Now is the perfect time of year to create a new garden or revive an ailing one, according to garden designer Eva Porter.
With spring just around the corner, the conditions are ideal for settling in new plants and if you're keen to get stuck in, it's not too hot for some hard yakka yet.
Eva, of Porter Designs, says the first step is to develop a garden design that will incorporate how you want to use the space and plants that will perform well in that environment.
“Go for a walk around your neighbourhood to see what plants grow well in the area,” she says. “It’s worth doing your design or investing in design, because I believe it will save you money in the long run.”
Consider which plants will perform best in different positions — shade or sun, how much water they need and how big they will be when fully grown.
Eva says repeat planting adds to effective design, rather than having different varieties added to a garden haphazardly.
If a garden has been planned well, it will improve as plants mature.
The Albany Creek-based designer says she created this garden (main picture above) at Northgate about two years ago, and it is a good example of how a design can evolve.
“This design didn’t stop when I left. They’ve continued to add to it. The garden has grown over time,” Eva says.
There was a huge canopy in the front garden from a large poinsettia tree, and the rest of the area had been turf before Eva got to work.
She encouraged the client to minimise the grassed area and create mostly gardens in the space. “A cottage garden was the brief, but they can be difficult to do in the shade,” she explains.
“I chose tropical plants, or shade-loving plants that looked like cottage plants.”
Eva recommends selecting hardy plant varieties and species that flower at different times of the year, so you always have colour in the garden.
Nothing says spring like a garden filled with flowers, but many of these plants are annuals, which will die off. Eva suggests seeding these in pots and arranging them in groups of three or five to create an eye-catching design.
“That’s a nice change because it’s been tropical for so long. It has a more natural feel,” she explains.
Eva’s passion for garden design and tenacity won her the USC Young Entrepreneur Award at the Moreton Bay Region Business Excellence and Innovation Awards last year.
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