October 03, 2016
Trend update: outdoor living
Sunny spring days are here. With more time outside on the agenda, we spoke to local garden designer, Lucy Helder from Fig Garden Design about the latest trends in outdoor living.
Many homeowners enjoy seeing their garden change through summer, autumn, winter and spring.
“Lots of people love blossom in spring and the colours of deciduous trees in autumn. Some also want fragrance in their garden – mass plantings of gardenia, sedum and loropetalum will inject fragrance, color and seasonal interest.
Low maintenance a priority
“With the hectic pace of life today, it’s not surprising that many people need a low maintenance garden,” says Lucy. “At the same time, clients ask me not to compromise on the appearance of their outdoor spaces – they want the best of both worlds!”
Lucy recommends hardy succulents and fast growing trees such as the weeping lily pily (Waterhausia floribunda) for a low maintenance garden that still looks beautiful. Mass groupings of the same plant can also decrease the level of maintenance involved whilst still creating a ‘wow’ factor. “Likewise, limiting the amount of lawn you have is sensible if you don’t want to spend a lot of personal time on garden upkeep.”
Catering for the kids
In a bid to keep the kids happy and active at home, Lucy has seen a spike in the number of families installing basketball and netball rings and sports turf surfaces in their back yards.
Landscaping around such high-use areas requires careful thought.
“Plants such as the New Zealand rock lily (Arthropodium cirratum) or prostate rosemary (Rosmarinus officials prostrates) tolerate a bit more trampling by kids and balls than many other species.”
Raised vegetable gardens and pots of herbs are also popular with families, who want the pleasure of incorporating home grown produce into their cooking.
Structured gardens remain popular, says Lucy, but with a twist.
“The latest formal gardens incorporate unconventional plants such as the Indian hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis indica), which is hardy and coastal but works well alongside a more traditional box hedge.”
“Green and white gardens are enduring, particularly in Boroondara – this classic palette is sophisticated, timeless and never goes out of fashion.”