Designing The Ideal Outdoor Space
At Earth Creation Landscapes, design and the client-focused approach takes centre stage. We chat with designer David Wood to find out more about the creative process and how to incorporate edibles into any garden design.
Designing your outdoor space is as important as designing your indoor space. According to Earth Creation Landscape designer David Wood each design is different and requires consideration of a variety of aspects, but most importantly the quality of design should ensure there never has to be a re-design.
“Understanding spatial requirements is first and foremost,” said David.
“Considerations such as the size of the desired paved area, width of driveways, dimensions of garden beds, the plant size, entertaining areas and furniture and whether or not there are children and pets must all be taken into account. Good design also considers daylight conditions (shadows, mid-day and westerly sun).”
Listening to the client is always the most important part of the design process. Finding out what their requirements are and then developing a plan to ensure they can satisfy the client as well as stay within budget is how Earth Creation approaches every project.
“Budget is interesting,” said David.
“Most people don’t have a budget, or if they do, they are often not willing to surpass that budget. We try to avoid giving a rough estimate, rather we come up with an accurate budget that is true and honest.”
David said their client’s budget is often based on several factors including a limited spend amount, specific design, space, plant size and materials.
“If the design requirements cause an overspend in budget, we will find ways to keep the price down by using different materials or finding other ways besides impacting the overall design.”
“We have a lot of experience working with lots of clients,” said David.
“And we understand what our clients might want in a design if they are retired (self-financed), retirees (sold big house, have smaller house and limited budget), families (new children vs teenagers) and how these requirements affect the outdoor space. Their situation in life reflects in the overall design.”
A popular trend in garden design at the moment involves incorporating edible plants into the design rather than sectioning off space for veggies or fruit trees.
“A lot of people want independent fruit and veg gardens,” explained David.
“And we are certainly happy to do that, but we are actually moving more into incorporating them into the garden rather than separating them.”
Even with a small garden, fruit trees can be a perfect fit. Some fruit trees take a while to fruit, for example a macadamia takes between five to seven years, whereas, a pawpaw you get fruit the first year.
“Ultimately the size of the garden will determine the type of fruiting tree but often there are dwarf varieties available where space is limited such as dwarf avocado, mango and papaya,” explained David.
“Espalier fruit trees also work well against walls and fences in those tight situations where space is at a premium.”
Some easy to grow favourites fruit trees are papaya, fig, avocado, dwarf mango, finger lime, and Tahitian lime. There are so many other varieties to choose from if you are willing to experiment and have patience.
The most important factor required to ensure successful fruiting and resilience to pests and disease is correct soil preparation. Earth Creation Landscapes prides itself on taking this part of landscape construction very seriously. Natural soils on the Sunshine Coast are generally lacking in organic matter and nutrients. When a company uses excavators and Kanga machines to actively incorporate highly organic soil blends mixed with coir (coconut fibre) to a depth of 300mm or more then you know plant success is virtually guaranteed. As they say ‘just add water.”
To find out more about Earth Creation Landscapes, visit www.earthcreationlandscapes.com.au.