Sean & Gail's Native Garden
Sean & Gail's new home had a steep embankment covering a large area of over 500m2. Unsure of how to improve the space themselves, they asked Justin to turn it into an attractive low maintenance native garden including access and erosion control.
We achieved their goals by installing a biodegradable blanket to reduce erosion until the plants, chosen for their ability to strengthen the soil, became established; improving the soil as the blanket naturally decomposed.
To reduce maintenance the garden was planted with hardy native and indigenous plants suited to the local climate that live on natural rainfall. Dense groups of flowering shrubs, grasses, and groundcover plants suppress weeds, improve the soil, provide food for native fauna and look beautiful too.
A natural decomposed granite pathway provides access to the entire garden. The permeable surface captures water which seeps into the soil benefiting the plants and reducing the need to water.
Carolyn's Edible Landscape
Carolyn wanted to transform her ordinary suburban yard into a productive yet low maintenance edible garden offering fresh organic vegetables, fruit, and herbs.
We designed an edible landscape incorporating food forest design elements to realise Carolyn's dream of an abundant backyard fruit and vegetable garden. Because it imitates a forest, Carolyn benefits from self-sustaining elements that reduce the need to tend the garden.
Plants were arranged in vertical layers to maximise food production in the small area; from tubers in the ground to fruit and nut trees in the upper canopy, and everything in between. We also made use of the vertical space by growing fruit and vegetables vines.
A natural pond sealed with clay and planted with water loving native plants and vegetables encourages native birds and dragonflies to visit the garden, helping to balance bug population while also being a joy to watch.
A banana circle grows a variety of low maintenance perennial food crops like sweet potato, Jerusalem artichoke, paw paw, arrowroot, beans and, of course, bananas. The centre of the banana circle acts as a compost for green waste that slowly and continually feeds the plants surrounding it.
The gently meandering gravel path built on the natural contours of the land not only serves as an effortless means to get around the garden, but it also acts as a water catchment, storing water in the subsoil, improving the soil life and passively watering the adjacent plants.
Each element of the garden serves multiple functions that were designed to work together as an ecosystem, and because nature does a lot of the work for her, Carolyn has more time to enjoy the sensory beauty and fresh organic food harvest.
Unitywater Sewage Treatment Plant
UnityWater asked us to design native gardens on the steep embankments around their new sewage treatment plant that would both stabilise the slope and improve the appearance of the facility.
The soil was severely compacted causing surface water to run off, eroding the slopes and making it difficult to establish plants. A layer of good topsoil was required to address these issues. We provided a solution involving no earthworks that enabled the addition of a topsoil layer and ensured it would be highly stable to withstand erosive forces.
Having achieved UnityWater's primary objective of stabilising the embankment, we designed attractive native gardens of drought tolerant plants to meet their secondary need for low maintenance and site beautification.
A deep covering of hardwood chip mulch further reduces maintenance by suppressing weeds, retaining moisture, and adding organic matter to the soil, feeding the microorganisms and, in turn, the plants. Due to our thoughtful and detailed planning, the success rate of the plants after establishment has been exceptional.
Louise & Tristan's Edible Native Garden
Louise and Tristan hired us to help give focus and direction to what they were trying to achieve in their outdoor spaces. Louise was feeling disillusioned by the size and sloping aspects of their yard and was going around in circles trying to make decisions on what to do with it as well as concerned about wasting time and money making mistakes.