Monday, September 14, 2015

Prioritising our garden needs.

Way back when we first knew we were moving, long before the house was built, I began to think about how I would like the new garden to look and feel.
I wrote a couple of posts about my dreams for the "new garden"  - April 2014 and May 2014
My wish list included - an outdoor kitchen, a large space for entertaining and a more intimate quiet space, shade and shelter, privacy and security, lots of plants and water features - a pond and maybe a small pool or spa.

- Time flies. That was well over a year ago.

I think we are going to be able to accommodate most of the elements that were on my original wish list and the landscaping material, colours and theme I decided back then remains the same. Having a tropical theme was an easy decision. We are going ahead with the outdoor kitchen (more on that later). We won't have room for a pool or even a spa but there will be a fish pond and at least one water feature.

But first things first....
Before we moved in we didn't realise just how open and exposed the outdoor area would be. We have a lovely view out over the canal but that also means that passers-by have an equally clear view into the yard and the house.  That's our house in the centre (with the grey roof and solar panels). If you zoom in .... our outdoor area is too open.

Creating a privacy screen is a necessity, but somehow I need to do that without losing the view. Also - much of the yard is in sun for most of the day - lovely in winter but not so good in our hot summers. Shade will need to be created.

So before anything else, I need to choose plants that will provide our two most urgent needs - PRIVACY and SHADE.

These are my thoughts so far....

For shade creation - The garden will need small trees or palms that will be in scale with the small area and not create problems with root invasion or encroaching on the house or neighbour's property.
Palms - Smallish clumping palms such as Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii ) or Macarthur Palm, (Ptychosperma Macarthurii). As taller features -  Fox Tail Palms or even Alexanders.
Small Tree/s - Crepe Myrtle and/or Frangipani, possibly a Bauhinia. Something deciduous to allow winter sun with summer shade would be nice. Maybe also a Brugsmansia Insignis (white) or Candida (white) because they are beautiful and I've always wanted one.

For screening - We need hedging or screening plants that will grow 2-3 metres tall with minimal horizontal spread. Also, they need to be in harmony with the tropical feel of the garden. I'm thinking hibiscus (which can be pruned to whatever height we need) but I also like Tiger Grass (Thysanolaena Maxima).

Any ideas or advice would be welcomed.

We have a long narrow area along our side fence.
It's a challenge because whatever we plant as a screen will be seen from the street and the canal, so must be neat and attractive, but I don't just want a long straight boring hedge.

Once these plants are established, the feature plants (the fun ones) can be added.

I'm afraid, this will be the opposite of those TV programs where fully landscaped and planted gardens are created in a weekend. This will take months, perhaps years, to achieve.

Creating a garden is like building a house - We need walls, roof and a floor before we can add the furniture and accessories. Creating a garden in small area, I'm finding, has it's challenges. I need to constantly remember to keep all elements in proportion and in harmony with each other.

But, at last it's begun.

1 comment:

  1. I missed this post completely...I am now seeing it for the first time.
    I love how your home sits on the water with such a lovely view.
    I like the idea of palms interspersed with other shrubs so the hedge is not boring. Remember those fish tail palms get quite tall and clump forever.
    The lady palms however would be great since they grow to only shrub height and would provide privacy yet allow you to see the view of the canal.
    I'm anxious to see what you decide...whatever it is I know it will look good....have fun creating Missy's second garden.


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