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Front garden beds of a new build in Camberwell lit up at night

Planning is everything I know that the outdoor design bug doesn’t usually hit most people until the first lovely spring day. I advise anyone that contacts me that they will have a better result if the process starts way earlier than that. With more people now working from home, I see that people have now taken the time to think about when they should start their garden design. When’s …

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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 …

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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. …

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Kinetic sculpture in landscape design in Glen Waverley in Houzz

Getting a landscaping quote When I first commenced as a designer, it was put to me by a client that I should offer an advisory value-add service by staying on as an independent consultant.  My role is to guide them through the rest of the build process, given that I helped create the vision of their garden.  They needed help in getting and interpreting the landscaping quotes that they …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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White flowers in Hawthorn East 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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Brown pebbles for landscaping Melbourne

What is it? What is rock mulch? I get this question a lot. It stems from the general perception that “mulch” only relates to material made from chipped wood. Rock “mulch” is basically a groundcover material made of your chosen size of screenings, pebbles or small rocks. Now you’re going to ask me, what are these in turn as they all seem to mean the same thing? In fact …

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White iceberg rose in Blackburn landscape design

Biophilia What does Biophillia actually mean and how is it important to garden design?  It is a fancy term or does it carry more meaning? The term “biophilia” means the “love of life or living systems.” It describes a psychological orientation of being attracted to all that is alive and vital. It tries to explain why humans strive to connect with nature and the world around us. For me, maybe …

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Basic soil dispersiveness testing by Inspiring Landscape Solutions

How do I know I have clay soil? It’s relatively easy to do a basic soil type test to help you understand your soil profile. It’s called the hand texturing or extrusion test. Basically, you take a fist full of your soil, wet it so that you are able to shape it into a ball.  Then you lightly “extrude” the ball using your forefinger and thumb and see whether …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Productive vegetable patch in metal planters in Kew garden design

The most important thing to do in spring for your productive garden is planting. It is a task that will pay off big dividends! So forget all those other spring tasks you’ve got on your plate at the moment and get planting before it’s too late! I know it’s hard to get organised.  I have young kids and a busy work schedule but I do love the taste of …

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Aphids on helleborus. Landscape design Melbourne by Inspiring Landscape Solutions

With spring well underway, I’m sure you’ve come across them.  Swarms of soft bodied insects swarming around and eventually ruining your young buds. They are present in my garden too.  Used to attack my roses but much less now, having implemented some preventative measures discussed below.  However, they still attack my hellebores! Here’s some insights into what aphids are and what you should consider when dealing with them. What …

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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 …

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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 …

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Urban food garden in productive part of Kew landscape design

What is it? What does “productive garden design” mean for me, personally? Is it a garden with a vegetable patch?  Maybe some fruit bearing trees thrown in? Having edibles secretly injected into your outdoor spaces?  Or is it something practical for the family with young kids to forage through and discover the bounty of nature? Does it need to be aesthetically pleasing? What about inviting wildlife into the garden? …

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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 …

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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 …

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Shadows in the garden in Hawthorn garden design by Inspiring Landscape Solutions

Hello, I’ve pulled together some features that a home-office should have, in my view.  Yes it’s plant based of course, as I’m a plantaholic designer!  Anyway, there was so much to write on this topic that I have broken it down to two articles. Part 1 Why have plants in the workplace and the how to use them effectively Part 2 Maintenance considerations and the types of plants you …

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Garden artwork. Garden rejuvenation of a Doncaster property in Melbourne by Inspiring Landscape Solutions

Hello, I’ve pulled together some features that a home-office should have, in my view.  Yes it’s plant based of course, as I’m a plantaholic designer!  Anyway, there was so much to write on this topic that I have broken it down to two articles. Happy reading! Part 1 Why have plants in the workplace and the how to use them effectively Part 2 Maintenance considerations and the types of …

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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 …

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Black circular water feature in Blackburn garden design by Parveen Dhaliwal

What sort of sounds? What does “sounds in the garden” mean for me, personally? Is it the rustle of leaves and undergrowth as we walk path? Could it be the wind billowing softly that makes it exciting to be in the garden? What about the birds and then buzz of the bees? Other insects maybe? What about the delightful sounds of moving water as it laps around edges of …

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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 …

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Clivia flowers in Hawthorn East landscape design

Thought I’d quickly share some of my gardening tips for getting your garden ready this summer.  Every keen gardener I know is worried about the forecasts for this summer – it’s predicted to be hot and dry so best to get your preparation underway to tackle the heat and ensure your garden survives the onslaught!! Irrigation A key gardening tip is to ensure that your irrigation system, if you …

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Close up of bluestone paving and oversized pebbles in Burwood landscape design by Parveen Dhaliwal

Bluestone – what is it? Bluestone is not a geological term but refers to different types of stone depending on which Australian state your located. In Victoria Bluestone means Basalt. Basalt is one of the most commonly occurring igneous or volcanic rocks used in construction.  It is supplied as building blocks, cobblestones and statues.  Bluestone paving comes in all shapes and sizes and until recently it was the trendiest …

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Street view of front entry stepper path in Burwood landscape design by Inspiring Landscape Solutions

Thought it may be worthwhile doing a writeup of the main questions I get asked about paving. Hawthorn East – granite Ashburton B Blackburn – bluestone Glen Waverley Ashburton A Vermont South B Brighton Caulfield Camberwell Maribyrnong Surrey Hills Paving v decking Which one should you go for?  Basically it boils down to a couple of considerations ranging from your personal preference to use of space and cost drivers.  …

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Edible landscaping using trellis in Blackburn landscape design

Trellises or frames are probably one of the more useful structures to be considered in garden design.  Why? They add a bit of visual interest and are at times functional!  Therefore, if you’re thinking of creating a space that seems like an enclosed room or a special destination where you want to be in the garden, don’t hesitate to use one! With trends in landscape design shifting towards ideas …

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Why?   Gardens are where growth energy gets created and nurture.  It is as important for your garden to attract good energy as it for your home interiors to bring you luck! Which method?   There are a couple of ways in which start the process of designing a feng shui garden.   Note, however, that the information in this article is based on the general principles and are …

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With working lives becoming busier and its becoming more expensive to travel to an oasis, why not create a home oasis of your own?  A balcony garden is a perfect initiative!! Personally, its not about adding to clutter, but its about organising your space to be more of what you need in life with plant friends along the way and which can improve the air quality to boot!! There …

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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! …

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Corten spherical ring garden sculpture in Blackburn landscape design

Best practice   It is our practice to organise a site meeting for the initial consultation, so that we can visualise the area we will be designing.  That’s best practice. We charge for our initial consultations.   Preparation is Key!     We strongly believe in being value for money so we come prepared.  Once contacted, we send you a short questionnaire prior to the initial consultation so that …

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Garden artwork. Garden rejuvenation of a Doncaster property in Melbourne by Inspiring Landscape Solutions

With everything getting smaller these days, how do we get the most from our outdoor areas without feeling claustrophobic? Design Tips! Here are some simple tips in getting an awesome design underway for your small garden or outdoor space! Choose the right plant palette – go for the smaller dwarfs and cultivars and don`t forget to layer them and group their sizes accordingly to create the visual effect you want.  …

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Front garden in Camberwell landscaped using perennials and Australian natives

A retaining wall using sleepers are not difficult to install and can definitely be attempted by any DIYer with a bit of time and muscle! Sleepers generally come in two types – treated pine or red gum. Although we have installed some in railway sleepers (looks amazing but it is costlier). What’s the right type of wood based sleeper for you? Using treated pine sleepers for building a retaining wall …

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Closeup of pot styling area in Bundoora garden design

It’s a must have!   In our garden designs, an irrigation system is one of the things we insist that our clients invest in.  Parveen has a live example garden which is not irrigated on purpose. We can prove how cumbersome it gets, over time, when you don’t have an irrigation system.  Even the toughest of plants will wither and perish over a prolonged period of lack of watering.  …

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Front garden design plant cluster in Blackburn by Parveen Dhaliwal

We get asked this a lot so we’ve decided to clarify a few urban myths on this topic.  Specifically, how people perceive the skillset required to be a designer, landscaper (i.e. landscape contractor) or a gardener.   Landscaping and landscape design   Landscaping is a 4 year apprenticeship.  Its a commitment of 4 days a week of on-the-job training and 1 day a week at TAFE. The TAFE landscaping …

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The rare occurrence Occasionally, we meet clients who are well researched and have a reasonably good idea of what they want and how much it will all cost.  All they needed from us is to complete the picture by confirming a couple of things they were thinking of doing and a quick sketch of what the overall result will look like. In this instance we will usually offer to …

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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.  …

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Street view of front garden in Burwood garden design by Inspiring Landscape Solutions

Motivation Adding value to your property with effective landscaping is easy to achieve if you follow a few simple rules. Whether it is your home or an investment property, adding value will be a key consideration when looking to design the garden and construct it. The main elements when adding value are aesthetics, budget and low maintenance. Questions to ask yourself – aesthetics When looking at how to design …

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Beautiful elm tree showing its yellow winter leaves in Burwood landscape design

Well its nearly spring and if you’ve not been blessed with the delights of flowering buds from your fruit trees, you will be soon.  Oh imagine the bountiful fruit on my trees, you say.   But then your hopes come crashing down when you venture out and inspect the fruit trees closely. That was me this morning.  This is me now.  Feeling annoyed.  Extremely annoyed.  My horticulturist qualified gardener or …

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Large grassed area in Burwood landscape design by Inspiring Landscape Solutions

Ensure that your instant turf receives plenty of water, the turf should be moist but not wet. Depending on the season your turf may need to be watered daily. * Do not install your instant turf in shade areas.  Consider artificial lawns in those circumstances.  There are turf types that are sold as suitable to grow in the shade, however, from experience, they do not take as well as …

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Bright flowers used around pool area in Brighton landscape design in Melbourne

Spring is nearly here!  I can’t wait to see my garden awaken although I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the winter display thus far.  Benefits of designing a garden catering for seasoning impacts I guess!  Yes, selecting plants is so important.  Especially the right plants!  I can imagine the beautiful influx of butterflies, native bees, cockatoos and rainbow lorikeets that will visit my garden soon.  Not to mention the colourful floral display …

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Staging for sale Sprucing up the outdoors shouldn’t be ignored when preparing your home for potential buyers. Here are 8 key things you could do when you’re staging your house for sale: De – clutter & tidy up – get rid of bits and bobs and broken down items lying around.   Get rid of dead or dying bushes, pull out the weeds and mow the lawn. Repair – minimise spend …

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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 …

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Mount Waverley Archives | Inspiring Landscape Solutions