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Best Plants Suited to Melbourne’s Climate

With its temperate climate and frequent rainfall all year round, Melbourne offers a huge range of possibilities when it comes to growing plants. Whether you prefer the availability and low maintenance of native species or you’re taking on the challenge of a tropical garden, anything’s possible as long as you consider factors such as your soil type, plant placement and watering requirements.

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Benefits of native gardens

Melbourne’s climate may be friendly to many exotic species, but if you want a garden that involves a minimum of maintenance and stress, nothing beats going native.

Like all Australian plants, indigenous Melbourne species thrive in the heat, but they are also frost-resistant so you won’t usually have to take steps to shelter them during the winter months. Choosing native species is the most environmentally friendly option too, as they require less watering and are compatible with local fauna.

A native garden doesn’t have to be boring and samey either, as there are plenty of options to choose from depending on your location and taste.

Coastal gardens

Gardens close to the sea require plants that can tolerate direct sunlight, sandy soil and salt in the air. Coastal rosemary, dwarf bottlebrush and tea trees are ideal coastal plants, the latter also providing shelter from the breeze.

Bush gardens

If you’re eager to bring the wild bush into your backyard, forest plants such as acacia, eucalypts and grevilleas grow just as easily in the suburbs as in the Dandenongs.

Tropical gardens

More challenging than native gardens, tropical plants can still thrive in Melbourne, especially those that are tolerant of the cold such as elaeocarpus and palms, providing a green, leafy backdrop in all seasons. Many plants sourced from New Zealand combine all-weather resilience and the colourful tropical look, including cordylines and flaxes.

Edible gardens

Sustainability is a growing passion for many Australians, and Melbourne gardeners can grow an extensive range of edible plants to save on the grocery bills. Popular options include fruit such as Davidson plums, guava, limes and passion fruit, which can be grown directly in the soil, in hanging containers or on climbing vines in a shaded pergola.

Speak to our verandah specialists

If you’re thinking about enhancing your outdoor space with a new verandah, pergola or other quality installation, get in touch with Install A Veranda on 1800 000 504.

Our team of design experts will help you find the ideal option for your home and garden, with thousands of design possibilities to choose from.

 Get your free quote today.

 

 

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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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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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Softening The Look Of Your Verandah With Pot Plants

Having a veranda added to your home is a big decision to make, and it can totally transform the way you use your house. But while the biggest decision is in choosing the style you want, you still have some work to do once the structure is complete and ready to use.

For example, you will also need to think about how to make it the most inviting space that you can, and simply adding some chairs or a lounger won’t always do the best job in this regard.

What does always work well here is to make good use of flowers and shrubs to soften the overall appearance of the new structure, and this can actually be a lot of fun as well.

The most obvious things to add – and by far the easiest – are pot plants. These are easy because they can be swapped around or moved position in just a few seconds, and you don’t need to commit to any firm designs because you could literally move them round to give you a different look and feel every day of the week if you wanted to.

The first thing you need to think about is how much space you could give over to pot plants without them starting to get in the way. This will help you to decide what size of pots to buy, although you can always choose a selection. In fact, one large pot can provide a good focal point while a number of smaller ones nestle around the front of it.

If you try this technique make sure you use a wide variety of flowers that will grow to similar heights. If you use a larger plant that grows taller, place it at the back in the larger pot and allow the smaller ones to spread in front of it. When they are all in full bloom the colour arrangement can look stunning.

You should also choose flowers and plants which have a nice aroma. This is a natural way of making sure your house veranda always smells stunning and has a very inviting aroma.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different plants you may never have bought before either. The joy of doing this is that it is so easy to put a new plant into a pot and see what happens to it. It may not like the shady area you initially put it in, so all you need to do is move the pot to the edge of your veranda to give it some more sun. It may then bloom into a delightful addition to the area.

This is what you need to remember when you are putting together various pot plants to decorate your veranda with. Experimenting with what suits the space best can be enormously enjoyable, and you might just find that you have greener fingers than you thought you did!

Finally, don’t forget to have a good selection of different pots of all shapes and colours available. Why not decorate some yourself for a truly unique look?

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