Landscape Construction – recently built gardens, how and why they are growing.

The time from designing a new garden to landscape construction can sometimes be years. Often we work on plans for new houses that don’t exist yet.

With the time it takes to design the garden itself, plan for the house, engage a builder, and build the house it can be a long process. By the time we get to landscape construction and getting some plants in the ground years have gone by.

2022 was a very busy year! with lots of new garden designs being built, here are a few of them, noting planting intent. Gardens are living things and I think require ongoing care and attention. They may also require a bit of tweaking after installation to see what has worked and what hasn’t.

A new garden planted at the height of summer 2022 photo after 6 months growth, massed ground covers. Drip irrigated, the new little tubes were helped along greatly by the diligent clients hans watering over the hot days. Until established the roots need to find their way down to the water with drip irrigation . Drip irrigation is always my preference as you can’t see it all the plastic sprays!

New front garden six months old. Miscanthus (grasses) are clumped in groups of three so they fill out nicely in the first season.

When the garden goes in it can be an exciting end point to a long process. Once we have the garden built it can then take a few years to settle and have a sense of age. We also ideally wait two years for a garden to fill out for photographs. Although architects are often keen to get things photographed quickly to more accurately represent the current work they are doing.

Newly planted garden with massed perennial planting. This one is to months old pictured, stating to slow down for winter. But next simmer will fill out hugely and look very full, due to the dense perennial planting style.

A landscape designer’s website portfolio is often a representation of work they did years before. There are a few things we can do as garden designers to speed this process up for everyone. Such as massed ground covers pictured above. Trees are not hugely established but under-planting will fill out the garden very fast.

Borrowed landscape is also a great way to add a send of age and context to a new garden. What is growing next door and down the street from the new garden. Can we use this as part of the new garden or plant something which will be in keeping with this. Pictured above fruit trees hanging over the fence have been used as part of the new garden. Pictured two months after planting with massed perennial planting. This planting is herbaceous and will die back, be cut to the ground in late winter and fill out next season.

Massed ground covers just after planting. This garden was very sensibly planted after the extreme heat of summer. You unfortunately can not always choose when gardens will be planted. A beautiful existing Mid century house the clients were happy to wait to plant when the heat had gone. The result was that we lost around five small plants out of thousands planted, with little hand watering.

A retain wall was removed here to reduce to overall cost of the landscape constuction. So the are was banked with rocks and planting modified to bind the bank and stop erosion. Very densely planted. Another reason why it is important to be able to resolve issues in consecution to achieve the best results.

Borrowed landscape pictured above from above, how can we blend this in with the new garden and not disregard it.

Certain plants or planting styles will achieve faster results than others. Massed groundcovers and perennial planting will fill out over the first growing season and give the garden a full-some look. The larger the specimen trees are the more instant the garden will be. Larger trees and screening planting can be craned into position but costs can add up quickly.

Newly planted Flinders garden, more borrowed landscape. Here an old house was removed and two separate dwellings added for generations of a single family. The garden links the two properties and provides common areas for both.

Flinders garden two months after planting settling in well.

Tiny North Fitzroy courtyard with built in bench, bbq and vegetable gardens. Espalier fruit trees will be pinned to the battens behind over time. Six months on the ground covers have filled out giving the garden a sense of age and softness.

Viola, Dichondra and Tractor Seat plant (Ligularia reniformis)

Plant set out in North Fitzroy, Miscanthus grouped in five to give a good clump first season. Vegetables and herbs sitting with espalier fruit trees.