep the house cooler in summer by providing more shade around the windows.

A veranda is more of a direct extension of your house, often with multiple doors and entry points leading out to it. Verandas do have the downside in that they don’t let in as much natural lights compared to other options. It is also usually a more permanent fixture, which can have implications for sale and value of your home.

Awnings and Sunroofs

An awning is usually a sealed cloth material that can be permanently fixed or retractable so you can put it up when it’s needed.

Meanwhile, a sunroof for your outdoor area gives you a great customisable option for covering. You can adjust louvers to suit the climate with a simple flick of the remote.

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