Plants

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Curve trend hideaway
It’s the perfect time to explore the latest outdoor space trends. From incorporating vibrant colours like bright yellow marigolds and diverse textures such as soft, feathery ferns to embracing cultural influences and the timeless allure of sculptures. The world of gardening is abuzz with exciting trends that are reshaping the way we design and experience our outdoor sanctuaries.  Whether you're a seasoned gardener or just beginning to cultivate your green…
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My award winning balcony garden
After my little stint at last year’s Melbourne International Flower And Garden Show (MIFGS) Border Gardens, I returned to Carlton Gardens to showcase my interpretation of what a balcony garden could look like. Small space design is tricky, so I was excited to showcase my Balcony Garden at MIFGS 2024!⁠  I received second place in the Balcony Garden design category. As you know, I don’t like to toot my own…
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Cottage garden planting in Blackburn front garden design
Knowing your soil pH and choosing plants that will thrive are essential when planning a garden in Melbourne. Melbourne's diverse climate and soil conditions offer an ideal canvas for gardening enthusiasts to experiment with various plants. Some plants prefer acidic soil, while others grow best in alkaline conditions. The soil pH in Melbourne typically ranges from slightly acidic to neutral. While both types can thrive in Melbourne's unique environment, understanding…
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Salvia leucantha used in Mount Waverley garden design
Having a small garden space doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your green dreams. In fact, with the right approach, careful planning, and creativity, you can transform even the tiniest outdoor area into a flourishing oasis of beauty and productivity. In this blog, we'll explore a range of strategies to help you make the most of your limited garden space. Plan with Purpose When planning your small garden space with…
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Aerial view of Mount Waverley right garden
A well-designed landscape can transform a mundane space into a picturesque haven. While many homeowners take pride in nurturing their gardens, there's a distinct advantage to entrusting the artistry of a landscape garden designer. Beyond the allure of a beautifully curated garden, these professionals bring a wealth of expertise and benefits to the table, saving homeowners time and effort. Let's explore the advantages of hiring a landscape garden designer to…
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Closeup of orange espaliers in Bundoora landscape design
In a world where sustainability, self-sufficiency, and healthy living are central, designing an edible garden is the best way to connect with nature and your food. The concept of an edible garden has gained significant traction in recent years as more people become conscious of their food sources and the benefits of growing their produce. Designing an edible garden provides fresh, organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs and connects people with…
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Fireproofing your house and garden is vital in Australia
Australia's unique climate and landscape make the country particularly vulnerable to fires, especially during the hot and dry months. As a homeowner, it's crucial to proactively fireproof your outdoor area and protect your property from the devastating impact of bushfires. Fortunately, you can take several proactive measures to minimise the risk and create a fire-resistant outdoor haven. In this article, we'll discuss five essential steps to fireproof your outdoor area…
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Bluestone cats paws pavers in Vermont South garden design
In the hustle and bustle of modern life, many yearn for a tranquil and lush outdoor space that doesn't demand constant attention. The reason is that we are innately connected with nature and that the colour green is connected to our feeling of being happy, at peace and calm. A flourishing, low-maintenance garden is an achievable dream and a source of solace and beauty. However, this is separate from a…
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Ben the envy of your neighbours with lush green grass for all to see
A lush green lawn has long been a symbol of suburban living, but maintaining it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Looking after your yard can be time-consuming, resource-intensive, and even environmentally unsustainable. With increasing concerns about water scarcity, chemical usage, and biodiversity loss, many homeowners are reconsidering the traditional grass lawn. Fortunately, numerous creative and eco-friendly alternatives can transform your outdoor space into a stunning and functional area.  Whether…
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Bright pink rose arbour
Australia's diverse climate and unique flora make it a paradise for garden enthusiasts. Whether you're a city dweller with a balcony garden or lucky enough to have a sprawling backyard, gardening in Australia offers many possibilities. If you're a novice gardener eager to nurture your green thumb, we've got you covered with essential tips to help you successfully embark on your gardening journey. Gardening is rewarding and fulfilling, especially in…
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Bright Colours and Smells Are A Must For Sensory Gardens
Creating a sensory garden is both rewarding and fun. It’s a great way to add interest and enjoyment to your outdoor space. Sensory gardens are an exciting place for kids and adults to connect with nature as it combines hardscape elements and plants in such a way as to entice the person wandering through the garden to have that sense of amazement viewing the space, touch, smell, hear sounds and…
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Leucophyta brownii in Vermont South landscape design
Gardening is an enjoyable hobby (or, for some of us, an obsession ), but not all of us have the time or energy to maintain a garden that requires constant upkeep. If you’re looking for a way to spruce up your outdoor space with minimal effort, try these 12 low maintenance garden ideas. Plant Drought-Resistant Plants Many types of succulents, cacti and other plants are naturally adapted to survive in…
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Red neoregelia feature bromeliad and red daisies in planting design
Wow, what a month it’s been so far!  If you haven’t kept up with me lately, you might not have known I had one of my border garden designs presented at the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show (MIFGS) last week. It was a fantastic experience that I’d do again if given a chance. A Bit About MIFGS MIFGS is Australia's premier horticultural event. It brings together some of the…
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Sneak peak of my eclectic garden at MIFGS 2023
I find competitions fun, and you’ve got nothing to lose. So, I entered the competition that the London College of Garden Design put on for the Border Gardens category. So what is a Border Garden?  In layman’s terms, this means a planting design for a small space garden. With the increase of units and apartments, many of us don’t have large backyards as we used to, BUT we still want…
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Purple metal screen lit up in Wantirna South garden
Heard of the saying “You pay for what you get”? Well, that’s the case when it comes to landscaping. There’s a lot of work involved and a lot of long hours put in behind the scenes by the landscaper. Depending on how big the job is, they may well have someone working with them as well. I’ll give credit where credit is due, hiring a landscaper isn’t something that you…
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Urban food garden in productive part of Kew landscape design
Sustainable living became a buzz word when the pandemic started and many of us spent a lot more time in our homes and were needing to find things to do. It’s a great way to save money and if you choose to have a home garden, picking your own fruit, vegetables and herbs is very rewarding. For some people, when they first start looking into sustainable living it can be…
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Productive vegetable patch in metal planters in Kew garden design
In a world where sustainable living and self-sufficiency are gaining momentum, growing your fruit and vegetables has become an increasingly popular endeavour. Not only does it allow you to enjoy fresh, flavourful produce right from your garden, but it also connects you to the natural world profoundly. However, several important things must be considered before diving into gardening. This blog will explore critical factors you should know before growing fruit and…
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Plan your garden space with purpose
I get asked this question a lot, and my two standard responses are as soon as possible (provided that you are mentally ready to commit to the process) and with the expectation that you give the process enough thought/time to create a space that truly suits your needs. However, many of us think about our gardens sometimes as an afterthought or as a reaction to specific triggers like warmer weather…
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Yellow rambling rose
The beauty, resilience and fragrance of roses have made them a favourite of gardeners, flower lovers and a symbol of love for centuries. They’re known as the flower of choice for Valentine’s Day, although I’m sure many of us would be happy to receive any variety of flowers! There is a rose to suit every sunny spot in your garden, particularly if there is limited space. You can have them…
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Where flowers meet wildlife
Imagine entering your backyard and being greeted by wildlife: a symphony of chirping birds, the delicate fluttering of butterflies, and the mesmerising dance of fireflies as dusk sets in. A vibrant garden brings joy to your life and provides a sanctuary for local wildlife. Creating a garden that captivates your senses and nurtures local wildlife is a rewarding endeavour that benefits both nature and your well-being. By making thoughtful changes,…
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Private and Colourful Balcony Garden
Living in an urban apartment often means compromising on outdoor space. While you may not have a sprawling backyard, you can still create a functional and inviting small balcony with the right design approach. Urban balconies, regardless of size, offer a unique opportunity to connect with nature and create a personalised outdoor haven. With just a bit of creativity, even the tiniest city balcony can become a charming outdoor oasis.…
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Closeup of garden sculpture used in Bundoora garden design
When it comes to gardening, the possibilities are vast, and enthusiasts are always looking for new ways to make their gardens beautiful and functional. Edible flowers are visually stunning and can elevate the overall appeal of your garden. Their vibrant colours and intricate shapes create a beautiful contrast from other plants. Growing edible flowers is a fantastic way to add a touch of culinary delight to your garden. These delicate…
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Bee pollinating a stunning purple flower in a garden
Australia's gardens are home to various pollinators, including bees, butterflies, moths, wasps and flies. They play an essential role in gardens and ecosystems. Each has a vital role in helping plants reproduce and thrive, so it is necessary to provide suitable habitats for these animals if we want our gardens to be full of colour and life. Pollinators transfer the pollen between flowers so plants can be fertilised and produce…
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Family planting together and teaching their child about how plants and fruit grow in their backyard
A child-friendly garden can be a fantastic way to help your children explore and learn about nature. It can provide hours of entertainment and adventure while being outdoors and not on their tablets or computers. With proper preparation, you can ensure your backyard is safe and enjoyable for them. Potential Dangerous Areas In Your Garden *Sharp objects should always be kept out of reach of young children; if any areas…
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Bright pink rose arbour
It's no secret that spending time in nature can calm our minds and bodies. We all know that laughter is good for us, and we often feel better after we’ve had a good laugh. What if I told you that gardens and plants could be better for your health than a good laugh? Let’s look at both laughter and gardens. Always Feel Great After A Good Laugh Laughter is great…
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Custom deck shaped like a river bed joining a wall to wall cascading water feature in Maribyrnong landscape design
Creating a healing garden in your backyard can be incredibly beneficial and relaxing. Not only does it provide you with an outdoor escape to enjoy the beauty of nature, but it can also help improve your physical and mental health. Healing gardens are places of tranquillity and refuge. They have been used for centuries to restore, refresh and relax the body, mind and soul. They may be small or large, but…
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Lavender patch in Brighton landscape design
A modern cottage garden is a combination of traditional and contemporary styles that are intended to create a quaint and cosy atmosphere. It combines plants and flowers that were once widely used in traditional cottage gardens with more modern varieties and design elements. This includes roses, daisies, lavender, and hollyhocks. Modern cottage gardens typically feature lush, colorful plantings, bold shapes, and unique pathways or walkways, which create an intimate atmosphere.…
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Close up of bottlebrush flower
Many people think Australian native plants are challenging to grow, but they aren’t. As with all plants, it mainly depends on matching suitable plants to a particular garden environment. Indigenous vs Native Australian Plants These terms are confusing, so I wanted to explain as I get asked this a lot. It took me some time to get my head around using these terms when I started learning horticulture in detail.…
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Clivia flowers in Hawthorn East landscape design
While some of us may have been gardening for quite some time, we all started out as beginners. An ideal plant for the beginner gardener are clivias.  They require very little care, and they will thrive in low-light areas with minimal water. Clivias come in a variety of colours, shapes, and sizes. They bloom all year round, making them perfect for sprucing up any backyard or garden. These plants are…
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Sustainable garden design for Vermont South property
Australia is home to diverse native plants, from the hardy and drought-tolerant wattles to the fragrant bush flowers (my favourite). To ensure that these natives thrive for years to come, choosing the right soil profile for planting them is essential. When it comes to the long-term health of your native plants, the most important thing is soil preparation and maintenance. We all know how much joy we get out of…
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Urban food garden in productive part of Bundoora landscape design
Spring is just around the corner! Have you ever considered a vegetable patch in your garden? We love creating gardens for families who appreciate the importance and value of growing your own food!⁠⠀ Here are some practical tips on considering vegetable patches for your design:⁠⠀ Choosing the location and aspect ⁠⠀ Materials to be used in the garden bed, eg softwood v hardwood, the chemicals in wood treatment/leeching and considering…
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View of front entry stepper path from the street in Burwood landscape design by Parveen Dhaliwa
Setting the scene Last year, I was approached by the family who wanted to create a beautiful garden surrounding their newly built home that they were looking at selling. It was an unusual project for me to take on.  As you well know, my gardens are all about the creating spaces that are custom for the family they live in.  And which they feel connected to on some level. So…
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Backyard grassed area in Burwood landscape design by Inspiring Landscape Solutions
Winter is the best time for tidying up your garden, pruning the plants, and preparing for spring.  If you can get over the mental block of how cold it is outside, you’ll reap the rewards in the couple of month’s time and also get some good exercise and keep warm to boot! So here are some tips for your winter garden care! Your winter garden to-do’s Declutter Honestly, winter’s the…
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Red king protea in Glen Waverley landscape design
One of my absolute favourite family of plants to use in my designs and one I absolutely look forward to in my own garden! Such a great plant for Australian climates too! ⠀⁠ It’s often assumed that proteas are Australian natives, but they in originate from South Africa. However, they are closely related to some of our showiest plants, such as banksias, grevilleas and waratahs. (Which is why i probably…
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Close up of purple shrub in Burwood landscape design by Parveen Dhaliwal
Creating a Planting Plan So you’ve landed upon a theme for your dream garden and it’s got you so excited that you’ve already decided on the hard materials, accessories, and layout for this oasis. The next step is - many would say - the most fun part. Choosing your plants! But how do you work out what plants to put in and where they should go? You’ve come to the…
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Closeup of lime espalier in Bundoora landscape design
Thought I'd write up on several discussions I've had the past couple of weeks from friends, family and clients about trying to get something edible planted in their garden. Most have said that they have no idea where to begin and some are curious about what else they can plant at this time of year! Well, happy to share some thoughts and tips to keep the spirit of giving going…
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Dramatic lighting effect in Hawthorn East front garden design
The brief When Cate contacted me, she wanted a garden that would suit her lifestyle and lift her space. Her impeccable taste in her newly-renovated townhouse and incredible interior detail helped shape the outdoor design. Cate wanted a garden that would flow with the exterior and could be enjoyed both during the day and at night. It had to feel modern and create an urban oasis of lush plant life…
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Corten wall lightbox used in Glen Waverley garden design
The brief When Sarah and her husband contacted me, they wanted a garden design that would suit their family lifestyle and wow their neighbours. Their impeccable taste in their new build and incredible interior detail helped shape the outdoor design. Sarah’s family wanted a garden that would flow with the exterior and could be enjoyed both during the day and at night. It had to feel modern and family friendly…
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Cottage garden planting in Blackburn front garden design
The brief When Paul and Valerie came to us, their garden was overgrown but filled with potential. They had 1300 square metres to enjoy in their dream home, nestled in one of the prettiest parts of Blackburn. They wanted a practical and playful garden for a young family to compliment their newly renovated modern home. The design used a mixed planting palette, including natives and perennials to provide a cottage…
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Corten wall lightbox used in Glen Waverley garden design
Do you want to learn what it takes to create the perfect outdoor space? A space that you love to look at and spend time in? We have developed a free comprehensive eBook just for you! This 10-page eBook will take you through: how to design the garden of your dreams. practical tips and inclusions based on your lifestyle. how to create harmony and flow between your home and garden.…
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Top view of large bromeliad used in Doncaster East landscape design
Status quo So we understand the direction in which the planting trend is moving, thought that it was best to explore what's been happening to date. (But please bear in mind that this is a very generic summary though!) There was a strong urge to mimic English gardens - so the cottage garden style. Then came the movement to go native and explore the delights we have on offer here.…
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Salvia used in Vermont South landscape design
Do you want to learn what it takes to create your dream garden? A space that you love to look at and spend time in?   We have developed a free comprehensive eBook just for you!   This 17-page eWorkbook will help: Map out your existing garden and identify problem areas Brainstorm new ideas Clarify what you want before contacting a landscape designer or contractor If you are not sure…
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Red rose in Vermont South garden design by Parveen Dhaliwal
My association with roses goes back to my childhood.  For me, it was the distinctive perfume of the rose that my mum grew that drew us to this plant.  Even risking a cut or two from its thorns just to take as many deep breaths in of its intoxicating perfume! My mum is the real gardener in the family and who has the most green fingers.  There is nothing that…
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Closeup of jasmine used in Vermont South garden design
Jasmines - love them to bits!  Have a look around right now and they should be at their flowering best.  I'm writing this from my deck where I've surrounded myself with the variety of my choice. Reminds me of home. Reminds me of my childhood experiences.  Can't go wrong with a scented garden! There are many species and styles of jasmine available.  The biggest difference between jasmine varieties is their…
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Close up of aloes and echeveria succulents used in Vermont South landscape design
Propagating succulents Succulents are one of the easiest of plants to propagate!  Depending on the species of succulent, they can grown from seeds; you’re able to create mini me’s from their leaves/stems; or set off wee cute little baby versions of them themselves and which are aptly called pups! From leaf Pick one of their leaves, leave the wounded end to dry (called callousing) for about a day then put…
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Salvia used in Vermont South landscape design
Given that spring is around the corner, I thought of writing up on this topic as a value add so that you’re able to refer to this for some ideas on how to approach growing your own herbs!  Soon it’ll be time to sow your herb seeds to grow into young saplings you can plant out when the frost risk is minimal and the ground warms up! Have a read…
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Nasturtiums in Vermont South landscape design
Given that spring is not that far off, I thought of writing up on this topic as a value add so that you’re able to refer to this for some ideas on how to approach growing your own herbs!  Soon it’ll be time to sow your herb seeds to grow into young saplings you can plant out when the frost risk is minimal and the ground warms up! Have a…
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Closeup view of the slate wall used to create the water feature in Maribyrnong courtyard garden
Water features in your garden Water features are perfect for large gardens as well as for small courtyards. With or without aquatic plants, they will transform your garden into an amazing space! Sometimes it’s a bit confusing to choose which one will be appropriate in your garden.  When choosing water features for your garden, try to consider the price, the size of your space and the design of your garden.…
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Beautiful elm tree showing its yellow winter leaves in Burwood landscape design
Role of a tree A tree is a key piece in your garden framework.  Depending on the tree of choice, it will add height and beauty to your garden and determines which part of it is shaded.  Its an important investment to realise your dream garden’s full potential!  So choosing the perfect tree is key for designing your dream garden! How trees help wildlife There is a current trend in design…
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Kinetic sculpture in landscape design in Glen Waverley in Houzz
People are attracted to movement in the garden.   It creates an interest of all sorts.  Here are some of my tips to create it! Doncaster - water feature view Maribyrnong - water movement Blackburn Glen Waverley Water cascading into a pool, for instance, always attracts attention from most people, especially young children!  If created to provide a subtle sound effect, it will not only add a visual wow factor to…
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Barrel Cactus for Melbourne landscapes
LOL.  Well that's my reaction.  I just have never liked artificial plants.  I love that modern tech has made them almost lifelike though.  But they can't give you what real plants can.  The sheer joy and satisfaction of watching your little baby grow and bloom and at the same time enliven the space that it's in!   Pros of  artificial plants   Well ... just to humour this topic ... …
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Closeup of monstera in a Kuala Lumpur backyard
What's so popular about it? The Monstera deliciosa plant is a non native that's getting popular again.  And for good reason.  It's simply gorgeous and easy to look after. I came across one recently on a site inspection.  Such a beauty and probably worth a lot with its propagation value and sheer size!  It definitely adds to the tropical, lush or jungle feel.  Whichever design intent appeals to you! Growth…
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Helleborus flower range of colours from white to yellows, pinks, burgundy and black
Hellebores or winter roses are definitely one of my favourites! The onset of some cooler weather and some cooler nights encourage hellebores to put on some new growth which foretells an exciting flowering season on the horizon!  Hellebores are definitely one of the stars of a winter garden when few other plants are in flower. The old fashioned hellebores bloom face down whilst the new varieties are more upright.  They…
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Top view of large bromeliad used in Doncaster East landscape design
Coming from the tropics I love colour and a lush green look.  There are many that tick these boxes but I have found Bromeliads to be the most versatile.  They have varied texture from soft to hard/serrated and come on all sort of colours and fun patterns such as spots!  It has been fun learning about them over the years and implementing them in my garden designs.  I found them…
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Plants - Inspiring Landscape Solutions