"Creating a living work of art that is a value adding setting for your home and lifestyle"

 

Kerrie Griffin-Moore Garden Design & Consultations, the recipient of:

 

The "2009 Award of Excellence for Design of a Commercial Landscape between $100,000 - $500,000" from the Landscape Association of South Australia.

The "2008 Award of Excellence for Design of a Residential Landscape under $60,000" from the Landscape Association of South Australia.       

 

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So You're Planning on Building A Garden that has a House in it!

A well designed garden offers you a sense of address, a personal setting that complements the architecture of your home and supports and enhances your lifestyle . It is a living work of art, an extension of your  living area. It has structure and it balances your practical needs with your desired aesthetics. It is value adding to your property.

It would be an investment in your lifestyle to consider a block of land and/or house that offers you a Northerly aspect that captures and directs the winter sun into your living spaces/rooms. I offer a consultation for my client's at this stage, giving them advice, guidance and creative design solutions for the garden setting of their home,  working off their new house or extension plans. Sometimes clients get me in once the slab and wall frames of their new or extended home are in place, as they can then visualise the space available for their garden. By working this way it allows them plenty of time to make carefully informed decisions during the planning and building phase, resulting in solutions to potential problems, saving time, money and energy…a wise plan!

My gardening philosophy is founded on working with our Mediterranean climate here in South Australia, which has warm to hot dry summers with high evaporation rates, and cool to cold, wet winters. Some areas also experience frosts, which is a major consideration when  selecting plants! 

We can create beautiful gardens that offer us a sense of address and sanctuary, that are water-wise and climate compatible.  

Our gardens can offer a lush setting through appropriate plant selection, choice of materials for structures and the garden floor, without using large amounts of our most precious resource - our limited water supply.

Most of our garden practices and books were based on gardening in a different climate, it is only now with the introduction of water restrictions and high charges for the water we do consume, that the general public are becoming aware and asking the hard question, “How can we have a beautiful garden, with plants that grow well in our Mediterranean climate here in South Australia?” 

People are embracing relaxing, entertaining and eating out-doors, on patios under market umbrellas, under a roofed or deciduous vine covered pergola, veranda or summer house, that shades them in summer and allows in winter sun and warmth or under the canopy of a shady tree, if you’re lucky enough to have the space.

Good drainage is the basis of a good garden design; you need to identify where the water goes off the roof when it rains and where the ground water runoff goes? This is precious water and worthy of the investment in a rainwater tank.

Important questions we need to ask at the planning stage are can you cater for under ground tanks to store overflow water from the roof and direct the ground water run off to be stored and pumped out to irrigate your garden in the summer months when needed.

The structure in a garden is an important factor, whether it is arrived at by a change in level with steps, walling, seating and paths and/or by a covered and screened veranda.  A ceiling fan to ensure air circulation, a chimney with its winter warmth and ambience, or a deciduous vine covered arbour, pergola or summerhouse, can each stamp your individuality on your garden. Hedging plants for screenings and living structure, or a pool, fountain, pond or water feature can offer tranquil, cooling and soothing repose.

Using a combination of paving, gravel, decking, or lawn areas, makes for a functional, low maintenance, low water use garden floor. 

The introduction of garden art for a focal point can really add interest and fun to a garden.

The inclusion of garden lighting in the design is recommended for ambience, directing traffic through out the garden and highlighting features within the garden at night. 

Initial and on going addition of soil improving organic matter/animal manure will supply and ensure plant establishment, continued optimum healthy plant growth, moisture retention and additional nutrients within the soil. When preparing the soil for planting the addition of a wetting agent, which helps trap moisture in the soil, reduces watering and saves time, money and water. Can be used for lawns, garden beds, vegetable gardens and pots.

Mulching garden beds and the surface of planted up pots regularly helps to protect the soil from high evaporation rates, keeps the plant’s root systems cool, it reduces weed establishment and depending on the choice of organic mulch it can help add condition to the soil.

A professionally installed irrigation system designed for your planting scheme allows the water to get directly to where it is most needed, ensures healthy plant establishment and continued growth in the first few years. Watering in the early morning before the sun is up protects against loss of moisture and decreases the risk of disease from water sitting on the foliage over night.  Occasional deep watering is more benefit to your garden, than light frequent watering.

Potted plants need far more water and care than in ground plants, however you can often create a different microclimate in a sheltered area and grow those favourite plants you know won’t prosper in the open garden.  

Group plants so that the ones that have the same requirements like shade loving or those that need more watering through the summer period are grown together.

The selection of plants for any landscape situation involves careful consideration of three main aspects

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Environmental conditions

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Design factors/client requirements

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Plant requirements and attributes

It is advisable to do  your homework before you buy any plants, so you know your average seasonal rainfall and whether your area suffers from frost, strong winds or any other major influencing factors. Know your ph levels and soil type.

One way to source some of this information, is to go for a walk in your local area and look at the plants growing well in established gardens, this is generally a good indicator. If the opportunity arises talk to the home gardener who is usually only too happy to share their pearls of wisdom, their gardening experiences, how often they water, their successes and failures!

When selecting plants for your garden always go to a very reputable nursery, take a checklist, read all labels and check off the plants against this list, before you purchase any. 

Always ask for assistance from a knowledgeable staff member if you are in any doubt.

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Does it suit the microclimate in the position and the space you want to put it?

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Does it suit the function or purpose you want this plant to fill?

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Check that the stock has healthy growth, is not root bound and is disease free?

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If you are patient you can afford to buy smaller size plants. However, if you want an instant effect buy more mature specimens.

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Is it labelled drought tolerant?

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Is it labelled summer dormant?

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Does it have grey or silver foliage?

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Does it flower in winter?

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Does it have thick or leathery foliage?

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Is it native to South Australia or another Mediterranean Climate region?

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Is it frost tolerant? For many areas this a major consideration

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If you live near the seaside, is it tolerant of salt-laden winds?

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Check that you are not introducing a very invasive plant or pest plant into your garden

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Buy for year round interest in foliage colour, scent, texture and form

  Winter and Summer are great planning seasons, ready for creating in Autumn and Spring. In Autumn the earth is still warm giving the plants time to start establishing themselves with the rains before the very cold weather of Winter sets in, and  in Spring giving the plants time to settle in before the heat of Summer really hits.

 A word of warning when accepting free plants for friends and neighbours: check for weeds in the root ball or pot. My free plants have cost me dearly in the past, both in terms of time and money as I tried to eradicate an introduced weed!

My priorities are client relationships, communication, fulfilling the clients personal aesthetic and functional requirements, creating a sanctuary for them to enjoy, a garden setting that is an expression of them, that is value adding, enhances, supports and complements their lifestyle and the architecture of their home.

I offer the following services, which can be tailored to the individual client’s need:

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Consultation

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Written report

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Proposed design concept

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Detailed design drawings

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Planting plan

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Maintenance schedule

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Advice on long term maintenance

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Liaison with contractors on behalf of client

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Climate compatible water-wise plant selections

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Sourcing & purchasing of: plants, garden furniture and accessories, water features and landscaping materials

       Your garden can be your sanctuary!

 

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Contact Information:

Kerrie Griffin-Moore
PO Box 1077, Stirling, SA 5152
Mobile: 0417 820 715
E-mail: kerrie@kgmgardendesign.com.au

 

 

©2007 - 2010 Kerrie Griffin-Moore Garden Design & Consultations. All Rights Reserved

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