What is the difference between gardening and garden maintenance?I was guided by a new book by Richard Answorth City Gardener..
Unsworth, the founder of Garden Life, a garden shop and design business, has been designing gardens in Sydney for 20 years and has compiled the lessons of that experience in a book. The first section describes 20 inspirational city gardens drawn from recent projects by the Garden Life Team. Everything was filmed by Nicholas Watt, who always pays attention to both the big picture and the details.
The second section of the book describes aspects of design and planting choices. He writes that the key principle for designing a satisfying small garden is to grow. Small gardens tend to choose small pots, small plants, and small furniture, but the smaller ones have a greater impact and give the illusion of more space.
He also challenges the first non-professional instinct of creating privacy in hedgerows. While the most important challenge in small city gardens is often to create a sense of isolation, Answorth does not “wrap” hedges on all sides, but rather a single monotonous boundary and a small screen elsewhere. It’s about balancing with the combination of trees. Blueberry ash, coast banskia, broadleaf palm, lilly pilly weeping, etc. The screen does not have to be hedged density to distract from the ugly view or create intimacy.
Larger and lesser ones produce more impact and give the illusion of more space.
The garden favorite presented is in Redfern. When designing a garden in a small space, the design mantra is usually about restraint. But here the client demanded abundance, so the slightly blooming, mostly green leaves, backed by a mirror wall that reflects light into the west-facing space and visually enhances the sensation of the green enclosure. There is a wonderful texture interaction of plants. Not only a mirror ball hanging from a mature tree branch, but also a fun place to hang out.
Unsworth has included a box of attractive details in each garden shown in the book. It reveals what percentage of the total cost was spent on plants, construction, furniture and lighting, and details the number of “maintenance” hours required by the garden. Rooftop maintenance figures for sunlight-resistant succulents with a spa and dining area are 6 hours per quarter. 48 hours on the lawn, hedges, flower borders and the vast Urara Gardens of the pool.
The Redfern Garden is rated at 12 hours quarterly, revealing a desire to answer gardening and maintenance questions. Maintenance is a job, but gardening is fun. If it were my garden, I would be doing pottery in it much more often than an hour a week! Whether you’re sitting on either side of a garden / maintenance question, Answorth’s book offers a lot of advice on designing a garden that works for you.
City Gardener (Thames & Hudson, $ 50) is out.
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Small garden idea
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