Autumn Gardening Checklist

Sydney’s cooler days and nights are creeping in and you’ve probably noticed your plant growth starting to slow. You may be relieved at not having so much constant gardening maintenance compared to the summer months – but autumn actually provides the perfect opportunity for getting your garden in tip-top shape for winter and well into spring.

The jobs below are our autumn gardening checklist that will keep your garden flourishing throughout winter and well into spring.

1. Make new plants from cuttings

Autumn is a great time to snip a few cuttings to make new plants – hardwood herbs such as rosemary and bay or natives such as banksias and grevillea.

  • snip 10cm cuttings
  • remove the lower leaves
  • dip cuttings into hormone powder
  • pot in small containers of premium potting mix.
  • keep moist and shelter from strong wind and sun

2. Prune

In order to keep your plants compact and bushy from ground level, pruning should be done before the onset of winter. Pruning in autumn is beneficial as it:

  • removes dead or diseased wood
  • promotes more flowering and fruit
  • creates a shapely, attractive plant
  • stimulates new growth

TIP: As a general rule, don’t cut more than a third off the plant.

3. Lawn Care

Rejuvenate tired lawns with an autumn feeding to prepare them for the onset of cool winter weather. Grass growth slows down with cold nights, but the roots are still growing well in the warm soil, which makes it’s the perfect time for repair.

  • make sure any weeds you sprayed last month are dying
  • repeat the weed treatment if necessary
  • aerate the lawn with a garden fork and scatter lime lightly over it.
  • use a slow release lawn food to develop a strong root system and thicker grass.

TIP: Use an easy to apply hose-on “weed and feed” product on the lawn.

4. Tidy Garden Beds

  • Cut back any spent perennials
  • Boost plants with beautiful seed heads
  • Get rid of weeds by removing them from the root to have a head start on spring when weeds are most aggressive and harmful
  • Control vine growth

5. Fertilise and mulch

Giving plants food in late autumn will mean they will be well nourished in spring after the winter cold. Spreading fertiliser will also help control weeds. Some plants have specific needs such as camellias and azaleas, natives, roses and citrus but most other plants can be fed with an all-purpose granular fertiliser.

  • spread organic fertiliser and compost
  • water any fertiliser in well so that the nutrients get to the plant’s roots.

6. Compost Leaves

Transfer the leaves that fall on your garden and lawn to the compost bin on a regular basis, otherwise, they will smother your plants and grass.

TIP: To help them break down quicker, run over them with the lawn mower first.

7. Divide evergreen perennials

Evergreen perennials will probably be showing new fresh growth at the base and as soon as last year’s spindles are removed, these will take off beautifully. Autumn is the perfect time to divide them:

  • lift them from the soil
  • divide at the root
  • re-plant into well-conditioned soil

8. Clean gardening containers and tools

Pots and tools may have traces of soil that contain bacteria and disease-causing organisms.

  • disinfect pots to remove all traces of soil that could contain bacteria and.
  • clean and sharpen tools to prolong good performance

Have questions about our autumn gardening checklist?

If you would like to get a question answered or access our garden consultancy services, give us a call to arrange a free consultation.


5 Things You Should Know About How To Cluster Pots

Pot clustering is a unique way to add a personal touch to your outdoor space, whether it be your garden, a patio or balcony. “Pot clustering” is an idea of clustering multiple pots, birthing a new gardening term called “containerscaping.” Sometimes also called “potscaping,” containerscaping is a hybrid buzzword for landscaping with container plants.

Whilst pot clustering is a relatively simple way to create a huge impact, things can start to look awkward if you don’t follow a few key landscape design rules. Here are my top five simple tips about how to cluster pots to ensure you get an eye-catching result!

1. How many pots will you cluster?

The first thing to consider is the size of the cluster. Typically, you will need, 3, 5 or more pots. The number of pots you choose will depend on the purpose. For example, are you planning to create a standout feature in a certain area, or do you need a small cluster in the corner hiding the air conditioning unit?

TIP: Odd numbers tend to work better and look more natural than even numbers.

Pot Cluster Chelsea Pots

Featured in the images above are our award-winning Chelsea Pots

2. Pick the main feature

With pot clustering, you should have one big feature. Decide which pot and plant you will use as this feature and then work back from that. By doing so, this will draw the eye to the focal point but also offer a lot of beauty in the surrounding pots as well.

TIP: For an eye-catching feature plant, try an elongated plant or a flowering plant.


3. Mix it up!

The best way to create an impact with your pot cluster is to have varying shapes and sizes. Whilst the pots can be the same but in different shapes and sizes, you can also mix and match styles, materials, and colours. If you have limited space, you may want to use oval-shaped pots to create more mass without the pot taking up additional room or encroaching forward.

TIP: When selecting your pots, consider which colours, textures and styles will complement the space you have in your environment. Is it modern and clean? Is it traditional and decorative? Is it bright and light? Or is it neutral and luxe?

Featured in the images above are our Atlantis Pots

4. Decide on your plants

So now you have your pots chosen, it’s time to decide which plants to put in each. It’s important to consider your plant choice carefully, as you don’t want to ‘hide’ the pot behind with a plant that is too big. The idea is that the pots and plants should step down proportionally from each other. You may also want to consider contrasting the textures of the plants. For example, mix hard spiky leaves with soft smaller flowers. Another idea would be to pick a plant theme colour and repeating it in all pots.

TIP: Add an extra layer to your bigger pots by adding trailing plants, such as a Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’, so they spill over the edge.



5. Test it before you plant it

If you are concerned about whether your display will look good or not, consider arranging your pots and plants BEFORE you pot them. This gives you the flexibility to try different combinations and arrangements until you are happy with the result.

TIP: We can assist you to do this in our showroom – so you can feel confident before committing to a purchase!


You might also like: Arranging Pots and Planters for Impact


Need help with ideas for how to cluster pots?

If you would like to get a question answered or access our garden consultancy services to make the perfect pot cluster for your garden, balcony or patio, give us a call to arrange a free consultation.


Best Shade Plants For Sydney Gardens

Best Shade Plants For Sydney Gardens-Website Featured Image

Does your garden have a shady corner or dark patch that gets little or no sun? Or perhaps your whole garden is enveloped in shade for most of the day? Whether the shade is coming from a large tree, or perhaps the shadows from the house, a shed or neighbouring building, you are not alone. Dealing with shaded areas in your garden or balcony is an issue most gardeners face.

As many plants don’t tolerate long periods or shade or full shade, these areas of the garden can be the most problematic to grow plants. The result for many gardeners are patches where the turf is bare and the plants either die or don’t flourish. Luckily, these issues can be solved if you select plants that actually thrive in varying levels of shade. By carefully planting the right plants, you can ensure the shaded areas of your garden are filled with contrasting textures, beautiful foliage, colour and flowers.

Keep reading to discover our top lists of shade plants for turf, screening, ground cover or pots:

Best turf for shade

Sir Walter Soft Leaf Buffalo is more shade tolerant than other varieties because of its broad leaves which photosynthesise well. Among the Buffalo varieties, Sir Walter Soft Leaf Buffalo is among the very best performers in shady areas and can thrive with as little as three hours of sunlight per day.

  • Shade tolerant
  • Need full sun shade or partial shade
  • Requires less water
  • Low lawn maintenance
  • Held consistently good colour throughout the year


Tall screening plants for shade

Alocasia (Elephant Ears) and other varieties, can survive in filtered sunlight or shade. It’s important to avoid direct sunlight on their leaves in the Sydney summer, as this can cause foliage burn.

  • Grows up to 20-90 cm tall
  • Avoid both direct sunlight and very dark and Gloomy spots
  • Like moist but well drained in partial shade
  • Moderate speed growth in summer
  • Colorful flowers
est Shade Plants For Sydney Gardens -


Tiger Grass is a striking plant from Thailand that looks like bamboo but it’s actually a perennial grass that blooms beautiful purple flowers. It’s great to use as an attractive feature or screening plant and does well in pots as well.

  • Grows up to 3-4 metres in height
  • Quick growing and can be fully grown within 18 – 24 months
  • Low maintenance
  • Drought tolerant
Tiger Grass


Ginger, particularly Thai Ginger, has lovely flowers. When it reaches maturity, it has the potential of reaching from one to two metres tall. You will want to provide enough space between plants to accommodate their height and bushy nature.

  • Likes full sun or partial shade
  • Blooms in summertime
  • Produces cluster of white and pink flower buds that bloom into yellow flowers
  • Takes 10 months to mature


Heliconia will form a great backdrop or screen with the large upright leaves and a flower spike similar to Bird of Paradise.

  • Grows on average 1-2 metres in a garden
  • Should be planted in draining soil
  • Blooming season once to several times a year
  • Flowers come in a variety of lengths and shapes


Lower growing shade plants

Bromeliad Guzmanias and Bromeliad Alcantarea can be grown in pots, in the garden, on balconies or mounted on a tree or piece of wood. These bromeliads don’t need full sunlight and in fact, grow better in shady spots – that’s why they’re so successful under big trees.

  • Grows up to 1.5 metres tall
  • Keep out of direct sunlight
  • Beautiful foliage
  • Blooms only once




Rhoeos, particularly the dwarf and mid-sized versions, are an excellent and fast growing ground cover in the shaded parts of the garden. It is used as an effective edging plant, or even as underplantings and is popular due to their texture and colour.

  • Grows up to 30-50 cm tall
  • Enjoys partial shade to full shade
  • Drought tolerant
  • Leaves can die from excessive watering


Liriopes particularly Monroe White and Green Dichondra are a great ground cover and is a good alternative to lawn. It produces spikes of violet or white blooms in summer, followed by white or black berries in autumn.

  • Grows up to 25-45 cms tall
  • Low maintenance
  • Drought and frost tolerant
  • Tolerant of full sun to heavy shade
  • Requires pruning or cutting back once a year if leaves become untidy


Hostas come in many shapes and sizes and add colour with its beautiful foliage, with some being fragrant. This low maintenance plant should be positioned in semi to full shade.

  • Grows up to 2.5 metres tall
  • Blooms in summer
  • Drought tolerant
  • Keep soil moist but not wet


Lamium Beacon Silver a low maintenance shade-loving ground cover with white or pink flowers and silver, heart-shaped leaves bordered in mid to deep green. If there is too much sun, the foliage will burn.

  • Grows up to 15-20 cm tall
  • Partial shade or full shade
  • Low maintenance plant
  • Flowers from spring to summer


Ajugas – If you are looking for a low maintenance ground cover that offers more than just a bland green mat, consider ajugas. They offer a wide variety of foliage colours, usually rich deep burgundy and sometimes cream and pink edges.

  • Grows up to 15-20 cm
  • Full sun to part shade
  • Blooms in spring to summer
  • Prefers medium-moisture and well-drained soils
Ajuga -Website-Featured-Image.


Potted plants for shade

Large leaf Jades are an easy to care for succulent, and can be grown indoors and outdoors, and even as bonsai plants. Fast growing, inexpensive and incredibly resilient, you cannot go wrong with this plant.

  • Grows up to 1.5 metres
  • Full sun or part shade
  • Low maintenance
  • Need to be watered more frequently in summer and spring


New Guinea Impatiens are perfect for planters and hanging baskets in the shade. Their colourful blooms come in bright shades from lavender to orange. They’re easy to care for, as long as you keep them well-watered throughout the hottest parts of the year.

  • Grows up to 38cm
  • Full sun to part shade
  • Low maintenance
  • Blooms continuously
  • Needs a well-draining soil that holds moisture long enough


Camellias thrive in pots in the shade but require repotting every two or three years. Being evergreen plants, they provide an element of lushness with their foliage and flowers to any courtyard or balcony.

  • Grows up to 1.5-3 metres tall
  • Dappled light/Part shade or full shade
  • Long blooming flowers
  • Needs well-drained soil
Camellia - Website - Featured -Image


Philodendron Xanadu is the perfect low maintenance plant with luscious evergreen foliage and decoratively shaped leaves. It will tolerate full sun but is also happy in partial shade. Ideal for use in a larger pot for the perfect feature plant.

  • Grows up to 50-80 cm
  • Needs to be watered regularly
  • Likes moist but not constantly drenched soil
  • Poisonous plant – should not be consumed by animals or humans


Monstera deliciosa (also known as a split leaf philodendron) is an easy-to-grow plant that does well in a pot. It is not recommended in the garden as it can get huge. It’s known for its stunning, split leaves which are dark green and glossy.

  • Grows up to 3 metres tall
  • Full sun to part shade
  • Prefer warm climate
  • Rarely blooms

Do you need expert advice to select shade plants?

Selecting the best plants for the shaded areas of your garden, courtyard or balcony can be challenging. However, expert advice can prevent making choices which result in your plants don’t thrive.
If you need professional assistance, feel free to get in touch with us to get your questions answered. You can also schedule a free consultation or access our soft landscaping services right away.


Easy Shade Garden Ideas: Castlecrag Case Study

Project details

  • Recently excavated
  • Private backyard and front yard
  • Family friendly
  • Lots of shade [backyard]

Key goals

  • Select low maintenance plants
  • Plants must be shade tolerant
  • Modern design
  • Provide privacy from neighbours

The challenge

Whilst we were presented with a blank canvas for this job, the back garden had been recently excavated by builders and they had left the soil stripped about 30cm down. The challenge here was that the side passage is very narrow, so a solution was required to move a large amount of soil to the back. The back garden contained a large tree, which covered it in shade for most of the day. Our client’s family included young children, which meant it was essential that the turf could withstand not only the shade but the impact of regular play.

Our approach

  • Soil: The back garden required an additional 30cm of soil in order to reach the required height. However, due to the very narrow side access to the back garden, our only solution was to pump the soil.

Easy Shade Garden Ideas - soil

  • Turf: We selected Sir Walter Buffalo because it will tolerate the sun as well as the shade, and it’s quite a tough grass and with kids running around on it all the time, it’s very practical.
Easy Shade Garden Ideas -  turf
  • “Pool Friendly” plants: Around the pool, we selected a range of low maintenance plants that do not drop a lot of leaves. The Golden Canes were a good choice, as they are able to tolerate full sun and to create layers we added Little Rubies and Xanadus. Each of these plant varieties will also handle the splash of chlorinated water from the pool.
Easy Shade Garden Ideas - pool friendly
  • Provide privacy: Along the back fence, we chose to plant Podocarpus. It’s quite a narrow plant so you can keep it very close against the fence. The plan is to let it grow about half a metre above the top of the fence so that it provides a screen from the house behind. For the side, we selected Little Gem Magnolias, which will be pruned to be 2-2.5 metres high so they grow as a hedge. Magnolia little gem is not often used as a hedge, but they love to be pruned and will become a thick screen. For the street front, we placed a couple of bits of timber to create the illusion of a fence, with plants in between to create privacy – without physically having a fence.
Easy Shade Garden Ideas - provide privacy
  • Shade Tolerance: For the central bed in the back garden, shade tolerant plants were chosen such as New Zealand rock lilies, which have a beautiful pink flower with flowerettes along the spike. We also selected the Guzmania bromeliad and a cycad as the feature plant. We mulched in between the plants; however, once the plants grow and spread, you won’t see any of the mulch. Similarly, the low-maintenance tri-colour Star Jasmine will spread to make a border below the Podocarpus.
Easy Shade Garden Ideas - shade tolerance


  • Create a modern look: For the front garden, we designed square gardens, with different things planned for each square. For example, we mixed succulents with some exotic plants. Core 10 steel was used to frame the garden in both the front and the back as the edging. This steel develops lovely colours as it rusts and will create a modern look.
Easy Shade Garden Ideas - modern look
  • A touch of colour: Succulents were planted in little troughs and bolted to the wall outside the kitchen window. Again, they’re low maintenance and it’s quite a sunny spot around there, so they’ll do really well – but most importantly, they add a lovely dash of colour.Easy Shade Garden Ideas: Castlecrag Case Study - touch of colour

Do you need shade garden ideas?

If you have a garden, courtyard or balcony that is shaded for most or all of the day, plant selection is critical! We offer landscaping and design services to ensure you get the right advice so that your plants thrive.
For more information, please give us a call or visit us to schedule a free consultation.

landscape design consultation

Dazzle With No Hassle Using These 10 Low Maintenance Plants

Low maintenance plants are a great choice for many people. Whether you are new to gardening or don’t want the hassle of laborious gardening work, there are plenty of choices when it comes to plants that can withstand being ignored for periods of time. There is also a solid case for choosing low maintenance plants, especially in Sydney, where we can have extreme heat or long periods of dry weather.

Select plants from this list of outdoor and indoor plants and you can still have spectacular looking greenery, without spending a lot of time or effort with care or maintenance.

Low Maintenance Plants for Outdoors

1. Cycads: are ideal for both seasoned gardeners and beginners as they are easy to grow and save a lot of time that you spend on maintaining them. These grow on hard rock or sand and are long living plants. Their elegant appeal makes them an asset to your garden as well as indoor.

10 Low Maintenance Plants - Cycads


2. Large Leaf Jade: Not everyone possesses a green thumb. For those with a black thumb, the large leaf Jade plants are perfect. These are succulents that can be grown indoors and outdoors, and even as bonsai plants. Fast growing, inexpensive and incredibly resilient, you cannot go wrong with this plant.

10 Low Maintenance Plants - Large Leaf Jade


3. Star Jasmine Tricolour: a variant of the common star jasmine. It is ideal as ground cover as it hugs the ground forming an attractive border plant. You can use it as cascade or in containers too. While it does not flower frequently, the leaves themselves form vibrant foliage. Resistant to diseases and pest it is a drought tolerant plant ideal for the hot Sydney summers.


4. Gymea Lily: is a large feature shrub; This is a common plant seen in the Sydney Basin. Popular for its amazingly huge flower heads and opulent green beauty, it is a must have for any landscape design. Being a robust native plant, it can easily resist bushfires and drought.

10 Low Maintenance Plants - Gymea Lily


5. Silver leaf GazaniaAnother ground cover plant that is perfect for your garden. It produces beautiful flowers that are golden yellow in colour. The plant flowers profusely during warm summer months. A hardy plant, it flourishes even in the harshest conditions found inland or coastally.

10 Low Maintenance Plants - Silver-leaf-Gazania


Ideal Indoor Varieties of Low Maintenance Plants

1. Rhapis palmsExcellent for growing in full shade, Rhapis palms are known as Shady Lady’s. While these tolerate morning sun, too much exposure of summer sunlight can scorch the leaves. These are grown indoors in containers and reach about 6 feet and rarely spread over 3 feet.

10 Low Maintenance Plants - Rhapis-palms


2. Zanzibar Gem: Zanzibar Gems, popular as ‘Money Tree’ in Asia, is also known as Eternity Plant. The indoor plant grows best in a shady and dry surrounding. It can withstand neglect to an incredible level. While overwatering and cold temperature are threats to its existence, if you grow it in a warm and sufficiently dry environment, it can thrive for a longer time. It is tolerant to water scarcity and low sunlight.

10 Low Maintenance Plants - Zanzibar-Gem.


3. Rhipsalis succulent: Also known as Mistletoe cacti, this plant features elongated and highly branched stems that hang down in clusters. It is best looking when grown in a hanging basket or used as ground cover for your garden. The leaves are gold or lime yellow in colour and string shaped.

10 Low Maintenance Plants - Rhipsalis-succulent


4. Ficus elastica: Also known as Rubber Plant, this ornamental plant can grow up to 30 meters. But the indoor plants are much lower in height and manageable. The foliage is fantabulous and the plant is similar to a tree making it a valuable addition indoors.

10 Low Maintenance Plants - Ficus-elastica


5. SucculentsA popular choice for a low-maintenance garden or indoor pot because they can tolerate hot temperatures and require minimal watering. They are the perfect plant for forgetful gardeners and look stunning planted alone or as companions to other succulents or leafy plants.

10 Low Maintenance Plants - Succulents


All the above plants are chosen for their ease of growing and care. Even if your past experience with growing plants has been a dismal failure, these plants will make you a gardening expert with their appealing beauty and resilient nature.

Need help with our selecting low maintenance plants?

If you would like to get a question answered or access our garden consultancy services, give us a call to arrange a free consultation.

landscape design consultation

Grand Waterfront Property in Longueville: Front Garden Case Study

Project details

  • Waterfront property exposed to high wind
  • Create a sense of grandeur
  • Improve appeal of the house from the street frontage

Key goals

  • Select plants that can withstand winds
  • Create two tone colour theme (white and green]
  • Create balance between the large two-story home and the landscape environment
  • Design a grand front door entrance area

Our approach

1. Trees: We had to consider a Magnolia that was in the front garden because the wind was burning the leaves, which reduced the appeal of the garden at the front of the house. For this reason, we transplanted it to a more protected area in the back garden and replaced it with Snow Pears, creating a sense of grandeur to the front entrance of the house from the street.

Front Garden Case Study - Trees section


2. Wind Resistance: To protect the smaller plants along the driveway and create a windbreak, we planted a mature hedge of Japanese Buxus that was approximately 1 metre high. Snow Pears are also wind resistant, so were a perfect choice for this garden.

Front Garden Case Study - Wind resistance section


3. Balance and layers: Snow Pears were also selected to create height in the garden and create balance between the two-story house and the garden. To create balance between the plants, we used a smaller Buxus hedge, approximately 25cm high, down the path to the bottom of the steps.

Front Garden Case Study -  Balance and layers section


4. Colour and Contrast: Snow Pears have a beautiful white flower in the spring and they also create grandeur to the front entrance of the house. We used Iceberg Roses throughout the garden, as they can withstand the wind and love the afternoon sun that this garden receives and they will flower 8-9 months of the year. As a lower plant around the Iceberg Roses and Snow Pears, we used tricoloured Jasmine, to create the contrast in colour between the plants, from the lime green of the Buxus and the dark green of the Roses.

Front Garden Case Study - Colour and Contrast section


5. Grand Entrance: To perfectly frame the front entrance of this Hampton style home, we selected two Magnolia trees, planted in large Alfresco Low Round pots. Garden beds on either side of the door contained clay soil with no topsoil. Flowering plums were planted here, with English Large Leaf Ivy as a ground cover around the base of the flowering Plums. This created a sense of contrast between the burgundy colour of the Plums and the dark green of the Ivy.

Front Garden Case Study - Grand entrance section


For more information, please give us a call or visit us to schedule a free consultation.


How to Help Your Plants Survive The Sweltering Sydney Summer

How to Help Your Plants Survive The Sweltering Sydney Summer

With Sydney’s sweltering summer conditions finally hitting our shores this January, you may be finding that your plants are suffering. Perhaps your soil is dry, the plants are showing signs of wilting, or even worse, the leaves are turning brown.

But don’t despair! If you catch the problem early enough, you can follow these simple summer gardening tips to protect your garden and ensure that they survive.

Top 6 Summer Gardening Tips

  • Improve soil quality: If you have an established garden, add some compost to the topsoil around plant roots and lightly turn it into the soil. Next, sprinkle a granular wetting agent around the plants, which again helps the soil hold moisture. Finally, mulch the garden well – this will help to hold 80% of the moisture in keep the plant roots cooler. TIP: A finer mulch is better, e.g. lucerne, sugar cane or fine pine bark.
Summer Gardening Tips - Improve Soil Quality


  • Keep your soil moist: Maintain moisture throughout the soil by watering up to twice a day if necessary. Water early in the morning when the water can best infiltrate the soil and again in the early evening (when the sun is NOT on the plants) if the soil is feeling crusty. Make sure your plants have time to dry before nightfall because damp leaves can lead to fungus problems. Water at the base of the plants for maximum absorption.
Summer Gardening Tips - Keep your soil moist


  • Install an irrigation system: Installing a sprinkler system makes watering easier and saves you time. Most come with a timer, so you can set it to water whenever you want and for as long as your plants need. Plus, you can save water by setting up zones to water areas more often that get a lot of sunlight or reduce over-watering in shaded areas. If you have an existing irrigation system, make sure it’s working correctly and repair or replace broken pipes or sprinklers. Also, check that the water is covering your plants, not just footpaths or driveways.
Summer Gardening Tips - Install an irrigation system


  • Wilting may be unavoidable, but don’t make the mistake of wetting your plants leaves in hopes to relieve them. Water acts as a magnifying glass and intensifies the sun’s effects, which can cause the leaves to burn. For this reason, avoid watering your plants during the hottest part of the day and never when they are in full sun.
Summer Gardening Tips - Wilting


  • Reduce the competition: Your garden is full of thirsty roots, competing for every bit of water they can find so make sure there are no unwelcome weeds sprouting up. They will syphon water away from your preferred plants, slowly choking them to death. The best way to combat weeds is to pull them out when you go to water your plants before too many can take root. A little work here and there will produce better results than waiting for your garden to be consumed.
Summer Gardening Tips - Reduce the competition


  • Don’t fertilise during a heat wave: When your plant is in summer survival mode, it’s not looking for extra nutrients and isn’t prepared to make use of them. Introducing these into the soil will risk further stressing your plant. Wait until it cools down a bit for your next feeding!


  • Wait to prune: During summer, you’re sure to find damaged leaves and stems but in order to avoid causing unnecessary stress, it’s best to hold off from pruning until after the heat wave passes and the temperatures get a bit back in the normal range.
Summer Gardening Tips - Wait to Prune


Need help with our garden tips for Summer?

Don’t wait any longer and prepare your garden for Summer! Let us know what do you think about our expert garden tips for Summer. We appreciate all the feedback.

If you would like to get a question answered or access our garden consultancy services, give us a call to arrange a free consultation.

Private Backyard Design Case Study: Freshwater


Project details

  • Private backyard
  • Family friendly
  • Modern and private concept

Key goals

  • Transform the backyard completely
  • Remove trees and stumps
  • Remove dangerous old walls and vegetable gardens
  • Level the ground and plant turf
  • Plant trees
Private Backyard Design

The challenge

In this private backyard design case study, we will examine a project at Freshwater. We were met with a challenge, as the backyard was full of Privet Trees, numerous unkempt vegetable gardens, old roots, and a lot of rubbish. Additionally, old paver walls and bricks were falling down in the backyard, which made it dangerous.

The brief was to transform the backyard into a private, modern garden with enough space for children to play.

Our approach

  1. Excavate: An excavator was needed to take down the walls and remove the bricks, rubbish, roots, etc and to flatten the garden.
  2. Lay turf: We filled the entire backyard with turf that just slopes through without the need for walls.
  3. Create a backdrop: In order to create a backdrop, we planted Murrayas on both sides of the backyard. We also chose Lilly Pillies for the back as they provide amazing colours and are low maintenance.
  4. Create a modern look: We painted them with Woodlands Grey to create a modern look. We also added some plants along the front of the fence to make it look and feel more refreshing.
  5. Create privacy: In the back part of the yard, we added —– red tip and Lilly Pillies to increase the sense of privacy as they grow over time.

A Private Backyard Design Makeover

The old and shallow Wyndora Avenue Freshwater backyard became a practical and beautiful space with a modern feel. This complete makeover was a tremendous success.

We’ve turned a backyard filled with rubbish into a welcoming and beautiful space. On top of that, we made it suitable for kids to play and added a sense of privacy.


Would you like to renovate your backyard?

Do you have an older style backyard that is screaming out for a renovation? You can transform your outdoor space into a practical and beautiful setting. We offer landscaping and design services to ensure you get the renovation for you garden, courtyard or balcony that you really want!

For more information, please give us a call or visit us to schedule a free consultation.


Private Garden Design Case Study: Hill Street Roseville

Roseville Private Garden Design

Project details

Private property, small front courtyard
Formal garden concept
Low maintenance

Key goals

  • Create a formal garden with a layered structure
  • Choose plants and trees that are low maintenance
  • Plant new turf
  • Create a sense of privacy

The challenge

After house renovations, the builders left a blank canvas. This meant we had a nice level courtyard with excellent street access, which made it convenient for deliveries.

The client’s brief for the landscape and garden design, was a formal concept but low maintenance, with privacy and screening from the neighbours and the street.

Our approach

  • Lay new turf: The client wanted a ‘fine’ short lawn, so we laid Queensland Blue Couch, which is best in full sun and can go ‘off’ in cold weather or winter.
  • Privacy or Screening: To increase privacy, we added Little Gem Magnolias near the Boundary fence. These trees change over the years and bloom white flowers during spring. Their dark green leaves with rust underneath create a wonderful backdrop. The Snow Pears were used to create a ‘pleated’ look above the timber panelling and create a subtle screen that it would in itself, be a feature as much as the timber panelling.
  • Formal garden: We selected plants based on the contrast between foliage colour and the shape of the leaf. We picked mostly white flowers for the sharp crisp look, and which will flower throughout the year. Framing the lawn in a kidney shaped pattern, we planted a Buxus hedge to create a formal look.
  • Create depth and dimension: We created a layered garden featuring New Zealand Rock Lilies, Gardenias, Camellia Sasanquas, Cycads, Little Rubies, Snow Pears and Bicopa.. The different sizes, shapes and colours of the plants helped in achieving depth.
  • Seasonal colours: We played with the seasonal colours to create contrast. We chose the colour white as the dominant flower colour as it stands out more in a courtyard. We used various shades of green and grey to give contrast and a sense of depth to the courtyard. The outcome

From an empty space, we transformed the location into a beautiful, formal show garden which is low maintenance, except for the pruning of the hedge and mowing of the lawn.

> You might also like: Balcony Renovation Case Study, Manly

Do you need landscaping services for your garden?

What do you think about this private garden design case study? Mosarte offers a wide range of landscaping and garden design services in Sydney. We know how important garden design and landscaping can be in the transformation of outdoor spaces. It can fully change the appearance, functionality, and comfort of your home.

For more information, please contact us now to get your questions answered. You can also give us a call to schedule a free consultation.


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10 Tips for Designing a Courtyard Garden

Are you thinking about designing your courtyard garden? Do you already know what elements you want included?

There are several points you need to consider before designing a courtyard garden.

It’s important to understand that enclosed garden spaces include visions of architectural balance, shady corners, stately containers and personalised nature retreats that settle on interior spaces (such as glass walls and atrium ceilings).

Defining a balanced setting for your courtyard can be a challenge. That’s why we’ve selected a few tips to help you create a truly special outdoor space – your custom-made courtyard.

What are you trying to achieve?

It’s almost impossible to create an effective plan when you don’t know what you want to achieve.

So start by making a list of your space details and condition (such as existing walls, dimensions and shape). Ask yourself, “What do I want to change in the current layout? Why?”

Additionally, the following questions are intended to help you during the planning stage:

  • Are you trying to screen out the neighbours or a large ugly wall?
  • Or are you trying to enhance an area that you already enjoy?
  • Where are you viewing the courtyard from, one window or several windows?
  • Is it an area to become your peaceful sanctuary to retreat to?
  • Is it a large or small space? Is there any vertical space on solid walls?
  • What decoration and homewares do you want to add?
  • Would you like to have an outdoor kitchen or fire pit?

10 things to consider when designing a courtyard garden

Let’s explore the most important points you need to go over while designing a courtyard garden…

1. Aspect

The aspect of your outdoor space is a crucial point when designing your courtyard (when choosing the trees and plants for it).

Remember: Is your outdoor space sunny or shady? Is it facing north or south? Only a handful of plants will adapt and successfully grow in the specific conditions of your courtyard area.

2. Ground work

If you are planting directly in the ground, you need to evaluate its properties. Is it too dry? What are the pH levels? Do you need to add compost to improve the humus in the soil?

The same strategy applies if you are using pots. You will need a good quality potting mix to ensure your ground has enough nutrients for your new plants.

Regardless of where you are planting, you may want to consider mulch for the plants. It will keep the moisture in the soil, preventing it from evaporating (Tea Tree Mulch, Sugar Cane Mulch or Pine Bark are great options).

Pot Planting Ground Soil

3. Water and electric systems

Do you have water in the area? If not you may need to install a tap. As such, if you are planning on using an irrigation system you may need to consider the pipe placement.

Tip: Any irrigation system must be installed before planting or paving.
Dreaming of a fountain? You may need to consider a power point for the pump. If you want the switch inside the house, consult an electrician.

Don’t forget your electric system in the courtyard. You will need to consider where the lights are going to be positioned to determine where to install the conduit.

4. Consider access to the courtyard

If you have to bring large plants, furniture and hard landscaping materials through the house, measure the doorways to ensure they fit.

Bonus tip: check the width of your side path and gates. Make sure your air conditioning unit or downpipes are not in your way. In units, check the lift measurements.

You may want to drop sheets for some floors and walls if you need to go through the house.

Courtyard Access Path

5. Be bold

In general, it is better to have one large feature in your courtyard than a group of small ones. Designing your own courtyard also gives you the freedom to get creative and come up with unique, eye-catching focal points.

You might want to consider some of our premium pots, such as an Atlantis Urn or a tree, or a Little Gem Magnolia or Japanese Maple.

6. Balance

Before planting and decorating, consider the height and width of your walls or fences. You don’t want to have pot plants in front of your bifold doors that open up. This is a very important matter while designing a courtyard garden.

Take into consideration the mature height of the plants and trees you have chosen. You want the plants to be in proportion to the space.

7. Contrast

Don’t be afraid to use contrasting colours in foliage and flowers. It can produce a stunning effect.

Tip: You can use a ground cover like Ajuga Catlins Giant that has a large burgundy bronze coloured cabbage leaf with a beautiful spike of blue flowers around a Cycad that has been planted on a mound. This would give the impression that the Cycad is ‘floating’ on the Ajuga’s. Cycad has dark green spiky leaves and a woody trunk.

8. Layering

One of the most pleasing strategies to organise and display your plants is through layering. Start placing your tallest plants at the highest point of your courtyard. Then, decrease the layers gradually with smaller plants. Draw an imaginary line to guide yourself here.

When you are layering the plants, you want them to be within that structure. This way, the plants that are higher will keep growing and be the highest. That way, plants in the front won’t be hiding the ones in the back either.

You can use layering around a feature plant or pot plant, such as Dichondra Silver Falls around the edge of the pot that has a larger plant on it. The Dichondra Silver Falls will spill over the edge of the pot to soften the edges.

Courtyard Pot Layering

9. Colour and Texture

Are you trying to bring the inside out? You may want to consider the colour of your flooring inside the house, so it flows through to the outside.

Do you want to introduce natural finishes or a bold colour to have a contrast? You can use a Sandstone block as a bench seat on a timber deck to create a subtle contrast. Alternatively, you may want to have a Gloss White Pot to give a modern contrast to grey pavers.

10. Draw the eye

Draw the eye down the garden by repeating a certain key element, such as plants, pavers or pots. Use the same colour but different sizes and shapes for an increased dynamic.

Bonus tip: You can use a mirror on a wall to create a sense of depth in a small courtyard.

Keep in mind that a dark colour will also highlight the plants in the garden better. Blues and greys in flowers or foliage also contribute to a sense of depth.

Additionally, it’s important to decide where you want to place your “features” from the central point of view. Normally, it’s the entrance where you can view most of the courtyard.
Did you know…? Painting the fences with a dark grey colour will increase the sense of depth. Painting it with a light colour will draw your eye forward.

Do you need expert advice to design your courtyard?

Designing a courtyard garden by yourself can be a very satisfying DIY project. However, expert advice can prevent serious problems from arising.

If you need professional assistance, feel free to get in touch with us to get your questions answered. You can also schedule a free consultation or access our garden design services right away.