By Kerwyn Fourie
Whether you’re tackling a project on your own or you’ve appointed a landscaper to help you realise your designer garden dream, these simple details are some of the most important, yet overlooked, aspects in creating the ultimate garden success.
The first of these aspects, and the one that usually gets cut from the project first, is lighting. This is usually because of cost, and it can get really expensive, especially when the landscape is lit up like a Christmas tree.
The key to great landscape lighting is subtlety. Less is more when it comes to lighting. Focus on highlighting (wink, wink) key feature pots, statues, architectural details, water features and/or trees.
Avoid using coloured lights. Unfortunately, coloured lights have the very undesirable effect of making one’s garden morph from looking designer and tasteful to tacky and kitsch when the sun sets. Instead, stick to warm or cold white lights, unless disco-fever really strikes you.
After lighting, we find that so many gardens don’t make use of garden edging. We’ve seen countless gardens with the same problem. Where the edge has been chipped away to trim the lawn, the flower bed has migrated many meters into the lawn from its original position and the original shape of the bed has become some sort of an obscure shape snaking around the entire garden, only half of which having any plants in it.
Edging is not only important to prevent the above, but it is instrumental in defining the overall design of your garden as well as being a feature in and of itself.
We love using edging in the 200 x 200mm size range as it makes more of a statement than the usual 100 x 100mm one seen in everyone else’s gardens. For a more seamless edge we like using steel edging that hides away pretty effectively. There are many different size options and finishes to choose from.
The most important factors to keep in mind is to choose a size, colour and finish which complements your house, the size of your garden and what you are using it to do (i.e. separate lawn/gravel from flower beds).
This one is particularly important for the wellbeing and overall success of the plants in your garden. It’s no use going through all the work and expense to install your new garden and a few weeks down the line half of it is brown and crisp because it wasn’t getting enough, if any, water.
Selecting the correct type of irrigation, angle and radius of coverage for the specific area are the first things to consider. Avoid having the irrigation spray against walls, because this has the potential to cause damp and water damage problems.
Then determine coverage. A good guideline to follow is to have the radius of one sprinkler cover all the way to the head of the next sprinkler.
Zoning is also of particular importance. A water wise garden isn’t just one that uses succulents but is also the garden that is zoned properly so that the plants of those zones don’t get overwatered, potentially harming those plants and wasting water unnecessarily.
It’s best to hire an irrigation specialist to get this done properly. There are a number of other things to consider like water pressure, flow rate etc., but at least you’ll have some very basic info on your side to help.
If you would like more advice or assistance with your garden you can contact Kerwyn on 064 658 2815 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info, visit the Purple Turtle Concepts and the Guild of Landscape Designers (GoLD) pages on Facebook.
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